Sursuroy: Top 5 Things to Do When Visiting Southern Cebu

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Our next stop was towards our resort which was about 15 minutes away from Pescador Island, called the Turtle Bay. Getting off the boat, you would immediately notice that you are on the edge of a slope, the visibility here was not as clear as Pascador Island but if you look long enough, you will notice sea turtles swimming about. I saw 4 at the time that we were there.

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This was the edge of a downward slope. You would see sea turtles swim deeper into the ocean.

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This was one of the turtles that I saw swimming close to the surface. Can you see it? I had to strain my eyes while watching out for sea turtles.

 

As we headed beack towards Cabana Resort, I wondered if we weren’t going to see Sardinas Island as planned on the itinerary, and as we parked our boat close to the shore, I asked if we were done for the morning and the boatman said we were already in Sardinas Island and we just had to get off the boat to see the Sardines and we were just a few hundred meters away from Cabana, close enough that I could probably swim there! As I got off the boat, I immediately saw thousands of sardines swimming just a few feet away from me! I was told there was more just on the other side of the boat and true enough, as I swam to the other side, millions (oh my goodness!) of Sardines swam just a few feet away! It was amazing! I couldn’t believe it. It was so beautiful to watch! I was told that if I kept still for a few minutes, they would surround me and surely, after just a few minutes of staying still, I was surrounded by a wall of Sardines and they were just swimming and dancing around me, it was as though they did this special dance just for me.

 

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This was the first thing I saw when I got into the water. I was already impressed with this site until I was told to get to the other side of the boat where there was more.

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Because the water was deep, visibility is not very clear especially for a digicam. This was the wall of sardines that surrounded me when I kept still

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Every now and then, you’d see an opening, when this opened up, I saw a diver just below me

 

 

2) Canyoning / Canyoneering in Kanlaob River (Alegria, Cebu) to Kawasan Falls (Badian , Cebu)

 

Our morning in Moalboal was a great start to our trip! Every spot we went to gave us something different, each spot even more unique than the last. We were done by 10am so we just took a shower and headed for the next stop on the itinerary. Where to this time? Off to Badian to have a go at Canyoneering. We made a quick stop somewhere along the way to have our lunch and then dropped by a church in Algeria and took a habal habal (which basically means riding in a motorbike with other passengers) going to Barangay Kanlaob where our jump-off point was and also the place where we would meet our guide. Two weeks ago, when Happy Juanderer emailed us our itinerary, we saw that we were going to go canyoneering, trekking and hiking so we prepared ourselves during the next two weeks. We made sure we went biking 4 times a week, even if every ride was just about 15-20 kilometers. I just wanted to make sure that my body was prepared to do some physical activities. And it was a really good thing that we did! Because no matter how excited we can get for certain trips, we have to make sure we know what we’re getting ourselves into and prepare for it or otherwise we can end up frustrated, or worse, we end up regretting doing something we didn’t realize was going to be quite a challenge.

 

Canyoning or Canyoneering is popular among locals in this part of Cebu and a lot of them have been doing it over the years but this activity has become more popular recently when local TV shows have featured them. Canyoneering usually means descending mountain canyons with flowing water. It usually involves jumping off cliffs and waterfalls, trekking, swimming, and even rappelling. As you can imagine, it’s a very physical activity.

 

When we got to the river and walked a few meters, we were told that we were now on our first jump off point, I looked down and immediately, my knees started to buckle. But I’ve jumped off cliffs before so I knew I could do this. The trick, for me personally, is just know where to jump and just do it. I don’t allow myself to look over the edge too long or to even think for more than 5 seconds otherwise I know I’d chicken out, so as soon as our guide showed us where to jump, he allowed his partner to jump in first and when I saw that he was safe and out of my way, I took the plunge. It was exhilarating!! When I looked up, I was surprised to see that it didn’t look so high compared to when you’re looking down. That first jump was a bout 15-20 feet high. I was so proud of myself! It’s probably no big deal for others, but for me, it was a celebration that required some sort of happy dance (in my head, at least ;)).

 

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Happy campers excited to take the first jump!

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View from the our first jump off point

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We made it!!

 

So we walked a little more and we got to our second jump off point which I found to be one of the trickiest parts. The rocks here were more slippery than the first and you had to have a good grip of the wall otherwise, you could just slip into the water…which was exactly what happened to me. As I tried to look for the spot where I needed to hold on to, I lost my grip and found myself slipping and heading straight into the water. It’s during moments like this that you have to be alert, I made sure that as I was sliding down, I slightly leaned forward because otherwise, I could have hit my head on the rocks as I slid down. I got to the waters safely but wounded myself when I slipped.

 

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This for me, was the trickiest part of this activity, you have to walk sideways and downwards while trying not to slip.
I was told later on that towards the end of this jump off point, I should have had my back against the wall and then from there,
jumped into the water. I was so focused on where I was supposed to hold on to next that I didn’t get to see our guide do it the right way.
 
 
 
The whole experience took us a little more than two hours. The guide tells us, sometimes it takes longer because people want to take photos, admire the view or even rest for a while. As you swim on your back, you wouldn’t be able to help but admire the beauty around you,  I felt extremely grateful for such a unique experience.. It felt as though we were in our own world, far away from the demands of our busy lives back home. How I wish it was possible for me to bring my professional camera to take photos of the beauty around me but knowing that it wouldn’t be safe for me to do so, I opted to use a small and handy camera instead. Perhaps someday, a more experienced person at canyoneering and at photography could visit here and capture such a unique and natural beauty. The turquoise waters of the Matutinao River that flows right in between the canyons is so beautiful, it’s a shame not to capture it with a more professional gear.
 
Not anyone can come here, I wouldn’t suggest this activity for the faint hearted. So if you plan to do this with your friends, I’d say bring the ones who love adventure. Our guide tells us that a lot of their clients find themselves crying in the middle of the experience not realizing that this was going to be such a physical one. As much as I would love to recommend this to everyone, I also wouldn’t want to give the false impression that this is going to be an easy feat for the regular Joe. Make sure you wear the proper attire as well, I’d suggest a rash guard, leggings, gloves and shoes for trekking.
 
 
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I am prone to getting leg cramps so there were times that I would feel my calves stiffen from the long walk in cold waters but I just allowed myself to relax and learned to numb myself to some of the pain. I found myself enjoying doing things I didn’t realize my body could do. I would climb over boulders, stretch my legs in weird angles just to get the right footing and really stretching my limits physically and mentally as we did this activity. There’s no other way out but through the canyons so you need to pace yourself well and not tire yourself too much right away. I have to tell you, I was so proud of myself for doing this and enjoying it a great deal. If you do this activity with good friends who are just as hungry for adventure and keep a positive attitude throughout the experience of Canyoneering, I don’t doubt that you will come out of this experience hungry for the next adventure.

 

Our Canyoneering experience led to Kawasan Falls where a simple and yet sumptuous meal was already waiting for us. If you’re not too tired yet, use the rafts that could take you directly to the bottom of the falls where you could hear and feel the mighty power of this natural beauty. You may also visit Tumalog falls which is about ten minutes away from the church in Alegria where we were parked. We were done for the day so we headed back to Moalboal where we had dinner and a few drinks at Chili Bar (do try their Pizza, it is soooo good!) and tucked ourselves in for the night.

 


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