So, the adventure continued and we’re feeling so high…
The higher, the closer to heaven.
We feel high…
We felt high… when we learned we were climbing Mt. Kan-Irag through Budlaan.
We felt high… despite the gloomy weather the day before our adventure.
We remained high… although there were only five of us who showed up on the day of our scheduled jaunt.
We felt high… when we started trekking Kabang River and witnessed the mightiness of Budlaan Falls.
We felt higher… when we bathed in the flowing water of Kabang river.
We still felt high… just by eating isaw, and chicken feet bbq for lunch beside a basketball court.
We felt higher… when we continued our quest to the peak of Mt. Kan-Irag.
We felt high… seeing our national animal taking a dip in a muddy puddle under the scorching heat of the sun.
We felt high… as we took a short break and rested our bodies in the grassy field.
We felt higher… when a mother cow chased us and saw her sexy baby posing elegantly in front of our camera.
We still felt high… though our paced slowed down because our bodies were already exhausted.
We felt high… even though we had to take a lot of short breaks to regain our energy.
We felt even higher… when we reached the shoulder of the peak and saw the city below us.
We felt high… as we enjoyed the wonderful view and pointed the trail we passed through.
We felt high… as we realized we’re just a dot in this vast universe.
We felt high… as we contemplated on mundane things that we missed to notice below.
We felt higher… when we were welcomed by the blooming flowers of cogon grass which brought us to a different world.
We even felt higher… as we started walking and making our way through those grass that are taller than me.
We felt SUPER high… when we finally reached the top and saw a beautiful paradise below us.
We felt high… as we rejoiced because we finally reached the peak.
We felt higher… while looking at the clouds and identifying the shapes they formed.
We felt high… talking about life and past experiences.
We felt higher… while dancing to beat of the infamous Despacito and the Shark Song.
We remained high… even until the sun started to set painting the sky a different hue. Even higher… as we argued whether the hue was pink or orange.
Truly, Mt Kan-Irag being the highest peak of the city’s highland, made us feel high as we scaled her wonderful trail. Even looking and reviewing the photos we took during our trek make us feel high. No wonder why most outdoor souls who are always hungry for adventure love to go back to her peak.
After a hiatus, the hubby’s schedule has finally agreed with mine. I had 10 days off from work and Ace also filed a time-off. Because it’s not every day we get this long break, we made sure all of the days are jam-packed with adventures.
So, our second day was set for a trekking through Budlaan Falls in Talamban all the way to Mt Kan-Irag also known as Sirao Peak. With the help of our guide, AJ – The Wandering Soul Scamper and his friend Lakbay Lawin, our plan was made possible.
We agreed to meet-up at Gaisano Grand Mall-Talamban at 9:00 am. And just a few meters away from the mall, we hailed a motorcycle to take us to Barangay Budlaan where the jump-off point is. There, we registered our names and immediately started our trek. Along with Ace and I, was our good friend, Louise.
Our guides suggested taking the river trail because it was more challenging and exciting. We can’t say no to extra challenge, you know. So, as expected we followed the river upstream. Before we arrived at the banks, my heart jumped as I heard a loud cascade which signals the river nearby.
When we arrived, we saw a group of outdoor enthusiasts already enjoying the waters. Our first sight was the infamous heart-shaped waterfall basin. The water was brown and muddy, probably because of the rain on the previous days and nights.
After few minutes, we continued our upstream adventure. We saw more mini-waterfalls along the way. I heard these falls have their names but I can’t tell which is which. Trekking the river involved climbing boulders and jumping from one rock to another, and even crawling if the situation requires. My experience brought me back to our Mulao River adventure.
The sight of a bigger waterfall welcomed us after almost hour of following the river trail. I reckoned it is already the Budlaan Falls. But contrary to what I’ve seen on the internet, the descent of water was stronger and mightier compared to those photos on the web. The water was abundant up there maybe because it had been raining the past days and weeks.
There is a small store where visitors could buy some snacks and fresh buko or coconut fruit. Fresh coconut water is a good source of hydration and electrolytes. And its meat could be a source of energy. We bought one for each of us as we rested in one of the cottages nearby.
