Gatubod Spring Resort | Review

In a tropical country like ours, cold spring resorts are really helpful to escape the heat. No wonder why mountain resorts are thriving nowadays. One is Gatubod Spring Resort in Compostela, Cebu.

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Gatubod Spring Resort is located in Barangay Basak, Compostela, Cebu. It’s actually just one kilometer away from our house. This resort is owned by the famous Quiño clan in the town who also happens to own Green Lagoon Park.

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The Resort:

The resort has three pools. The first pool is what welcomes you upon entering. It has a depth of 7ft. The second pool is the kids’ pool which also serves as the launching pool for the slides. The third one is the widest and has a depth of 2ft to 6ft. It also has a mini waterfall for those who wanted a water-massage.

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The resort has two long slides that guests could enjoy. As of this writing, they have the longest slide in the northern Cebu. During our last visit, only one slide is operational due to some accidents and complains about the steepness and shape of the slide.

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There are cottages for rent and tables for rent but no rooms for overnight stays.

No corkage. Grilling station is also available.

They have a wide car park across the resort.

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REVIEW:

Gatubod Spring Resort like Green Lagoon Park is also a family-oriented resort. However, it could be crowded during weekends and holidays. My advice is to book in advance or go early.

They don’t have rooms or at least lockers to leave your important belongings. Therefore, you have to take turns in swimming so someone could look after your things.

The resort doesn’t have a restaurant so better bring your own food. Good thing because there is no corkage fee. 😀

 The staffs are friendly and approachable.

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How To Get There:

*From Sm/Mandaue, just ride a jeepney or bus going to Compostela or Danao. Ask the driver to drop you off in Compostela Public Market or in Guimbal, corner going to Virginia Foods Inc.. There are motorcycles for hire (habal-habal) and will take you to the resort. The travel from the market is 15-20 minutes.

More Information:

 *Entrance Fee — Php30 (Kids) / Php60 (Adult)

*Cottages: Ranges from Php250 – Php500

*No corkage

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I hope you find this review helpful. 🙂 Should you find any mistakes or changes, feel free to contact us or drop us a comment below. We’d appreciate it.

‘Til next time!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

P.S Another post about our Gatubod Spring Resort adventure also appears on Side by Side blog.

Travel Guide | Coal Mountain Resort

In the trees, in the breeze… seek nature’s peace and bliss. 

Hello, everyone! Here’s a travel guide for those who have been asking us how to get to Coal Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu. You can click here if you want to hear our story about our wonderful experience in the resort.

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Ace and Demi’s travel guide to Coal Mountain Resort

Where: The resort is hidden in Barangay Linut-od, Argao, Cebu — a one-hour bumpy motorcycle ride from the town proper.

How to get there: Argao is located in the southeastern part of the province, approximately 67 kilometers from Cebu City.

  • You can reach the town by taking a bus bound to Dalaguete or Alcoy from the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Tell the driver to drop you off at the town proper of Argao. Travel time would take you around one to two hours, bus fare — Php70.
  • From there, hail a habal-habal (motorcycle) to take you to Barangay Linut-od. Travel time is approximately one hour, fare is Php130 (one way) for daytrip. We suggest you book for a back and forth ride because motorcycle going back to the town is scarce in the resort.

What to expect: You can learn about what we did in the resort by clicking the highlighted word. :* Click me!!!

  • The resort has three swimming pools — mango-shaped is 4ft, heart-shaped is 7ft, largest pool is 16ft and has 7ft general depth. In order to get to the third pool, one should walk through the hanging bridge.
  • They also offer aerial adventures like zip-lining and cable car riding.
  • The resort has a coal mining demo which allows guests to explore a sample of a coal mine tunnel that stretches up to 145 meters long and is 70 feet below the ground.
  • There is also a mini zoo in the resort which showcase different bird species, snakes, ostriches, monkeys and more.

Accommodations and Such:

  • They have deluxe rooms good for two to four people with airconditioner, private bathroom with hot and cold shower, and local television. (Php2500/night)
  • The resort also has family rooms for group of 6 to 10 people. (Php1500/night)
  • There are nipa huts for rent, too. It can house 4 to 6 people. (Php1000)
  • One can opt to pitch tents in the camping area as well.
  • The resort also has a function hall that could accommodate 40 to 50 people. (Php1000/day)
  • They also have a multi-purpose covered court for team building activities. (Php1500)
  • For food, they don’t have corkage fees except for softdrinks and beers. The resort also has a restaurant where you can order farm-to-table meal. We personally suggest you try their sinigang soup (it’s savory).

Who to contact:

  • For motorcycle service we suggest our awesome driver Kuya Elias. Reach him through this number: 0908 778 8701. You can negotiate the fare with him if you wish to stay overnight in the resort.
  •  For bookings and other resort information, you can contact them at 0918 965 6081.

Tips and Reminders:

  • Book your rooms at least a week ahead. The resort is usually full on weekends.
  • Always ask the locals if your traveling on a private car because the road to the resort is confusing as there were no signs. Ask, ask and ask.
  • The road going there is bumpy and requires a skilled driver. We personally suggest our driver for you.
  • We suggest you bring a jacket if you wish to star-gaze at night because the temperature drops real low when the evening comes.
  • VERY IMPORTANT!!! The rates and fees above are based on our visit last February 17, 2017. It may change without prior notice. Feel free to notify us if there were any changes.
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Ace and Demi full geared for the mining demo. 

 Love her, but leave her wild.

