Weekend Story: Visiting Oslob Cuartel Heritage

Philippines is proud of its century-old churches, parks, monuments and convents.  All remnants of the era when the Spaniards ruled the country.

Oslob in South Cebu is one place in the country that is proud of these century-old structures. The Oslob Cuartel Heritage showcases the Immaculate Conception church, one of the oldest churches in Cebu City , the unfinished Cuartel intended for the Guardia Civil and a newly constructed Museo Oslob exhibiting pictures, furnitures and utencils used by the old Oslobanons. (Cameras are not allowed inside the museum)

My daughter and I walked around the heritage and just gazed in wonder how these structures made of corals stood the test of time.

The Cuartel Heritage visit is another side trip. One that you could do for an hour max, do not make this your main activity. So when you visit Oslob, plan your trip well and take in as many sights as you can. All the beautiful spots in this side of Cebu are all accessible via a motorcycle. Ask, and ask a lot, people are friendly and courteous.

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Chasing Waterfalls: Tumalog Falls, Oslob, Cebu

This horsetail waterfalls boast a magical ambience. Situated in a very secluded mountain in Oslob, South Cebu, the waterfalls is a pride of the Oslobanons.

As the norm for our every trip, Tumalog Falls is a side trip.  Our main activity for the day was whale shark-watching in Oslob. That ended early though because we started early.  With plenty of time in our hands we decided to proceed to Tumalog Falls which is roughly a 15- minute motorcycle ride from the whale shark-watching area.

Lucky for us, we were the first visitors for the day!  The lady assigned to accepting the 20-peso entrance fee waived it because we were there earlier than her.  I wouldn’t mind paying though because I know these fees go to maintenance and ensuring that the place remains clean and natural.

A few steps from the entrance you will see a man-made cemented pool where small fishes abound. You can sit on the sides and dip your feet in the water and the small fishes, with no hesitations, will start to nibble on your feet.  Free fish spa anyone?  So if you got plenty of dead skin cells on your feet feel free to sit and feed them all you want.  Those little nibbles though will elicit grin from you. Tickle…tickle….tickle…

Up a few more step is the falls.  Since it is summer, the trickle is not as strong as, say, during the rainy season. Nonetheless, the Tumalog falls is still breathtaking .  It is massive! It is cool and cold! It is simply amazing!

The fall basin is huge and no worries of drowning! The pool is only knee-deep high. The icy cold waters will surely sooth your tired muscles, heart, brain or whatever part of your body needs soothing.. :))

 

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How to get there:

When you found yourself in Oslob, Cebu, just look for a motorcycle. The people there are used to tourists, local and foreign alike, they are so welcoming and accommodating.  Fare is PhP150.00, back and forth, the driver will wait for you.  When you reach the destination, you can either walk down to the falls or ride another motorcyle for PhP50.00, the driver will drop you off at the entrance of the falls and when your done just call them thru a two-way radio to fetch you. (Note: the lady who accepts the entrance fees has this radio.) Oslob drivers have this “my territory, my ride” policy which every drivers seem to follow. Your driver will act as your tour guide too! How cool is that?

 

 

 

 

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Chasing Waterfalls: Sagpulon Falls, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

Chasing waterfalls could really become my lifestyle.  I’m loving all the falls I have been to and this one is no exception. Sagpulon Falls in Barangay San Isidro, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental is a 150 feet drop of cascading vertical waters. Surrounded by mountains and coconut trees, the easy access to the falls made it a favorite hangout both for the locals and the visitors.  The way to the falls is paved and cemented, so no worries about bumps and humps on the way.  Parking area is large and safe.

There are several man-made swimming pools in the area if you are scared of swimming in the falls’ catch basin.  The waters from the pools are flowing and are coming from the nearby springs.

One must pay a PhP50.00 for entrance fee and walk ahead for 300 meters to reach the falls. Small cottages dotted the area for a price and there is a viewing deck constructed by the LGU of Jasaan.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Cagayan de Oro,  proceed to the Agora Terminal and ride a bus or a jeepney heading to Jasaan.  Ask the driver or the conductor to drop you off at Spring View Resort along the highway in Jasaan.  From Spring View you can hire a habal-habal to take you there.

From Butuan City, proceed to Langihan Terminal or Robinsons Mall Terminal and ride a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro. Ask the conductor to drop you off a Spring View Resort along the highway in Jasaan. From there hire a habal-habal to take you to Sagpulon falls.

