Canyoneering in Badian is one of the most famous tourist destination today in the Philippines. I always see travelers and adventurers posting their trips in this South Cebu destination on social medias and it made me become eager to experience it myself.
So, earlier this year, the Philippine Airlines had a seat sale. Luckily, I was able to book a flight for me, my younger sister and four of my friends. (Breakdown of finances and sample itinerary below.) I initially thought of doing it solo. When I had my research on the Kawasan Falls which is a part of the canyoneering, I saw amazing group pics that made me realize that it might be more fun if you do it with your good friends who are game with outdoor adventures.
Our flight was scheduled 7am in Clark International Airport. We landed in Mactan Cebu International Airport by 8:15am. We rode an airport taxi (SUV type car because we’re 6) going to the city and told the driver to drop us to Cebu South Bus Terminal where you can find Ceres bus bound to Badian. Travel time from airport to city is about an hour. We arrived at the bus terminal by 9am. Take that Ceres Bus bound to Badian via Barili or look for the Gate 10 of the terminal. This is also the same bus if you want to see the sardines run in Moalboal. Moalboal will come first before Badian. It is in our plan to try diving and witness the sardines run but due to the traffic jam in Carcar, we spent almost 4hrs on the road. Travel time is about 3-4hrs depending on the traffic.
There are different agencies offering the same canyoneering adventure when you reach Badian. Initially we were offered 1500php per head but we ended up 1000php/head after we haggled with the price. We never had the chance to have our lunch because of the traffic jam and the last call for registration for canyoneering is 2pm. So, we had to hurry.
Change outfit, gears ready, camera on, we left the agency’s office and took a habal habal going to the registration site. The habal habal (motorcycle) is included in the agency’s fee and so as the registration fee. After the registration, we need to trek about 30 minutes under the heat of the sun with the umbrella ready in the registration office, free of use. Upon reaching the starting point of the canyoneering site, the adventure started. From the starting point up to Kawasan Falls is est 3-4 hrs. In between, thrill seekers and adventurers will sure enjoy jumping over and over into the cold water of the river with different levels and altitude that includes the 40ft jump as the last. There are also locals selling barbeques and other grilled foods in the middle of the canyoneering site. Kawasan Falls is the final point of this canyoneering activity. The falls is admirably stunning. I just hope the locals will be able to maintain this God given nature. I saw big colorful umbrellas along the side of the falls as part of the cottages which I thought inappropriate for the place. After a bamboo rafting in the falls for a price of 300php, you still need to walk for about 20minutes to reach the main road and be back at the agency’s office for wash up.
By 7pm, we’re ready to go and waited for a Ceres bus along the main road bound to Bato. Upon reaching the Bato Bus Terminal, we asked the locals for directions and told us that we still need to ride another Ceres bus bound to Oslob or a tricylcle. Before we left the terminal, we had our dinner first in a small eatery. We then chose to get a tricycle and paid 50php each. The tricycle drivers told us that they have contacts to the resorts and other establishments where we can stay. Although, at that time, one of my friend have already been to the place. So, we asked the driver to dropped us to BCD’s Place in Oslob. For about 20minutes, we were able to reach our destination. Luckily, they have 2 available last rooms that are good for 3pax/room. Each room costs 1,500php.
The next day, we woke up early to see the whale sharks of Oslob. You need to pay for the boat, environmental and other fees in order to see and have a close encounter with the sharks. Local rates is 300php for whale shark viewing and 500php if you want to swim or take a picture underwater. Foreign tourists fees are twice higher. You need to attend a short orientation before you will be permitted to ride a boat. It is very important to follow the strict rules in order to prevent risking the lives of the sharks just like disallowing the use of sunblocks and body lotions.
After about 30minutes, we all took a bath to be ready for out next destination. Just in front of BCD’s Place is the national road. We rode a bus for 30php and told the conductor to drop us at the town proper of Oslob. For a 5 minutes walk just behind the municipal hall of Oslob is the historical church of Nuestra Señora de la Immacula Concepcion and Cuartel, the ruin of Oslob built to house the Spanish troops. Located just behind the Cuartel is Museo Oslob.
After spending about 30 minutes to take some photos, we rode another Ceres bus going to Dalaguete to see the Osmeña Peak. Take a habal-habal (motorcycle) that costs 200php back and forth (100php per way) of the Osmeña Peak. Yes, the habal-habal will wait for you without any waiting time pay until you come back after a short climb at the peak. A registration and a guide is required in a short trekking to reach Osmeña Peak. When I asked our guide why it was named Osmeña Peak, she told us that the late Philippine President Sergio Osmeña was one of the first to invite and tour around some visitors when the place was discovered. Those who planned to camp and stay overnight has to pay an additional fee.
After a short trek and picture taking at the Osmeña Peak, we have decided to have sidetrip to Sergio’s Strawberry Farm. An additional pay of 150php per head for the habal habal was made. Unfortunately, we were not able to harvest and pick some fruits because they were harvested the day before. We then decided to go back to the main road to go to Tuyaan Port in Argao for a boat ride bound to Bohol.
At the main road, instead of riding a bus, a van came first. We were the only passengers of the van so we had a little talk to the driver Kuya Ruel Denapo (09167714479 contact number in case you want to hire him since he is offering a cebu land tour). Upon arrival at the port, we never saw any single boat. We’ve asked the officers of the port and told us that there is only one big boat in Argao bound to Bohol and it only operates twice daily. The first trip is 4am and the second trip is 12nn. Our very kind driver offered us a special free trip from Argao to Cebu City which is the only port left bound to Bohol. Yes, you read it right. He offered us a free ride. Argao is 3hrs away from the city so we were really thankful we met Kuya Ruel. But ofcourse, we still paid a fair amount when we reach the Port in Cebu City. In case you need to ride a bus from Argao to Cebu City, the cost of fare is 86php.
It is almost 6pm when we bought the boat tickets. Just beware of fixers because there are a lot in the area who tried to offer us a much higher amount in exchange of tickets. They told us that we were running out of ticket and it was the last trip but when we talked to the security guard on duty and staff of the port, there were still tickets and we still have some few minutes before boarding. Continuation of this adventure story in a separate blog post for Bohol trip. After an overnight in Bohol, we rode a boat back to Cebu City for our flight back to Clark. We’ve decided to visit the Magellan’s Cross and Nuestra Señora del Sto. Niño Church again. This is my third visit to these tourist spots and I’m glad that I saw Magellan’s Cross fully reconstructed again after the earthquake.
Sample Itinerary: 2 days South Cebu Tour (Note that fees are in Philippine Peso denomination.)
Just leave a comment if you have any questions. I will try my best to respond to the best of my knowledge.
– Echo (www.byahecho.com)