Northern Cebu

Churches in the North of Cebu

Though Filipino tradition tells us it’s done every Maundy Thursday, our family had been doing Visita Iglesia every Good Friday. ūüôā Last year, we visited 14 churches in the south of Cebu and this year, up we go to the north part of the province!

 

One of the oldest standing heritage structures in Liloan is the Church of Saint Ferdinand (San Fernando Parish Church), King of Spain,  the fiesta of which is celebrated every May 29 and 30. San Fernando Church Lilo-an Cebu was our 6th stop.

San Fernando Church Lilo-an Cebu

San Fernando Church Lilo-an Cebu

San Fernando Church Lilo-an Cebu

San Fernando Church Lilo-an Cebu

 

The 7th church  we visited was a parish founded in 1863, Sr. Santiago Apostol Church in Compostela Cebu.  

Sr. Santiago Apostol Church in Compostela Cebu

Sr. Santiago Apostol Church in Compostela Cebu

Sr. Santiago Apostol Church in Compostela Cebu

Sr. Santiago Apostol Church in Compostela Cebu

 

Built in 1755, Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church in Danao City Cebu is one of the country’s oldest churches. The church’s bell, San Alipio bell, was casted in 1845 and Villanueva and Sagrado Corazon bells were added in 1917.

Santo Thomas de villanueva Church

Santo Tomas de villanueva Church

Santo Thomas de villanueva Church

Santo Tomas de villanueva Church

Santo Thomas de villanueva Church

Santo Tomas de villanueva Church

 

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church was erected by the Augustinian recollects in November 2, 1835, the third and final place chosen by its founder after separating from the Mother Parish Danao. San Guillermo celebrates its fiesta every February 10.

 

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church

Saint James the Apostle Parish Church Sogod is built in the year 1842.

Saint James Parish Church Sogod

Saint James the Apostle Parish Church Sogod

 

Saint James Parish Church Sogod

Saint James Parish Church Sogod

 

Our lady of Miraculous Medal Shrine Bogo is situated on top of the hill, 150 steps to the holy place.

Our lady of Miraculous Medal Shrine

Our lady of Miraculous Medal Shrine Bogo

These are 6 of the lovely churches we visited in the north of Cebu. It was unfortunate that when we arrived at Daan Bantayan the sun had already set and wasn’t able to take photos of the church’s facade. But will surely be driving north again and share our photos with you the soonest. ūüôā

 

Here’s the list of churches we visited for Visita Iglesia 2013:

(First 3 churches, we also visited last year)

1. Birhen sa Regla Lapu-lapu City 

2. St. Joseph Parish Church Mandaue City

3. Sto. Nino Church Cebu City 

4. Tabor Hill talamban

5. Saint narcisus Church Consolacion

6. San Fernando Parish Church Liloan

7. Sr. Santiago Apostol Compostela

8. Santo Tomas de Villanueva Danao

9. St. Augustine Church Carmen

10. Saint Guillermo Church Catmon

11. Saint James the Apostle Catmon

12. Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Bogo

13. Sta. Rosa de Lima Daan Bantayan

14. Borbon Chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malapascua Cebu

Christmas day of year 1520, Spaniards’ ship got stranded ¬†due to bad weather in the island and because of this misfortune of having to spend Christmas stuck in a desolate island, the Spaniards called the island¬†Mala Pascua, which literally means ‚ÄúBad Easter‚ÄĚ. And from then on, the island has been called Malapascua.

How to get to Malapascua Island? 

Malapascua is the northern most tip island of Cebu and to get there, one can hop on a Maya Port bound bus or ¬†van at the Cebu North Bus Terminal. Travel time is around 5-6 hours. (Fare: Air-conditioned Bus: 170php , Non-Airconditioned bus: 163php | First bus leaving Bus terminal, 1am last trip at 10PM) . Then arriving at ¬†Maya Port, you’d take a 30 minute boat ride (Fare: 80php) to the island of Malapscua.

Accommodations:

Would highly suggest that if you want to explore or snorkel around the island that you stay at least a night or if you plan to dive , stay at least 2 nights in the island.  Accommodations in the island start at 800php for a non air-conditioned room, good for 2 people per night.

