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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Exploring South Cebu

I had a great time visiting South Cebu. It's one of the best travels I had so far. I think it is the first time I enjoyed the road travel especially from Oslob to Badian, because of mesmerizing sea side view of blue-ish water colour.




DAY 1

Getting there:

We took a plane from NAIA Terminal 3 to Cebu International Airport. From the airport, we rode a shuttle, which is only P30 going to SM Cebu. Then, from there we rode jeepney going to South Cebu Terminal. There is also another terminal, North Cebu Terminal, where buses are going North of Cebu. From here, we took a quick lunch from the carinderia. Then just looked for an airconditioned bus leaving right away. Ask a driver or a conductor the time buses will leave as it varies. There are other buses here - airconditioned and non airconditioned. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off in Oslob. If you have an accommodation in mind, just mention that to the conductor and he will help you alight exactly where your accommodation is. For us, it's Luzmin-BH Lodge Beach.

Our travel time was approximately 4 hours. We arrived in our lodge around 5PM. After we got the key from our room, we went to the small market/talipapa to eat dinner. Barbeque vendors are lined up beside the road and behind them are tables and chairs for those who would like to eat...We ate a whole LOT! You gotta eat here!

Tricycle fare going to the market and back is P10 each.


LUZMIN BH LODGE

We booked our room via Travelbook.Ph for a very cheap price. It is good for 4, with 1 double bed and 1 bunk bed. Air-conditioned too. Our room is a part of a big house, with other rooms good for larger groups, a shared kitchen and shared bathroom. Good thing it was only us occupying the entire house.

We had a pleasant stay in this lodge. It's clean, air-conditioning is good, staff are nice and accommodating, free wifi (which is very important for us). WIFI Signal is strong in the kitchen as well as outside, but very weak inside our room. The only not-so-good comment I have is that the shower heater didn't work. Part of the reasons why we booked this lodge is the hot shower and coming without it is disappointing.

By the way, our room is not in the beachfront area. And unfortunately, we weren't able to check out the beach.

DAY 2

BUTANDING/WHALESHARK WATCHING

At 6:30 AM, we were waiting for a bus going to Oslob. The advise we got prior was to make sure to catch the bus very early as there are only few buses passing by. The lodge also offers package which includes habal habal ride and whaleshark watching and/or visit to Tumalog falls.

For us, we spent around 60pesos non-airconditioned bus fare going to the Butanding area.

We availed our Butanding package from a resort, which is just same amount as the one in the Tourism Center. We rented a locker for only P100 pesos. Then we were brought to the Tourism Center where we had a very short orientation on what to expect in the tour, what to do and not to do.

People are lining up on the shore, waiting for their turn to ride the boat. Life vests and masks are provided (masks for those who will swim with the butanding). From the shore, you can see where the location of the butanding is at, because all the boats are there.


When we got to the location, we noticed a guy on his boat feeding the butanding. And wherever he goes, the butanding follows. And so when the butanding goes to our area, that's our chance to take that perfect shot!



For those who wants to stay on the boat may do so but for those who wants to get up close with the butanding needs to pay extra for the goggles.

Overall, this is a very unique experience being up close with a giant creature. It was scary at first but very exciting once you get used to it.

Oh... the water is too salty, thus the buoyancy. I don't know how to swim but the guide assured me I will just float. So, I removed my lifevest and swam. I did float! But only for a few seconds. I still panicked everytime I realize I don't have a lifevest.

KAWASAN FALLS

From Butanding, we went back to tor lodge to check out. Then from the lodge, we road a van going to Badian. The ride took 1.5 hours. I didn't do canyoneering because I was effin scared. Maybe next time when I am with Bee. So, my friend and I went straight to Kawasan Falls. While my other friend, continued onto the Canyoneering tour. It was a short trek going to the falls.

Kawasan falls is beautiful and picturesque, except for the restaurants, buildings beside it and the crowd. Well, what do you expect. Canyoneering is so popular today and the end point of it is the Kawasan falls. I learned that the area is privately owned that's why they were able to build buildings there.

We paid an additional amount to get near the falls. We hopped onto this wood raft and our guide brought us just right below the falls. He also shot our photos and videos. It was all fun!

After our Kawasan falls, we travelled back to Cebu City and checked in to one of the hotels there. We just stayed the night and checked out the next day, just in time for our flight back to Manila.


Overall, exploring South Cebu is awesome adventure. The view while in the bus is already an experience to behold. Butanding adventure is a once in a lifetime experience! Kawasan falls is beautiful and the best falls I've seen in my life!

Cebu has never ceased to amazed me. Just like my trip in Bantayan Island, South Cebu is definitely one of a kind.

Here are my take aways for this trip:
1. From the airport going to the terminal, it's perfectly fine if you want to ride a jeepney going to South Cebu terminal. But if you are pressed with time, I advise that you take a cab. It's fast and more comfortable.
2. Luzmin BH Lodge is still around 30 minutes away from the Butanding site. You can stay here or near the Butanding site.
3. Go to the market and eat grilled food! Try eating barehand! It's fun!
4. You can either check out from the lodge, then proceed to butanding. Then after butanding, ride a bus going to Kawasan. This is, if you only have few luggage.
5. Pay extra to swim with the butanding
6. Try canyoneering! (I'll do this next time)
7. You can bring your own food to Kawasan falls. If not, there are restaurants in the area
8. Enjoy the view of the South! (like I did)



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