One of Cebu’s hidden gem that’s slowly becoming popular to tourist and local travelers who wants to have a flash getaway.
Aloguinsan is situated west of Cebu Province near Pinamungahan and is dubbed as the Eco-tourism capital of Cebu. We visited 4 tourist spots here in Aloguinsan. If you want to have a quick exploration, this place is definitely for you. You ca do this trip in 1 full day.
Since its a one day trip, we decided to start early. We went off to South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. There is only one trip going to Aloguinsan directly and departs at 3:30am and costs 120php. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Aloguinsan Public Market. Be sure to get that bus so that you want have to get off and get on another bus.
Alternative route if you miss the Aloguinsan bus:
- Ride a bus at South Bus Terminal going to Pinamungajan. It would be better if you ask the bus driver where to drop off.
> Bus Fare: Php 90 per person
- Ride a jeepney from Pinamungajan to Aloguinsan.
> Jeepney Fare: Php 40 per person
- Ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) from Aloguinsan going to Barangay Kantabogon.
> Habal-Habal Fare: Php 50 per person
Once you arrive in Aloguinsan (specifically in Public Market) you will be able to see a post from the Tourism Department about the motorcycle rates going to different tourist spots.
Note: Beware of some motorcycle drivers that will rip you off. We had that kind of experience that made me traumatized and decided never to go back unless I will be driving my way there. In order for you to prevent from getting scammed. Just go the the tourism office located at the 2nd floor of the Public Market.
We arrived at Aloguinsan Public Market around 6am and had our breakfast at a Carenderia located inside the market. After which we started our tour.
1st stop: Aloguinsan Baluarte. Entrance fee is 20php. The Baluarte, situated at the top of a hill, is a witness of Aloguinsanons historic past as it served as a warning system against Moros decades ago. After we had our quick exploration in the area and a few snaps, we decided to went to the beaches and start ourselves to get wet. We talked to some local motorcycle drivers to take us to our first beach, the Hidden Beach.
2nd stop: Hidden Beach. True to its name its a hidden oasis. However, this did not stop tourists and getaway-seekers to discover its beauty. This white sand beach is a must-visit unfortunately it was low tide when we got there so there isn’t not much to do,we didn’t even swim. But locals told us that we could have appreciated it if its high tide. It didn’t take too long till we took off.
3rd stop: Bojo River. Now this tour is something unique though it would slash 400 pesos off your wallet for just this tour. Well,even though it was a bit steep, I’d say it was still worth it. Part of your payment goes to local out reach program as well as for the maintenance of the river. There are few local stories/legends about the river which makes it more exciting. Bojo River comprised of 22 specie of Mangroves which are protected by the local government. While our boatman paddled our way upto the open or the mouth of the river that will lead you to the open sea which you can swim on. I can’t help but compare its beauty to Mekong River. Lakas maka Mekong River ang view. It’s true that whatever you see abroad, there’s always a counterpart here in the Philippines. It was fairly windy at that time when we were there but it didn’t stop us from swimming. After all, we had our life jackets with us..LOL
4th stop and last Stop: The Hermit’s Cove. Famous for its white sand beach. Though its actually not powdery white sand but its good enough (for my standards) to take a dip and have a good tan on your skin. The view at the top of the cove was awe inspiring.
Entrance fee was 50php and free corkage to food except for the liquor. Also cottages are included in your entrance fee. So better to get there early so that you can have your own cottage. Luckily, there was a group of beach goers who just left and we are the ones who took there place.
Tip: Buy your food for lunch in the Public Market since there are no food stalls in anywhere near by tourists spots. We just grabbed on some bread, fried chicken, hanging rice and some drinks for us to munch on.
After we had our heart’s content in swimming, we left the cove and got back to the Public Market and waited for a jeepney to take us to Toledo City were we got on a van in Toledo Terminal going back to Cebu City. Fare of the jeepney from Aloguinsan to Toledo City was 30php and 100php for the van going back to Cebu City.
Pros about this adventure: It was something new. Educational since you’ll know that there are about 22 species of Mangroves that’s living in the river. Few local birds and animals are also found in the area.
Cons: THE USUAL HAGGLING OF PRICES FOR YOUR MOTOR RIDE WHICH I REALLY HATE! What i observe is that they tend to almost rob you if you’re not good with your haggling skills. Despite that there local tourism implemented fixed rates for there ride,many are still tempted to rip you off. I HOPE THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.
Verdict: It was a nice experience (for the spots). But i would not go back nor recommend it unless there arechanges in there riders rate. It creates a deep trauma to tourist especially those who are backpackers that has limited budget for the trip.