Badian Canyoneering and Whale Shark Watching

The reason we went to Cebu is because he wanted to see and swim with the Whale Sharks. Since we are already in Cebu, we also wanted to try the Canyoneering. This one I wanted to try before but it was closed due to some accidents back then. We booked this activity through Klook. Click here to see the exact booking package.

Okay, you all should know by now that I really suck at planning trips. This is the only thing that we did not do DIY and Gerald was the one who planned this, so it went really well.

The reason we went to Cebu is because he wanted to see and swim with the Whale Sharks. Since we are already in Cebu, we also wanted to try the Canyoneering. This one I wanted to try before but it was closed due to some accidents back then. We booked this activity through Klook. Click here to see the exact booking package.

Swimming with the Whale Sharks

Oslob, where the Whale Sharks are, is in South of Cebu. It is four hours away from the city. Swimming with the whale sharks is very time sensitive since they only come out to play during the morning between 6am-9am. So we had to leave the hotel around 3am to be able to make it to 7am.

When we got to the place, there was some briefing. You are not allowed to touch the whale shark; in fact, you are not allowed to be near them for less than a meter. You can only take a picture with them and admire them. If you touch them accidentally, the panic and that causes the water to have big waves. So be careful.

I didn’t want to go down the water because I was scared and this is already my second time. The first time I was there, I guess one of my friends touched the whale shark and it panicked and flipped our boat accidentally. But I had to be a stage girlfriend, lol. I wanted to really get good shots for this moment because he waited a long time for this encounter. So cute. Gerald got a few good shots.

The duration of the encounter with the whale sharks is just 30 minutes. They take you in a small boat; let you swim freely for 30 minutes. Don’t worry, they provide life jackets, snorkeling gears, shoes and the manongs in the boat are very attentive and will be watching over his sakays.

After the encounter, you can rinse yourself. It’s your choice if you want to wash up fully or just rinse. We just rinsed ourselves because we were still going to do Canyoneering. Oh, our package included breakfast after the activity. If you’re doing it DIY, there are actually some stores/restaurants that sell breakfast meals. It’s quite a lot of 200 pesos. Also, they have WI-FI.

Badian Canyoneering

After breakfast, we headed straight to Badian. It’s like two hours from Oslob. We woke up pretty early so we were out the whole ride. The tour guide only woke us up. It was around 10 or 11 in the morning, I think.

Upon arrival, they will give you the gears that you will need – helmets, life vests, and DIY safety gears for your cameras. They tied ours to an empty water bottle. They will take you to the briefing area. Canyoneering is more like a free fall into the waterfalls, rivers, so it’s pretty dangerous. You need to listen to the tour guide and really follow instructions.

After the briefing, some kuyas will take you on a motorcycle ride going to the start of the trail. You have the choice if you want to do the shortcut – a two kilometer zipline and 10 minute walk to the first fall, or you can do the long way – 45 minute trekking. Of course, I wanted to trek! I have severe fear of heights. You’ll see.

So we did the trekking and reached the first jump. It’s like a 6 feet stone, then there’s a lower level, which is around 3 feet. I couldn’t jump the five feet one so the tour guide suggested I go from the lower one. This happened. Gerald couldn’t stop laughing. I’m such a pussy, I know.

The jumps get higher as you go further. We had our own tour guide and he was only taking care of us. He is very nice and he really made sure the two of us were taken cared of. We really listened to his instructions. By the way, wearing the helmet and life vests were a must! They are included in the Klook package too. Well, they are required throughout the tour.

I stopped jumping after the first one, haha! I actually bumped my head because the current was super strong and it pulled me. I fell on a rock and slipped and bumped my head. Good thing our tour guide was quick to hold me. There were also slides which I really enjoyed because they were short and low ones.

The highest jump, you really gotta be careful because there’s like just a very small step and you have to jump really far so you won’t hit any rocks. There were those jumps where you have to run first, as a head start.

Look at my brave baby! He has a fear of heights too, according to him! But he overcame all those that day! 🙂 I am so proud! After the highest waterfall jump, you’re going to take a twenty minute walk to the end of the trek. Everyone can swim and relax there. There is also an eating area. Please, please if you ever come here and eat at the end of the tour, please dispose your trash properly!

So the trip last for three almost four hours. They give us time to shower, clean up and eat. The food was good – there was soup, chicken and rice. After that, our tour guide dropped us off at our hotel. This concludes our trip to Cebu.

Top of Cebu & Rico’s Lechon

After the trip to Bantayan Island, we rushed to the city because we arranged a little tour with kuya Jeremy.

After the trip to Bantayan Island, we rushed to the city because we arranged a little tour with kuya Jeremy. Kuya Jeremy is a Grab Driver who drove us from the airport to the hotel the night we arrived. We kept his contact just in case we needed a ride during our stay. He is actually very nice and decent. Since we arrived in the city around 5pm, the tourist attractions that he lined up for us were already closed. I had kuya Jeremy meet us at the bus stop. He waited for two hours since our trip met a lot of traffic. He offered to take us to Rico’s Lechon and Top of Cebu, just so the trip would not be wasted.

Rico’s Lechon

Gerald wanted to try the legit lechon since I told him Cebu is the home of Philippines’ best lechon. Well, to me at least. So he wanted to try it. Also, he wanted to compare their Spanish version called Pernil.

