Cebuanos are inherently creative as shown by the number of Cebuanos who have made it big in the international scene. This creativity is once again affirmed as one Cebuano made it into the 30 Under 30 Asia list of Forbes Magazine. Koh Anthony Martinez Onozawa is one of the ten Filipinos who became a part of this inaugural list.
Koh is the founder of Loudbasstard, the creator of the world-famous bamboo sound amplifier. A native of Cebu with an anthropology degree tucked under his belt, Koh started the company in 2012 after he quit his cultural heritage management job in Japan. He selected bamboo for the material of his product since it is symbolic of traditional culture in the Philippines. Design and innovation are at the core of the company, which is dedicated in the promotion of a future where social and green business will eventually be simply called business.
Being an ecotourism fan, it is not surprising that the mission of the company established by Koh is to promote a harmony of technology, design and social and environmental impact. After he established the company, Koh studied management and accounting on his own.
The 30 Under 30 Asia list of Forbes features entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders under the age of 30. Three hundred people are included in the list, divided into ten categories: - Entertainment & Sports, The Arts, Media, Marketing & Advertising, Retail & Ecommerce, Finance & Venture Capital, Enterprise Tech, Consumer Tech, Social Entrepreneurs, Manufacturing & Energy, and Healthcare & Science.
Forbes said the names of the individuals were collected by 12 reporters who researched nominations that covered all industries. Forbes added that their correspondents looked for the best and brightest millenials who are changing and disrupting the faces of different industries across Asia. The list was finalized based on the decision of thirty judges. The criteria used for the list include entrepreneurial mind-set and results, leadership and disruption in their respective fields, and the likelihood of making changes in their respective fields over the next fifty years.
Aside from Koh, who made it into the list for Retail & Ecommerce, the other Filipinos included in the 30 Under 30 Asia list of Forbes are Charice Pempengco for Entertainment and Sports, Xyza Cruz Bacani and Ronson Culibrina for The Arts, Rachel de Villa for Finance and Venture Capital, Valenice Balace for Consumer Tech, Raphael Mijeno and Henry Motte-Munoz for Social Entrepreneurs, Leandro Leviste for Manufacturing, and Amin Hataman for Healthcare & Science.
In the distant past, trains used to rumble from Argao in the south all the way up to Danao in the north. In fact, the old Cebu railway system was instrumental in the development of the Queen City of the South. These days, only a few people remember the good old days of the Cebu Railroad.
Nearly four decades before the Second World War, a 57-mile railway track connected Argao to Danao. The railroad served the needs of the people of Cebu and was mainly used in transporting goods around the island of Cebu. The Central Railway Station used to be located at the junction of what is now P. Del Rosario and Leon Kilat streets. The station covered the area from the present Development Bank of the Philippine up to the old Cebu City Medical Center, which currently being reconstructed after it was damaged during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013. Aside from the tracks leading to the north and south, another track led to the port area since Cebu was the center of trade in the region during the Spanish and American periods.
The train had stops in the municipalities of Carcar and Sibonga. The Villadolid train station in Carcar is one of the four remaining train stations in Cebu and is currently being used as a restaurant. The train station located in Sab-ang Sibonga is the present Simala Elementary School library. The train station in Argao is currently being used as the fire station of the municipality of Argao. The cost of a third-class passenger ticket was at P 1.20, which is already a considerable amount at that time.
While the southern route had three stops, the northern route only had one, in Danao. The station in Danao is located in Sitio Estasyonan, which is derived from the word “station.” The trains would make their turn at the Rotunda located in Poblacion, Argao for the journey back to the City of Cebu.
Cebu became the second most important trade center in the country mainly due to the huge volume of products passing through the city. Cebu was already trading with other Southeast Asian and Arabian merchants before the coming of the Spaniards. The participation of Cebu in the Galleon trade increased activities in the port of Cebu. At the height of the Industrial Revolution, a Spanish Royal Decree opened Cebu to international trade with the increasing demand of raw materials.
