It’s has been my third time being in this lovely place of Cebu but the feeling of excitement is still above the roof. There is something special about this place, in fact, Cebu holds a special place in my heart. This is where it all began, it ignites the adventurous side of myself. Located in Central Visayas, Cebu is considered as the oldest city and first capital in the Philippines. Just like in Manila, its City is the main centre for commerce, trade and education. In fact, they named its economic growth as “Ceboom” which combines “Cebu” and “Boom”.
Aside from luxury hotels, malls and tall buildings, Cebu is also rich in heritage sites, architectural monuments, historical sites and white sand beaches which attracts tourists all over the world. Not only that, Cebu also has various activities such as scuba diving, tandem skydive and canyoneering for tourist who are looking for an extreme adventure.
he last time I’m in Cebu, I explored the south part of it which includes Canyoneering in the Kawasan Falls, scuba diving and whale shark watching in Oslob and Moalboal. I had so much fun seeing new places and meeting different people. This time, I planned to explore the north part and check it’s the stunning beach of Bantayan Island. Unfortunately, because of bad weather, I have to change my itinerary. On the first day of my Cebu expedition, typhoon “Samuel” hit the main land. This caused temporary closure of all ports coming in and out to Cebu City, it may looks like the end and total waste of my vacation but it’s not. I have to create plan B and here in Cebu it is easy to have one. Visiting again the south part is the best thing to do for my opinion even in rainy days. In fact, waterfalls are alive during rainy season. So there it is, I present to you guys the unplanned or last-minute changed trip of my trip in Cebu and Bohol. I hope my 4 days / 3 nights vacation helps you in your itinerary.
Where did I stay in Cebu / Bohol?
There are lots of hotel and backpacker style accommodation in the City, make sure to check and search first the place in the map. Find a place that has easy access to public transportation and near markets / stores. I stayed in Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia branch, I booked thru Traveloka which costs Php1,053 (November, 2018) per night. The room is good for 3 persons with no breakfast included but they have restaurant in the lobby. The food meal cost at around Php100.00 to Php180.00 and can be delivered to your place.
The room is nothing fancy but comfortable enough to stay with and the staff is accommodating and cheerful. For other necessities, the place is near to 24/h convenient store. For DIY’ers out there, the place is strategically good for accommodation. It is literally a 5-minute walk to ‘Magellan’s cross’ and ‘Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu’. This two tourist attraction is included in the itinerary for Cebu city tour.
In my trip to Bohol, I stayed in Aliria Bed and Breakfast. A 10-minute trike ride from the Tagbilaran port. I also booked thru Traveloka which cost me Php1,200.00 (As of November, 2018) per night. The room is good for 3 persons and the wooden furniture and fixture added a rustic vibes to the place. Though, I were not able to explore the place because of tight schedule in our tour but I really recommend the place to everyone.
What to do in Cebu / Bohol?
There are tons of activities that you can do and places to visit in Cebu, but here are the things that I did during my vacation.
Day 1 – South Cebu tour
Situated in the mountains of Badian, an enchanting adventure awaits to those adventurer who likes to get wet and wild. Don’t get me wrong, trekking and jumping through a series of waterfalls can get wildly fun. Upon arriving at the entrance gate, an environmental fee amounting to Php45.00 per head will be collected. You have to log your name in their registration area and if is heavily raining they will require each group to have a guide. During heavy rains, local authority prohibits visitors to swim or do the canyoneering for safety purposes.
The adventure is great, we might not be lucky to go for the canyoneering but experience is still lovely. The place is child friendly and perfect for family get together and outing. Most guest will probably spend half day to enjoy the place like I did but if given with an opportunity to stay longer like overnight, I’ll definitely do it.
Imagine a castle built on top of a mountain, with huge and tall walls that you can walk through it. Imagine seeing and feeling that personally? Excited err? Simala Shrine Church is located in Sibonga, Cebu, it is an hour drive from Badian and usually included in the south Cebu tour package. Many visitor doesn’t know that the place is miraculous and sacred. Inside the monastery, you can find a gallery of letters from locals and guests who were believed to have been miraculously been healed or wish that has been granted. To support that, there are pictures of wheelchairs, sling, medical certificates and even graduation robes from devotees whom prayers were answered. The place also has museum containing different statues and replicas of Mother Mary.
