Taste of Spain in Argao, Cebu

We couldn’t seem to get enough of the towns in the southern part of Cebu. After that South Cebu Tour we had last year, we thought we’ll have to give North Cebu its time to shine. But that time has not come yet. There’s still so much more to South Cebu that we couldn’t move on.

Last February, the hubby and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day in Coal Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu. But I’ll talk about that in a later post. For now, let’s see what Argao has in store for us.

Half of our second day in this municipality was spent walking in the town proper. It’s amazing how Argao managed to keep the Spanish flavor around.

  • Cabecera de Argao
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Argao, Cebu

Just a minute or two walk from the main road, the town hides the remnants of the Spanish era, from the church to the government buildings.

  • Saint Michael, the Archangel Parish

Our first stop was the 200-year old church of Saint Michael, the Archangel.

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Ace and Demi in Argao, Cebu

Just like most churches in Southern Cebu, this church walls are also made from coral stones. The facade contains articulate carvings depicting the patron saint displayed on its niche. There are urn-like finials flanked at each corner of the pediment. It’s great that they have preserved this old structure.

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The interior.

You should not miss checking the interior of the parish, too. The ceiling immediately caught our attention because of the colorful painting that depicts that archangel’s life. We did not have the chance to check the altar because it was under rennovation.

  • The Hall of Justice.
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Argao’s Hall of Justice.

Second stop, was the town’s Hall of Justice.  One of the edifice in the town that shows evident Spanish taste. This served as military barracks during the old times but now functions as the Hall of Justice.

  • Torta, Argao’s delicacy.   

Have you tasted that delish sweet flatbread called “torta“? How was it? If you think it wasn’t delicious then you have not tasted Argao’s torta. 🙂

I say, “Torta is Argao, and Argao is Torta!”

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Home of delish tortas.

When you visit the town, don’t you dare miss this delish delicacy. Argao is known for its homemade tortas that are traditionally baked in a clay oven and they use tuba (coconut wine) as the leavening agent. They said “with time, it gets tastier” or “magkadugay, magkalami“. Hmmm? I ate mine after two weeks, I say they’re right. 🙂

  • Nature Park.
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Argao’s nature park. 

The town also has a nature park where you can relax and think about your existence. (Kidding.) They offer canoing for only Php10. You can have a picnic or try their wall climbing, too. The park has an entrance of Php5.

Personal rambling:

Our short jaunt in the town proper brought to us a Spanish flavor. Despite the pain the era had caused us, it’s nice to know how we are so forgiving, how we showed importance to its legacy. It would be easy to move on from the Spanish colony by destroying everything that reminds us of that time, but we chose not to. Because these…these things is a constant reminder of how our great grandparents fought for our freedom. A constant reminder that we have to take care of this sovereignty we have now. A constant reminder that we had been a slave once and we should not go back to being one anymore. 🙂

We hope you enjoyed our virtual diary about Argao.

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

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Cycling Around Olango Island | The 200-peso Story

Everybody is hyped up for summer. Got your weekends’ schedule full, yah? Most of us are planning for beach get-aways, some prefer the cold springs to beat the heat of this season. Us…we’re cycling, still.

Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits, instead! 

Inspired by a famous ice cream commercial, you should be familiar of the line, “Saan aabot ang 20 pesos mo?” (Where does your 20 pesos lead you?) Remember the product? Now grab it and continue reading. 😀

Few weeks ago, I decided to challenge myself to try biking around Olango Island with just 200 pesos on hand. So, where did my 200-peso lead me? Did I survive?

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Demi in Olango Island

Let’s take a quick trivia of this island: 

Olango is part of Olango Group of Islands with its six satelite islets — Sulpa, Gilutongan (also spelled Hilutungan), Nalusuan, Caohagan, Pangan-an, and Camungi.  The islands are low-lying with elevation reaching no more than 10 metres (33 ft) above sea level.

Perfect for my activity, yah? Thanks Mr Wiki.