The island of Cebu was once at par with Negros when it came to sugarcane production due to the sugarcane plantations in the north. Abaca was also a major product in the island since abaca weaving was already extensively practiced before the coming of the Spaniards. Another major export product of Cebu was copra. The island of Cebu was home to a considerable number of coconut farms.
However, the end of the old railroad in Cebu came during the Second World War. The damage to the central depot and thee tracks were so extensive that authorities did not even consider rehabilitating it. Despite the demise of the railroad system in Cebu, the Queen City of the South continues to become the center of trade in the region. Old Cebuanos can now only reminisce on the days when a railroad used to transport people and products across the island of Cebu.
The trivia night or the pub quiz was initially organized by Burns & Porter Associates in the 1970s in the United Kingdom. It was established with the aim of developing a national institution catering to thousands of teams across the country. The event was presented to breweries as a marketing strategy to bring in more patrons into pubs during slow evenings. The event eventually reached the shores of the United States where around 2,000 quizzes are regularly held every week. The event is particularly popular in St. Louis, Missouri where at least thirty trivia nights are held over the weekend.
A bar in Makati is considered as the pioneer of trivia nights or quiz nights in the Philippines. Murphy’s, an Irish pub and restaurant, organized the first quiz night in 2006. Around four years after the first quiz night was held at Murphy’s the first trivia night was held in Cebu. Leica Cruz, Alexis Yap and Jewel Jalandoni organized the first Cebu Trivia Night at Alejandro’s Filipino Restaurant along Don Jose Avila St on February 10, 2010.
The main objective of the founders of Cebu Trivia Night is to provide patrons with an alternative form of entertainment. The event is not only fun, it is also educational. It covers a wide range of topics, including science, entertainment, music, literature, current events and geography, among others.
Before the event starts, each table is asked by the staff of the restaurant if they want to join the activity. If they opt to join, they are given a white board and a marker for their answers. The activity is divided into four sets with the first three sets covering questions on topics about anything under the sun. The quizmaster will ask the question and each team is given enough time to write down their answers on the white board. The third set is a visual quiz wherein images are shown to the teams. Each set has four topics that serve as the basis for the questions and images. Teams get one point for every correct answer. They are also given an option for a double where each correct answer gives them two points. The team with the most number of points after three sets is crowned the winner for the night. While a prize is typically given to the winners of each night, most teams are in it for the bragging rights.
The participants are a mixed bunch of individuals ranging from students to lawyers, doctors to entrepreneurs. There is no limit to the number of members of each team. It is also possible for a participant to form his or her own one-person team. One participant said it is recommended for every member of the team to have a specialization to cover as many topics as they can.
Cebu Trivia Night is currently being held at the new location of Alejandro’s, which is now called Alejandro’s Crispy Pata, every Wednesday from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. While the event is also held at the Politics Café every Thursday from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM, the organizers are still waiting for word from the management of Politics since the bar is scheduled to undergo renovation for the next two weeks.
So if you are looking for something different to do one Wednesday evenings, head on over to Alejandro’s Crispy Pata at the Century Plaza Complex along Juana Osmeña St. for a unique type of mid-week special. Whoever says learning is not fun has never joined the Cebu Trivia Night.
Cebu was featured by National Geographic on its list of 10 places where to backpack for 2016. The list has a number of high-profile travel destinations, including Turkey, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia. The editors of National Geographic scoured different destinations around the world and considered the Philippines, particularly Cebu, as the “next hot backpacker destination” in Southeast Asia.
Cebu has a lot to offer to backpackers looking for an adventure to remember. Located at the center of the archipelago, Cebu can serve as a jump off point to a number of places around the Visayas area. The island of Cebu itself has a number of beaches offering a number of activities for backpackers from snorkeling, scuba- diving or simply soaking in the sun while lying on pristine white sand.
Mactan Island is home to a number of great beaches, from high-end hotels to smaller resorts. These establishments offer a number of water activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, banana boat rides and parasailing, among others.
