Strange Little Wanderer Goes to Cebu (Final)

Part 3: New Adventures and New Cities

There was a heavy downpour at around 3AM the next day. Good thing it has already stopped when we woke up fully at 6:30 AM. We opted to have an early start for the canyoneering activity because we had to get back to the metro as early as possible.

Arzy’s flight back home is at 5 AM the next day, and we’re planning to meet up and experience the Cebu night life scene with another one of our friends who’s in Cebu City for a work seminar.

The ground was still a little bit wet when we set out so we reminded our driver again to be careful because of what happened the previous day. 🙂

When we reached the jump off point, Ryan helped us strap on our life vests and helmets. We didn’t bring our phones because even with waterproof pouches, they’d still likely be at risk of getting broken.

We weren’t able to have a proper breakfast but there’s a little store there that sells chocolate bars and hard boiled eggs so we had those.

DCIM100GOPROG0373495.
All set?
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Go

The activity starts at Kanlaob Falls and ends in Kawasan Falls. There are also two options: the downstream or the upstream canyoneering. In our case, we did the downstream because we are first timers. Upstream canyoneering involves rock climbing and I think it’s more suitable for more experienced adventurers. Of course, it starts at Kawasan and ends at Kanlaob Falls, the opposite of what we did.

I was super nervous at this point because the first jump is only a few steps away from the jump off point. It is a 15-ft jump and it’s one of the highest required jumps since it serves as kind of a  trail head for the activity. I think there’s another option in case someone cannot jump but it will take more time. I was feeling nervous and, as mentioned in my previous entry, apprehensive because I have this thing against jumping on open water. I’m not scared of heights nor of open water. I’m scared of the jumping itself. Heck, I even hesitate before jumping from a small boat into the water. It’s probably not the weirdest of fears but it’s very annoying.

So as much as I tried to be brave and shit, my legs turned to jelly upon looking down at where I’m going to have to jump.

IMG_5695
WHY did I agree to this??? .
IMG_5693
My friends who aren’t the least bit scared jumped ahead of me. That’s me at the back contemplating my life choices.

At first, the plan was to let Arzy and Pao jump first so that I’ll see them and not get scared. Then I’ll jump, followed by Mac and Johar. So Arzy and Pao went ahead and jumped. BUT I STILL COULDN’T. I then started crying, then at first, my boyfriend was like gently coaxing and encouraging me. But I still wouldn’t jump and there are other groups coming in and jumping already. Then Mac went ahead and jumped. Then a tour guide from another group offered that we jump together and that he’d hold my hand so I wouldn’t hesitate, but I said that I’d get more scared. So he jumped because he has to catch up with his group. Then my boyfriend was sort of getting frustrated because I kept on crying. So he went ahead and jumped, too. Then it was just me with one out of our two tour guides.

IMG_5694
😦

I DID end up jumping…after 30 minutes. Because of my delay, Pao and Arzy have been  in the water for that long a time. Sorry guys! Needless to say, they all cheered when I finally jumped. So we can finally get moving already.

IMG_5653IMG_5654IMG_5657

IMG_5685
The next required jumps are only about this height

The word canyoneering refers to a sport that involves exploring canyons or river canyons by means of different physical activities like walking, climbing, rappelling, boating, and swimming. We didn’t do any rappelling or boating; just A LOT of walking, jumping, bits of climbing, squeezing through narrow rock formations, and swimming. We also did some water sliding, which I obviously enjoyed the most ’cause I’m a child.

IMG_5548
Water sliiideee
IMG_5690
This is where the first slide is

IMG_5660IMG_5663IMG_5664IMG_5665IMG_5666

IMG_5675IMG_5674IMG_5673IMG_5676IMG_5680

DCIM100GOPROG0513596.

IMG_5682

DCIM100GOPROG0473575.DCIM100GOPROG0453573.DCIM100GOPROG0383526.