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Demi in Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary 

The hubby wasn’t available because he went cycling with the Cebu Friendly Bikers Club in the highlands of Cebu City. So, I hesitated to pursue my plan because I’d never been to Olango island since. And the fact that I don’t know anyone who lives there was giving me more doubt. Because of my three awesome friends who gladly accompanied me on this venture, this 200-peso experiment was realized.

My friends and I met up at JCenter mall at 7am and hailed a jeepney bound for Punta Engano. (By the way, these jeepneys pass by Andy Hotel, Parkmall, Chong-Hua Mandaue…just in case you don’t know.) We asked the driver to drop us off at Movenpick Hotel where the port to Olango was located.

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Bird watching in Olango Island 

It was a 10-15 minute relatively smooth boat ride to the island. I forgot to tell you that we did not have an itinerary for this escape. We just knew we’re to explore the island with a bike. There are bicycles for rent in the area for as low as Php10 per hour. It was a quarter to ten o’clock when we arrived in Sta. Rosa Port. We immediately rode a tricycle to take us to Barangay Candagsao where we can rent a bike.

After five minutes, we were greeted by the smiles of friendly locals who were kind to tell us where Kuya Erwin’s bike rental place. After choosing our preferred bicycles, we signed an agreement paper and off we go.

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Bicycling around Olango island. 

Our first stop was the Tungasan Boardwalk. Unfortunately, the paseo was closed for renovation. The locals said, the storm had devasted the boarwalk very much that it was now unsafe to step on the walkway. We had no choice but to settle with the view.

After a few minutes, we proceeded to San Vicente Marine Sanctuary to eat our lunch. We were thinking of seafoods but to our disappointment, the staffs were not very friendly to us. We even felt discriminated because they prioritized their foreign guests. Our tummies were already growling but they just told us they don’t have rice even though we saw the rice on the table. Huhuh. 😥

We couldn’t stay there and drool, we headed to Olango Wildlife Sanctuary to experience the bird-watching. Contrary to what happened in the Marine Sanctuary, the staffs in the Wildlife Sanctuary were very friendly and accommodating. They even lent us a binoculars to use in the bird-watching area. Sadly, they don’t have food but chips and snacks. Huhuh…more growling of our tummies.

After repleting our eyes with the migratory birds, we went back our way and dropped by Sagastrand Restaurant to eat our lunch. Finally!!

I’m proud to say that I SURVIVED and my experiment was a SUCCESS. Information about my expenses after this. 🙂

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Ace and Demi cycling in Olango Island. 

I didn’t have enough of my biking tour in the island and the following weekend, I brought my younger brother and the hubby with me. Coincidently, the CFB team were also going. Yahoo!

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Brother and Me cycling around Olango island.

My brother and I rented our bikes in the same rental place. He chose the mountain bike but I chose the folding bike because I don’t know how to use the big bike. As a result, I caused delays of the team’s ride. (Sorry.) Gladly, they live by their name “friendly bikers” and understood my shortcoming.

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Ace cycling around Olango Island.

This time, we had our sumptuous lunch in Barangay Talima. Our good host prepared saang and grilled fish for us. We devoured the feast in just few minutes because we were all hungry.

Once again, for the second time I have proven my 200-peso experiment in Olango. 🙂 

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When in doubt, PEDAL it out. 

Here’s a breakdown of my expenses: (Day-tour in Olango Island)

  • Php30 — (back and forth) jeepney fare to and from Mandaue City (Php15)
  • Php30 — (back and forth) boat fare
  • Php6 — terminal fee (Php5 and Php1)
  • Php40 — (back and forth) tricycle fare to and from bike rental (Php20)
  • Php30 — three-hour bike rental (Php10/hour)
  • Php30 — lunch
  • Php30 — entrance fee to Bird Watching

Do the Math and that’s all my expenses.

Hence, I conclude that your 200-peso will let you survive in Olango Island. 

Just a few reminder:  **You’ll probably love to stay in the island for a long time but if you are in a day-trip make sure to be at the port before 4pm because it is the boats’ last trip to the mainland. **You can buy seafoods at a very cheap price like saang, talaba and etc., in Barangay Talima. ** Rent a bike at Kuya Erwin’s bike rental in Barangay Candagsao.