Malapascua Cover 3

 

What I love about Malapascua is that it’s serene and intimate. You’d also notice that most visitors here are foreigners.

The island is known for its white sand beaches but most tourists go here to dive and see thresher sharks and manta rays.

The best way to see all the beautiful beaches of Malapascua is to hire a boat. For snorkeling and beach hopping you can rent a boat for as little as 300php per person (minimum of 4 people, inclusive of snorkel. Environmental Fee of 50php is not included).

 

 

Los Bamboos Malapascua

Los Bamboos Malapascua

 

Los Bamboos Malapascua

Los Bamboos Malapascua

Bantigue Cove Malapascua

Bantigue Cove Malapascua

 

Bantigue Cove, Malapascua

Bantigue Cove, Malapascua

Bantigue Cove, Malapascua

Bantigue Cove, Malapascua

 

 

Bounty Beach MalaPascua

Bounty Beach MalaPascua

 

Bounty Beach Malapascua

Bounty Beach Malapascua

 

Some of my underwater shots during our snorkeling around the island. Don’t worry I will dive soon and share my photos with you all. ūüėČ

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

Snorkeling in Malapascua

 

Food

Affordable and really good food, we highly recommend Ging-gings Restaurant and Flower Garden . A must try at Ging-ging’s are the calamares, Chicken curry and squid in coconut milk. And at night, get a glass of Mango Daiquiri and Malapascua Pizza at Sea Explorer Bar.

 

Calamares

Calamares

Squid in Coconut Milk at Ging-ging's restaurant

Squid in Coconut Milk at Ging-ging’s restaurant

Chicken Curry at Ging-ging's restaurant

Chicken Curry at Ging-ging’s restaurant

 

Sea Explorer Malapascua

Sea Explorer Malapascua

Malapascua Pizza at Sea Explorer Malapascua

Malapascua Pizza at Sea Explorer Malapascua

Mango Daiquiris at Sea Explorer Malapascua

Mango Daiquiris at Sea Explorer Malapascua

 

Before heading back to the city, purchase some souvenirs from the island. Get an arm candy or a thresher shark wood carving.

pasalubong

pasalubong

 

Going back to the city.

To get back to the Cebu City from Malapascua: Go to Malapascua Port then ride a boat to Maya (Approximately 30minute boat ride | Fare: 80php |last trip at 3pm so be sure to be there by 2pm just to make sure you get a ticket). Bus going to Cebu North Bus Terminal are parked at the Maya Terminal (First bus trip from Maya to Cebu North Bus Terminal at 1AM and last bus trip 5:30pm | Fare: 170php | Travel time approximately 5 hours.)

 

FUNtastic Island, Gibitngil Island

Part of the municipality of Medellin, Gibitngil boasts of  this attraction, Funtastic Island. The island is blessed with pristine clear waters and beautiful rock formations.
Before getting there, one will have to drop by the port to catch a boat ride to the islands. Can’t find it? follow your nose! haha. Mats of fishes are laid to dry at the shores of Kawit, welcoming guests to their ride pumped to the island of Gibitngil.

How to get there?

Three to three and a half (3 to 3 1/2) ¬†hour bus ride from Cebu North Bus Terminal (Air-conditioned bus fare at 160php) , alight at Kawit Medellin. From the main road of Kawit, ¬†walk (around a 5 minute walk) or ride a trisikad ( pajak in Tagalog or a bicycle rickshaw) to Kawit Wharf where you would be hopping on a boat to Gibitngil Island, or Bitngil as locals call the island. If you brought your car with you, there are parking spaces available at the Kawit Wharf.¬†A boat is for hire at 1,500php roundtrip (Kawit Wharf to Gibitngil Island and back) ¬†for a maximum of 20 passengers. For reservations, you can call the mayor’s office at (032) 436 2031 or +639176234925.¬†Ride from Kawit Wharf to FUNtastic Islandwould take¬†around 25 minutes.