For backpackers who are in town for scuba-diving, they can head off to the northern island of Malapascua or down south to Moalboal. On the other hand, Bantayan Island in the north has a number of resorts offering a relaxing environment to ease the aches from traveling. Backpackers can also try their hand at canyoneering that traverses Alegria and Badian in the south. Another activity backpackers can look forward to is whale shark watching in Oslob, which is located in the southern part of the island of Cebu.
Since Cebu is right smack in the middle of the Visayas area, it also serves as a jump-off point to other islands in the area. Mount Kanlaon National Park, located on Negros Island, is one of the highest peaks in the country. The island is located to the west of the island of Cebu. Another option is the island of Panglao in Bohol, which is located to the east of Cebu. Similar to Mactan Island, Panglao hosts a number of beach resorts backpackers may want to consider visiting.
Getting To Cebu
A number of airlines offer direct international flights to Cebu, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Silk Air. Another option is passing through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and catching another flight to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From Cebu, passenger and vehicle ferries can bring backpackers to different islands in the Visayas area.
Getting Around Cebu
Since Cebu is a highly-urbanized city, it has a number of options when it comes to traveling by land. Taxis and jeepneys are available for short distance travel while buses can be used for longer distances. Motorized bancas are used in ferrying passengers for short trips by water.
Lodging In Cebu
There are a number of hotels and pension houses that can easily fit the budget of any backpacker. For backpackers who want to stay close to the nightlife in the Lahug area of Cebu City, they can opt to stay at the Metro Park Hotel along La Guardia St., Lahug. Another option is Red Planet, which is right in front of a major mall in the city. The Pensionne La Florentina is another alternative for backpackers who want a quiet place to stay in for the night. The Escario Central Hotel is an affordable boutique hotel backpackers may want to take into account when they want to visit Cebu.
Dining In Cebu
One thing backpackers should not miss eating is the Cebu lechon or the roasted suckling pig from Cebu that was made famous by renowned chef and host Anthony Bourdain. There are a number of restaurants specializing in this delectable dish, including Rico’s Lechon, Zubuchon, CnT Lechon and Ayers Lechon, among others. The Lighthouse Restaurant along General Maxilom Avenue, formerly Mango Avenue, is one place to visit for good Cebuano food. Backpackers should also not miss tasting a number of Cebuano delicacies, including the Peanut Browas, dried mangoes, masareal, otap, rosquillos and chicharon.
Other Things To Do In Cebu
Cebu is home to the oldest street, Colon Street, and the oldest Spanish fort, Fort San Pedro, in the archipelago. It also has a number of historical and cultural sites backpackers may want to visit to immerse themselves in the Cebuano culture. A good number of these sites are within walking distance to each other, making it possible to see them within one day.
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” - George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw couldn’t have said it better and when it comes to Cebuanos outside of Cebu, whether abroad or in other parts of the country, they always crave for a taste of home at some point. Aside from the lechon, Cebu is home to a number of delectable dishes close to the heart of many Cebuanos. We listed 5 dishes you can try making at home to ease the homesickness you might be feeling right now.
Pork Humba is a traditional dish enjoyed in the Visayas area of the Philippines. The dish is similar to the Filipino Adobo. While Filipino Adobo is salty and sour, the Pork Humba is sweet, sour and salty all at the same time. In addition to the ingredients of the Filipino Adobo, the Pork Humba also has salted black beans, banana blossoms and brown sugar. Popular belief indicate that the word Humba comes from the phrase “Humot na Baboy.” “Humot” is Bisaya for sweet-smelling while “Baboy” means pork. Another variation of the meaning of the word Humba indicates that it comes from the phrase “Humok na Baboy.” “Humok” is Bisaya for tender. Whichever the case may be, both phrases give an accurate description of the Pork Humba, which is both fragrant and tender.
Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own Pork Humba at home.