Then, we came to this area:

IMG_5679

This was where we experienced the last instance of the damned Murphy’s Law. After my boyfriend’s free-fall into the water, Arzy was next and we wanted to get some shots of her. So Mac threw the GoPro (which was of course attached to a mount and a pole) to Johar. Johar caught the pole but the GoPro broke away from the mount and sank underwater. Before my boyfriend realized that the GoPro wasn’t attached anymore, it has already sunk. So our tour guides dove underwater in the exact place where my boyfriend has been, but retrieving the camera wasn’t easy. The water was only like 7 ft but the camera might have gotten stuck between the rocks and leaves underneath. They had to borrow goggles to be able to see clearly so one of our guides had to go back to where we came from. It was a bit scary and amazing at the same time because we saw him run and jump from rock to rock without a helmet like a frickin boss. The retrieval went on for almost an hour, the GoPro was found near the place where my boyfriend had meant to catch it. Still, it was a good thing that it got lost in that area where the water isn’t that deep so finding it was still possible.

Alright time for us to move on now. Murphy, you’ve had your fun.

IMG_5678IMG_5677

IMG_5733IMG_5687IMG_5691IMG_5688IMG_5686IMG_5672IMG_5671IMG_5670

So we arrive at another rock that’s lower than the first required jump. But I couldn’t jump again because it’s only a few meters away from a rock wall.

IMG_5669

So Arzy and I just went around it. Then there’s another rock that we could jump from.

IMG_5668IMG_5667

Halfway through, there are stalls selling barbecues and grilled hotdogs near the cliff of the optional 30-ft jump. Since we were hungry by then, we bought a few barbecues and hotdogs. There’s also rice available. Tourists are encouraged to dispose of the sticks properly and not litter the place.

IMG_5734

Of course I couldn’t jump the 30-ft. But all my friends did. This is what looking down on the 30 ft jump looks like.

IMG_5735

JUMP!

IMG_5739IMG_5738IMG_5737IMG_5740

Whoo!

We did some “squad water formations” in the parts where the water was deeper and wider.

IMG_5659IMG_5658IMG_5741

We then started walking down some wooded areas as we got nearer to the second level of the Kawasan Falls.

IMG_5745
Are we out of the woods yet?

IMG_5742IMG_5518

DCIM100GOPROG0523639.

IMG_5655IMG_5656

We finally reached the second level . It is where the 45-ft jump is located. This requires running first before jumping to avoid the rocks jutting out of the cliff.

IMG_5744IMG_5743

IMG_5528

Pao and Mac tried the 45-ft jump while the rest of us just swam down in thewater.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Mac swinging in the vine

IMG_5746IMG_5748

At this point, we’re very near Kawasan Falls already. Our guides showed us another jump that some tourists try. But I think some tour guides from other resorts don’t allow guests to try this one for safety reasons because this particular jump is 70-ft.

Mac and Pao actually tried it! We’re so proud of them. I bet our two guides were like super proud of them too and declared them their spirit animals or something. Ha ha.

Here’s Mac jumping. Pao went after him but I wasn’t able to save his video. He got bruises on his arms after, most likely because of the impact from the fall. Then before finally going down the falls, they showed us the highest possible jump in the place. But guests are definitely not allowed to try it and only a few locals have dared to do so. This one’s 90fuckinfeet.

We then started towards Kawasan Falls. When we got there, there were A LOT of people. Some guests (particularly those travelling with families) opt to go straight there and bring packed food so they could have lunch by the falls. There are canteens there and tables for rent. There are also rafts available for rent that guests can use to go nearer the falls. In the sign, it says rafts are available to rent at ₱300 for 30 minutes. So we rented one. One of the guides rode with us in the raft to take our pictures. There was also another guy who went with us to man the raft. He navigates it by pulling on ropes that have been strategically placed around the waterfall.

IMG_5531IMG_5532IMG_5533

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Isn’t it a thing of beauty? 🙂

We were instructed to lie on our stomachs as we stayed under the rocky ledge to wait for our turn to shower under the waterfall. Then finally, it’s our turn!

IMG_5534
While waiting
IMG_5535
Almost time

IMG_5536IMG_5537IMG_5539IMG_5540

Man, it was such a fun experience. It was like an amusement park ride. It was also like a weird form of massage and torture at the same time. Ha ha!

