6 Places for a Peaceful Sojourn in Cebu
January 1, 1970
by Frances Jumaoas
There are pros and cons living in a tourist hub – obviously. Pro, you have a quick weekend getaway at your disposal. Con, expect an overwhelming crowd. While lively tourist seemed appealing on top of a quick trip, it’s not as good as quietude after an arduous week. Fortunately, Cebu never runs out of gems. There are few places to get a dose of peace or two in the bustling metropolis – even during the weekends. By luck, you might score the place to yourself.
Here’s a treat for anyone who’s looking for a solitary escapade. Pack a good book and a sturdy tent. If you wish to call a closest friend, go ahead. Yet, it would be wise to leave your mobile phones unless its camera is needed. All set? Then, get ready to take a breather.
Foressa Trails (Balamban, Cebu)
Just an hour drive from Metro Cebu is a getaway for nature-lover and adrenaline junkies – Foressa trails, formerly Canso X. Nothing but hills, greens, and a river await you. A perfect way to commune with nature without ignoring your nagging adrenaline-pumping blood.
Enjoy a thrilling uphill bike ride or a challenging trek towards the river. Choose whichever fits your interest. Mind you, never underestimate the hills. Liters of water and a quick rest will be your ultimate accomplice throughout the adventure. When the night falls, never miss the chance to live like a true nomad, camp out. Take the best out of the muted noise, and reexamine your life thus far. If that’s too cheesy, grab the chance to catch up on a good night sleep. Enjoy the sound of the crickets!
Tumalog Falls (Oslob, Cebu)
Disclaimer: Please be informed that I will be using the word majestic a lot.
Perfectly situated in the midst of the whale shark buzz is the majestic Tumalog Falls. Surprisingly, the booming tourism in the area hardly affects the majestic waterfall. Even during peak seasons, the waterfall remains spacious enough for a very refreshing dip. Everyone is apparently smitten over the whale sharks, they tend to crush this out of their list.
Going towards the falls require a short trek. Yet, it is quite a taxing, joint-breaking trek. In order to submerge in the cool waters, you will have to descend in a steep slope. Don’t worry though, the majestic falls will give you a little sneak peek to kickoff motivation. It will show off its grandeur, hovering tall and softly cascading in between the lush green mountain.
Your first instinct is to take a beautiful shot of the majestic waterfall when you see its full glory. Go ahead. If you are talented (or a lucky) photographer, you might get a good shot that captures its splendor. Once that’s out of the list, get ready to float above water, and stare gapingly in the majestic trickle of nature. Sigh.
Boljoon (South of Cebu)
More often than not, tourists snob Boljoon for a more fun and thrilling adventure farther South. The reason why you should come if you love to have a place for yourself. In cases, tourists stop by, they flock immediately to its beautiful ancient church. You should too! However, never miss the chance to laze around its stretch of shoreline. Nothing too fancy though. Just a crystal-clear water. If the odds are in your favor, you get to see giant sea turtles swimming playfully.
This place can be your haven if you value solitude as much. Moreover, a towering block stands tall before you exit the town center on your way back to the city. A climbing trail had been designed to enjoy an aerial view of the town. Allot some time to follow the trail. When you reach the top, savor the humble panoramic view of Boljoon. Again, nothing too fancy. Just an overview of a very simple lifestyle led by its populace, a far cry from the complicated urban life.
Maravilla (Tabuelan, Cebu)
It is so seldom to find a weekend getaway in Cebu free of cost. Even harder if it’s a beach. The Philippines pride boosts from its long stretches of white sand beaches. So long ago, these beaches were labeled with a price tag – with an exception of a few.
In the northern part of Cebu, sandwiched between famous tourist hubs is Maravilla, Tabuelan. If you only wish to laze around the beach, either catch up with your favorite book, get a tan, cool off the heat, spend quality time with bae, this place is perfect for the getaway. All you need to do is squeeze some time for a trip to the beach. If you wish to have a man cave, you can pitch a tent for free – even if you opt to stay overnight. You don’t even have to worry about your beast of a stomach, food vendors are within reach. This, however, is no longer free of charge.
Tulang Diot (San Francisco, Camotes)
Tulang Diot (Little Island) is screaming good books, solitude, perfect tan, refreshing dip, and travel journal. After your adventure around San Francisco, wind down in this humble island. Better yet, pitch a tent and spend a night in Tulang Diot as opposed to checking in. Apparently, you can save this way. More importantly, you will have another experience for the books – sea breeze lulling you to sleep, unorthodox lifestyle and soulful trip. Why soulful? The place is a perfect setup if you wish to slow down and catch up with someone you often neglect – yourself.
However, the island is not a cut-out from a magazine. In simpler words, set your expectations low in terms of commodities. Expect the basics. Nonetheless, with all the complexities stripped away, there are more chances of seeing the things that truly matter.
Bacalla Woods Campsite (San Fernando, Cebu)
If you need the long-deserved peace, do it right by heading to Bacalla Woods in San Fernando, Cebu. This is the perfect spot to lay low from the complexities of life.
Sway your way to sleep as you switch the comfortable beds for a hammock, then wake up to the sunrise touching your cheek. Stripped off the digital buzz due to bad mobile reception (or the lack thereof), and revel in real conversations. Tune out worries and woes by listening to the chatter of nature around you. Sing your heart out as you jam with your fellow souls in the campsite. Boosts your adrenaline with some thrilling adventures – river trekking, snorkeling, hiking, and biking. Simply put, fill your heart’s desires.
The campsite had gone viral over the course of the previous months. However, its charm remains due to its No Walk-in Policy. If you wish to visit, rest assured that you will experience its beauty fully if you reserve beforehand.
Finding a place of solace is a keepsake nowadays. True, a beautiful Instagram photo of a trendy attraction is inviting. But it’s nothing compared to a place that keeps your sanity intact amidst this fast-paced world. Think about it, you might not need the next cool thing to unwind, rather a peaceful sojourn in the unexpected nooks of the world.