OSLOB, CEBU: An Ultimate South Cebu Escape

Thursday. 7:45 PM. It was drizzling when we flew from Davao City to Cebu. I was a bit worried a low pressure area that day would ruin my most anticipated South Cebu journey. Luckily, it was a fine weather that welcomed us as we landed Mactan International Airport. As I gotten out of the plane, the humid evening breeze was the first thing that I sensed. “Alas, I’m back at Sugbu again!” I mumbled to myself. As soon as we gotten out of the airport, we hurried to a cab to bring us to Cebu South Bus Terminal. Twenty minutes later, we found ourselves sitting at the comfortable seats of Ceres Liner heading to our first destination in South Cebu – the Municipality of OSLOB.

I was mixed emotions while traveling down south of Cebu. I have been to the Island Province for quite a few times now but exploring its southern countryside would be my first. Among the many enticing stories I heard about South Cebu, it is the coastal town of Oslob that convinces me to travel and explore this part of the province. From my research, Oslob teems with different destinations a travel enthusiast like me would love to go. Knowing that, there was a kind of unfathomable excitement that consumed me. In fact, I was wide awake during the course of the 2½-hour travel trying to figure out what was there hidden in the darkness.

It was almost midnight when we arrived at Oslob. We dropped off right at the very gate of the resort we will be staying for the night, the quaint Garden Stay Resort just situated along the highway of the town. It is a very charming little resort with a fresh and tranquil ambiance that pervades an intimate atmosphere of serenity and comfort. The rooms are complemented by fabulous finish and stylish furniture. If the main entrance of Garden Stay Resort faces the highway, I was amazed to find out its backyard faces a charming white sand beach. While inside, I can hear the waves splashing on the shores. I slept the night away with those soothing sounds of the waves tickling my ears. Ahhhh, beach life it is in Oslob!

We woke up early the next day to prepare ourselves for the most anticipated activity one can do these days in Oslob – the whale shark watching. From the Garden Stay Resort, we headed straight to the Whaleshark Briefing and Orientation Center located in Barangay Tan-awan about 15 minutes ride from the town proper. Briefing and orientation is a requisite before diving or snorkeling with the whale sharks they locally called Tuki. With only Php 500.00 fee, we got to encounter face to face with gentle giants of Oslob. (My encounter with the whale sharks of Oslob will be tackled in full account on my next post.)

From our tiring yet breathtaking encounter with the Tukis, we headed off Tumalog Falls about 15 minutes away from Barangay Tan-awan. Also called by the locals as Toslob Falls, it is a beautiful waterfalls nestled in the mountains of Barangay Tumalog. It has different waterfalls features so picturesque to behold. At one side, the waters dropping from a towering height fall directly to the natural pool while on the other side the waters cascade from mini-multi-tiered levels – such a marvelous God’s creation! Seeing it, I became so excited. I ran to the pool and dipped into its cold refreshing waters.

The moment I soaked myself into the cold waters of Tumalog Falls, I instantly felt refreshed. I was like a child enjoying the pouring rain showers from heavens. More than these refreshing waters, Tumalog Falls retains its natural beauty. Though it is slowly eyed to become one of the main tourist attractions of Oslob, it is aptly developed as an eco-tourism site without hurting its natural allure.

From Tumalog Falls, we headed back to the town center to visit the Heritage Sites of Oslob. Not known to many, this southern coastal town of Cebu shared a very colorful historical past during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines. Proofs to that are those heritage sites admirably preserved around the town center.

THE OSLOB HERITAGE TRAIL
(inscribed on the stones are as follows)

CUARTEL. This unique structure was built through the effort of El Gran Maestro Don Marcos Sabandal to serve as barracks for Spanish Armies but was halted during the arrivals of American in 1899. The coral stones used for its constructions came from remnants of the collapsed floor of the Church Bell Tower. The walls of the structure which measures 19 centimeter thick still stand. The façade built of coral stones features a double row of arches.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH CHURCH. The foundation of the Church was laid on May 4, 1830. The church plan was drawn by Bishop Santos Gomes Marañon, the same prelate who had the kiosk of Magellan Cross in Cebu City constructed. The site was chosen by Fr. Julian Bermejo since it has a bigger size for settlement and at the same time to replace the destroyed church of Daanlungsod, and officially became and independent parish on January 8, 1847. A fire destroyed the church on November 7, 1955. It was restored but was hit again by fire on March 26, 2008. The church was completely restored once again on December 10, 2010.

CHURCH WALLS AND GATES. The Church walls and gates were constructed in 1875 to serve as one of the defense frontlines of the complex against the Moro Marauders. The wall features a series of pyramid top piers that gives a unique townscape component to the old street of Aragones and Eternidad. Some of its part has an inscription indicating the name of the street and the year of its construction.

