The towns located in the south of Cebu is not only rich in natural wonders, they also offer visitors a glimpse of the cultural heritage of the island.
The town of Alegria may be small, but it features numerous places you can visit while on a road trip to the south. The name of the town supposedly came to be after some Spaniards remarked “Que alegre!” after they chance upon a group of natives merrily washing clothes in a spring. The place was also called Tuburan, which is the Cebuano word for spring, before it was changed to prevent confusing it with other places in the island with the same name.
You have the option of taking a road trip from Alegria to Badian or you can participate in a canyoneering activity that will bring you to the most famous tourist spot of Badian, the Kawasan Falls. The town of Badian is your next stop in the trip. The name of the town came from a fruit called “badyang,” which was abundant in the area. Since it was difficult for the Spaniards to pronounce the name, the letter “g” was removed while the letter “I” replaced the letter “y” in the name of the town. The town is also known for handwoven mats that are locally known as the “banig.” In fact, the town celebrates the annual Banig Festival on July 25.
Your next stop on this road trip to the south of Cebu is the town of Moalboal. The name of the town was supposedly derived from “bocalbocal” in reference to an underground spring in the town. But another version indicates that the name of the town comes from the word “Bol-anon” in reference to the first settlers of the area who were from Bohol. The acknowledged founder of the town of Moalboal, Laurante Sabanal, comes from Bohol.
After having your fill of the underwater life in Moalboal, your next stop is the town of Alcantara. The town used to be called “Kogtong,” which was supposedly a large freshwater fish living in a spring located in the town. When the Spaniards came, they changed the name to Alcantara after one of the towns in Spain. It became a town in 1830 after it was separated from the nearby towns of Moalboal and Ronda.
You next stop in the road trip will be the town of Ronda. The original name of the town of Ronda was “Huluyaw” before it was changed during the time of the Spaniards. Huluyaw or holoyaw was the name of a banana plant that was abundant in the area. A wise native chief named Pongtod established the town in 1779, but he adopted the name Villagonzalo in submission to a Spanish decree that required all inhabitants of the Philippines to have a Spanish family name.