Typically, when I go to a church or shrine, I look for the place to light a candle and say my prayers. Even though the schedule is tight, I really wanted to push this through not only to see the awesome structures and jaw dropping landscape design but to pray and thank God for all the blessings and opportunity that He has given to me. It has been a typical to all Filipinos to visit religious places when they travel. The one thing that I am really proud of doing every single journey that I had.
Day 2 – DIY City Tour.
Getting around Cebu is easy especially with the technology that we have. If you are planning to do a DIY city tour I suggest you use Waze or any navigation maps. Just plan your itinerary carefully to avoid hassle along the way.
Magellan’s Cross and Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino
Since the place is just a 5-minute walk from the accommodation, I decided to visit this two tourist spots. It is also strategic thing to do if you want to experience the place with lesser crowd. One of the icon in Cebu is the famous Magellan’s cross which was built by Spanish and Portuguese explorer way back year 1521. The Christian cross belongs to Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino and situated just right next to it.
Fort San Pedro
Fort San Pedro is a former military structure way back during Spanish Era. It was founded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a conquistador that serves as Spanish settlement. Filipino revolutionaries attacked the place and took over in the 19th century. It was believed as the oldest fort in the Philippines. Today, Fort San Pedro serves as a park and museum where visitors can learn a lot of things regarding history of Cebu during Spanish era.
Sirao Flower Farm
Known as “Mini Amsterdam”, Sirao farm is the newest attraction in Cebu. Located near JY, Lahug, it’s getting popular and is included in the city tour package offered by travel agencies. From the name itself, the place is literally surrounded by colorful and various kinds of flowers. Tourists and guests can enjoy a relaxing view of the surrounding mountain. Locals also built a pool on top but currently closed as of my visit (November, 2018). Also as an added attraction, they placed an elevated concrete pedestal that mimic a hand by which guests can use to take photos and selfie. There are areas and facilities that are still under construction and as per locals, they are preparing the place for the 2019 summer vacation.
Next time you go to Cebu, make sure to visit Sirao flower farm. And if you are in DIY mode, I suggest that you follow my itinerary to avoid hassle during your trip.
Temple of Leah
Located in Brgy. Busay, Cebu City, the temple is less than an hour drive from the city. It is owned by a Filipino named Teodorico Adarna to show his undying love and devotion to his wife. A huge infrastructure and sculptures inspired by roman architectures can be witness. The temple also has art gallery and copy of books that his wife love and owned. As a bonus, there’s an outstanding view of the city which I think is good during night time.
If you are looking for a unique place to spend with and longing to experience Rome, this mini version in Cebu is welcome to all guests and tourists.
Day 3 – Bohol tour
Sandugo Blood Compact
To seal the friendship between Spanish conqueror and Filipinos during 1565, the blood compact between two leaders is formed and eventually named as “Sandugo”. The ceremony is led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna. The structure was sculpted by an artist named Napoleon Abueva which consists of five (5) life-sized sculpture of men having a meeting while drinking and eating. This elevated masterpiece also allows guest and tourist to see a spectacular view of the ocean.
The place is just 5-minutes trike from Aliria Bed and Breakfast. You can ask the reception for your transportation needs. There are also souvenir stalls around the area for your pasalubong.
Can you imagine an infrastructure made out of dead animal? In early days, Filipino natives uses eggs and dead coral stones to build. This method was also used in building the Baclayon Church. Established in 1596 by Jesuit priest Juan De Torres and Gabriel Sanchez, the church was finished building in 1717. It took decades for our ancestor to finish it which shows how tedious the manpower is. Sadly, parts of the structure was damaged due to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that happened last 2013 in Central Visayas. It was then reconstructed and was completed in 2017 by National Museum of the Philippines.
Baclayon church or also called as La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church is one of the oldest infrastructure in Bohol and considered as National Cultural Treasure. It was also included in the list as nominee for the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE last 1993.
Located in Baclayon, Bohol, it was a 5-minute drive from the previous stop over, the Sandugo blood compact. I recommend to visit the place and appreciate a bit of history.
