First Kick Of Summer in Carnaza Island

And just like that, summer is here again!

Technically, there is really no summer season in the Philippines. As a tropical country, we only have wet and dry seasons. Some foreigners think it’s summer all year-round here. For us Filipinos, we consider the months of March, April, and May as the summer periods being the hottest months.

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Too cheesy for summer, yeah?

Although we could enjoy the beach at any time of the year, we feel a different kind of excitement when March comes. Perhaps, it’s the thought that summer is about to kick off.

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Beachy days!

But for busy bees like us, it’s hard to get time off from work to enjoy the season. So we make sure to seize every chance to travel and make our own summer story. Apropos, my good friend Niña and I had a holiday that fell on Friday last week. It was kind of a long weekend for us and luckily, Ace was also able to join.

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Wave and sand are happiness on your feet!

Niña and I had been lusting for Carnaza Island in Daanbantayan, Cebu. After our Bantayan Island escapade last year, we were supposed to visit Carnaza before summer 2018 ended, but we never got the chance.

Finally, comes summer 2019! We’ll never let Carnaza get away from us.

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Chillin’ like the boat is mine!

So the plan was to go to the North Bus Terminal as early as 1:30am on Friday to catch the first trip to Daanbantayan. However, the handsome husband turned off his alarm (again), and as expected, we overslept. I was awakened around 4 in the morning and realized we’re late. I quickly jumped out of the bed to check my phone. I received a few messages from Niña, I knew she’d been waiting. I called her, and thankfully she was still awake. We wasted no time and headed to the bus terminal.

While we were on the bus, I was a bit worried about not catching the local passenger boat to the island. Based on the information we’ve read online, Carnaza has only one local boat trip per day that leaves Tapilon Port at 7:30 am. If we’re unable to catch it, we have to hire a private boat to take us to the island which would cost us a fortune since we’re not a big group.

Great fervor made us carry on our trip despite the time. We might just stay in the mainland for the night and catch the first trip the next day. Or, whatever! Hahaha!

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Isn’t she beautiful?

It was past 9 o’clock when we reached Tapilon Port. As soon as we got off the bus, motorcycle drivers already knew we’re heading to Carnaza. They told us there was no boat bound to the island in Tapilon on that day because of the big waves. They suggested we go to the town’s port instead. We somewhat already expected it because we’re freakin’ late.

We decided to have our breakfast first in the nearby eatery before going to town. After eating, we took a tricycle to the other port. Heaven was so kind to us. A passenger boat from the island had just ported when we arrived. They said it would leave the mainland at 1 pm which meant we had to wait for three hours. So while waiting for the time, we took a nap in the boat.

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Ace and Demi in Carnaza Eco Park.

The boat departed as soon as the clock struck one. We noticed the passengers crowded at the center wearing their jackets. We were still a few meters away from the port when big waves started hitting our boat. It was a rough ride all throughout. Scary thoughts came crashing in as our boat maneuvered its way through the harsh waves.

Then I heard one woman said, “Aw, gagmay ra man diayng balud ron.” (Oh, the waves are relatively small today.) I exclaimed, “What? Are these still small, nay?

Normal ra man ni nga balud day,” she replied. (These waves are normal.)

I didn’t know if I should feel at ease or be more worried. Nonetheless, we arrived on the island safe and sound. Then, we rode a motorcycle to Carnaza Eco Park.

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The woodsheds in Carnaza Eco Park.

The Eco Park is the sole resort on the island. The most captivating attraction in the place is the beautifully aligned triangular rooms facing the coast. They call it the woodsheds, which could accommodate 2 persons for only 200 pesos. When we arrived at the resort, there were no other visitors, so we had the place all for ourselves. Oh, good heavens!

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Sunkissed Demi.

Since it was already 3 in the afternoon when we arrived, we agreed to stay in the resort and have the island tour the next day.  We also requested the resort’s cooking service for our meals throughout our stay. After choosing our preferred woodsheds, Niña and I roamed around. Later when we got tired, we vegged out in the sand and talked about how we got lucky. We were very amused by the things that happened that day.

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Starry night in Carnaza Island.

After dinner, we stayed outside just shooting the breeze while listening to the sound of the waves. Stars blanketed the sky as salty wind touched our faces. Everything could never be more perfect!

