Malabuyoc, Cebu

 “When we are in constant pain, we cannot empathize with others, nor can we help them. It is only when we allow ourselves to open up to our own nourishment that we are free to feed the rest of the world. And thus, to attend to one’s own suffering  is the most selfless act.”

Malabuyoc is a 5th class municipality in the province of Cebu. The municipality is composed with coastal and mountain side wherein waterfalls and hot springs can be found. The municipality is part of eastern side of the province facing Negros Oriental.

How to go to Malabuyoc, Cebu

From Cebu City, you can go to the south terminal and ride a bus via Baliri. Before you can reach the municipality, you will passed by Moalboal, Badian and Alegria.

However, there are also tour packages which includes the Mainit Hot Spring but if you go there solo or in a tight budget then you wont spend that much to enjoy nature’s beauty.

Mainit Hot Spring is very famous in Cebu, so you won’t get lost and majority of the locals know the exact location and they will give you the exact directions.

Mainit Hot Spring

After Algeria, you can ask the bus driver to drop you off the habal-bahal waiting shed going to Mainit Hot Spring. You will need to pay php20 for the entrance fee and enjoy the hot springs with the temperature ranges from 35 up to 42 degrees Celsius.


You do not need a tour guide because the spring is just few steps away from the entrance. If you get hungry, there are small stalls available in the area.

If you wanted to try the 42 degrees hot spring, just be careful because the water is really hot. It is naturally hot because according to the locals, the place was used to be an active volcano.

Aside from the hot springs, there are also little waterfalls in the area. You can enjoy the cold water  from the mountain.  Just be careful because the rocks are slippery and might ended up in an accident.  I stayed in the area for about an hour and half then off to my next waterfall adventure in Ginatilan, Cebu.

Travel Expenses

  • Hot & Cold Spring Entrance Fee –  Php 20
  • Tour Package – Php 650
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Oslob, Cebu

“I’m not saying that everyone should swim with sharks, but sometimes you have to jump over your own shadow in order to learn something that you will never forget for the rest of your life. Then you know you can conquer your fears.”

Swimming with Whale Sharks is one of my bucket list because I am astound not only with their sizes but most importantly they are harmless to human. I have read a lot articles regarding this activity in Cebu wherein the whale sharks are dependent because they are being fed regularly and became an instant tourism attraction.

I arrived at Oslob around 8:30pm and searched for a hotel or transient house to rest. I was fortunately enough a guy from the tourism office offered a tour package but I still insisted that I need to place to stay that night first.I also informed him about my plans and we did some arrangements when it comes to time, places to visit and how much will be the tour fee. I woke up by 5:30am, took my breakfast and when Alexander Eliseo my tour guide arrived, we immediately went to Oslob to swim with the whale sharks.

When you arrived I arrived at the site, you will need to pay  php500 for the viewing fee. My tour guide took care of everything for me. I gave him the money and he paid at the cashier and asked me to wait for my orientation.

Please make sure to join the orientation because they are strict when it comes to the policies for the whale encounter. Rules are being implemented and there are corresponding fines to those who will violate.

If you are a solo traveller, they will ask you to join a group depending on the size of the boat. I was fortunate there were only three visitors with two guides. The exact location where you can see the whale sharks are just few meters away from the shore. Take note that they do not allow a visitor to swim from the shore going to the site.  The whale shark encounter is only good for 30 minutes so you have to make the best out of it.

I suggest you have to bring your own action camera and swim gadget such as goggles and life jacket though there are available items in the reception areas for rent. Actions cameras are for php500 and life jackets or goggles is for 200-300 php each. You can also do scuba diving for php3,500.

My tour guide and driver is Alexander Eliseo 09432859143 which is a registered tour guide in the municipal tourism office. He assisted me in paying the entrance fee and took care of my things while I was at sea.

Contact Information

  • Alexander Eliseo – 09432859143
  • Frances Castroverde – Homestay Oslob Cebu – 0942075 8503

Travel Expenses

  • Bus Fare (Santander to Oslob) – Php120
  • Homestay – Php500
  • Whaleshark Watching  Fee – Php 500 for 30 minutes

South Cebu

“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.”

If you are planning to go South Cebu, you need to plan ahead because there are a lot of activities that you can do from chasing waterfalls, beach bumming, island hopping, mountaineering, canyoneering, sardines run and even swimming with the gentle giants. A day tour won’t be enough to do everything. The south of Cebu has been very blessed with a lot of natural attractions and visitors would want to go back.