The Rellenong Bangus is another dish popular in Cebu as well as the rest of the country. Bangus is the Filipino word for milkfish and is the national fish of the Philippines. “Rellenong” or “relyenong” is derived from the Spanish word “relleno,” which means stuffed or filled. The Rellenong Bangus is considered a special dish due to the long process in preparing it. Preparing the dish requires the fish meat to be removed while ensuring the skin remains intact. It will also require flaking, marinating, deboning, stuffing and frying the fish.
Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own Rellenong Bangus at home.
Cebu Style Steamed Rice Topping
One of the dishes Cebuanos would definitely miss when they relocate is the Cebu-Style Steamed Rice Topping. It would not be surprising for Cebuano balikbayans to include Harbor City Dimsum or Ding Qua Qua as part of their itinerary once they come back to the Queen City of the South. The Cebu-style steamed rice is one of the items in the menu of the Ding How Dimsum House, which initially opened its doors to Cebuanos in 1969. The restaurant was the brainchild of the Uytengsu and Kokseng families. Dimsum is typically eaten in Hong Kong to complement afternoon tea. The two families became the pioneers in offering dimsum in Cebu all day long.
Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own Cebu Style Steamed Rice Topping at home.
Cebu Mango Float
The Mango Float is among the most preferred desserts among Cebuanos and Filipinos in general. It is particularly popular during the holidays and at large family gatherings. This multi-layered traditional Filipino dessert is easy to make and does not require any baking. In fact, it is quite possible to make small, individual servings of this delicious dessert.
Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own Cebu Mango Float at home.
Buttered Puto with Cheese
A puto or a rice cake is a famous delicacy in the Philippines that is typically eaten during breakfast or as a dessert. It is also eaten as a snack in the afternoon together with dinuguan whose interesting taste is an ideal partner to the fresh flavor of the puto. The puto typically has a cheese, butter or salted egg topping. The puto already has a number of variations, including the putopao or a puto filled with cooked meat.
Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own Buttered Puto with Cheese at home.
Manang Lisa or Criza Liza Gonzales Mendez is considered as an institution by the students and alumni of the University of the Philippines Cebu having been selling banana cue, camote cue, pinaypay and other snack items for the past three decades. The 58-year-old mother of four is also a mother figure for all students and faculty of one of the oldest campuses of UP Cebu.
She recounts that there are a number of instances when a car would pull up and the passenger or driver would ask if she still has some banana cue left. Whenever an alumnus drops by, she asks how they are and their batch mates. She said one alumnus once dropped by because she missed her banana cue. The alumnus went home with eight pieces of banana cue, one for each year she spent in UP from high school to college.
Manang Lisa has been selling snack items together with her husband, Anicito, in front of UP Cebu since 1986. Her husband, fondly called Mendez by UP Cebu students, faculty and alumni, has been with the university since 1979, working as a janitor. She normally opens her small stall at around 9:00 AM and closes at around 7:00PM. Her modest income of around P 1,000 to P3,000 per day allowed the couple to send four children to college.
The eldest, Marchel, finished with a commerce degree from the University of Cebu. Jomie, their second child, earned a social work degree from the South Western University. The third child, Asia May, is currently working at a call center while the youngest, Cris Ian, is working on his education degree.
Aside from pouring love into her cooking, Manang Lisa is also friendly and approachable. She treats her customers like her children. Due to this, students still come back for her banana cue long after they graduate from the state university.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you may still be racking your brains on where to bring your loved one for a special lunch or dinner. Well, we’ve come up with a list of 7 restaurants in Cebu where you can spend this special day of the year.
With its breathtaking view of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mactan Channel, Scape Skydeck is definitely a good place for a romantic dinner for two. You have the choice of dining indoors or al fresco under the star-filled night sky. This newly-opened restaurant is preparing a special menu for Valentine’s Day. For bookings and reservations, you can get in touch with them through (032) 494-0898, (0922) 810-4550, (0995) 150-9862 or (0930) 664-1074. Scape Skydeck is open from 5:00 PM until 2:00 AM.
