I was surprised to find out that I have sooooo many random videos for 2015 on my laptop. Thanks to the Cloud, I still have a copy after I’ve reformatted my laptop and cellphone.
Sumilon Island is one of the clearest beaches I’ve ever been! It’s next on my top list after Calaguas. We haven’t docked yet, but I was totally speechless with the different shades of blue. (Have I mentioned that blue is actually my favorite color? 😀 ) The only thing I would change was the sand, it wasn’t that fine as Boracay, nor Calaguas. One of the best beaches in Cebu that I was able to check off of my must-visit-beaches-in-cebu list.
The most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen this year. Amazing!!! The water was really cold, btw. I’ve seen this in photos, but I’m still amazed on how beautiful it is! Bummer that my camera’s batt was almost drained! It is definitely worth the free tanning session at the back of the pick-up truck.
For Oslob Packages: (Whaleshark + Tumalog + Sumilon)
Gabby Binggan (South Cebu Travels and Tours)
Our first agenda for our second day was whale shark watching. Swimming in open water without lifejacket, trying our best to dive deeper. Challenge accepted!
Since our resort was half an hour away from the actual site, we asked the tour guide, Kuya Gabby, to fetch us at around 6AM. The ride was quick because I was busy admiring the view – the sea and the sun, with the wind blowing my hair. Upon reaching the orientation area, there were already tourists in the water, and waiting for the orientation. The orientation was fast. The lecturer was reading the tarp posted in front. You can actually just read the guidelines – it was pretty much the same. After the orientation, we headed to the “departure” area. We were told that we needed to wear the life vest until we reach the interaction site, and we can remove it if we know how to swim. I don’t know how to swim, but I can do a basic survival swim so I removed my lifejacket after I was comfortable.
We had to maximize our time because each bangka was only allowed 30 minutes. Camille, being the swimmer, was the first to jump off the bangka. I followed her after knowing I could trust her to save me just in case. HAHAHA. We took some photos of the gentle giants before taking off our life vests. The water was a little bit smelly and too salty, btw. The waves was a little bit too strong too.
At some point, we were almost freaking out because the whale sharks are too near! We can almost touch it! But of course, we didn’t! We’re afraid of what might it do if we did. There was even a time I pushed a friend because she was an inch away to the tail! We were that close!!! Where is the 4 meters away from the whale shark???
It was so hard to swim calmly when you’re inches away from the whale sharks, or if the waves was getting a little bit stronger than usual. Since Camille was the only swimmer in the group, she was the only one with a very decent looking photo. Mine was fail, because I wasn’t synced with the photographer, or my rash guard was up exposing my tummy, or the shot was late that the whale shark left already, or I was blocking it. Overall, it was a great experience. We just have to be extra careful. No sunblocks, no flash photography and do not touch these gentle giants. Plus, it’s my achievement swimming in open water! Another, #WhenInCebu bucketlist that I was able to check!
For Oslob Packages: (Whaleshark + Tumalog + Sumilon)
Gabby Binggan (South Cebu Travels and Tours) – please say hi for me! and he is super nice!!! PROMISE!
Hello! I am back from the Queen City of the South. Saying I fell in-love with the city is an understatement. I honestly considered relocating to Cebu because of all the amazing places I wanted to visit and the over-the-top friendliness of the people. We’ve been planning for this trip since January and counting down wasn’t that easy! I hope this will be an annual trip with the happy bunch. Our first activity for the trip was canyoneering in Badian. I’ve been seeing travel videos about canyoneering and it literally makes my heart skip a beat! (Yes, up until to this very date!)
We arrived at South Bus Terminal around 3am, hoping to leave the city before 4am. It was almost a 3-hour bus ride (Bato via Barili) from the city. I fell asleep during the first part, but then I woke up just in time to appreciate the coastline view. We arrived at Sto. Tomas church at around 7am with all our things where we met Kuya Mike (of Highlands Adventure Cebu). Upon alighting the bus, tour guides/habal-habal riders will come to you offering services. It’s a good thing if you don’t have a package yet, just make sure you get the best deal.
Initially we were laughing and sharing jokes about backing out. I did, for a split second, thought about it too. I was scared of heights, and I’m scared that I might not be able to finish it. But then, I realized, why the hell not? Might as well do this and check it off my bucket-list. It was past 9 when we started the adventure. We had to ride a habal-habal from Sto. Tomas Church to the starting point, with a quick stop to register. The lady manning the registration office told us that there would be 7 jumps (yes! 7! imagine my face when she told us that!!)