My last destination was the South of Cebu coming from Negros Oriental. My plan was just to do have a day tour since I need to go back to Mactan Airport to catch my 10:55pm flight back to Manila. From Sibulan, Negros Oriental, I took the second to the last fast craft trip going to Lilo-an Port in Santander then immediately rode a bus going to Oslob. My first itinerary was to swim with the whale sharks since according to locals, viewing is only until 12nn daily.

How to go to South Cebu

From Manila, you will need to ride a plane for about an hour and thirty minutes. When you arrived at the Mactan International Airport, you can immediate ride a cab going to the South Bus Terminal. You can also try the SM Mybus for php25 going to SM City Cebu and transfer to a local jeep going to the south terminal.

Your destination may depend in what activity would you want to do first. The waterfalls, canyoneering and sardines run is on the eastern side facing Negros Oriental with provinces from Moaboal, Badian, Malabuyoc and Ginatilan while island hopping and swim with the whale sharks is on the west side facing Siquijor with provinces such as Oslob and Sumilon.

Kawasan Falls  in Badian, Cebu

One of the  most visited waterfalls in the south Cebu. Aside from enjoying the cold waters of Kawasan Falls, you can also do canyoneering  which you will experience different levels of waterfalls for php1,500 per pax with lunch. Though  this was not part of my plan because I only wanted to chase waterfalls and swim with the whale sharks.


Whale Sharks in Oslob

The Whale Sharks are slow-moving filter-feeding and the largest known extant fish species. The Whale Sharks are the largest fish on the planet. You will need to pay php500 and will undergo orientation first before doing the activity. Alex assisted me and took care of my belongings while I am at sea. The interaction with the gentle giants are only for 30 minutes. See article Oslob, Cebu for details.

Chasing Waterfalls

Badian, Malabuyoc and Ginatilan are some of the provinces in the south of Cebu which are famous for their waterfalls. I visited Kawasan Falls in Badian, Twin Falls and Mainit Springs in Malabuyoc and Inambakan Falls in Ginatilan. See article Malabuyoc and Ginatilan, Cebu

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Cold Springs in Malabuyoc

This cold spring or mini waterfalls is within the vicinity of hot spring area. Just few steps away, you will experience clear and cold waters but need to be careful because the rocks are slippers that may caused accidents.  See article Malabuyoc, Cebu for details.


Mainit Springs in Malabuyoc

This is one of must visit destination when you are in the south of Cebu. This is not a resort nor any machine used to make the water but it was said that there used to be an active volcano which make the water hot. You can choose among three type of temperature depending in your body heat tolerance. See article Malabuyoc, Cebu for details.

Inambakan Falls in Ginatilan

This is also one the best waterfalls I have visited because of the clear and cold waters. Another must visit destination in the south of Cebu. See article Ginatilan, Cebu for details.

Valencia, Negros Oriental

“While people are struggling unhappily in the cities against the cruel authorities, a waterfall happily and cheerfully flows in the nature; there is happiness only if there is freedom!”

Valencia is one of the provinces of Negros Oriental. It situated northwest side of Dumaguete City. The province is known for its mountain ranges, red rock formations and majestic waterfalls.

How to get to Valencia, Negros Oriental

From Dumaguete City, you ride a tricycle going to the jeep terminal going to Valencia. The province is only few kilometers away from the city proper. Another way is to rent a motor bike going to the said province.

I decided to go to Valencia after visiting Siqujior as part of my Visayas expedition. From Siquijor port, I got the first trip of 6am and arrived at Dumaguete port by 7:30am. Geographically, the province is just near the city, so opted to rent a motor bike instead.

Casaroro Waterfalls 

This majestic waterfalls is one of Valencia’s pride when it comes to tourist attraction. This is located at Brgy. Apolong, Valencia, Negros Oriental. From the Dumaguete City, you can either commute through public transport or rent a motor bike going to the site. The waterfalls is located 15-20KM from the city proper. The waterfalls is known to place so you won’t get lost and you can also ask the locals for the direction.

An entrance fee of php10 is required and you have walk 335 steps downhill before reach the bench mark of the waterfalls and another 1KM walk towards the base of the waterfalls. Though a guide is not needed but you have to be careful because you will pass by big rocks and sometimes it very tiring especially those that are not used to in mountaineering. Aside from walking through a dangerous route, you have to be prepared physically because its a bit challenging but at the end of it, a stunning 250 ft waterfalls welcomes you. The trek may take to an hour depending in your capacity from the downhill part up to the conquering the slippery huge rocks way.