No. 9 was the ancestral home of Iñaki and Pepin Martinez, who wanted to share their love for food to both locals and visitors to the Queen City of the South. Located along E. Benedicto Street, No. 9 is a no-fuss restaurant offering Latin, Mediterranean and Spanish-inspired dishes imbibing the principles used for the design of the place. No. 9 blends old world charm with the convenience of the modern world. No. 9 is open from 11:00 AM until midnight. For reservations, you can call them up through (032) 253-9518.
10 Dove Street Confectionery
From being one of the best hole-in-the wall restaurants located in Santo Nino Village, 10 Dove Street is now a full-fledged eating place at the Oakridge Business Park in the Banilad area. Offering gourmet food at friendly prices, 10 Dove Street always has a special place in the heart of Cebuanos. For the love month, 10 Dove Street Confectionery serenades diners to acoustic love songs. For reservations, you can get in touch with them through (032) 418-1010 or 0917-625-7013. 10 Dove Street Confectionery is open from 10:00 AM up to 10:00 PM.
La Vie Parisienne
La Vie Parisienne or “Parisian Life” is a French bakery, deli and wine library along Gorrordo Avenue. La Vie Parisienne is the first French Boulangerie, Pastry Shop & Wine Library in the Queen City of the South. It offers the perfect ambience for a romantic night on this special day in the middle of the Love month. La Vie Parisienne is open from 7AM up to midnight. You can get in touch with them through (032)-260-4388.
Formerly a colonial house, Circa 1900 is a restaurant, piano bar and function venue located at the end of Sanjercasvil Road in Lahug. It is among the best places for a romantic date on the Day of Hearts. The international cuisine of Circa 1900 pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines through the locally-sourced ingredients. Circa is open from 11:00 AM until 12:00 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, you can call them through (032) 239 6265 or 0923-279-5616.
Bintana Coffee House
Bintana Coffee House is a restaurant, coffee shop and art gallery rolled into one. It is the most ideal choice for an intimate Valentine’s Day lunch date. Bintana Coffee House is one of the hidden secrets Cebu located in the heart of the city. Aside from offering among the best-tasting coffee in this part of the archipelago, Bintana also has a wide range of delectable dishes, including salads and rice dishes. Bintana Coffee House is located along Elizabeth Pond Street, Cebu City. It is open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. You can call them through (032) 416-1335.
If you are looking for a taste of New Mediterranean cuisine for Valentine’s Day, Anzani Restaurant is the place to be. Nestled along Nivel Hills, Anzani offers a panoramic view of Metro Cebu that enhances the ambience of the place. For Valentine’s Day, Anzani Restaurant is preparing a special dinner buffet for couples who want to have a unique culinary experience at a reasonable price. For reservations, you can get in touch with them through (032) 236-0097.
One pasalubong many visitors to the Queen City of the South would want to bring home with them is the dried spinefoot or rabbitfish, which is popularly known as the danggit. This dried salted fish is typically fried and served together with rice and vinegar. Cebu is popular for producing the best danggit in the country, and the best place to find the danggit at reasonable prices is at the Taboan Public Market.
The Taboan Public Market appeared in one of the episodes of “No Reservations” of Anthony Bourdain when he visited the Philippines. While the more popular product sold at the market is the danggit, visitors can find a number of other pasalubong items, including dried mangoes, chicharon and otap. A trip to Cebu seems incomplete without visiting the Taboan Public Market.
If this is your first time in Taboan, here are some tips to help you make the visit productive.
Ask For Recommendations
The first thing to do before heading down to Taboan is to ask local friends for recommendations. Since the “suki” system in the Philippines is very much alive, your Cebuano friends can refer you to their suki at the market to get a discount or a good deal on your purchase. If you do not know anyone in Cebu or your local friends don’t normally go to Taboan, you can ask for recommendations from the front desk personnel of your hotel.
Wear Something Low Key
Since you are not going to the mall or a high-end resto, it would be better for you to wear something that does not attract too much attention. Dressing down will also allow you to get a good price compared to wearing something you would wear to a party. Besides, it would not be a good idea to have your best clothes smelling of fish after your visit to the Taboan Public Market.
