Nine Things To Do in South Cebu
To make matters more convenient, I rounded up all the places visitied and activities did during the 3-day trip to South Cebu. This list will give you a glimpse of countless delights the southern section of the island has to offer. I’ll let you decide what’s hot or what’s not.
1. On Top of Cebu
Immense mountain ranges and rolling hills tower over the island of Cebu, but Osmeña Peak of Dalaguete dominates above them all. Surprisingly, the 1,013-masl mountain is one of the most easiest to climb which leaves you no reason not to take a “peak”.
2. Beneath the Earth
Underneath Cebu’s giants lie sophisticated cave systems – some are explored, others still uncharted. This interesting vertical cave in Dalaguete called Kulabyaw (which is actually the only one I’ve been to) is said to go all the way to Negros, the island opposite Cebu, and someone already made it. How far/long? I’m not sure.
3. Go deep.
Cebu’s flourishing marine ecosystem made the province a world class dive destination. Moalboal‘s underwater beauty is reputed as one of Cebu‘s finest that’s why divers from all over the world pay a visit to the town – some actually never left. On the opposite coast, Tan-awan, a fishing village of Oslob, gained huge number in tourist influx since the first whale shark sightings until today.
White Beach of Brgy. Bas Dako, Moalboal.
4. Sunny Side of South Cebu
Cheer up, beach bummers, South Cebu is not for divers alone, this part of the island offers beaches equally splendid like those in the north. Moalboal’s Bas Dako, perhaps -a white sanded beach stretching for 2 kilometers. And Sumilon Island, oh, I’m going to get my hands (feet) on you when I get back.
Kawasan Falls of Brgy. Matutinao, Badian.
Tumalog Falls of Tumalog, Oslob.
5. There’s Something About This Body of Water
This one is for all nature lovers out there. South Cebu’s innumerable waterfalls will take you a step closer to the arms of Mother Nature. Each waterfalls possesses a unique characteristic – Kawasan Falls‘ unbelievably clear water, or maybe the raw beauty of Tumalog Falls. If you’re looking for the Cebu’s highest, go to Barili and check out Mantayupan Falls.
Cuartel of Poblacion, Oslob.
6. History class
Boljoon‘s Escuela Catolica and Oslob‘s Cuartel are only few among the numerous well-preserved heritage attractions of South Cebu. Aside from its classic architectural designs, stories behind these decades or centuries-old attractions makes them more fascinating. Learning history through books and lectures within the confines of a classroom is one thing, but seeing these pieces of history, being there, it’s a whole new experience which makes you understand the past even more – way more.
7. Visita Iglesia
You’ll never go wrong in South Cebu if you have a fascination with centuries-old churches like Parish Church of Immaculate Conception of Oslob, San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church of Dalaguete, or maybe Patrocinio de Maria Church Complex of Boljoon which is one of my personal favorite. But you must also know that every town has its own church, so you’ll probably need an entire day to visit each in South Cebu alone.
8. Watch out for watchtowers
Moro raids has been a problem throughout Spanish-era so a friar named Julian Bermejo created a defense network throughout South Cebu’s coastline using a series of watchtowers. These defensive structures can still be found in Boljoon, Oslob, and Dalaguete. These watchtowers reminded me of the scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King wherein the beacons were lit to ask the aid of Rohan, and King Theoden uttered, “And Rohan will answer“. It gives me goosebumps. Ok, not related at all.
One of the many lechon stalls in Carcar Public Market.
9. Cebu ain’t Cebu without lechon
First, I want to say I’m no food expert. Second, I haven’t tried each lechon Cebu has to give but Carcar City’s lechon baboy has a salty flavor unique from other lechon’s that I tried. I seek the advise of Facebook and Twitter followers where to eat in South Cebu and the name Carcar City stood out. So at first, I was just thinking, “It’s probably just another lechon”, but it’s not. It’s hard to explain so just try it when you get there. It’s in the public market, ask around.
Don’t limit yourself with this post. In fact, these attractions are only the tip of the ice berg. Canyoneering in Badian, staying in Sumilon, visiting all the churches, exploring caves are only few of the many reasons why I should hit the road south once again. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to make the most out of every trip, whether its a day trip or year long backpacking adventure. What matters most is the learning experience and the people you travel with or met along the way – these are the things which makes every journey truly unforgettable.
Bonus: Basic Bisaya
Though my roots came from Cebu, I was born and raised as Tagalog in Rizal Province, and we didn’t really converse in Bisaya at home. It was just recently, when I frequently visit Bantayan and spent much time there when I started learning local dialect but only a bit and still needs a lot of improvement. I listed down super basic words/phrases that I find very helpful when I go around Cebu, and even some places in the Visayas.
- “Tig-pila ini?” or “Tig-pila?” or just “pila?” – a very useful phrase when you’re paying something. Tig-pila ini translates to “How much is this?” or in Tagalog, “Magkano ito?” Sometimes the pronoun, “this” (translates to “ito”) is omitted so it’s just plainly, “tig-pila” or use the slang, “pila” which is “How much?”. The word “pila” however could also refer to quantity.
- “Lugar lang” – equates to the Tagalog, “Para”, when you get off the jeep or the bus. I was riding a multicab (the local jeepney) in the city, and I was supposed to get off at my hotel but the jeepney driver didn’t stop until a good Samaritan uttered the words, “Lugar lang daw”, and it pulled over. From that day on, I learned how to utilize those words.
- “Daghang salamat” – Everyone knows “salamat” means “thank you” but add another word it givers the phrase much more gratitude – and it sounds Bisaya. Daghan means many and “Daghang salamat” means “Thank you very much”.
- “Barato” – yes, that word. Barato is a Spanish term adopted also in Bisaya, which means “cheap”. Barat in Tagalog translates to kuripot or cheapskate. Check out BiyaherongBarat.com
- “Gwapa” – this one is my favorite. The best adjective to describe Cebuanas. Gwapa means “beautiful”
There you have it. It’s not much but hopefully these may come in handy on your next visit to Visayas.
1. More destinations in Biyaheng Cebu
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5. Enjoy and have a safe trip.