The guide told us, “Kapag mas matagal ka bago tumalon, mas matatakot ka.” I kept that in mind, and tried calm myself for a moment and find that brave soul somewhere. After the minute, I did it!!!!! I was screaming during the jump, releasing the fear. I was screaming after the jump, releasing the awesome feeling of just jumping! Achievement Level 01: Unlocked!
The almost 5-hour trip involved different kinds of jumping, jumping/walking/going over rocks, sliding, swimming and walking. I was surprised that I was able to conquer this one. I want to do it again! And again! During the entire time, I was thanking the Man up above for creating this amazing place. Every turn was like a door to another magical place where I can only wish to witness everyday.
Even though I was busy doing some crazy things I wouldn’t thought I’d be able to do, I was preoccupied admiring nature. It was insanely beautiful! The crystal blue water, the charm of the rocks, the (mini) waterfalls, the sounds of chirping birds… everything! I was thankful that we did during the rainy season. I wonder how would it look during summer.
The last jump was 25 feet. I challenged myself to just jump, to complete the experience. One by one, my friends started to jump. I was third to the last to jump. I was calming myself the entire time. That wasn’t easy — I was seeing the current and how high I was. The tour guide, once again, told me, “Habang tumatagal ka, mas lalo kang matatakot.” I was ready to jump, I swear I was. I just needed that courage to just do it. Then, I closed my eyes, told myself that I could do it. Then I jumped! I screamed, during the jump releasing the tension. I screamed after the jump because I did it! I almost conquered my fear! After this jump, the rest was history. We trekked for more than an hour to reach Kawasan Falls. Playing happily as we survived canyoneering. Achievement Level 02: Unlocked! This is definitely a #WhenInCebu bucketlist!
For Canyoneering Packages:
Michael Munoz (Kuya Mike)
Highlands Adventure PH
I’ve been planning on doing a Pinatubo Trek since February and I was so close to doing that last March but my friends backed out last minute.Good thing, my teammates decided that we’d try the trek instead of a Rizal road trip. We booked our private tour last minute that we got bumped off to an afternoon trek. Initially, I was bummed because it was summer!!
The van picked us up at Ortigas at around 7AM. Surprisingly, the van was new. And since we’re only five in our group, the van was really spacious. The ride from Ortigas to Tarlac was faster that’s why they decided to visit Capas Shrine first. Actually, I didn’t know that we could squeeze in another item to our itinerary. Capas Shrine was built as a memorial for all the Filipino and American soldiers who died after the Bataan Death March. There was an on-going ceremony with both Filipino and American soldiers prepping up for a joint military exercise.
After running around like kids, we headed back to the van so we could finally relax at the guesthouse. When we arrived at the guesthouse, the place was packed. There was this large group of Chinese people also waiting for their trek. We were undecided whether we should eat or not, but then an attendant told us that we might need to wait a little longer so we ended up eating. Good thing was, they do serve cheap meals. We still had breakfast rolls and tuna spread so we just ordered additional Pancit for the group. Something funny happened during our downtime. The Chinese group suddenly left the guesthouse and when we asked our driver what happened, he said that there was a miscommunication between the group and their friend who referred them. Apparently, the group thought that they could all fit in in the ride. A 4×4 can fit 5 people maximum, and there were at least 9 people!!! I feel bad for them knowing they waited for like an hour or so thinking they’d fit all and pay less.
When our ride arrived, I got all excited! Growing up, I love riding at the back of my uncle’s 4×4 and just standing up and feel the air brushing my hair. Our ride to Pinatubo started and it was almost 2 hours of sand and sun. I was enjoying the view! I just wish that there were more green… 😦 During the 2-hour ride, I saw some kids walking and playing. They were such a joy to see, waving happily to every truck they see.
After what felt like a tanning session, we’ve reached the start point. There’s this welcome sign to motivate you. (Go for the 18 minutes!!) The trek was short, but I was sweating so hard! When we were just few steps, my legs were starting to shake. Damn. It was a good exercise, I thought! Hahahahaha! Now, they have this man-made path so it would be easier for the tourist to trek. I love that I can hear clearly the sound of water streaming and the sound of birds chirping. The joy of escaping the city has never been this strong!!
Sadly, I belong to the senior citizen group!
The crater view was amazing!! I think it will be a hundred fold more amazing if we trekked in the morning, or if we witness the sunset (or sunrise!) here, or if there were more greens around. But, it is still beautiful! I’m so overwhelmed with happiness when I saw the crater, even though we did a short trek, it was definitely worth it! I’m now in-love with Mother Nature whether or not there’s a sea involved! With so many tourist coming, I hope they’d influence all to take their trashes back to the base camp to maintain the cleanliness of the area. See the happy faces? We’ll be back, but this time… CAMPING! 😀