Bring Your Friends With You
Volume purchases normally get a bigger discount. Due to this, it is advisable for you to bring some friends who are also interested in buying danggit to bring home with them. Vendors also tend to give more attention and provide better service to customers who buy in bulk.
When you arrive at Taboan and you were not able to find someone who has a suki in the market, it is advisable to compare prices first. Some vendors in the interior may offer better deals compared to the stalls found close to the entrance. You can also haggle with the vendors to get the best price for this Cebuano breakfast delicacy.
Getting To Taboan
The Taboan Public Market is located in Pahina Central, Cebu City. The best way to get to the market is to ride a taxi and simply tell the driver to bring you to Taboan. However, if you want to go on an adventure, you can ride a jeepney going to the place. You can ride a jeepney marked 04D or 08G. Ask the driver to drop you off at Taboan. Since the jeepney will not go to Taboan proper, you can take a trisikad ride to the market itself.
Last tip: Since the smell of dried fish has the tendency to stick to your clothes, it is better to make sure to take a shower after visiting Taboan before you go on your next adventure in the Queen City of the South.
For every destination, Filipinos are known to bring a pasalubong to the folks back home. These pasalubongs or souvenirs can be a memento of the place they visited or food they enjoyed during their stay.
Being one of the top destinations in the country, visitors can look forward to a variety of pasalubong choices in Cebu. Be it food or handicraft items, Cebu has it all. The following is a list of 10 pasalubong items that will make Cebu your most unforgettable destination.
Whenever you think of Cebu, one of the first things that come to mind is Cebu lechon. Being adjudged as the home of the “best pig ever” by celebrity chef and "No Reservations" host Anthony Bourdain, Cebu indeed offers the best-tasting roast pig on the face of the Earth. If you want to bring Cebu lechon when you go back home, you can simply tell the server that you need to have it packed for your flight back home. The lechon is sliced and placed inside a special packaging to keep it fresh for dinner at your destination.
Cebu City is a major distributor of dried mangoes in the country. In fact most of the dried mangoes produced in Cebu are exported to other countries. Since you are already here at the source, it would be a great idea to bring home this sweet delicacy that is considered to be best dried in the world. Aside from dried mangoes, you can also bring home mango juice concentrate, dried mango bits and even dried mangoes with tamarind candies.
Among the various dried fish offered in Cebu, the danggit is considered the best. In fact, visitors to the Queen City of the South rarely go home without bring this popular Cebuano breakfast staple. The best place to buy danggit is at the Tabo-an Market where you can haggle for the prices, especially if you’re buying for your family and friends at home.
Peanut Browas is a home-grown delicacy that originated from the southern heritage town of Argao. It is a popular Cebuano delicacy that is Cebu’s own version of Lady Fingers. Each piece of this traditional Cebuano treat is individually-made using the same methods handed down by Lola Pureza. Bringing Peanut Browas home with you is like bringing home a taste of old Cebu. It is available in many supermarkets and pasalubong shops around the Queen City of the South.
Masareal is a sweet peanut delicacy made in Mandaue City. These rectangular delicacies are made of peanuts and sugar syrup. It is enjoyed by kids and adults who have a penchant for something sweet. Similar to Peanut Browas, the masareal is available in different supermarkets and pasalubong center around the city.
The rosquillos are flat butter cookies shaped like a donut. It is one of the delicacies visitors can bring home with them from Cebu. One name stands out when you mention rosquillos, Titay’s. Titay’s has been producing these home-baked goodies since 1907. While the main outlet of Titay’s is located in Liloan, the delicacy can be bought from different supermarkets and pasalubong shops in Cebu.
Another homegrown delicacy is the otap. Eating this flaky, crisp, sugar coated biscuit may pose a challenge for beginners. But, once you get the hang of it, you may end up eating everything even before you board your flight. Similar to other Cebuano delicacies, the otap is available in supermarkets and pasalubong centers in Cebu.