IMG_5547IMG_5545IMG_5543IMG_5542IMG_5546

When we got off the raft and paid the ₱300 rental fee, we were informed that it’s actually ₱600 because an additional ₱300 is for the person who manned the raft. It wasn’t mentioned on the sign so ooooo-kay. I sure hope that they don’t use this tactic to scam other guests (particularly foreigners) into paying more money. Although deep inside, I know that they do it. 😦

And that concludes our canyoneering adventure! It took us a total of about 6 hours to finish it, and that’s a normal amount of time, according to our guides. Although we could’ve finished it in less time than that if I didn’t hesitate for 30 minutes at the beginning and if Mac’s GoPro hadn’t gone missing. He he. My friends talked about doing it again with the purpose of finishing the whole thing in a shorter time. I’d definitely go canyoneering again, but I might have to gather more courage for the jumping bits.

As of June 1, 2016, the Canyoneering Activity is suspended until August 1, 2016. We went canyoneering on May 28, so it’s a good thing that we were able to try it before the said suspension. The reason for the suspension is because the local governments of Alegria and Badian are taking control of the canyoneering site. Our tour guides said that once the site begins operating again, only canyoneering guides trained and recognized by the local governments will be allowed to lead tours. I think there’s a pretty good possibility that the fees will increase, though. The change in policies is a response to complaints in the past by guests who have been injured while canyoneering.



We got back to our rented room a little past 1. We took baths before heading out into the town square again to have lunch. It started raining heavily then. We meant to leave at around 3. Pao has already booked an Airbnb for us back in the city. But just as we were about to go, Mac realized that he forgot his GoPro pole with one of the guides who went with us in the canyoneering activity. So we had to wait before it has been returned. By then, it was already 5 PM.

The bus ride back to the city was very long because the bus had to do several stops to pick up passengers.

IMG_5601
Long bus ride

We reached the place Pao had booked at past 9 PM already. So the bus ride took a total of 4 hours! Wew! The room was very nice; too bad we weren’t able to take a picture of it. It’s located in a condotel called Bert’s Condotel in Mandaue City. The owner, Bryant, is also very nice and responsive, he didn’t require a specific time for checking in and out, as long as you check-in after 2PM. Then you’re welcome to stay within 24 hours.

My boyfriend suggested a place nearby called BBQ Boy that he and his classmates have tried on a class trip two years ago. We were supposed to eat at a restaurant that serves lechon. After all, what good is a trip to Cebu without dining at a lechon restaurant, right? Unfortunately, the resto closes at 9 PM.

We just took a jeepney to go to BBQ Boy to save money. He he. My boyfriend and I even suggested that we stay there for drinks also after eating dinner because it’s really affordable there. We ordered barbecues, chorizos, and kilawin; they were all cheap but tasted delicious. We also had one bottle of beers each.

IMG_5605

The crowd in the place were mostly college-looking kids. There were also a lot of Koreans. The vibe is very Manila, actually. After all, we’re already in a city.

The others wanted to transfer to another place where we could drink and meet up with our friend, Jessa. We saw that there’s a Cable Car nearby in Paseo Saturnino so we decided to just walk there. But when we got there, it was nowhere to be found. Turns out it was already closed, guess my friends missed it the first time they checked. So we just stayed where we are and waited for Jessa. When she arrived, we decided to try the Crossroads Mall nearby. It’s a strip mall where nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants sit in a row.

The place was packed since it’s a Saturday night. Young people all made up and dressed in gimik outfits littered the place. We were very underdressed in our casual clothes; I was even wearing a floral sundress and flip flops! Haha! We wanted to drink at the The Distillery but it was super crowded. It was also the same with the other inuman places beside it.  So we decided to check out the other establishments. We came across this fancy-looking place called the Maya Mexican Restaurant. We went inside and there were only a few people there. We opted to stay at the second floor, where we had the whole place to ourselves. We ordered a bottle of Jack and some nachos, which were delicious. The waiter said that the serving is enough for 3 people so we ordered two. But when our orders came, the serving was pretty hefty and more than enough for all of us.

IMG_5417
I”ll never let go…Jack

I wish I could’ve taken more pictures of the place. The interiors looked really nice and well-thought-out. Here is a link to their Facebook page. IMG_5611IMG_5608

We finished at around 2:30 AM. By then, we were all worn-out. We took a cab back to our place. Arzy had to leave already for her 5AM flight. After she left, we immediately crashed.