Take note that the water is extremely cold. Even if I have a high tolerance of coldness, I was not able to stay longer. The feeling was different because as if you are in a lost world. After taking some pictures and enjoying the freshness of the water, be prepared of the uphill trek towards the entrance. You have to be careful when you reach the waterfalls. I suggest not get closer because it is definitely dangerous since the intensity of the falls is not tolerable. You might get injured along the way.

Pulang Bato Waterfalls

This is also one of Valencia’s pride when it comes to must visit place in the province. The Pulang Bato Waterfalls is located at Brgy. Pulang Bato, Valencia, Negros Oriental. Since this is a famous spots, almost all of the locals from the province knows the site location. From Casaroro Falls, you will need to go through a 15KM ride towards the location of this water. No need to trek uphill or downhill since the waterfalls is situated inside a resort which has an entrance fee of php30 only.

Malabo Waterfalls

This waterfalls is within the same location with Pulang Bato Waterfall. No need to pay additional entrance fee. They have already constructed a semi- pool area so you can enjoy swimming while watching the waterfalls. The water is not a cold as Casaroro Waterfalls.

Sulfuric Vent Mountain

Before you reach the twin waterfalls, you will pass by a sulfuric mountain. No entrance fee is required since it is along the road. There are signs along the way that it is naturally toxic, so if you are planning to take some photos, don’t spend too much time near the area or better yet have the photo taken 2-3 meter away from the mountain.

Sibulan, Negros Oriental

“When you’re young you think that you’re going to sail into a lovely lake of quietude and peace. This is profoundly untrue.”

After visiting Casaroro and Pulang Bato waterfalls in Valencia, I decided to go to to the twin lakes in Sibulan. I rented a motorcycle for php250 for 12 hours in Dumaguete because it will be impracticable for me to commute and transferring from one mode of transportation to another.  It best that you rent a motorcycle for your tour.

Sibulan is the neighboring municipality of San Jose, Negros Oriental and it is 5-6KM away from Dumaguete City.

How to get to Sibulan, Negros Oriental

From Dumaguete City, you can either ride a tricycle for php10 or take a bus via Bais or Manjuyod going to Sibulan. It will only take you less than 30 minutes to get there depending on the traffic situation in the city.

From Liloan Port, Santander Cebu is only 30 minutes boat ride for php62. First trip is 5:30am from Cebu and the last trip is at 8pm from Sibulan Port back to Santander.

The Twin Lakes

These lakes are main tourist attraction when you are in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. The location of the lakes is 25KM away from the Dumaguete City.  You can take a bus going to Sibulan via Bais or Manjuyod and ask the driver to drop you off at San Jose boulevard. There is a road sign to the left informing you that this is the way to the twin lakes.

There are habal-habal that can take you the twin lakes and back to the San Jose. From the national road, another 15KM uphill ride going to the lakes. It is best to go there during daytime since the site is far from the town proper.

While on your way towards the site, be ready to be amazed of a wonderful nature scenery and you can also stop by to take some photos. I personally enjoyed my journey going to the lake. You can even have a overview of the South Cebu on you way. You will need to pay an entrance fee of php50 and php12 parking fee.

Lake Balinsasayao

Lake Balinsasayao is one of the lakes in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. Another 900 meters uphill road that you need to take before you can reach the actual lakes. There is also a restaurant which prices are fair enough then you have your lunch or have a cup of coffee set up with the view of the lake.

Lake Danao

Lake Danao is the twin lake. You can either reach the other side through kayaking then a short walk for about 2-3 minutes or through mountain side trek for about 15-30 minutes from Lake Balinsasayao.

Travel Expenses

  • Motorcycle Rent Fee-  Php 250 (good for 12 hours)
  • Lake Entrance Fee-  Php50

Maria, Siquijor

“The mindset of loss of a loved one is to understand that the loss will never be undone. You must live with it, like it or not. But, to live well, you must turn that loss into something positive. That way, you can become the best version of yourself; scarred, flawed and unstoppable”

I am fortunate that my mom is from Maria, Siquijor, so it was easier for me to ask the locals which destination should I feature in my blog. It was not my first time visiting the island, so I am pretty much familiar of the beaches  and at the same time, my sister became my tour guide and driver during my tour.