Having gone whale shark watching, waterfalls trekking and visiting heritage sites, I felt like Oslob alone completed my South Cebu journey. In fact, I now consider it “An Ultimate South Cebu Escape”. Experiencing its enticing attractions was a very good start of my Southern Trip to the province of Cebu. It was a welcome taste of what to expect in this charming part of the province. But of course, just as always said, there is more to see, more to explore in this once sleepy town and the whole South Cebu!

I can sit here all daylong fascinating myself with the coastal beauty of Oslob!

Suroy na! Suroy sa Oslob na!

THE TRAVEL TELLER JOURNEYS TO SOUTH OF CEBU

My dream of experiencing again another Island of Endless Delights recently happened when I journeyed to the beautiful Island Province of Cebu. Only an hour’s flight away from my home city of Davao, Cebu Province is one of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines so rich in cultural and historical legacy, abundant in nature, and filled with pleasant discoveries. A paradise for sun worshipers and holiday makers, I traveled far to this part of the country to be captivated by the Natural Wonders and Historical Heritage of the southern part of Cebu Province. Thus, another travel series to chronicle asThe Travel Teller Journeys to South of Cebu”.

The southern part of Cebu Province is comprised with 18 municipalities and 3 components cities namely the municipalities of Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Argao, Badian, Barili, Boljoon, Dalaguete, Dumanjug, Ginatilan, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Oslob, Ronda, Samboan, San Fernando, Santander and Sibonga, and the component cities of Carcar, Naga and Talisay. These are equally charming places where every explorer like me can relish a diversity of destinations, great outdoor activities and colorful events.

Out of the 21 towns and cities of Southern Cebu, 8 of these spectacular places were part of my journey. These 8 equally worth visiting towns teems with wonderful discoveries that include rich history and culture, lush tropical surroundings, stretches of unspoiled white sand beaches, exciting outdoor and nightfall activities that I did not miss to experience and explore in three days.

THE TRAVEL TELLER’S SOUTH CEBU PHOTO TEASERS

From the Provincial Capitol of Cebu, join me as I chronicle my surreal encounter with gigantic whale sharks of Oslob, my amazement seeing the ancient relics of the historical town of Boljoon, my quick visit to the long stretch of white sand public beaches of  Alcoy, my exciting ascend to Osmeña Peak, the highest point in the whole Province of Cebu located in Dalaguete, my visit to the heritage park of Argao, my spiritual journey to Simala Church in Sibonga, and my food trip in Carcar.

More than its history that goes way beyond 439 years ago when the island became a province at the start of the Spanish colonization; the Province of Cebu is undeniably the best Island Province to visit in the Philippines. With its variety of destinations and great selection of outdoor activities, Cebu is a place for all seasons.

Having recently journeyed to South of Cebu, I feel like I have traveled back time reliving its rich culture and historical legacy. Moreover, experiencing the thrill of its natural wonders is way too exciting until now it captivates me. It is a beautiful travel story to tell.

TRAVELING TO CEBU: One may think exploring the Province of Cebu is way too expensive. My recent trip proves that it’s not! All you have to do is to be a little wiser. Most of the places I visited in the coastal towns of the province are free. There are environmental fees and entrance fees though but they are reasonably priced. If you are traveling all the way from Europe, most of the budget will go on the flight tickets but once you arrive it’s not like you need to ask for a credit to enjoy. Of course, for those far-away international travelers that didn’t book with enough time in advance and didn’t find a nice deal, asking for a credit might be one option. You can get a free credit report here and make sure that you get the best deal available for your financial needs. But of course, more than those expenses, every destination you’ll get to explore in this province is worth every penny you spend. It is worth your hard earned money! So, travel to the Island Province of Cebu. Let it captivate you!

This is “THE TRAVEL TELLER’S JOURNEY TO SOUTH OF CEBU: The Travel Series”.

MEET THE TRAVEL TELLER

WELCOME! You’ve just come across a travel journal of Traveling Nomad that hopes to chronicle series of humble travels and exciting journeys to the best kept secrets of the 7,107 Island of the Philippines and perhaps the world. My name is OLAN and I am your humble “Travel Teller”.

The Travel Teller is also a Shutter Bug.

Cliché, life is a journey. A voyage. So does mine. I believe there is a “traveler” in all of us waiting to be ignited. Waiting to be pushed. But once it fired up, it is incredibly unstoppable. The travel continues. The travel goes on and on. And on. Believe me, I’ve experienced all these. [Read more…]