When in Cebu:  Override the Powerful Cascades of Badian to Kawasan

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Thinking about what to do this summer?  Tired of the usual cerulean waters and white sand beaches? Ever thought of risking your life for so many times in just one adventure?  If you answer yes to all these questions, then Badian-Kawasan Canyoneering is definitely worth of a life gamble.

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I never liked going to the falls.  Maybe because it was just too cold for me and when I equate summer, I would love to soak myself in the sun, lay bare in the white fine sediments and just a cocktail on my hand would complete my trip.  But I just thought that if I had this adrenaline rush and knowing that I won’t be getting any younger then surely this opportunity I would not let pass.

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We had a call time of 12am, riding a bus from Bacolod to Dumaguete.  Since Badian is found at the West and Southern part of Cebu, we decided to take the Sibulan-Liloan route.  Just a town before Dumaguete, we alighted in Sibulan and walked towards the port.  It will take you at least 15 minutes to arrive in Liloan, Cebu.  From Liloan port, we rode a tricycle going to the bus station and rode a bus going directly to Moalboal because it was just very tiring for us to do the canyoneering  on that day.

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White Beach Moalboal, mostly famous for its diving sites and white sand beaches, is one of best tourist spots of Cebu.  It is highly sought for value travelers and their public beach is great for camping and lounging.  If you’re a diver, experience free diving with million of sardines in Pescador Island at a very cheap price.  In addition, Moalboal is very cheap overall, with “carinderia” prices of food and low room rates.  You will conclusively get more of what you pay for.

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Spending the night there, we swam in the clear waters against the best backdrop of the sunset.  We got cozy on the beach with drinks on our hands, watching people get busy on their bonfires at night.  Just a laid back vibe and pure simplicity depict the beach.

Early morning while we were having breakfast, it freaking rained hard.  We were just so disappointed that we traveled so far for nothing.  We talked to our contact to make sure if we could still pursue it and we had a positive response.  It took us about an hour from Moalboal to Badian.  Arriving at their mini booth, we asked the guide to make sure if it’s really safe.  Just because the adventure itself was already a big risk, I just didn’t want to kill myself more hahah.  The tour guide explained that they only stop canyoneering if it continuously rained for three days and if there is a storm the week before.  So they only base the current of the water of the previous days.

We changed into our suits and hooked all our safety gears.  Our bags were placed on their lockers, bringing only the necessary things.  Remember to bring money with you and put it on a waterproof bag because the canyoning can make you very hungry afterwards.  We rode a motorcycle heading to the starting point at Poblacion, Alegria which takes you about ten to fifteen minutes.  There were two registrations needed to be accomplished before it started.  There were food vendors situated at the registration.
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Just a five minute walk from the office to the starting point,  the adventure now begins.

Badian-Kawasan Canyoneering has two kinds of adventure.  The most famous one is the downstream canyoneering which you start from Badian, the higher portion and just have a total of 8 cliff jumps and countless times of sliding and swimming, finishing it until Kawasan National Park and waterfalls.

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The more challenging kind is what they call the reverse canyoneering which is the river climbing.  They start at the lower portion which involves abseiling and the use of climbing gears.  Whichever is your choice, it will surely be a once in a lifetime experience.

Prepare to cliff jump to as high as 20 feet which is the highest jump to start the canyoning tour.  Cebu Canyoneering involves climbing down the canyon by the means of walking, swimming, climbing and abseiling so prepare your mind for the action that awaits you.

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In the middle of the tour, you get to lounge in this dark blue waters which are too dreamy and enchanting.

You know when you’re nearly finished when you arrive at the second highest jump after about three hours.  There are grilled food situated at the cliff so while you’re gaining your composure and prepare for your jump, you can take a rest and eat some pork inasal.

On your way to the exit, you can witness the lovely color of the stream which forms as a mini pond.  You can never fail to appreciate the awesomeness of the nature’s beauty.

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The end of the tour welcomes you to the gorgeous sapphire water of Kawasan Falls Level 3, the topmost portion of the famed Kawasan cascade.  There are also food vendors selling snacks and drinks to replenish your lost calories.  The whole experience takes you to about 3-4 hours depending on your speed.
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We made our way to Level 1 and took a swim for a little while.  After having enough rest, we went back to their booth and caught a bus back to Liloan.