Chicharon or pork rind is one sinful delicacy no Cebu visitor should leave without. Its crispy skin and succulent meat make it perfect for a late afternoon snack or dinner. While the best chicharon can be found in Carcar, it will not be necessary to make the trip down south since it is available in a number of outlets in the city.
Aside from food, Cebu also offers other pasalubong items for visitors. One of the more popular non-food pasalubong items from Cebu are shell accessories. The abundance of shells in Cebu allowed it to become a major producer of shell craft items. These items include necklaces, earring and décor items, among others. Most of these items are exported to countries around the world. These pasalubong items are readily available in the malls, pasalubong centers and specialty shops.
Cebu is also well-known for the handcrafted guitars from Lapu-Lapu City. Made of soft and hard wood, Cebu guitars are renowned worldwide for their quality and craftsmanship. Even with the entry of cheaper imported guitars, the Cebu guitar continues to be on the top of the must-bring-home list of any visitor to Cebu. You can head down to Lincoln Street to find stores specializing in guitars to buy one. You can also buy the Cebu guitar in music stores located inside the different malls in the city.
To paraphrase a famous explorer’s maxim, “take nothing but pasalubong items from Cebu.”
Canyoneering in Cebu has gained popularity in recent years as tourists, both local and foreign, have flocked to the southern part of the province to experience this extreme activity. The activity traverses two municipalities, Alegria and Badian. The starting point is at Canlaob, Alegria and ends at the Kawasan Falls in Badian.
Before you can start with the activity, it will be necessary to register at the Alegria Tourism Office. The earliest time the Alegria Tourism Office allows a group to start with the activity is at 6:00 AM while the latest is at 3:00 PM. This is necessary to ensure participants can finish the activity before the sun goes down. The activity typically takes four to five hours to complete depending on how fast the group can move through the course.
It is important to find get in touch with an established adventure tour operator that can provide experienced guides for you. There are a number of adventure tour operators offering the canyoneering activity. The rates for these activities can range from P800 up to P1,500 per person, depending on what is included in the activity. While these rates may include the entrance fees, it does not include the fare from Cebu City to either Badian or Alegria. Some tour operators are based in Badian while others are based in Alegria. Due to this, you can meet up with your tour guide either in Badian or in Alegria. You can take a bus bound for either Badian or Alegria at the South Bus Terminal. The fare from Cebu City to Alegria is around P140 while a bus bound for Badian is around P130.
The first jump participants will encounter is close to the starting point of the activity. This jump is required for all participants and is one of the three high jumps in the course. The height of this jump is around twenty feet. The entire course involves three high jumps with the first as the only one required. The other two high jumps are optional. The highest jump in the course is at the second level of the Kawasan Falls. The height of the jump is around thirty-five feet, but this is one of the two optional jumps in the course. It is important to take note that the course will require you to hike or scramble on rocks in addition to the jumps and slides.
It is best to go on a weekday since the course may get crowded over the weekend. Aside from jumping, sliding and scrambling on rocks, you can also enjoy the scenery as you go through the course.
It is not advisable to bring your phones or other gadgets while going through the course unless you bring a drybag to ensure your gadgets remain dry and functional. Just make sure the drybag has a strap since it will not be easy completing the course with one hand holding on to the bag. If you want to bring a camera, it is advisable to bring a GoPro or any waterproof action camera designed to withstand the impact of the jumps into the water.
Wearing shorts and cycling shorts is also recommended along with laced outdoor shoes that will not slip when you walk on slippery surfaces. Outdoor trekking sandals can also be worn. Slippers are not advisable since you may lose them when you jump into the water. Other things to wear are a life jacket and helmet, which may be provided by the tour operator and included in the fee.
You can also bring another drybag to store your food and trail food. There are vendors selling food when you reach Kawasan Falls. It is advisable to bring water during the course since it may be quite exhausting, especially for beginners.
All photos taken during the canyoneering activity of the F/GRP Alumni courtesy of Mr. Windell Paclibar of Windell G Paclibar Photos.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.