The next morning, we took an early stroll on the beach to enjoy the morning air. We were very tempted to swim, but the water was too cold. So we just resolved with the waves hitting our feet. Later, we went to the dining hall for breakfast. After breakfast, we prepared for the island tour.

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Postcard worthy scene.

There are motorcycles in the resort that will take guests for an island tour. It cost 150 pesos per person for two hours.

Our first destination was the Twin Beach.  Locals fondly call it Liog-liog Cove. We had to climb the big rock to get a better view of the twin beach. On the right side, was the rugged coastline that reminds us of Jeju Island we see in K-dramas. (Don’t believe me, I haven’t been to Jeju.)

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Not your kind of mermaids.

Our next stop was the Skull Cove. There’s a cavern with skulls inside by the seaside, hence the name. It wasn’t creepy, though. On the side, there’s a narrow pathway that leads to a helipad.

Our last stop was Kailina’s Cove. It has a long stretch of white sand similar to that of Paradise Beach in Bantayan Island. The place is also famous for sunset viewing.

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Paddle boarding in Carnaza Island.

Since we only have two hours for the tour, we went back to the resort in time for lunch. Guests were starting to arrive, too. Some of them pitched their tents in front of the row woodsheds. We took a quick shower, then we had our lunch in the dining area.

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The lagoon.

We agreed to go back to Kailina’s Cove to watch the sunset later that day. So while waiting, we tried paddle boarding in the ecopark’s lagoon. It was my first time to try paddle boarding, imagine my annoying screams. I didn’t know it was painfully straining. In fact, we woke up to sore muscles the next day.

At 4 pm, we went back to Kalina’s to catch the sunset. Thick clouds began to form in the sky. We just crossed our fingers and believed the clouds might disappear. When we arrived at the place, there were already a few people who were waiting for the sun to set. We patiently waited for an hour or so. The sun’s rays slowly beamed through the clouds giving us a positive sign. It painted the sky with an orange hue. Eventually, the sun came out, showing us its full glory. Awe, beautiful! What a perfect view in ending the day!

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Sunset at Kailina’s Cove.

Tired after a day of cove hopping spree, we wanted to hit the lay right after dinner. Since there were other guests, the night wasn’t as tranquil as the other night. Some inconsiderate guests were playing loud music on their speakers. They could have lowered it down because not all people liked it. Personally, I would prefer listening to the sound of the ocean’s persistent kiss to the shore than that head-banging music. I don’t care if they changed it into Juan Karlos’ infamous ‘Buwan’ hit song, because the cloud was too thick and there wasn’t a moon on the first place.

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‘Coz it’s summer, baby!

Nevertheless, we had a sound sleep that night. We woke up early the next day to catch the 8 am boat trip back to the mainland.

A piece of me broke when our boat departed the island.

Our two nights on the island wasn’t enough that my heart wanted to stay. When we reached the mainland, I felt floating. I didn’t want to check my phone, in fact, I didn’t turn off the airplane mode until we reached Bogo Bus Terminal. I had no choice but to go back to reality. It was definitely a bittersweet goodbye.

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Carnaza, what kind of sorcery is this? 

But, ’til we meet again, Carnaza!

 

Over to you, how do you kick off your summer this year? Let us hear from you in the comment section below!

 

’til our next summer destination!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

Summer — The Virgin Island Way | Bantayan Part 2

Our second day in Bantayan Island started before daybreak. A noise coming from the kitchen awakened me. Ace was preparing our breakfast as well as our food for later’s island hopping. I got up to help him, but I accidentally cut my finger while cutting the onions. That left him to do the most of the cooking.

By 6am, breakfast was served in a military style which we Filipinos call “boodle fight”. Our friends, especially Niña finally got to taste Ace’s bean soup (monggos) and sweet and sour dried fish. We also had hotdogs, scrambled eggs and tocino for the kids. Our host gave us steamed scallops which by the way, abundant in the area.

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Boodle-fight breakfast.
After the sumptuous breakfast, everyone readied for the day’s activity. In few minutes, we were already in a small boat heading to our first destination – the Virgin Island.