We resumed our quest after we finished eating our buko and had our energy replenished. We stopped in front of the mighty falls for a while to take some photos and enjoy its mightiness at the same time.
The vehement pressure of the water was like pulling us as we stood in front of it. The pressure was too strong that the moist was enough to wet our clothes. We did not swim here because we don’t have any idea how deep was the catch-basin now that the water is abundantly flowing.
Instead, we headed to the right side of the waterfall to continue our journey. We climbed a steep slope and cliff, holding only to roots and giant rocks to avoid falling. One wrong step, I would have tripped and fallen down giving me only 30 percent chance of surviving. (Charot!) This trail is not advisable for those who have the fear of height, else you’d end your life here. (Another charot!) 😛
But, really. You must dare! The price is worth it!
You must be wondering what made our adventure serendipitous. It was this water flowing on a steep and slippery slope after that dangerous and risky climb above the main waterfall. Now, I’m not claiming we were the first to discover it because this water trail has been here for a long time ago. But on that day, the water was flowing in a torrential flow.
I could say, we came at the right time indeed, perhaps we’re just lucky.
The water was inviting and it was clearer compared to that of the main falls. Louise and I decided to take a quick dip while the boys were taking a rest. We really enjoyed the cold water. It was a pure bliss from nature, a therapy per se.
After ten minutes of indulging with nature’s therapy, we quickly changed into our dry clothes so we could continue our trek to Sirao Peak. And yes, it was timed because we had to catch the lunch-time. 😛
This is where our Kabang River and Budlaan Falls adventure ends. But we’re sure to come back because we believe “no experience are the same no matter how many times you do it”. 🙂
Stay tuned as we continue our adventure to Mt. Kan-Irag on a later post.
Carmen is known to be home of cold springs. If you need a quick break from the heat in the city, Carmen is your place to go. Head to Durano Eco Farm if you want to swim in the midst of a rainforest or you can simply take a dip in Uragay Spring Resort.
Not too long ago, another cold spring resort opened its home for the public. It is the Middle Earth Spring Resort.
So, the misadventure that we had brought us here. Wait, did I say it brought us to Mangitngit Falls? Yeah, I did. And yes, we’re here!!
So what happened to Mangitngit Falls?
Just a quick lookback in 2007, the falls met a tragic fate — a landslide that took two lives. It resulted to the closure and the prohibition of going or coming near the falls.
Years had passed… the public are now given a chance to see the beauty of this infamous waterfalls again. As Mangitngit Falls opened its door to the people, so as Middle Earth Spring Resort which serves as the living room of the place.
Middle Earth Spring Resort is tucked in lower Natimao-an, Carmen, Cebu. This is the gateway to glimpse Mangitngit Falls.
The resort has three swimming pools. All pools are filled with a free-flowing, non-chlorinated water from the spring where the water from Mangitngit falls was also coming from.
The water is ice-cold. But my niece Ahkirah really had a great time despite shivering from the cold. She really had a great resistance with cold temperature.
While waiting for Ace to finish grilling the fish for lunch, we soaked this bottle of softdrinks in the flowing water.
And, voila!!! That’s an instant chiller! 😀
So, while the hubby was preparing our lunch, I explored the place and looked for the waterfalls. Because admittedly, I was not after the spring resort, I was much more interested with the falls.
I was hoping to get a close shot with it, unfortunately, fences are being put to keep the visitors off and from getting near.
I learned that the falls have three tiers. As much as I want to get a shot of each tiers, it’s not possible not unless you’re willing to take a risk and pay a fine for punishment. 😥
As I continued exploring the place and looked for a nice angle to see Mangitngit Falls, hubby joined me. We went down a stairway that leads to the middle of the forest.
But, the forest is completely tamed, as the stairs was concreted and a viewing deck was made. This is where the visitors could glimpse Mangitngit Falls.
This is already the closest shot one could get because the rest of the area is off-limit. It was like, Mangitngit Falls is dropping proudly. (So near, yet so far, eh?)
Just few meters from the basin of the falls, we noticed this eroded soil. The erosion looked fresh as if it happened just few days ago.
I researched about the closure of Mangitngit Falls several years ago. Geologists had inspected the soil and found out that the rocks surrounding the waterfall are phorus — a soft kind of rock that is prone to landslide.