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Canyoneering Tour:

Joeproadventures (as low as 650 pesos each if direct booking)
+63 935 531 4702
inclusions: safety helmet, life vest, transportation fee from station to jump start, all entrance fees

Kawasan Canyoneering (1200 each)
Pips: +63 918 654 4111
inclusions: safety helmet, life vest, transportation fee from station to jump start, light snacks, recovery meal, all entrance fees

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How to get there:

From Bacolod:

Bus to Dumaguete (5 hours)
Alight in Sibulan (5 min walk)
Take a ferry to Liloan Port (15 minutes)
Ride a Bus or Trike to Bato Terminal (10 minutes)
Bus from Bato to Badian (1 hour and 30 minutes)

From Moalboal: Ride a bus to Badian (1 hour)

From Cebu: Ride a Ceres Bus (3-4 hours)

From international and other provinces: head to Cebu International Airport or Dumaguete Airport

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Where to stay:

Basdaku Beach

Budget:
HK Beach Resort +63 919 476 6385
Ester’s Homestay +63 927 578 5983 / malyn_esc7106@yahoo.com.ph
Magic’s Place +63 905 906 6956

Pricey:
Barefoot White Beach Resort +63 928 4939 798

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Tips:

  1. Arrive early.
  2. Bring money with you on the tour.
  3. Always listen to the guide or you get washed away with the current.
  4. Wear proper attire to protect yourself.
  5. Eat a fair amount to last you for 5 hours.
  6. Get a good sleep the night before.
  7. Don’t forget to bring your GroPro camera.  If you don’t have any, they let you rent it for 500 pesos.
  8. If you have any valuables with you, they offer a locker.
  9. If you have an ample time, you can pass by Lambug Beach in Badian.  It has incredible white sand and public yet serene beach.
  10. You can make moalboal diving, canyoneering adventure, swimming with the whalesharks in Oslob and island hop at Sumilon in one trip. So make the most out of your adventure in Cebu.

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Budget Breakdown (group of 4)

Ceres Bus 1464
Ferry to Liloan 280
Breakfast 120
Trike to Bato Terminal 100
Bus to Badian 228
Trike to Lambug Beach 160
Entrance 60
Bus to Moalboal 52
Trike to White Beach 150
Lunch 1200
Water 60
Dinner 276
Breakfast 275
Room 1800
Trike to Badian 300
Tour 2400
Tip 100
Bus to Liloan 204
Trike to Port 200
Dinner 234
Ferry to Sibulan 248
Jeep to Dumaguete 60
Trike to Ceres 32
Bus to Bacolod 1100

Total: 11103 (2775.75 each)

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When in Cebu: Laze around Bantayan Island

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The first time I ever set my eyes on the perfect imagery of Bantayan Island, I could not ask for more. It is the perfect epitome of my dream beach and I keep on going back here everytime I get the chance. With its fine and powdery white sand likened to White Beach in Boracay, and its crystal clear and unpolluted blue waters, there is no denying that Cebu is very blessed to have one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Due to its remoteness for being one of the isolated towns of the northern part of Cebu, Bantayan Island is a little exhausting for some travellers because there is no easy way like having direct flights going there and you have to commute from the city proper taking up to six hours travel. Sure it will all be worth it once you take a glimpse of this picturesque heaven. It’s very lucky for me since there are scheduled boat trips directly to Bantayan Island from Cadiz City in Negros so it’s one hell of a shortcut for this paradise with only a three hour travel from my hometown.

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Bantayan Island owns unexplainable white sand with the consistency of that of a flour. It is rich with aquamarine waters and when it reflects the warming sunlight, the water becomes so luminous that it’s like you’re swimming in the pool with nothing but water and a flat sandy surface. This paradise conveys a sense of serenity and lavish relaxation. Even the world renowned beaches like Kauai Island could not be compared with the pristine waters of this jewel as it has maintained its naturalness and purity. Moreover, there are only a few tourists and resorts lined up at the beach and this has exempted the island from overdevelopment.

Activities:
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Beach Bumming
It is undeniable how the beach of Bantayan Island is one of the best I’ve been to. When you just want to get a tan or relax with a drink in your hand at Sta. Fe Beach, then it’s the perfect place to laze around and think happy thoughts.

Swim at Ogtong Cave
Ogtong Cave can be found in Ogtong Cave Resort. It is a small cave which extends to about fifty meters filled with freshwater. With its crystal clear aqua waters, it is definitely soothing for the intense warmth this summer. One must be a guest of Ogtong Cave Resort or its sister company, Sta. Fe Beach Club to swim in this beautiful wonder of Bantayan. The resort itself is the most luxurious in the island but for a hefty price, it’s definitely worth it once you get to swim in the mystical cave. Natural rocks surround the resort and it is lined with white sand and picture worthy scrim.

Hop at Virgin Island
Picture the perfect beach of Bantayan Island. Then imagine a finer and whiter sand and transparent waters that glitter as the sun touches the calming waves of the sea. There are nipa huts at the beach front to give you shade and enjoy the alluring landscape. Rocky formations can be found at the end of the white beach that make this terrain a wonderful backdrop for the name of Virgin Island that welcomes the boat upon docking. Sumptuous lunch is served on the island at a very worthy price. With their seafood fresh and abundant, tourists can definitely enjoy eating there.