He had lechon during his first time in Manila and he loved it. You know what, after that very long trip, we were totally out in the car so I don’t really know where kuya Jeremy took us to get Rico’s.

We ordered lechon (not the spicy one but I’ve had the spicy one and I love it), chicken skin, and some seafood. I was kind of disappointed because the lechon was not that crispy. I remember, four years ago, we went to Rico’s and it was crispy. It was still good because I was slowly dying of hunger. Okay, sorry we don’t have photos of the food because we were so hungry!

Top of Cebu

Top of Cebu is like the Baguio of Cebu. It’s up in the mountains. They have restaurants there where you can enjoy the view of the entire Cebu City while having a meal. We didn’t really go to the restaurant since we went to Rico’s Lechon first. There were also small stalls of snacks and some stone tables where you can actually chill if you want to.

We ended the day after that. It was such a long day. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to keep kuya Jeremy’s number. But I’ll find it in my old phone and post it here. But in case you’re wondering, we paid him PHP 3,000.00 originally it was for the whole day, but even though we only had him for 3 hours, we still paid him in full. He offered to be our on call driver for the entire trip anyway.

Bantayan Island, Cebu

I’ve always wanted to go to Bantayan Island since I saw Camp Sawi. So when Gerald visited Asia, we took a 6-hour bus ride to check one thing off my travel bucketlist!

This is almost a year delayed in posting, I’m so sorry. I’m still writing because this might be useful to some of you guys. Okay, I am not really a travel blogger so I will make this short, simple and as helpful as it can be.

Gerald went to visit me in the Philippines last October. Of course, he stayed in Manila while I work. But we planned the whole two weeks – our first stop in his trip is Bantayan Island in Cebu. I have always wanted to go to Bantayan Island and have been planning to go several times and for some reason, it is always getting postponed. Since Cebu is on our itinerary, Gerald insisted that we go to Bantayan Island. To be honest, I kind of regret it for the main reason that it was a lot of travel time, and we only had three days in Cebu. It was not a smart move but he still enjoyed it so it’s still worth it, I guess. So tip, do not do land travel if you’re only going to this place for three days. Bantayan Island is in North of Cebu and it is 6 hours away.

How to get to Bantayan Island:

  • Go to North Bus Terminal. You can either take a cab or a jeepney. We were staying in Lapu-Lapu City, so we opted to take a cab.
  • Next, you need to ride a bus going to Hagnaya Port. It would take around 4-5 hours travel time going to Hagnaya Port. So it would be best if you go early.
  • Go down at Hagnaya Port and take a ferry going to Santa Fe. The Ferry trip usually takes an hour to 1.5 hours, but since we came late and it was raining, the boat had to go slow so it took us two hours.
  • When you dock at the Santa Fe Port, you can take a tricycle going to your hotel. We booked our hotel and transfer ahead of time.

We stayed at Camp Sawi – or Kota Beach Resort. We took the standard room so there was no television (though I don’t think there is a television in their rooms anyway). I think it’s fine because people would be out all day anyway. The room came with complimentary water for two and an umbrella (which came in very handy because it was raining when we arrived).

We had to transfer rooms because the roof in this one was leaking. It was kind of hard because there was no reception after 7pm, so the guards had to wait for the decision and all that, if we can transfer. They were kind enough to assist us. They transferred us to a room for three since it was the only vacancy. Photos from the resort website.

It rained all night so I was kind of anxious if our trip was really wasted. Good thing we were blessed with good weather the next day. We had free breakfast at the Kadlawon Restobar. Photos from the resort website.

So, our day tour went like this:

1. We had breakfast around 7 in the morning. I can get used to morning like this! The restaurant was right beside the beach and you can see and hear the sea, feel the fresh air. They also have a pool table right outside the restaurant – you know, to chill with your friends at night. Anyway, they had a number of breakfast sets; the traditional Filipino -silog breakfast sets, or the American bacon, eggs and toasts; all of them came with fruits and juice. Photos from the website.

2. We booked an island tour. It cost us PHP 1,500 plus tips. We went snorkeling – Gerald did not really like it. I for one am not a fan of snorkeling because I am scared of what’s under the sea. Haha!

3. We went to the Virgin Island. This is a small island about 30 minutes from the main Bantayan Island. And we had to pay PHP 500/2 heads then I think extra PHP 100/head.

If you ask me, it wasn’t really a virgin island. It has pretty decorations. There were some accommodations in the island. Our tour guide said that each cottage cost around PHP 3,000 for 24 hours. The electricity is only on for a certain number of hours.

According to the tour guide, there were cliffs where we can jump, but we chose not too. We’re saving the cliff diving for Canyoneering.

This cliff was one of the locations for the movie, Camp Sawi. You can actually jump off at some part of this. We chose not to.

We went to swim for like fifteen minutes, just so Gerald can experience the water. He loved it. He said it’s just right for swimming. We wanted to stay a little more but we don’t have much time.

4. Before leaving Bantayan Island, we went to visit The Ruins. To be honest, I expected it to be a little cleaner – Production Design really does Magic!

We had to hurry back to the city because we wanted to have a little tour if we still can. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time for that. We went to the Top of Cebu and tried the infamous Rico’s Lechon!