’til our next adventure.

Keep safe.
Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden by The Lake | TIEZA Botanical Garden

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TIEZA Botanical Garden

Bloom where you are planted! ~ Anonymous

It has been a while since the infamous Sirao Flower Farm made a fuss all over the web. Curious visitors flocked the place but sadly, due to some people’s negligence, the farm suffered an unfortunate fate. Some were lucky to have witnessed the beauty of the place yet, I wasn’t one of them. When I visited Sirao Flower Farm last January, I did not see any of those that I saw in the internet. All I found were newly sprouting plants finger-span length. The local farmers were trying so hard, pouring their sweats to cultivate those plants, I just hope people know that and we should be responsible enough to take care of the vegetations, too. Let us not be selfish and say “I paid for this. I paid an entrance fee.” Paying the entrance fee does not give us the right to step and kill those flowers. Our money can’t afford the hardwork of the farmers who are working so hard to give us this wonderful view.

(I’m not here to scold or act like ‘I-know-everything-right’. I’m just saying.  LET US DO OUR PART!!!)

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Anyway, here’s another fruit of our local farmers’ labor. The former Philippine Tourism Authority which is now called TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) is developing the formerly Kan-Irag golf-course located in Barangay Malubog, Busay into a botanical garden by the lake.

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According to the farmers whom we talked to, this lake was once a small hollow filled with rainwater then it resembled a lake. There were wild floras growing around the area and it showed a great potential to become a scenic garden by the lake, hence this project.

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Despite not being able to see the wonderful beauty of Sirao Flower Farm, I am beyond lucky to have seen this enticing beauty of this new attraction. My hopes for this place not to experience downfall because of people’s lack of discipline. Let’s give others the chance to see this beauty.

Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time.

 

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Demi in Kan-irag Golf Course.

You might want to visit the place. You can contact our kind driver to take you there just in case you are commuting. Here’s Kuya Roel’s number: 0919-954-4254. If you have your private transport, the place can be accessed through the transcentral highway via JY Lahug and take turn towards the corner of Busay Holiday Pool. You can also ask the locals for directions.

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. ~ Mark Nepo

 

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

Pulong Binisaya | Bisaya ni Bai!

Kini usa ka espesyal nga salmot akong dalit alang sa mga Bisaya og sa mga gihidlaw pagbasa ug paminaw niining atong pinulongan.

Usa ka isig manunuwat ang nakapa agni kanako nga magsuwat gamit ang atong Binisaya nga pulong. Ang akong inspirasyon atong taguon sa pangalan nga “TheGirl” o “AngBabaye”. Sama kanako, usa siya ka manunuwat, apan talagsaon ang iyang mga salmot. Kasagaran niini mga balak nga sa kasing-kasing mokumot gayud. Ayaw kalimot pagbisita sa iyahang pahina pagkahuman nimo pagbasa aniang akoang salmot usab.

BISAYA? Kaantigo ka pa ba?

Makasabot ka pa ba kung imong ka-istorya ang gigamit mao kining pinulongana? Sa akong bahin… malisod gayud. Ako mismo moangkon, malisod. Ngano ba? Sa panahon karon, ang pulong nga banyaga mao ang sayon nga malitok sa atong mga ba-ba.

Sa atong mga tulunghaan, sa ako nagatungha pa, pa Inglison man gayud mi sa among mga maestra. Nahinumduman ko pa, kung kami masakpan nga binisaya ang pinulongan, pamultahon kami ug tag-piso. Intawn ang among bawon nga singko ayawat dili makuhaan kay magpalit pa ra ba intawn mi ug sud-an nga tag dos sa tindahan, maningkamot intawn nga dili masakpan. Kung magkalisod dili na lang gayud mi motabi aron dili makabayad ug dili mi magutman.