Ace and I hadn’t been there. The name seemed to promise a stunning, untouched place. Pictures of fine sand, turquoise water, and beautiful beach played in my mind while our boat fought the intimidating waves. A big splash interrupted me from my reverie. I put my eyes forward and saw a long stretch of white sand gleaming against the summer sun from afar. Contrary to the peaceful and untouched place I had imagined earlier, there were many small boats like ours beached in the area.

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By the looks of it, Virgin Island is seemingly frequented by visitors. Although there are neighboring islands such as Malapascua and Guintarcan, boats to Virgin Island are relatively cheaper.

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The lifeguard is on duty. (Ace)
Whilst I was wrong about the serenity of the place, I exclaimed a big wow the moment my feet touched the sand as I got off the boat. Why not? The place was wonderful. Although it has lost its vestal state because of its popularity among tourists, it’s still fairly worth its name.

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The island, by the way, is privately owned. An entrance fee of Php 500 for the first two persons and Php 100 for every additional head. It has a resort and is already developed. Their staffs are available everywhere should you have questions. We suggest you buy your provisions in the mainland if you’re on a tight budget because the goods here are a bit pricey. There are cottages which you can rent or you can opt to lay your beach mat to save money.

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Truth be told, there is nothing much to do on the island but snorkeling, fish feeding, and of course swimming. There is a marine sanctuary but it doesn’t have that colorful marine biodiversity you expect to see.

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Our brief stay on the island was mostly spent eating our food and exploring the area. Well, swimming, too but not that long. Ace and I are not really beach-people so we easily get enough of it.

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A rational thought about Virgin Island:

Virgin Island had denied us the tranquility we sought for, but we had a great time though. We must admit that we came at the wrong time. It was the peak of the summer season in the Philippines. We were wrong to expect peace and quiet in a beautiful place like this. We shouldn’t have expected anything in the first place. Our expectation was such a selfish thought. 

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Demi’s personal thought about Bantayan Island:

I know some of you will react to this, but I’m saying this anyway.

I don’t concord to that conventional impression about the place. I’ve been to some islands in the Philippines and honestly, Bantayan Island is not one you’ll fall in love on your first step. (There I said it. Don’t bash me, please!) 

No, I didn’t feel the love at first sight like I did with Sipaway Island. Perhaps two days was not enough to know her and it was too early to judge. Perhaps I had huge expectations. Perhaps I was busy comparing her to other islands and missed to see the real her beauty.

One thing is sure though. Bantayan Island gave me that curiosity and desire to know her more. Bantayan sent me home thinking about when to go back. Taking into consideration the stories about how beautiful the island is, I was more perplexed on how I didn’t see it. The more reason why I have to come back.

 

So, we shall see you soon again, Bantayan! Thank you for the summer!

 

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Our Summer Story in Bantayan Island | Part 1

If the southern part of Cebu features the most explored mountain ranges, waterfalls, and also known to be home of the extreme adventure – canyoneering, the northern Cebu prides its stunning white sand beaches, paradise-like islets, healthy marine life and beautiful diving spots.

An impulsive trip brought us to one of the paradise in the northern part of the province — Bantayan Island.

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Get to know Bantayan Island:

Tucked in the west part of the northern Cebu, Bantayan Island is an island group that consists of small islets mostly uninhabited.  Bantayan is the largest island of the group. The towns of Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Bantayan lie here, too.
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Welcome to paradise!

 How to get there:

  • From Cebu, you can take a bus or a van bound for Hagnaya Port from the North Bus Terminal. Depending on what bus you’re riding, the fare is around Php160-180.
  • Secure a ferry ticket from Hagnaya Port (Php180) and pay the terminal fee (Php10). NOTE: If you are bringing your pets with you, don’t forget to get a local transport permit for them. No permit, no transport.)
  • Once you arrive in the port of Sta Fe, you can ride a tricycle to your preferred hostel. Some hostels arrange transport and tour, you may inquire from your host.
  • You can rent a bicycle or a motorcycle to tour the island. There are also motorcycles that offer land tours.

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Our summer story in Bantayan Island:

Our trip to Bantayan Island was unplanned. One day before our departure, Bantayan island never crossed our minds. Ace and I, in fact, were thinking of spending the weekend doing the laundry. It was around 8 pm on Friday when Niña and I talked about going there together. Without any second thought, I agreed. My class finished at 10:30 pm. Niña said we were departing at 3 am which was only a few hours away. Since it was an unexpected outing, we didn’t have Elliot’s transport permit. We had no choice but to leave him in my sister’s care.