As much as we wanted to go near, keeping off is for our own good and safety. Perhaps, Mangitngit Falls is made for our eyes only. We personally thought that the prohibition is also beneficial for the falls itself because in this way, the falls would remain safe from the cruel hands of the people.
Nonetheless, we were glad to see the beauty of the falls even from afar. For now, let the visitors just see it this way and settle for the same water in the spring resort. 😀
How to get to Middle Earth Spring Resort?
Ride a bus from the North Bus Terminal. Any buses bound to north will pass by Carmen. Ask the driver to drop you off at the town’s public market. (Fare Php40.) From there, you can hail a motorcycle that will take you to the resort. (Fare is Php35/person.)
Fees and Amenities:
The resort has an entrance fee of Php50 (adults) and Php30 (kids). There are cottages and kiosks for Php400-500. There are tables and chairs for rent for Php200.
The resort also have a karaoke for rent, although I haven’t asked the rental fee.
There is no restaurant in the area. We suggest you bring your own provisions.
We hope you find this post and guide helpful.
Over to you. What do you think about the falls’ prohibition?
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. ❤
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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!
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.
Days are getting hotter, air is getting warmer, everybody’s ready for summer!!!
Everybody is already hyped up for summer. Have you booked your summer getaway, yet?
For people living solo, for those who prefer traveling or spending their summer 2017 alone, it’s not hard to find a perfect place to go. However, for those who wanted to spend it with their family, finding a “family-friendly” resort is not that easy, especially if you have many kids with you. Two important things you need to consider are the rates and the distance of the place. And a place that spells “inexpensive fun”.
Worry no more!!!
Here’s Green Lagoon Park, conveniently located in Canamucan, Compostela, Cebu. (The resort has always been the venue for Ipanema’s Summer SunScream for four consecutive years now.) This resort is big and spacious which makes it ideal for family gatherings and reunions. You can let the kids enjoy swimming in the pool while adults enjoy other ammenities that the resort offers.
Another good thing for this resort, is that they have no corkage fee for food and they have grilling stations that guests can use. In case you don’t bring food with you, they have a restaurant and some concessionaires inside the facility.
Green Lagoon Park’s huge swimming pool only has a depth of four feet. Not for adults who wanted to do their diving thingy but it’s perfect for the kids. The pool also has two slides which I’m sure every kid and kid-at-heart wants.
If you don’t feel like swimming in pool, you can go enjoy the beach, instead. It’s not as beautiful as the beaches in the northern and southern part of the province. The sand is not powdery white, it’s a bit rocky.
Your kids would still enjoy playing on the sand, though. Just please look after them. There are life guards in the area but there’s no harm if we take caution, too.
They also have several rooms for those who wish to stay overnight. These rooms are all air-conditioned and are fully equipped with cable tv, mini fridge, and a cabinet. Each room has a king-sized bed with a private bathroom complete with toiletries. (Rate listed below.)
The resort also has big nipa hut cottages. You can bring your portable music speakers with you because each cottage has its own electrical outlet. (Rate listed below.)
Green Lagoon Park is also a perfect venue for team building. They have a wide area for team-building activities. Other activities in the resort includes volleyball, zipline, jet-ski, banana boat and many more.
How to get there:
Green Lagoon Park is only 27 kilometers away from the city. You can take a jeepney bound for Compostela or Danao in SM City, Cebu or even in Mandaue. (Fare 18-25 pesos.) Ask the driver to drop you off in Green Lagoon Resort. This is just along the main road.
Entrance Fees — Php10 (child) / Php20 (adult)
Cottages — Php500
Rooms — Php1000
No corkage for food except for beverages.
For more information, questions or bookings, you can contact the resort through:
Let’s wander where the WIFI is weak or where there’s no SIGNAL at all.
While everybody’s planning for a beach getaway, we, on the otherhand, found ourselves in the middle of the woods, surounded by mountains, hearing the music not everybody can hear. We’re going back to nature!
Who would have thought a place which was used as a grazing ground for carabaos could give us a total relaxation away from chaotic life in the city? In the outskirts of Argao, lies this wondrous haven called Coal Mountain Resort, a perfect place for those who wanted retreat from the bustling metropolis.