It was super refreshing to wake up naturally without having to set alarms that won’t wake us up anyway. Haha! We got up at around 9 AM and left our room at 11 to go to Ayala Center Cebu to have lunch. We will meet Jessa there again before she leaves to catch her flight at 4 PM. Our flight is scheduled at 12:40 AM the next day, so we still have plenty of time left.

We had lunch at CnT Lechon (where we had meant to have dinner the previous night). The restaurant’s branch in the mall is located at the food court. This particular restaurant comes highly recommended by people whom my friends know who regularly visit Cebu.

NPTG9357

Honestly, there was nothing special about it. It tasted just like normal lechon. But the dipping vinegar sauce was super tasty and different from the normal gravy sauce. Jessa joined us while we were having lunch. She came from the Taboan Public Market where she bought pasalubongs to bring back home. She was carrying one whole box filled with pasalubong!

After lunch, we took a taxi to Magallanes Street, where the Cross of Magellan is located. The cross is an important historical relic, because it is the original cross planted by Magellan on April 21, 1521 to symbolize his baptism of the first Christian Filipinos.

Mac recreated an old picture of him jumping in front of the kiosk so we kinda followed suit. I don’t even know…haha!

IMG_5692IMG_5788[1]

IMG_5799IMG_5730

IMG_5729
Now for a normal shot hehe

IMG_2482

It is said that the original cross is enclosed inside the existing cross for preservation. There are also beautiful murals in the kiosk’s ceiling depicting the events that happened on that day in 1521.

IMG_5616IMG_2473IMG_5620IMG_5622IMG_2485

Literally a few steps away from the Magellan’s Cross is the Basilica del Sto. Niño. It is a minor basilica founded in 1565 and is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country.

IMG_2486IMG_2489IMG_5810IMG_5808

After our very short tour, Jessa had to rush to the airport while the rest of us went to Taboan. Among other things, a trip to Cebu won’t be complete without buying danggit (dried fish) to take back home. The Taboan market has built a reputation for being the most popular dried fish market in the city. As soon as we got off the cab, that fact is immediately evident since the place stinks. Ha ha! After picking up a few things, we hailed another cab to take us back to our rented room. Man, the smell stuck with us; in our clothes, hair, my bag, in every fiber of our beings. Ha! We had to shower and change as soon as we got back.

We then took a 2-hour nap and woke up to eat dinner. At around 9, we left for the airport to wait for our flight back home.


Even though this trip has been rife with seemingly unlucky occurrences,  it was impossible not to enjoy it. Missing our flight was a 100% our fault and needless to say, we learned a lesson from it. Besides, I think we were able to go through it all because we all stuck together as friends. Okay, I can’t believe I just typed that. What? Haha! It was Arzy and I’s first time in Cebu that time. There’s still a lot more to be discovered in that beautiful place. So we’d definitely go back when able, hopefully with little or no repercussions at all. 🙂

I’ll try a bit of a break down of our expenses:

FARE

Cebu Pacific promo return ticket (Mactan Airport) – ₱1,040

One-way ticket (re-booked) – ₱3,100

LODGINGS

Room for 5 pax in Batong Malunhaw Beach Resort – ₱800 for 1 night (discounted)

Room for 5 pax in a local’s house – ₱1000 for 1 night

Airbnb deluxe room in Mandaue City for 4 pax –  ₱1, 500 ++ for 24 hours (flexible check-in and out; link here)

TOUR

The total price we agreed on with Ryan is P2,500 each. That includes:

The Whale shark watching activity

Sumilon Island Tour

Mainit Hot Spring Tour

Canyoneering Activity (safety gear and shoe rental included)

Habal-habal transportation

Boat service to and from Sumilon Island

MISCELLANEOUS

Miscellaneous expenses include money spent on food (we must have spent A TON at the Manila airport ’cause airport food is pricey), bus fares to and from Alegria, cab fares, and money for buying pasalubong. I think I must’ve spent around ₱3,000 on misc expenses. Definitely more than I had planned to spend. 😦 But oh well, it’s another lesson learned. 🙂

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s