So much has changed at Virgin Island with my recent visit there.  Before, it was all barren and just an island and some huts.  Now, tourists flock them and several boats line up on the shore.  There are numerous tables and rooms you can spend the night in. Or you can bring a tent to indulge in nature.  Irregardless of the development, although I am deeply saddened, it still remains a beauty.

Discover Sto. Nino Cave
Little do people know that there is another cave at Bantayan Island worth seeing.  When I saw a picture of the cave from a friend, I found a way to revisit this gorgeous island to check this out for myself.  Found at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort, Sto. Nino Cave is named as that since a statue of the beloved Sto. Nino was spotted inside upon its discovery.  It is a larger cave compared to Ogtong Cave.  Similarly, it is filled with freshwater that one can lavishly swim in.  With its gorgeous lighting, it gives the impression of yellow to orange luminescence that one can stare in awe.  If you choose a day tour in this resort, the cave is open until ten in the evening.  Moreover, the resort offers an overnight stay, fish spa, swimming pool, mini zoo and garden.  You will never get bored.  Just a 40 minute drive from Sta. Fe Beach, there is definitely no hustle.

Move In to Kota Beach Resort

Have you watched the famous movie Camp Sawi? Well, they shot almost all of their scenes here in this resort.  After having seen the most exquisite beach and unpolluted water, I don’t wonder why the producers picked this as a prime location.  With two beautiful sandbars within your reach at the beachfront, you are definitely in for some natural rehabilitation.  If you’re not planning to check in, you can pay 50 pesos as entrance fee just to see and swim on the beach.

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How to go there:

From Bacolod: go to CADIZ City port (1 hour)
take a ferry to Bantayan Island at 9:00am daily (2 hours)

From Cebu: take a bus from North Bus Terminal near SM city
bus leaves every 45 minutes at 150 pesos (3 hours)
head to Hagnaya Wharf in San Remigio (30 mins)
take a ferry to Sta. Fe Port (1 hour)

Super Shuttle Ferry
+63 916 905 2348 / +63 919 525 1388
Hagnaya to Sta. Fe – 4AM / 7AM / 8AM / 10:30AM / 12:30PM / 2:30PM / 4:30PM
Sta. Fe to Hagnaya – 6AM / 8:30AM / 10:30AM / 12:30PM / 2:30PM / 4:30PM / 6PM
Island Shipping Corporation
+63 922 284 5892 / +63 922 875 9769
Hagnaya to Sta. Fe – 5AM / 6:30AM / 9:30AM / 11:30AM / 1:30PM / 3:30PM / 5:30PM
Sta. Fe to Hagnaya – 5AM / 7:30AM / 9:30AM / 11:30AM / 1:30PM / 3:30PM / 5:30PM

From Leyte: take a bus from San Ildefonso and Tacloban to Bogo City in Cebu via RoRo
take a bus from Bogo City to Hagnaya Wharf
take a ferry to Sta. Fe Port

From other provinces and countries : take a direct flight to Cebu City

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Where to stay:

Ogtong Cave Resort
Santa Fe, Cebu
(032) 438 0165 / +63 920 899 9456 / +63 932 433 6282
info@stafebeach.com
http://www.ogtongcave.com/
*rates for 2 pax at least 2500

Sta. Fe Beach Club
Sta. Fe Beach Club Rd, Santa Fe, Cebu
(032) 438 9090 / +63 928 778 7770 / +63 932 541 2954
http://www.stafebeach.com/
*rates for 2 pax at least 900


Anika Island Resort
F. Roska Street, Santa Fe, 6047 Cebu
+63 917 701 4168
http://www.anikaislandresort.com/
*rates for 2 pax at least 1500

Beach Placid
F. Roska Street, Sta. Fe Beach, Cebu
+63 32 406 5686 / +63 32 438 9070
+63 917 722 2993
beachplacid@gmail.com
contact@beachplacidresort.com
http://www.beachplacidresort.com
*rates for 2 pax at least 1600

Virgin Island
Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu
+63 917 322 2115 / +63 922 726 6579 / +63 920 118 3521
*rates
entrance: 500 for 2 pax and 100 per additional pax
cottages: 300, 500, 600, 1000
tables & chairs: 300
overnight: 1500 for 2 pax (bamboo house) 1500 for 5 pax (open cottage)

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Kota Beach Resort
F. Duarte St. Sta. Fe, Cebu
+63 32 438 9042
+63 956 276 4410
*rates for 2 pax at least 900