The hubby and I had our post-Valentine celebration (we just need some reason to getaway, you know) in this haven. I was very excited that I booked a room more than a week ahead. Well, I think that was just right because when I called, most rooms were already booked and there were only two deluxe rooms left. The staff whom I talked to said the resort is usually full on weekends especially the family and group rooms. So yah, I suggest to book your rooms ahead.
Our one hour butt-aching motorcycle ride was totally worth it. Admittedly though, when we arrived at the resort, I was kind of “disappointed” as there was no wonderful decoration that would make anybody curious and interested to see what’s inside. The look from the outside was very simple and straightforward.
But, see “never judge a resort by its gate”. 😀
Yet, when we went inside I felt euphoric as I ran towards their viewing deck. It offers a panoramic view of the lush greeneries of the mountains that surrounds the resorts, some of which are part of Dalaguete mountain range. Not to mention the invigorating mountain air, I felt like we were transported to a different world.
I was very excited to roam around to see what other wonders the resort has to offer. So, right after we threw our bags inside the room, I immediately went to explore the place. Look at this wonderful view from our room, don’t you want to wake up everyday for this?
It’s wonderful how the resort mainted its homey environment. It so much felt like I was having a vacation in my grandparent’s house in the countryside. Oh, I could live like this forever.
The resort has three swimming pools, all are fed by free-flowing spring water. But you have to go through the woods to reach the third pool which was the deepest, too.
The first pool is 4ft deep. It is mango-shaped, by the way. It also has a slide for kids or for those who are kids at heart.
Just when you thought you lost your heart, then you realized it’s in the resort. “Buti pa sa Coal Mountain, may heart.” 😛 Behold, the pool with a heart, er, heart shape. The second pool is 7ft deep. There’s a jumping platform if you want to plunk.
The third pool is the deepest. Imagine 16ft deep. I bet one couldn’t swim more than 15 minutes here because it’s just sooooooo cold. The hubby and I are into cold springs but this is the coldest one that we’d been to so far. I did not reach 5 minutes swimming here because my nerves were already freezing. There is also a diving platform on this pool that rises up to 30ft high. Perfect for “buwis-buhay” exhibition.
You have to walk through this canopy walkway in the middle of the woods. It’s quite scary because it was slippery and the steps looked weak. But duh, get that fear out of your system and step carefully. I didn’t expect the hanging bridge to be that far, I honestly felt dizzy before we get to the end of it.
The resort also offered a mining demo which includes exploration of a mining tunnel. It was drizzling during our visit, the soil was wet and muddy, so the hubby decided that we go on full gear with the overall, boots and helmet. But you can opt to just have the helmet and boots if you are not comfortable with the overall. We suggest you try this one. Let’s get to work!
Now, get ready to explore the tunnel that stretches up to 145 meters long and 70 feet below the ground. I swear I was anxious while we were still at the entrance of the tunnel. Seeing the dark and narrow hole, I felt like it’s going to swallow me anytime. But the hubby and the guide were so assuring that I was persuaded to continue.
I can’t tell how happy I was when we were about to exit the tunnel. It was an achievement. Along with that fullfillment was a realization. A miners’ life is no easy. The danger while staying several feet below the ground is already something to be scared of, not to mention stooping for hours. But yeah, I did it!
The one thing I loved during our stay in Coal Mountain Resort was the fact that we were so far from the civilization. Our smartphones were not getting any signals in the area. If not because of the camera, we wouldn’t be using our phones during our entire stay in the resort. It was another perfect moment for the hubby and me to talk about us, our life. At night, we stayed at the balcony and gazed at the stars in the sky while we contemplated about mundane affairs.
And oh, for the first time in a long time I saw fireflies coming near me. It’s rare to see them in the cities.
It was a healing moment — staying outside the room, breathing fresh air and only hearing the sound of the crickets and the night owls. I felt like I was brought back to nature, to the time when there were only trees, water and air.
Our lungs had their dose of cleansing and our eyes were pampered by the green healthy surrounding. We felt so healthy during our two days stay in the resort.
We hope you enjoyed our Coal Mountain Resort story. We’d love to hear yours, too. 😀
Stay tuned for our Coal Mountain Resort travel guide in a later post.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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. 🙂
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.
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.