Kawit Wharf

Drying Fish at Kawit Wharf

Kawit Wharf

Gibitngil Island

Gibitngil Island

Gibitngil Island

Rates at Funtastic Island:

Entance Fee: 10php per head

Small cottages from 50-150php

Medium Kiosk with diving board: 200php

Medium Kiosk with grill area: 200php

Big Kiosk on top: 250php

Funtastic Island

Funtastic Island

Funtastic Island

Funtastic Island

Zipline at Funtastic Island

Funtastic Island

Funtastic Island

Sun setting at Funtastic Island

Guests can also stay overnight on the island. Call the mayor’s office at (032) 436 2031 or +639176234925 to inquire.

If you are staying for just only a day, I suggest you leave the city at 6am and arrive at Funtastic Island by 10am. Then depart the island at 4pm. If you are riding the bus back to the city, just go back to Kawit main road and wait for a bus. I also suggest that you ¬†ride the first bus,air-conditioned or not, that drives by just to make sure you get in on a bus before it gets dark. ūüôā

 

Sta. Fe Bantayan Cebu

Situated at the west of the northern tip of Cebu, Bantayan Island  is one of the many favorite Cebu beach getaways, known for its fine white sand and crystal clear waters.

How to get there?

If you are publicly commuting, you can hop on a bus at Cebu’s North Bus Terminal in North Reclamation Area. You can either ride ¬†the bus (air conditioned bus fare at 150php and Non air conditioned bus fare at ¬†120php) or VHire/Van for hire (fare at 150php) from the bus station to Hagnaya Port. The ride will take around 3-4 hours, so better visit the bathroom before you hop on the bus. First bus to Hagnaya will start boarding at 5:30am and buses depart in 30-45 minutes interval.

 

Cebu North Bus Terminal

There’s a single stop over for the whole trip for passengers to¬†eat or take a leak. And when you arrive at the pit-stop and decides to go down, be sure not to forget to take note of the plate number of your bus before you go ¬†running off to the canteen. It can be quite confusing seeing all the buses parked are of the same color – yellow. ūüôā

a quick bus stop

Arriving at Hagnaya port, you’ll then hop on a ferry boat to Sta. Fe Wharf. The travel will take around 60-75 minutes and costs around 170php. ¬†If you are taking your car with you, contact Lite Ferry or Island Shipping for their car shipping rates.

A view from Sta. Fe Wharf

 

When at Sta. Fe Wharf, you can walk to the tricycle station just outside the wharf gate and hop on to a tricycle to your Bantayan destination. For this trip we booked rooms at Sugar Beach! Tricycle ride to Sugar Beach from the wharf is at 20php per person.

Sta. Fe walkway to the tricycle station

 

At Sugar Beach, you can either rent a room from 800php (single bed)  to 1000php (Twin bed)  for the non air conditioned rooms or rent a tent for less than 500bucks!

Sta. Fe walkway to the tricycle station

Rent a tent

 

So what to do in Bantayan?

1. Beach bumming at Sugar Beach!

Sugar Beach Bantayan

 

Sugar Beach Bantayan

Sugar Beach Bantayan

 

Sugar Beach Bantayan

Sugar Beach Bantayan

Sugar Beach Bantayn

Sugar Beach Bantayn

 

Sugar Beach Bantayan

 

2. Go around the town of  Sta. Fe Bantayan on a bike (Bike rental at 150php for your an overnight stay). 

Go around Sta. Fe Bantayan

Go around Sta. Fe Bantayan

Go around Sta. Fe Bantayan

 

Go around Sta. Fe Bantayan

 

Go around Sta. Fe Bantayan

 

Around Sta. Fe Bantayan

 

Around Sta. Fe Bantayan

 

3. Pig Out! With seafood at crazy cheap prices, you just cant stop munching on your favorite seafood! And the fishball and suman are just yumyum as well! 

Craaabs

 

Clams and shells

 

Fresh fish

Suman

Fishball

 

 

Any tip and tricks you wanna share with us and the iLuvCebu Community? Comment below, we’d love to hear ’em.