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Travel Expense Estimate: for 3 days 2 nights good for 2 pax

  • Bacolod to Cadiz – 140
  • Terminal to Cadiz Port – 40
  • Ferry Fare – 500
  • Trike from Port to Resort – 100
  • 
Resort – 1800
  • Meals – 2400
  • Island Hopping – 1000
  • Entrance to Virgin Island – 500 (2pax); 100 additional pax
  • Trike from Resort to Port – 100
  • Ferry Fare – 500
  • Cadiz Port to Terminal – 40
  • Cadiz City to Bacolod – 140

Total: 7260 (3630 each)

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When in Cebu: Go Cheap in Camotes Islands

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When you’re looking for a short break from the busy city of Cebu, there lies a group of islands of Camotes situated at the eastern part of the the province.  Known as the “lost horizon of the south”, Camotes Island is one of the undiscovered jewels in Visayas.

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DCIM126GOPRONamed as one of the best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region, Cebu prides itself as a ground for international tourism and with its laid-back lifestyle and humble vibe, Camotes Islands give you an evolving summer experience.

Camotes Islands can be likened to Siquijor in Negros and Bantayan Island in Cebu.  With its transparent crystal waters and impeccable powdery sand, tourists will be allured with its scenic and panoramic views.  Although its sand is not pure white but with a tinge of gray; its texture is what keeps the beach unique.  Its sand is one of the finest I’ve set foot on and its cleanliness is what the sightseers regard for. What sets it apart from the other beaches in Cebu is that it has maintained its natural and modest energy with a great involvement from the locals.  Without pretense, it is definitely a place for luxurious relaxation.

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How to get there:

total of 4 hours travel time from Cebu City Proper

  • 1 hour from Cebu to Danao
  • 2 hours and 30 mins from Danao to Consuelo
  • 30 mins to resort

From Cebu city to Danao Port

  1. Private vehicle – overnight parking fee (300); roro fee (1200)
  2. Ceres Bus (Northbound)
  3. Taxi – one way fee (500-1000) : for cheaper rates 09254685809 (Zaldong Tisoy)

Danao Port to Consuelo Port (San Fran.)

Jomalia Shipping Corporation

  • Regular Adult – 180 (economy) / 200 (aircon)
  • Student, PWD, PNP, BFP – 150 / 170
  • Senior Citizen – 145 / 160
  • Child 3-10 yrs old – 90 / 100

Schedule

Danao to Consuelo : 09284066617 / 09261346930

  • 5:30am / 8:30am / 11:00 am / 2:00pm / 5:30pm / 9:00pm (Fri, Sat, Sun only)

Consuelo to Danao : 09176315951 / 09396021738

  • 4:00am (Sat, Sun, Mon only) / 5:30am / 9:00am / 1:00pm / 3:00pm / 5:00pm

Where to stay:

  1. Santiago Bay Garden and Resort
    San Francisco, Camotes
    (032) 345-8599 / (+63) 917-3292448
  2. Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort
    Mangodlong, Heminsulan, San Francisco, Camotes
    (+63) 32 583 9450
  3. Mangodlong Rock Resort
    San Francisco, Camotes
    (+63) 32 345 8599 / (+63) 32 344 6899

Activities:

  1. Beach bumming in San Fran.
  2. Diving or Snorkeling with Ocean Deep : (+63) 72 700 0493 / (+63) 921 268 7722
  3. Cliff Diving at Poro
  4. Island Tour : halfday (500 pesos)
  • Lake Danao
  • Busay Waterfalls
  • Timabu Cave
  • Guadalupe Cave
  • Baywalk
  • Buho Rock
  • St. Joseph Parish
  • Kalbaryo
  • Alta Vista


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Travel tips:

  1. There is no cellular signal for Smart and Sun subscribers.  Please secure Globe sim if you wish to keep in touch.
  2. If you are staying at Santiago Bay Garden and Resort, you can eat at the carinderias in the beach area for cheaper food.
  3. You can also buy souvenirs at the beach.
  4. If you want to explore the island by yourself, you can rent a motorbike for as low as 300 pesos per day.
  5. Try to haggle at a lower rate for your transportations.  Motorbikes, tricycles and minivans are available depending on the number of people.
  6. There is no ATM or bank in the island.  Bring enough cash.

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Breakdown of Expenses for 2 pax

  • Taxi 700
  • Lunch 115
  • Boat Ticket 400
  • Bottled Water 30
  • Trike 200
  • Deluxe Room (Santiago Bay) 2000
  • Dinner by the beach  450
  • Breakfast at resort 280
  • Trike 100
  • Boat Ticket 400
  • Taxi 500

Total: 5175 (2587.50 per pax)

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