Sa ako nahuman na, panahon nga mangita ug trabaho. Aguy, ang interbiyo Inglis man sad ang utro. Tungod ako intawn naningkamot nga makasulod kay akong ginikanan mao ray gipaabot, bahala na ug binayabas akong Inglis ang importante madawat lang gayud aron dili sayang ang paningkamot sa akong ginikanan.

Ug tungod lage kay ang trabaho nga nasudlan kining banyagang pinulongan man ang puhunan. Wala na gayud akoy mahimo kung dili kada adlaw mag Ininglis. Unyag uli sa balay ako intawn malipay kay akong utok makapahuway. Apan akong kapikas sa kinabuhi sa telebisyon nagtan-aw, salida nga giulohan ug “Logan”, aguy Ininglis ra gihapon ang akong nadunggan.

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Bitaw, komedya ra! Salamat Google Images.

Talagsaon nalang gayud karon nga makabasa ka ug salmot nga ingon ani ang pulong. Maong sa pagbasa ko pagbalik niining akong dalit, ako nakapahiyom. Matahom gayud pulungon kining Binisaya nga talagsa nalang nato madunggan ilabi na sa kadalanan. Usa sa akong amiga gipasuway ko pagbasa, pero wala niya tiwasa kay lage “Lahi ra!”

Nganong ang uban lud-on kung maminaw ug magbasa ug ingon ani nga pulong? Wala ba si sila nasayod nga mao kini sa kaniadto ang puhunan sa atong mga apohan kung sila mobirig sa babaye nga ilang naibgan?  Akong Lola, sa siya buhi pa, dili gayod maluya ug balik-balik kung gi unsa siya pagdiga sa akong Lolo nga kursunado. Sa balak ra siya gidaog kay kuno iyang kasing-kasing daw gilabyog-labyog.

Karon, kay ikaw man gayod gabasa, bilini ko ug gamayng pulong. Atong suwayan pag bangon kining pulong nga Binisaya nga atong gilubong sa kagahapon. Ug diay ako mapasalamaton nga ikaw nihuman hangtud diri sa katapusan niining akong salmot. Sa imong komento ako magpaabot.

Hangtod sa sunod!

Bangon Bisaya!!!

Discover Catmon | Chasing Waterfalls and Trekking Rivers

The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. ~~ Roald Dahl

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Tinubdan Falls, Catmon

Catmon, Cebu — home of Cebu’s second highest peak, Mt Kapayas. Despite being flocked by outdoor enthusiasts and the like, this town remained self-effacing and humble. And lately, with people’s never ending quest of discovering wonderful places to visit, Catmon, in all fairness has another reason to boast.

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Behind the tall mountains of the municipality hides a wonderful haven full of nature’s bliss. A mysterious river slithers through the valleys of the town and divided it into the Old Catmon and New Catmon.

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This place is not known to many people not even to most locals. Some of them knew the place but never dared to visit it because of the creepy stories that circulates around the town. Not even the kids in the area are fond to play in this river.

Rumors have it that there were mysterious disappearances in the area. Sometimes, locals nearby hear uproarious sounds coming from the river but there are no people around. Our guide forwarned us to leave the river before 5:00pm to avoid any untoward circumstances.

Hmm? That sounds really creepy!

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We trekked for about five minutes before we caught a glimpse of this beguiling watercourse. Just the sound of the water cascades was already inviting. As if nature’s telling us to leave the worries behind and commune with her. And that, my friends, we couldn’t resist. Before we knew it, our feet were already in the water and we’re ready to plunge into an unknowingly great adventure.

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There’s something with rivers that we like so much. We love the beach but we always long for the streams.

It gives us the thought that life is indeed like a river. It keeps flowing.

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Ace and his emotion.

There are times that life is calm and peaceful. Times when life is steady, just the way you like it to, like nothing wrong could come its way. The water maybe placid but it is vulnerable. This tranquility won’t stay that way.  

 

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Struggle pa more!

Sometimes, this life could be harsh that you struggle and fluctuate. The flow could be strong that it could drown you, that it could wash you away forcing you to leave your comfort zone. These times will come when you least expect it, it’d slap you on your face and you couldn’t do anything to stop it.  