~~ Articus, To Kill A Mockingbird

 

Until our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

Travel Guide | Catmon River Trekking

We’ve been told to keep this a secret but I just feel that ain’t right.

Whilst the blame that some people are throwing to us, bloggers, I’m still posting this travel guide for those who are interested to experience and discover Catmon. We expect everybody to practice responsible tourism and give others the chance to witness the beauty of the place, too. 🙂 

As promised, a travel guide for our Catmon river trekking adventure.

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Tinubdan Falls in Catmon, Cebu

Where:  The trek started at Barangay Tabili Elementary School. You can choose to trek upstream or downstream depending on your capacity. 😀

How to get there: Ride a north-bound bus in the North Bus Terminal and tell the driver to drop you off in corner Katambisan, Barangay Corazon, Catmon. Travel time should not take more than two hours for moderate traffic. Bus fare from terminal to Catmon — Php78. From corner Katambisan, hail a motorcycle to take you to Barangay Tabili Elementary School. We suggest you meet your guides first before going there and they will make the negotations for you. Motorcycle fare — Php50.

Who to contact: Our awesome guide was Mr Kyno Lim Dumlao. He knows the place like the back of his hands so we suggest you contact him. He also conducts guideship to Mt Kapayas and other destinations that requires extreme adventures. You can reach him through this number: 0999 325 9621 😀 You can also negotiate the fee with him.

Tips and Reminders: **Wear proper clothing and footwear for this activity. **Bring enough water to keep yourself hydrated during the entire adventure. **Expect to plunge in the water so bring your dry bags with you to protect your personal belongings like phones and wallets. **The trek would last more than two hours, you can bring trail snacks with you but be mindful of your trash. **You will be chasing waterfalls, if the place is not what you expected, just enjoy the moment and stop comparing. This place is unique in its own way and that’s what makes it beautiful. **And lastly, LEAVE NO TRACE!!! 😀

Expenses: 

  • Php176  — bus fare (back and forth)
  • Php100 — motorcycle fare (back and forth)
  • Php200 — guide fee

Total: Php456 (Note: This was our individual expense. Food expenses are not included for you may have different preferences.)

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Tinubdan Falls, Catmon

We hope you’ll enjoy trekking the rivers of Catmon as much as we did. We’d love to hear your stories about your adventure, too. Update us! 😀 

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Do In Camotes Island – Travel Guide

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 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 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 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-kilometre-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 an 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 180 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 motorcyle 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 star.

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

  • Santiago Bay Garden Resort
  • Mangodlong Rock Resort
  • Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort
  • Keshe Beach Resort
  • Sunset Vista Resort
  • Bellavista Mare Resort 

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What to do in the island?

We personally suggest to tour 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 in 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 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, waterballoon, 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 by the beach, too. Just in case you get hungry after a long day. They serve Filipino dishes and seafoods.

 

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

Here’s the list of our expenses (Hubby and I shared budget but I’m writing an 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 Entance 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
  • 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 are of reasonable prices.

 

We hope you find this travel guide useful. 🙂

‘Til our next wander!

Xoxo, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osmeña Peak | Travel Guide.

The ones who climb mountains don’t wait for permission, they just start walking. ~Trinity Bourne

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The summit of Osmeña Peak.

A post about our climb to Osmeña Peak last May also appeared on Side by Side. You may want to check it out. 🙂 

Where is Osmeña Peak?

It is the highest peak among the Mantalungon mountain ranges. Nestled in the Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu and rising approximately 1,000 meters above sea level, making it the highest peak in the island. It is  named after the famous Osmeña clan of Cebu. It gives 360-degree view of Cebu coastline including the islands of Bohol and Negros.  Just a one to two-hour bus ride from the city.

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How to get there? 

From Cebu City South Bus terminal, catch the bus going to Bato or Oslob via Dalaguete. (Their first trip is 1:30am.) Tell the driver’s assistant (konduktor) to drop you off at Dalaguete-Mantalungon junction. Travel time lasts one to two hours depending on the traffic condition. The fare is only Php101.

From there, ride a motorcycle to Mantalungon Public Market which will cost you Php50-Php75. They can also drive you up to the foot of the peak for Php100 pesos each. (In our case, we started our trek from the market because we arrived too early.)

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What to do there?

It is just a mountain peak, so there is nothing much to do there. But you will be captivated by the 360-degree view of the island and get to enjoy the sunrise with the foggy surrounding. (That is if you are early.) Prepare to be amazed how great is God’s creation. You can have range hopping if you want and just allow yourself to be one with the nature.

Others choose to camp there. There is a camping area set for those who wanted to stay overnight.

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Where else to go?

Mantalungon is the vegetable basket of Cebu, so you can tour to the local’s vegetable farms. In our case, we went to Dalaguete proper and proceed to Obong Spring.

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The Gang!

Travel tips:

Travel light and bring a lot of water. Wear proper climbing attire especially your footwear. If you plan to stay overnight, bring your own tent and make sure to bring a thick jacket or coat to protect you from extreme cold. Beware of the drivers asking you more than the exact fare.

The lot to the crest is privately owned, thus there is a Php30 entrance fee. You can hire a tour guide at the registration area, but the trail to the peak is pretty established so we prefer not to. Just watch your steps. Remember that you are climbing a mountain, some rocks are lose.

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We vow to climb mountains together! 

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on you way! ~Dr. Seuss

We hope you find this travel guide helpful. 🙂

 

’til our next wander! Keep safe!