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We arrived at Hagnaya Port and had our breakfast while waiting for Niña’s sister who lives in San Remigio. They arrived a little late, it was already 9:30 when we took a ferry to the island. Upon arrival, we wasted no time and immediately took a tricycle to Sta Fe Guest House which was our home for 2 days. Our friendly host greeted us at the gate. I like how our hostel is located just a few minutes away from the marketplace and few steps away from the beach.

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Lunch at Big Jel’s Restomeat.
The same tricycle picked us up at 1 pm for a land tour. Our first stop was Big Jel’s Restomeat for lunch. Ace and I personally suggest you try eating here because aside from the big serving, their food is delicious and affordable.

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After filling up our tummies, we headed to Oboob Mangrove Garden, also known as the OMAGIECA (Obo-ob Mangrove Garden Integrated Ecotourism and Conservation Association)It aims to raise awareness about the importance of mangroves and the role it plays in the ecosystem. The mangroves serve as the home of different underwater species.

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Ace and Demi at Oboob Mangrove Garden.

This mangrove garden has an entrance fee of Php50 for adults and Php20 for kids. They also have this big sign showing where the entrance fee go. Now, that’s what you call transparency.

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When the tide is high, you can tour the area by kayaking. We, on the other hand, chose to walk into the bamboo boardwalk.

Few meters from the entrance, there is a restaurant that serves fresh seafood and refreshments.

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Ace and Demi in Oboob Mangrove Garden.
The kids bought some fish food in a small store along the way. We rested in the bamboo hut while watching them feeding the fish.

We also climbed the makeshift bamboo tower to see the entire mangrove garden from above. Only 3 people are allowed to climb at once for safety purposes. Because many visitors lined up to climb the tower, you can’t stay there for more than 5 minutes.

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Ace and Demi
Soon after we explored the place, we headed to our next stop — the Paradise Beach. It was supposed a secluded beach area but due to the influx of tourist, the place became crowded.

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Niña is enjoying the sun, the sand and the waves. 

 

But that didn’t make the place less of a paradise. The long strip of powdery white sand was worth its name. The beach has the finest sand we have seen.

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Ace at the diving cliff. 
Our next stop was the Diving Cliff near a building ruin. Niña and I were eager to jump in the cliff. Yet, our spirits hid somewhere upon seeing how deep and high it was.

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The Ruin is completely ruined. 
We were supposed to drop by Ogtong Cave in Sta Fe Beach Club, but we agreed to skip it and went to the market to buy some provisions for dinner.

Everybody was tired, especially Ace, Niña and I because we didn’t have enough sleep. (It’s right to say, we didn’t have sleep at all.) We scheduled an island hopping the next day, so we decided to call it a day.

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Stay tuned for the story of our Virgin Island adventure!

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

 

 

 

 

Temple of Leah | Of Love, Devotion and Architecture

And his love was too strong that it became the pillars of the temple.

Truly, love does wonders. It’s so powerful that it goes beyond a bouquet of roses, a romantic picnic or a dinner in the fanciest restaurant, a diamond ring or a strand of pearls. Remember Taj Mahal in India, Swallow’s Nest Castle above the waters of the Black Sea, and the Boldt Castle in upstate New York? What do they have in common? Yes, they are all built out of love. ❤

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Temple of Leah

Cebu also prides this magnificent landmark Temple of Leah as a testament of an architecture-romantic Mr. Teodorico S. Adarna’s undying love and devotion to his wife – Leah.

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Temple of Leah, Cebu

Perched on the highlands of the city, Temple of Leah continously draws tourist because of it’s splendiferous architecture similar to that of Rome and Greece. Knowing that this is built in the name of love is another thing that invites people’s curiousity.

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The girls — Tin, Gichelle, Demi, Louise and Daisy. (L-R) 

Some time in January, after our visit in the botanical garden of Terrazas de Flores, we dropped by this temple to see how lucky Leah must be.

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Temple of Leah.

We were collected Php50 each as an entrance fee. The temple was not done yet but it is already open to public. We went there on a weekday so there were not too many people at that time.

 

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Ace in the Temple of Leah. 