Part of the tour is the stopover on Xzootic Animal Park in Agape Loay, Bohol and I felt upset going. The animals are kept in a small dirty cages and I can see that they are stress. The only thing that I like is the butterfly zone where guests can interact with different types of butterflies and moths. If I may suggest, I think it would be best to keep only the butterfly zone. I don’t recommend everyone to support the place yet until they improve the facilities.
Sevilla Twin Hanging Bridge
Crossing the famous Sipatan River is a Bamboo Hanging Bridge called Sevilla Twin Hanging Bridge. It became popular during the shooting of Dolce Amore, a show in a local TV station in the Philippines. A rickety bamboo bridge supported by a steel cable and flooring is made out of split bamboo. A 15-minute ride form Loboc River Cruise and Loboc Tarsier Park.
The locals built two bridges to improve traffic, yes, traffic! And I can’t blame the guests, it is just an extraordinary experience and may take a while to step on a wobbly bridge with a 10 – 15 meters drop to the river. At the end of the bridge is a local residence and a souvenir shop which sells is the cheapest merchandise as per our guide.
Loboc River Cruise lunch buffet
The floating restaurant in Loboc is probably one of the popular tourist activity you can find in Bohol. What a delight cruising one of the cleanest rivers in the Philippines while eating a sumptuous meal. Located at the end of Loay Bridge in Loboc town proper, the lunch service starts at 10:00AM or if the number of guests per boat is reached. The food may not be as great compared to other buffet style restaurant but it is good enough to satisfy your tummy and your eyes. The cruise is also accompanied by a local musicians which adds fun during the tour, you may also request song that you like them to play. The lunch service plus the tour will took 1 to 1.5 hours to finish but I wish it lasted all day. If you happen to visit Bohol, I recommend that you include this in your itinerary.
Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area
Situated in Barangay Upper Bonbon, Loboc town, the area is home for hundreds of endangered Tarsier. A nocturnal species which habitat was being destroyed or captured to be a pet which led to their extinction. Luckily there are facilities like this in Loboc Conversation area that protects this lovely creature. Upon entering, there are entrance fee to be collected and holding area for briefing. A pebbled walkway is developed for visitors to use and for every spot that has resting tarsier on it, there is a staff pointing it for you to see. They also make sure that you follow the instructions given in the entrance area. I truly admire the work and dedication given by the people working on this conservation area, I highly recommend that everyone who will visit Bohol must include this in their itinerary.
Chocolate Hills Viewing Deck
Last in the itinerary is the Chocolate hills viewing deck which is located in Carmen town. The most famous tourist attraction in Bohol because of their characteristics that looks like a chocolate kisses especially during summer where grass is dried and turns the hills into brown. Getting to the view deck is easy and may require a little hike but for seniors and with disabilities, you can still enjoy the view with another viewing deck near the information area. Enjoy and appreciate the beauty of thousands of cone-shaped spreading out in vast field.
- Make sure to fully charge your power bank and gadgets.
- Use basic protection for: skin = sunblock, eyes = shades, hair = cap, feet = good aqua shoes.
- Please observe the golden rule LNT “LEAVE NO TRACE” and CAYGO “CLEAN AS YOU GO”.
- If you are planning to to the Bohol – Cebu tour, make sure that you plan the itinerary. For a day trip in Bohol, I suggest that you book your ferry from Cebu City to Tagbilaran Port. After you Bohol tour, proceed to Tubigon port and book your trip going back to Cebu City. This will make your trip convenient and saves you time.
- Please observe carefully different rules and regulations set by locals.
- 08:20PM Arrived at Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia.
- 07:00AM Preparation and packing up for the South Cebu tour.
- 07:30AM Start DIY tour.
- 09:06AM Arrived at Carcar to buy snacks, a healthy snack, CHICHARON!
- 11:30AM Arrived at Kawasan Falls – Swim and took lunch at nearby restaurant.
- 02:40PM Wash up and left Kawasan falls.
- 04:50PM Arrived at Simla Shrine.
- 05:30PM Depart from Simla Shrine.
- 07:30PM Arrived at the city – Socials and Dinner.
- 07:30AM Checkout at Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia.