Maria is one of the six municipalities of Siquijor and is considered as marine sanctuary capital of the island. Most of the beaches are white sand and some are shores are rough because of the corals from the sea. However, what I love about the beaches of Maria because there are only few resorts in the area and the local government wanted are preserving the marine life not only for the tourism purposes but for the welfare of the locals.

Looc Beach

This is located at Brgy. Minalulan, Maria, Siquijor. There are no resorts in the area so it is expected that what you see in the beach are just seaweeds and small boat parked near the shore.


Minalulan Marine Sanctuary

Below the lighthouse in Brgy. Minalulan, Maria, Siquijor is the marine sanctuary. I was able to meet the caretaker of the sanctuary and they are very strict when it comes to illegal fishing. Locals are prohibited to catch fish within the sanctuary area and are penalized if caught.


Kagu-suan Beach

The beach area is also located at Brgy. Minalulan, Maria, Siquijor few meters away from the barangay plaza. It is said that there was a beach resort constructed in the area before however, since most of the tourist stays at San Juan, it resulted to bankruptcy. But the regional tourism has included the beach as one of the must visit beaches in the island. When I went to the beach, it indeed a nice one. No resorts at all and all you need to do is bring your beach towel, sun protection lotion and you can stay all day at the beach without any disturbances. But, you are responsible in your personal belongings.


Olang Marine Sanctuary

The sanctuary is located at Maria, Siquijor. There are road since that will lead you to the beach front. It is around a kilometer and half away from the nation road. Once you reach the dead ended road, you will need to trek towards the shore. There are no resorts and only few residents live in the area.

Salagdoong Beach

Salagdoong Beach is located near the Olang Marine Sanctuary. Though this is a beach resort, but they are maintaining the balance between a tourist attraction and preserving the marine life. The 30ft cliff jump is a must try activity in the resort aside from snorkeling, free dive and scuba diving.

Travel Expenses

  • Motorcycle Fee –  Php 350 (good for  24 hours)
  • Salagdoong Beach Resort Entrance Fee – Php 60

 

Lazi, Siquijor

“The damage and invisible scars of emotional abuse are very difficult to heal, because memories are imprinted on our minds and hearts and it takes time to be restored. Imprints of past traumas do not mean a person cannot change their future beliefs and behaviors. as people, we do not easily forget. However, as we heal, grieve, and let go, we become clear-minded and focused to live restore and emotionally healthy.”

Aside from exploring white beaches and marine sanctuaries in Siquijor, I also wanted to feature the waterfalls of Lazi.  I was still with my sister and she asked her friends to join this tour and since they are locals, I asked them if they we can visit all the waterfalls.

Lazi is one of the municipalities in the island of Siquijor. In fact, it is known by travelers because of the waterfalls and caves. The area lies between Maria and San Juan. The most popular tourist destination in Lazi is the Cambugahay Falls wherein it has been featured multiple times in blogs and travel shows. However, it is still best to experience the waterfalls first hand.

I strongly suggest you wake up and start your tour as early as possible. According to the tour guides, most of the tourists start to visit the waterfalls around 9am onwards. If you are there by 8am or earlier, then you will have a wonderful experience, the way I did when I went there. I was just alone and I had fun.

Cambugahay Falls

This is the mother waterfalls is located in Brgy. Tagmanocan, Laz, Siquijor. This waterfalls has been famous because of clear waters and exquisite views. This is also the most accessible waterfalls on the province. It is a three layer waterfalls and suitable for profile pictures. From the national highway, you will need to trek down for more than 165 steps towards the waterfalls. Just be careful because the rocks are slippery and you might get injured when you get too excited.

Cabugsayan Falls

This is the second layer waterfalls from Cambugahay. It is located at Bgry. Lower Kinamandagan, Lazi, Siquijor. There is no entrance fee and you will only pay for the parking fee. You also do not need guide since it is just less than a kilometer away from the parking lot and at the same time, there are flags along the way towards the waterfalls.

La Gaan Falls

This third layer waterfalls is also located at Bgry. Lower Kinamandagan, Lazi, Siquijor. Before you reach Cabugsayan Falls you will pass by La Gaan Falls. There are also flags along the way towards the waterfalls. You will only pay for the parking fee. No entrance fee and guide needed.

Kawasan Falls

The fourth waterfalls is located at Brgy. Cangcarlan, Lazi, Siquijor. There are road signs towards the waterfalls. No need to pay for the entrance fee but a paring fee is required. Out of all waterfalls, I guess going to Kawasan Falls is a bit challenging since you need to trek down for about 2KM before you can reach the site. Once you are done, the uphill trek will definitely make you thirsty, so make sure to bring water.