 

 

 

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Chasing Waterfalls: Bega Falls, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

Bega Falls in Brgy. Mabuhay, Prosperidad, is just one of the many amazing falls dotting the province of Agusan del Sur. Bega Falls is a 4-tiered falls and you have to go up and up to see the best tier. Surrounded by towering trees and lush vegetation, this mystical place is the perfect place to commune with nature. Just be prepared to hike up and down those stairs! If you’re not a hiker you’d find yourself with your tongue hanging down to your chest.  It’s THAT tiring! But once you see the falls you’d forget the hardship you’d just endured. Going back up the same stairs is another story though.  Be prepared to sweat a bucket!

NB: “Bega” is a dialect for lust. Legend has it that these falls are inhabited by beautiful women/fairies out to entice men. Oh well…

 

This is the top-most tier!

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The twin falls. The 2nd tier.

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Those stairs are steep!!

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The 1st tier with mini-falls.

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Photo Diary: Sohoton, Bucas Grande…of stingless jellyfish…caves and blue lagoon…

**late upload

 

I am a self-proclaimed explorer and when travel bug bits me I just simply have to go.  My co-workers who have been wanting to explore nearby places but never came around to actually doing it finally took my invitation one day and went with me to Sohoton, Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte. There’s just so many nooks and crannies to explore in this wonderful province!

We started our day early and was already on the road by 3AM.  Surigao del Norte is a two-hour drive from Agusan del Norte. With three cars in convoy and all the passengers catching up on their sleep and reserving energy, the drivers were like drag racing! Kinda scary but since I am one of the drivers the need for speed is greater than the fear. Nah! I wouldn’t advise you to do this! That was a one-time crazy driving.

Anyway, two hours after we arrived at Hayanggabon Port, the jump off point for Sohoton. We rented a pumpboat and the adventure and misadventures began. Talk about crazy co-workers who are neophyte travelers! Talk about bringing rubber shoes and jeans and no extra pair of shorts! We’re exploring the beach people! LOL! And talk about bringing the whole kitchen because they were afraid we’d go hungry while beach bumming!

#funwithcrazypeople

#coworkersinaction

 

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Photo Diary: Siargao in our hearts…island hopping Naked, Daku and Guyam Islands..

…because there is more to Siargao than just surfing…

We started  our second day in Siargao early as we planned to island hop the three famous islands/islets in Siargao, namely, Naked, Guyam and Daku. Of the three mentioned only Daku island is inhabited. This is also the only place where campers are allowed to set up tents and overnight accommodation can be had.  There are also several retail stores in this area. So if Daku island is your last destination you can chill longer, take your time exploring the area and ask the locals to cook you some freshly caught seafoods, for a price of course! The only thing free in this side of paradise are the welcoming greetings and smiles of the locals. Be thankful for small graces. :))

Naked island is called naked because it is naked! No grasses, no trees, no shades..nada..zilch… but its teeming with marine life you’ll stare at them forever doing their thing with nary a care in the world. In fact, you’ll be so transfixed watching those cute crabs scurrying to somewhere to do whatever it is that crabs do, that you’ll forget you’re being roasted alive by the punishing heat of the sun! Sunblock will be your bestfriend in Naked Island.

Guyam island is slightly bigger than the naked one and plants and trees abound.  But if you happened to be the first island hopper to dock for the day prepare for that eerie feeling of being shipwrecked with no help coming. No worries though, if you know how to climb those coconut trees and crack them in half you’ll survive. Kidding!

#familyescapade

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Photo Diary: Siargao, SDN…of tidal pools, magpupungko rock formation and the boardwalk…

Siargao, Surigao del Norte is just two provinces away from where I live. And for years the beach lover in me have been wanting to  visit this place. But you know what they say about certain places? The nearer it is, the harder it is to visit! Anyhow, according Paulo Coelho in the Alchemist, “when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” And my dream visit to Siargao is now realized and with the family to boot! Thanks to my only bro who happened to come home after many years and treated us to this escapade.

Siargao is definitely my type of place..laidback..unassuming..friendly..welcoming although NOT cheap. Our two day expenses here is much more than our 2 day expenses in Kuala Lumpur, but then again you can’t put a price to see paradise.

Internationally,  Siargao is known as a surfer’s paradise. What with all the those foreign surfers coming in any month of the year to experience the gigantic waves in Cloud 9! Competitions are held annually in October where the waves are at its highest.

#familyescapade

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Above picture is the place where we stayed, the Travelers’ Lodge.

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Eating at a roadside eatery is fun when you’re with family! Seafoods galore! Everything is fresh!

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Swimming in the tidal pool is only possible during low tide.

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The famous magpupungko rock.  “magpupungko” or “magpungko” is a local dialect for “to sit down”. That’s one big rock sitting on another flat rock.

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My sister and her kids at the Siargao Boardwalk. You have to walk over a kilometer of this wooden bridge and gape at the surfers doing their stuff.

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Mama and Papa gazes in wonder at these beautiful people in front.

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That’s the bro who treated us to all these. Till next homecoming, eh?

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