- 07:50AM Start of DIY City tour.
- 07:55AM Magellan’s Cross.
- 08:00AM Arrived at Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino.
- 09:00AM Left the Basilica.
- 09:30AM Arrived at PIER 1 to bought one way ticket to Tagbilaran.
- 10:00AM Tour in Fort San Pedro
- 10:15AM Left the fort.
- 11:00AM Arrived at Sirao Farm at stayed for 1 ½ hour..
- 01:00PM Arrived at Temple of Leah and stayed for 1 hour.
- 02:30PM Super late lunch.
- 03:30PM Arrived at Shamrock to bought some souvenir and pasalubong.
- 04:30PM Arrived at Pier 1 – Arranged the return of the rented vehicle and wait for the boarding announcement
- 06:00PM Start of cruise going to Tagbilaran.
- 08:00PM Arrived at Tagbilaran port and rented a tricycle.
- 08:20PM Arrived at Aliria Bed and Breakfast Hotel and took some sleep.
- 06:30AM Hotel Checkout
- 06:40AM Arrived at Sandugo blood compact and stayed for 10 minutes.
- 06:58AM Arrived at Baclayon Church and stayed for 15 minutes
- 07:30AM Reached the Xzootic zoo (Bohol Python – Simply butterflies)
- 08:15AM Left the zoo.
- 08:30AM Arrived at the Sevilla twin hanging bridge and stayed for 30 minutes for picture taking and bought souvenirs.
- 09:30AM Arrived Loboc River cruise lunch buffet. Stayed for 2 hours.
- 12:10PM Arrived at Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area and explored the area for 30 minutes.
- 12:50PM Arrived at the man-made forest and stayed for 10 minutes.
- 01:20PM Arrived at Chocolate hills viewing deck and stayed for 1 hour.
- 03:17PM Arrived at the Tubigon port. Bought one way ticket to Cebu City and wait for the boarding time.
- 05:30PM Arrived at Pier 2 of Cebu City
- Dinner and proceed to airport.
Others – Php 7,200.00
- Php 3,000.00 Car rental fee
- Php 2,500.00 – Car bond fee and to be refunded after the contact is ended.
- Php 2,400.00 2 nights stay at Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia
- Php 1,200.00 1 night stay in Aliria Bed and Breakfast.
- Php 1,700.00 Fuel cost
Day 1 – Php1,500.00
- Php 50.00 Parking fee at Kawasan falls
- Php 45.00 Entrance Fee at Kawasan falls
- Php 300.00 Chicharon bought in Carcar.
- Php 200.00 Guide fee in Kawasan falls.
- Php 300.00 Lunch.
- Php 600.00 Dinner at Zubuchon.
- Php 5.00 Water refill for 1 gallon.
Day 2 – Php735.00
- Php 45.00 Entrance in Fort San Pedro.
- Php 50.00 Entrance Fee at Sirao Farm.
- Php 20.00 Parking fee in Sirao Farm.
- Php 50.00 Entrance fee in Temple of Lea.
- Php 20.00 Parking fee in Temple of Lea.
- Php 150.00 Breakfast
- Php 200.00 Lunch
- Php 200.00 Dinner
- Php 650.00Ferry boat to Tagbilaran
- Php 60.00 Tricycle fee from Tagbilaran port to Aliria bed and breakfast.
Day 3 – Php 4,155.00
- Php 3,000.00 Tour fee – Good for 4 pax.
- Php 50.00 Entrance Fee at Chocolate Hills.
- Php 45.00 Entrance fee at Xzootic Park.
- Php 550.00 Entrance with buffet lunch at Loboc river cruise.
- Php 65.00 Entrance fee at Loboc Tarsier Conservation Area
- Php 310.00 Liteferry – Fare going to Cebu City.
- Php 200.00 Dinner
Total Expenses: Php 13,655.00 (Excluding airfare)
- Edgar Ozon – Facebook PM – Bohol tour.
- +639675694398 – Kuya Bogs – Bohol tour.
- +639155600777 – Kuya Jiggy of CEBU Rent a Car.
- +639958301752 – Aliria Bed and Breakfast
- +63325053979 / +63325053978 – Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia
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