The edifice resembles Rome classical structures, inspired by Leah’s travel to Rome. It is very evident with the rectangular designs, the Doric columns, the podium and the altar.

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The shrine. 

A huge bronze statue of Leah was built in the altar. This spells Mr Adarna’s devotion to her that he treated her like a goddess.

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Leah V. Adarna

This temple was meant to be a repository of Leah’s items which she gathered from her travels. According to her daughter, Arlene, her mom was a collector. Before she died, she worried where to put all her collections. Her good husband promised to build this temple to store all her things. Now, this shrine serves as a museum of Leah’s things. However, the museum was not yet open for the public during our visit.

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Demi in the Temple of Leah. 

While classical temples have their storage rooms behind the altar, the chambers for Leah’s collection were built on the opposite wings of the edifice.

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A fountain at the facade of the podium. 

There is a fountain in front of the shrine’s podium which is inspired by her trip to Europe. Truly a work of art. Look at those meticulous carvings.

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Panoramic view of the city. 

The temple also gives a panoramic vista of Cebu City. Although, it’s hot to stay here in the mid-afternoon. We wonder if the sunrise or the sunset looks great from here.

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The girls’ groufie. 

The place is sooo perfect for photo ops to flood your Facebook and Instagram. Every corner is “instagrammable”, they said. (Is there such word, by the way?)

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Demi and the lion statue. 

From the high rising pillars to the precised carvings, the temple is just WONDERFUL, it’s brilliant. Mr Adarna must have really made his wife happy even when she’s already gone.

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The pillars of the temple with Demi photobombing. 

Indeed, love does wonder. The Temple of Leah speaks of a man’s real love and devotion to his wife. And this our friends, we hope inspires you to not give up on love because it really exists. Yay!

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Ace and Demi in the Temple of Leah. 

We hope you enjoyed our photo-diary of the Temple of Leah. Over to you, what would you do for love? Leave us some words.

‘Til our next cheesy adventure.

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

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! 

 

A Historic Visit to Oslob, Cebu | South Cebu Tour

Two weeks ago, we found ourselves in a historic municipality of Oslob, Cebu. We were on our South Cebu Tour but we stayed in Oslob – which was also our jump-off point. Why not? We’ve heard so much about this municipality, though 4th class, its tourism is thriving.

Nowadays, historical places are famous destinations in almost everyone’s bucket list. However, we are not doing this just because it’s a bandwagon. We’ve been interested in history since HISTORY was introduced to us. I’m just saying so…

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History is not was, it is! ~ William Faulkner

Let’s take a look at what the place has to offer:

*Church of Immaculate Conception  

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Immaculate Conception Parish

This Immaculate Conception church was among the oldest churches in Cebu. It became an independent parish in 1847. It was burned down during the Second World War liberating Cebuano guerillas against the Japanese in Oslob in 1945, and 1955 but was eventually restored.

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The entrance door.

In 2008, another fire gutted the 19th-century church’s interior, including the altar and adjacent rectory, but it spared the image of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which was inside a glass case, and the 73 other icons near the door to the bell tower.

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The church was closed during our visit, so we were unable to take a look at the interior of it. 

*Bell Tower

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Church bell tower. 

This bell tower adjacent to the church was built in 1858. It fortunately survived the fire that gutted the church twice.

*The Cuartel Ruins

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The Cuartel Ruins

Located at the front right of the church is this ruins of an unfinished cuartel. It resembles a Spanish-era barrack and was intended as barracks for Spanish soldiers or guardia civil but was halted during the arrival of the Americans.

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The structure was made of coral blocks from the remnants of the collapsed floor of the bell tower.

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The back view of the cuartel.

*Baluarte

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Baluarte

Baluarte means watchtower in Spanish. This is among the seven fortifying watchtower built along the coastline of Oslob. This fortress provided a safe place for guards to observe the surrounding area. This defense strategy effectively dispelled the Moro raiders of the past.

*Museo Oslob

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This museum is located at the back of the cuartel ruins. The locals told us that other remnants of the town’s history is inside.

But it was also closed that time because it was a Sunday.

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Entrance door of the museum.

Our short visit in Oslob brought us back to the past. It’s overwhelming to look back to what made us today, to not just live and enjoy the ruins but to know the story behind them. Each places has its own story. Most might be painful but it is what made the place. History is not just the past. History is the present.

History despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again.

Over to you: do you find interest in your place or country’s history, too?

Continue following our South Cebu Tour story.

‘Til our next destination!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

Mt. Naupa, Naga | The Climb

Stop talking about your mountains and start climbing.

We just did!

We’ve heard so much about Mt. Naupa from some of our friends from the blogosphere. It just ignited our curiosity and yeah, just last Saturday we decided to see what the fuss is all about.

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With a staggering height of 584 meters above sea level and ranked as the 8th highest mountain in Central Visayas, one cannot question it’s popularity.

So, let’s see what Mt Naupa has to offer:

Our original plan was to start the climb at 5:00am to witness the sunrise but we sadly missed it because we came late. (Filipinos, yah know.) Anyway, we took a bus from South Bus Terminal and got off at Tungkop, Minglanilla. From there, we rode a motorcycle to take us to Brgy. Cogon. And we started our trek from the chapel where kids are waiting to offer themselves as guide to the mountain.

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We had William and Kent, both thirteen-year old as our guides. These kids really knew what they’re doing because according to them, they climb the mountain every weekends. They even knew how to entertain us and they served as our photographer, as well.

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Kat-kat pa more!

We made a research about the mountain, beforehand. We had to make sure the climb would be easy because we didn’t have any minor climbs but Osmena Peak.

The climb to the mountain is indeed for beginners. The trail is easy and pretty established. Except during rainy days, the soil could be muddy and slippery. The kids said, the climb will not take an hour if we have regular pace. After 45 minutes, we arrived at the campsite.

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Let’s get those feet rested.

We had a few minutes rest and ate our snacks at the campsite. The view from there was already stunning. We couldn’t help taking photos with all the lush greeneries around.

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It’s a plane, no, it’s a bird!

Oh, and we almost forgot…we climbed Mt Naupa together with these three cool sisters — Louise, Daisy, and Ann. These three are awesome! (More climb, girls!)

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The gang on the losse!

When we thought, this is the only campsite… the kids told us that this is just the lower campsite. Now, that made us wonder where is the mountain we’re trying to conquer.

The upper campsite is this hill behind us…. 🙂

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Upper campsite as our backdrop. 

There are no trees to give shade when the sun would be scorchingly hot except this small make-shift hut made from bamboo and recycled tarps. But it looked broken and no longer taken cared of. 😦

So, where is Mt. Naupa?

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There is Mt. Naupa! 

When we reached the upper campsite, the kids told us that Mt Naupa is the eminent mountain in the area. We asked them if we could climb it, but they said it would be dangerous because it’s rocky and the soil is loose. So we have to just settle on the camp area and just look at the mountain while it’s standing proud in front of us. Sigh!

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It’s better in the mountains. 

We were just fortunate to have the mountain solely. We were able to take pictures to our contentment. We even had the trending “mannequin challenge” at the top which was posted on Facebook by yours truly (if you’re following us).

After an hour of resting, the sun started to get hotter… we decided to pack our things and go down. When another kid came and told us that there is a waterfall near. Us, feeling hot and wanting to take a dip in a cold water, immediately headed to the falls following the kid.

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After 3 mountains. 

We came across corn fields and other forms of vegetations. The first 30 minutes was fun and full of talking… when we noticed we already passed three mountains and we did not arrive to the said falls yet. Guess what???? Yeah, you’re right.

We were lost!!!

And yeah, it’s another story! (ahahah) Know what happened on our next entry. 🙂

Despite being lost and going around all the mountains in Naga, Cebu…we still went home with CONTENTMENT and FULFILLMENT in our heart. These pictures may not tell you how happy we were with our adventure we know in our selves, we had so much fun!

 

Expenses: (Below are the general expenses, food expense is not included for you may have different preferences.)

Bus fare: Php60/person  (minimum for airconditioned bus) 

Motorcycle Fare: Php50/person (going up)

Motorcycle Fare:  Php50/person (going down)

*Guide Fee: Php300/5 people (according to guests’ account)

Bus Fare: Php60/person (airconditioned bus) 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as we had fun climbing Mt. Naupa. Stay tuned for our next entry.

