It was an all-nature (mis)adventure weekend when we headed down to the southern Cebu towns of Dalaguete, Badian and Moalboal.
Our group of five left Manila on a Friday night. We checked-in at a hotel near Colon St. in downtown Cebu, walking distance to the South Bus Terminal. The next morning, we boarded a bus headed for Oslob, which will pass by our first stop, Dalaguete.
Osmena Peak in Dalaguete
After around 2 hours, we reached the bus stop in Dalaguete. Habal-habal drivers were already waiting in the area. Since there were 5 of us, we took 2 rides (yes, 1 motorbike can fit 3 people with overnight packs!). It took another 30 minutes to get to the market, where the jump off point is. We ate a quick lunch before starting the trek.
Okay, so we cheated a bit. 😛 We were behind schedule because we left the hotel late (thanks to last night’s drinking session), so we decided to take the habal-habal further into the trail instead of walking. Haha! It was a smooth ride though, because the roads were paved. There were also houses and vegetation along the road. We had to stop at one point where there was no choice but to hike. From here, it only took around 30 minutes to get to the summit.
Osmena Peak is the highest point in Cebu. It isn’t that high at 1,000+ MASL, but the temperature was noticeably cooler at the summit. The wind blew hard, and the 360-degree view resembled the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, but pointed and jagged. Absolutely enjoyed this! I am a sucker for beautiful summits. 😛
The usual route from here is to traverse to Badian, Cebu. The traverse takes 5-6 hours, so again we cheated and took the habal-habal instead. Don’t expect a comfortable ride – we stopped twice along the way to stretch and flex our numbing butts! For PHP 350 each, it was good enough for the amount of time we managed to save. In less than 2 hours, through zigzag roads, cliffs and panoramic views – we made it to Badian.
Kawasan Falls in Badian
The habal-habal driver dropped us off at the entrance to the famous Kawasan falls. From the main road, it’s a good 20 minute walk before you get to the falls.
After our long hike, the water was too inviting not to jump in. No filters here – it really is that bright aquamarine shade. Around the pool, the area is cemented and there are tables for rent, showers, food and beer available. We rented a bamboo raft to get closer to the falls. You can actually get under the rocks and then pass under the falls. It’s a natural massage! 🙂
The Beaches of Moalboal
Our last stop, Moalboal, is only an hour bus ride away from Kawasan. At sun down, we left the falls and headed back to the main road. The locals told us buses come around every 15 minutes. Today, they were wrong. It took us almost 2 hours to hail a bus! By this time, every one of us was tired and hungry and grumpy no one was talking. It also started to drizzle. We had a long day and all we wanted was to check in the hotel, have dinner and sleep.
We checked in at Quo Vadis Dive Resort in Panagsama Beach. It was nice and fancy, the rooms were spacious and had a native vibe. We also spent on meals here – the menu was pretty varied and they had generous servings.
Sunday morning, the rain had started to pour. It was a gloomy day but we went here for some
sun, sand and sea, so we decided to push through with the plans. The group rented a boat to Pescador Island, famous for its rich underwater life. The waves were harsh and it was a wild ride to the island. It was also a bit difficult to snorkel, but we just made the most out of the experience. From here, we docked on Basdaku beach, the other area of Moalboal famous for its white sand. Compared to Panagsama where there were mostly foreign divers, Basdaku was alive and bustling (even on a rainy day) with locals on vacation.
After washing up at the hotel, we got on the bus headed back for Cebu city. From Moalboal, the trip took roughly 3 hours. Our schedule was packed but very doable. If not for the bad weather, we could have actually explored more of Moalboal both on land and underwater. I have yet to witness the famous sardine run!