Locong Falls

This is the last stretch of waterfalls where it is also located at Bgry. Lower Kinamandagan, Lazi, Siquijor. No entrance fee and tour guide needed but only a parking fee of php10. The locals are kind enough to lead you to the waterfalls. I was the first one who got to the site, so I was able to meet the locals who voluntarily clean the area every day. There are also tables for rent but I guess you don’t need it anyways since you will only stay there not too long.

Travel Expenses

  • Motorcycle Rent Fee-  Php 350 (24 hours)
  • Waterfalls Entrance Fee-  Php 10 (Some of the waterfalls do not have any entrance fee but you there is donation box where you can give any amount)

Siquijor Island

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content.”

The first time I visited the island was in 2009 because I wanted to move on from a person who departed unexpectedly. I did visit some white beaches but did not have a chance to tour the entire island.  After 8 years, I came back and  was ready to explored the wonders of the Siquijor.

Siquijor is one of the smallest island in the Philippines next to Camiguin and Batanes. Its capital municipality is also named as Siquijor. It is know to be the “The Land of Fire” because according to the locals, when there was still no electricity in the island, there were a lot of fireflies served as their light.

Northwest of the island is Cebu and Negros and northeast is Bohol. There are 6 municipalities comprising the island such as Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria,  San Juana and its capital Siquijor.

How to get to Siquijor

From Manila, there are direct flight going to Dumaguete daily. From Dumaguete, you can take a RoRo from Montenegro Shipping Lines, Oceanfront Fast Craft, GL Shipping Lines, Delta Ferry and MV Siquijor Island Ferry with an earliest trip of 5am and last trip is 5pm. There are 2 ports that in the island, one is Siquijor and the other is in Lorena. Travel is about an hour.

From South Cebu, you will need to go to Lilo-an Port in Santander through Ceres Bus for php195. Travel time is about 2-3 hours. Then from Lilo-an Port, you need to rider a fast craft boat going to Sibulan Port with a travel time of 30 minutes for php60. Then from Sibulan Port, you will need to go to Dumaguete Port to get a ticket for Siquijor. Travel is about an hour.

Where to Stay in Siquijor

There are a lot of budget travel hotels in the island. Some are near the port area but most are beach resorts. It also depends in where you will stay. Majority of the beach resorts are located in San Juan and Maria since they are coastal areas of the island.

Places to Visit in Siquijor

When you arrived in the island, there are guides waiting for you at the port area where they offer tour packages and since the island has a circumference of 75KM, the easiest way by the renting a motorcycle. They do have standard rate which is php350- Php400 for 24 hrs. You

There are lot of tourist attractions in Siquijor. Aside from their white sand beaches, they also have waterfalls, diving spots, caves and you can also do other activities in the island. It really depends on what you prefer. Here are some of the traveler spots that you may wanted to visit.

Tulawog Cave

Tulawog Cave in Brgy. Ponong, Siquijor, Siquijor. This is just one of the newly discovered cave in the island. Compared to Cantabon Cave, it is not yet known and there are only few travelers that were able to visit the cave. An entrance fee is php20 will be given to the caretaker. You also need a guide since the cave is around 2KM from the main road. Once you reach San Juan near Capilay Spring, you just need to ask the locals the exact location of the cave.

Enchanted Balete Tree and Fish Spa

This is one of the must visit place in Siquijor not only because of the Balete tree but to experience the fish spa in Brgy. Campalanas, Lazi.

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You do not need to worry because this site is known in the island, so definitely you will not get lost. The fish spa is only php10 and a parking of php10 as well.

Waterfalls of Lazi

There are a lot of waterfalls in Siquijor and most of them are located in the municipality of Lazi. They are known to be safe and very accessible as well. The famous waterfalls is the Cambuhay Falls but there are still four more waterfalls that are a must visit in the island. See article Lazi, Siquijor.

White Sand Beaches and Marine Sanctuaries

Siquijor is known to have white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and marine sanctuaries ideal for free dive and scuba diving.

The people of the island are taking  care of their coral reefs not only to get a good fish catch but most of them are focusing on tourism in which provide more jobs for the locals. See Maria, Siquijor.

Siquijor Island is only 75km  in circumference and can be toured for 2 hours. However, if you opted to stop over from one destination to another then 2 days is enough but if you plan to have a day tour only then don’t complete the waterfalls in Lazi.  I also did not include the beaches in San Juan because there are  lot of tourists already.