‘Til next climb!!!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

 

 

First in Cebu — The Sky WaterPark

Beaches are a whole lot of fun. After all, who does not like the feel of the salt and the sand, resist surfing the waves, hopping islands or just go circles on a jetski? But sometimes, all you want to do is drop down a nice water slide and into a pool with a big splash.

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Finally, the country’s first and only waterpark built above ground and on top of a mall — The Sky Water Park Cebu. Located in an open-air space on the 6th floor of J Centre Mall, Mandaue, adjacent to the 583-room Toyoko Inn Hotel. This new leisure place offers panoramic views of Mandaue, Lapu-lapu and some parts of Cebu city. A perfect destination for people who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle on the ground.

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Happy Birtday, Ate K!

Before we proceed, I’d like to greet this cute little girl — Krexea Maurel a happy, happy birthday!!! If not because of her, this post wouldn’t be possible. Special thanks also to Xelanne and Mark for letting Ace tag along. I wish I was there. You guys are awesome! 

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Note: I wasn’t personally there, so I’m just relying on my husband’s telling and a little bit of Google’s help, too.

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Ate K at 3.

This sky waterpark covers 4,200 square meters/45,208 square feet of rooftop space. The resort features a water playground with pool and a water house complete with water slides, climbing nets, a giant tipping bucket and other interactive water elements.

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Ace feeling like a kid.

It has also an infinity edge pool with jacuzzi. They have sun loungers and cabanas for resting. They also offer food and beverage service by the pool area.

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When viewed above, the main pool was actually shaped like Cebu’s famous guitar. Too bad we don’t have a drone to show you that. 😀

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The resort also has a dining and entertainment area, a gift shop, spa and other concessionaire outlets.

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Waterparks are very popular in Asian countries like Japan and Korea. It’s great to know that Cebuanos are embracing booming theme parks like this. This waterpark as well is the second resort-type development in the city after the Westown Lagoon in Mandaue Reclamation Area.

Here are some photos Ace took at the place:

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The infinity edge pool overlooking the city. 
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Hubby and Ate K with the Toyoko Inn Hotel on the backdrop. 
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Hubby having a good time at the water house. 

With a location in the middle of the bustling metropolis, this Sky Waterpark is a destination you shouldn’t miss. It’s also an ideal place for social functions, corporate events and other special events.

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The Sky Waterpark Cebu. 

For other details and queries, visit SKYWATERPARK CEBU website by clicking here. (Click me!)

Location: 6th Floor (Roof Deck), J Centre Mall, 165 A.S. Fortuna Street, Bakilid Mandaue City 6014 Cebu, Philippines

Tel. Nos: + 63 32 350 9111 or + 63 32 350 9552

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

What To Do In Camotes Island – Travel Guide (Updated 2019)

Island days, island ways, caves, sand, and sunny rays! 

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The sea, sand, sun and me.

Who does not love an island getaway to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? I don’t think there’s any of us here. Have you heard about Camotes island? I suggest you include it on your list.

CAMOTES ISLAND – “The Lost Horizon of the South”

“Camotes” means sweet potatoes in the Filipino language. The island was named after that because that was the main crop that farmers grow there. This is just one of the 7,107 islands the Philippines has, and one of the most beautiful. It is also called “the lost horizon of the South”. As to why I don’t know. 🙂

Camotes Islands comprises three major islands. They are Poro, Pacijan, and Ponlon. The main islands of Pacijan and Poro are connected by a 1.5-kilometer-long causeway.

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How to get there?

Camotes is located in the eastern coast of the mainland Cebu. It is two hours away by boat from Danao Port.

From Cebu North Bus terminal, ride a bus going to Carmen or you can catch a multicab or a jeepney with Danao route. It is easy to find them, Danao cabs are numbered 27 on their body. The fare is 35 pesos. If you prefer airconditioned transportation, you can catch a V-hire from the SM terminal. The fare is 50 pesos. Tell the driver to drop you off at Danao Port.

When you reach Danao Port, you can buy a ticket for 220 pesos and 5 pesos for the terminal fee. Be there an hour before your desired boarding time if you don’t have a ticket yet because the line could be very long especially during peak season (March-May and November-January). The ride is approximately two hours, and you will arrive at Consuelo Port. Upon arrival, there are motorcycles and jeepneys for hire that offers hotel transfer for 50 pesos each. You can also rent a motorcycle for 500 pesos for a half day tour. You can choose to either drive it yourself or let the driver be your tour guide. (Some hotels offer motorbike for rent, too. Some also offer tour packages.)