 

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Camotes Island, Cebu

Located at the northeast side of Cebu, known for pristine beaches and crystal clear waters РCamotes Cebu  is one of the must-go-to places when in Cebu. If you  are planning for a weekend getaway with friends or family that would not hurt your pockets, then Camotes Island would be a great option.

You have  three options in going to Camotes Island, 1st one is by taking the Fastcraft at Pier 1 (takes around 2 hours or less to arrive, Fare around 400php/9.30USD) and second is by taking the boat from Danao Port  (takes around 2 -3 hours depending on the weather, Fare: Non Airconditioned 180php/4.30USD or  Airconditioned: 200php/4.80USD). There are also boats going to Camotes Island from Ouano Wharf.

Since we took the boat from Danao Port, I will give you a walk though on how to get to Camotes Island from Mandaue City to Danao Port to Consuelo Wharf Camotes and back, including the list of the expenses.

From M.C. Briones Street, Mandaue City (just across Jollibee A.S. Fortuna) jeepneys bound to Danao Port are lined up waiting for passengers. Tell the barker or the driver that you are going to Danao Port. Jeepneys usually stop at the Danao PUV(Public Utility Vehicle) Terminal but if you are traveling in a big group, you can arrange to have your group directly be dropped off at Danao Port (Fare: From Mandaue to PUV Terminal: 30php or .71USD / from Mandaue to Danao Port: 40php or 0.95USD). But if you get off at the PUV terminal, then you can ride a Trisikad (Pajak in tagalog/ pedal operated tricycle) from PUV Terminal to Danao Port (Fare: 5php or 0.12USD). Jeepney ride from Mandaue City to Danao port takes around an hour and a half.

When you get to the Danao Port, get your ferry tickets at the counter. Ticket fare : ¬†Non Airconditioned 180php/4.30USD or ¬†Airconditioned: 200php/4.80USD. Departures from Danao Port to Consueolo Wharf Camotes are ¬†6:00am , 8:30am and 10:00am. I suggest you get the 6:00am boat or the latest 8:30am so you can go around and see more of the island. ūüôā

 

Consuelo Wharf

When you get to Consuelo Wharf, you can rent a multicab to tour you around the island. We (group of 9) ¬†paid 3,000php /71.42USD (around 333.33php/7.94USD per person) ¬†for a tour around the island and transfer from wharf to the resort and back to the wharf the next day. Motorcycles or locally known as “habalhabal” are also available to give you a lift to your resort, price ranges from 30-50php / 0.71 – 1.19USD depending how far your resort is from the wharf. Motorbikes are also available for rent for 500php/11.90USD.

For accommodations, there are lots of resorts to choose from. We stayed at Bano Beach Resort or BBR in Mangodlong. (www.banobeachresort.com) Standard room rates for 2 persons is 1,700php /40.48USD and additional of 250php/ 5.95USD per person (maximum of 4.) Since we are 9, we paid a total of 4,650php / 110.71USD for 2 rooms (516.67php/12.30 per person).

 

After dropping off our stuff at the resort, we then went to Camotes town center – San Francisco, where we had our lunch. We had barbeque at Bayview. Lunch prices per person depends on the ones appetite of course, hehe. ūüôā Average big meal is at 60php/1.43USD.

Bayview San Francisco Photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje (Mobile Photography)

Bayview BBQ

 

Don’t forget to buy mineral water at the town center to hydrate you during the tour, water costs 20php/ .47USD per liter. Mineral water might get a bit pricey when you buy it from the resort so you might want to stock an extra liter.

After lunch we then went to Bukilat Cave, around 30 minute drive from San Francisco Camotes. Entrance Fee is 10php for adults and 5php for children. Bukilat cave is located in the northeast of Camotes in Poro Island. It is one of the 8 natural caves in Camotes and is one of the major attractions in Camotes. Icy cool waters is believed to come from an underground spring.

Bukilat Cave – photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje(mobile photography)

 

Then off to Buho Rock in baranggay Tudela. Entrance at 15php/0.35USD. Well built stairs leading down to the crystal clear waters of  the island.