 

 

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Kapit lang, bes!

Yes, you’ll have a lot of struggle, a lot of holding on, a lot of letting go, too. But one thing is for sure, all of these things will lead you to a better place. All of these struggles will lead you to something great. Really great that you also did not expect it. 

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Tinubdan Falls

Yay!!! I couldn’t believe I just wrote that. hahah

Let’s get back to reality, everybody. 😀 And after that musing, Tinubdan Falls finally! Look at that isn’t that worth our struggles? Waterfalls everywhere.

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Ace and Demi cheesy moments. 

Hubby and I were very astounded. Tinubdan Falls is not as tall as the waterfalls in the Southern part of Cebu, but it’s stunning just the way it is. It’s unique in its own way. Albeit its height, it would never disappoint you.

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We also learned that during the Second World War, this place was developed by the Americans in order to supply electricity for their camp at combat in Agsuwao, Catmon. However, there were no trace of that.

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River trekking in Catmon.

We saw more mini falls as we continued trekking downstream. We climbed more rock boulders along the way which tested our balancing skills. It was one great adventure indeed!

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Ace and Demi trekked Catmon river.

Before we conclude this post, I’d like to mention few wonderful friends we met during this jaunt. Nhagz of Nhagzventures, who invited us to join this trip, Padz Lai of The Little Lai: Beyond Limits, and Gly of Chasing Potatoes. We look forward to having more adventures with you. Until next time. 🙂

 

What is life but one great adventure!

P.S  We had a wonderful time in this place and would love to come back again. Let’s help keep this place the way it is. Practice responsible tourism. LEAVE NO TRACE

Until our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

Inambakan Falls | South Cebu Tour 2016

Hey, everyone! I know this post has long been overdue. I was hoping to retrieve some of the photos we had on this place but we couldn’t seem to do so anymore. Anyway, I hope you’d still enjoy reading this one. 

When you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.

Remember our South Cebu Tour few months ago? (Oh, I hope you do but you can click here just in case you don’t.)

One of our most unforgettable adventure during that jaunt was our visit to Inambakan Falls. This mighty 100-foot waterfall is hidden in the outskirts of Ginatilan, Cebu — a half-hour motorcycle ride from the trash-free town.

 

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Ace and Demi in Inambakan Falls

Upon disembarking from the motorcycle, we could already hear the sound of water crashing down from afar giving me a relief from the pain I felt because of that ride.

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After paying the entrance fees, our guide led us to a cemented staircase which was very slippery because of the moss. I couldn’t count how many times I tripped. So, please take extra caution. (I’m talking.) As we got nearer, the sound of the water got louder, too. At last, after about 10 minutes of walking, this majestic beauty of Inambakan Falls was like telling us our search was all worth it.

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The vehement pressure of the water falling from a hundred-foot height already hollowed the banks resulting to small cave behind the waterfall. The falls has a catch-basin as deep as 8 feet but there is also a shallow part for those who don’t trust their swimming skills like me.

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Ace and Demi conquered Inambakan Falls

During our visit, there was already a newly-made makeshift raft. We were lucky to use the raft solely for ourselves because we were the only people there. Our guide also let us go to the small cave and plunge into the natural massage of the falling water.

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Got your curiosity rising yet? Here’s another trivia, Inambakan falls is also dubbed as Ginatilan’s hidden treasure because this falls is not known to many people yet. the surrounding remained untouched except for the small hut cottages made for guests who wish to stay for a couple of hours in the area. Who would not love to hear the sound of nature alone?

What do you say? Are you ready to visit the place?

We hope you enjoyed our travel diary of Inambakan Falls despite the scarcity of photos. Have you been here? Tell us about it. 🙂

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe.

Love, Ace and Demi 

P.S You might want to hear about the rest of our South Cebu Tour. Know about our Historical Visit in Oslob, our quick visit to Sanayon Site in Santander, our time in Sumilon Island and stay updated for the rest of the places we visited by subscribing and following our site. Blessings!