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Where to stay:

There are plenty of hotels around and some locals also open their houses for backpackers. If you prefer, you can bring your own tent. Bear in mind that these hotels are no 5 stars.

Here are some of the famous places to stay on the island:

  • Santiago Bay Garden Resort
  • Mangodlong Rock Resort
  • Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort
  • Keshe Beach Resort
  • Sunset Vista Resort
  • Bellavista Mare Resort 
  • Flying Fish Resort 
  • Swiss Lagoon Restaurant and Hotel 

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What to do on the island?

We personally suggest touring the island with a motorcycle. The famous spots are accessible and easy to find. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals if you think you’re lost. 🙂

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Here are some of the places you should visit on the island:

1.Baywalk Plaza

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It is just a few meters away from Consuelo Port and is situated in San Fransisco town. It’s a small plaza or park, perfect for a picnic or you could just take a leisure walk around. The market is also near.

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2. Buho Rock Resort

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Don’t miss cliff jumping in Buho Rock. I attest you’ll regret not jumping. 😀

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3. Timubo Cave

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Next stop, is the famous Timubo Cave. You can opt to take a dip in the cold water inside the cave which is believed to heal illness.

4. Chasing the Sunset at Mangodlong Rock Resort

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The island has a nice view of the sunset if you knew the right place to witness it. For us, Mangodlong Rock Resort was that perfect spot.

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5. Lake Danao – Water Activities

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If you’re into water activities, you should not miss Lake Danao Park. Try their kayaking, water balloon, and etc. They also have horseback riding.

6. Kanlingiw Garden and Pool

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Have your snack at Kanlingiw Garden just beside Lake Danao Park. They have this mini-zoo, too.

7. Paraiso Cave

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Another cave, you want? Drop by Paraiso Cave, too.

8. Santiago Bay

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Feel the fine, white sand on your feet and the salt on the air at the beach. Santiago Bay is a public beach which means it’s for everyone.

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Look at this wide beach.

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Perfect for people who are afraid of the deep water. And just want to get tanned.

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There are several restaurants on the beach, too. Just in case you get hungry after a long day. They serve Filipino dishes and kinds of seafood.

There are still a lot of places we need to discover on the island. And hopefully, in our next visit, we’ll get to explore them. 🙂 

(Update: May 2019) 

Here are new points of interest in the island this year. 

  • Amazing Cave

  •  Tulang Diot Island

  •  Busay Falls

  •  Bukilat Cave

 

Here’s the list of our expenses (Ace and I shared budget but I’m writing individual expenses for you) :

Day 1

  • Fare (Mandaue-Danao Port) – Php 30
  • Boat ticket (Danao-Camotes) – Php 180
  • Terminal fee – Php 5
  • Motorcycle fee (Php 600/2) – Php 300
  • Buho Rock Resort Entrance Fee – Php 20
  • Timubo Cave Entrance Fee – Php 25
  • Lake Danao – Php 15
  • Kayaking Fee – Php 50
  • Paraiso Cave – Php 35
  • Mangudlong Rock Resort – Php 20

Day 2

  • Boat Ticket (Camotes-Danao) – Php 180  (economy)
  • Terminal fee – Php 5
  • Pedicab to Danao Terminal – Php 15
  • Jeepney Fare (Danao to Mandaue) – Php 30

Other expenses:

  • Tent Rental – Php 350* (Our friends slept here.)
  • Aircon Room at Bella Vista Mare Resort – Php 1450*

* This is where we slept.

** Food expenses are not included here because we have different preferences. Rest assured, food in Camotes Island is of reasonable prices.

 

Updated Fare as of May 2019

  • Regular Fare (Php 220 – ec) / (Php 250 – ac)
  • Student (Php 176 – ec) / Php 200 – ac) 
  • Senior, PWD (Php 157 – ec) / (Php 179 – ac)
  • Minor (Php 110 -ec) / (Php 125 – ac)

 

We hope you find this travel guide useful. 🙂

 

‘Til our next wander!

Xoxo, Ace and Demi