 

Buho Rocks – photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje(mobile photography)

 

Buhorocks Photo by Reymond Buenaviaje

 

Then off to Timubo Cave. ¬†Entrance at 15php/0.35USD.¬†One of my fave parts of the trip, where we swam for almost 2 hours in the cool and clear waters of the cave. My family collects ¬†ref magnets from our travels and there’s a souvenir table selling personalized Camotes keychains and magnets for 25php/.60USD and we bought 1. \m/

Timubo Cave

 

Souvenir Station

 

 

Next stop is Lake Danao. ¬†Entrance is¬†10php / .24USD. Lake Danao is the largest lake in the Visayas and Mindanao. From a bird’s eye view it is shaped like the number 8. You can rent a paddle boat for 50php/1.190USD per trip. Park closes at 6PM.

 

Lake Danao Photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje (Mobile Photography)

 

Lake Danao- photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje(mobile photography)

We then had dinner at Santiago. Seafood in Camotes is really cheap. Like for a whole squid dish or fish dish its priced just from 120-150php, and not to mention the food is great! We spent like 950php/22.61USD for 9 of people with extra servings of rice, desserts and 3 cups of halohalo. That’s 105.56php/2.51USD ¬†per person.

 

Lexine reading a book in a hammock while waiting for dinner at Santiago Bay

It was around 8pm when we finished dinner and then headed back to the resort. We instructed our driver to get us at 12noon the next day so we can get good seats on the ferry back to Cebu for the 2pm trip from the Consuelo wharf.

Mangodlong Beach, Camotes

 

Sunday, we woke up early to walk around and swim at the resort’s beach which by the way is AAAWWWESOME! Then at around 9:30am we had breakfast at the resort. Fresh coconuts served for only 20php. \m/ Then after swinnimng at the resort’s infinity pool. ūüôā

 

BBR Resort – Photo by Edd Buenaviaje (Mobile Photography)

 

Camotes. Photo by Doyzkie Buenaviaje(mobile photography)

 

Camotes Waters

 

Infinity Pool

 

12noon, our ride to the wharf arrived. Then off To Consuelo for the ferry back to Cebu. Since boat leaves at 2:00pm we had lunch at the port. 50-70php for a meal! \m/

Ship way back to the island of Cebu

 

 

For pasalubong you can buy Camotekies! ^_^

 

look out for dolphins swimming on the waters between Camotes and Cebu islands

 

List of Expenses per person:

Mandaue City to Danao PUV Terminal ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—- 30php / 0.71USD

Danao PUV Terminal to Danao Port ¬†(trisikad) ¬† ¬† ¬† —– 5php ¬†/ 0.11USD

Danao Port to Consuelo Wharf Camotes ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—-200php / 4.76 USD

Danao Port Terminal Fee ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† —- 5php ¬† /0.11USD

Multicab Rent ¬†(Group of 9 ¬†-3,000php /71.42USD) —¬†¬†333.33php/7.94USD per person

Resort Accomodation

(Group of 9 — 4,650php / 110.71USD for 2 rooms) —-¬†516.67php/12.30 per person

Lunch at Bayview ¬†(BBQ) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—-¬†60php/1.43USD

Liter of Mineral water ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† — 20php /.47USD

Bulikat Cave ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†— 10php / .24USD

Buho Rock ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† — ¬†15php/0.35USD

Timubo Cave ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—¬†¬†15php/0.35USD

Personalized Camotes Ref Magnet ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† —¬†25php/.60USD

Lake Danao Entrance ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—¬†10php / .24USD

Dinner at Santiago ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† —- 105.56php/2.51USD

Breakfast at the hotel with ¬†fresh coconut drink ¬† ¬† ¬†—- ¬†120php/ 2.86USD

Lunch at Consuelo ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—- 70php/ 1.67USD

Consuelo Wharf to Danao Port ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—-¬†200php / 4.76 USD

Trisikad from Danao Port to PUV Terminal ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—- 5php ¬†/ 0.11USD

Danao PUV Terminal to Mandaue City ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—- 30php / 0.71USD

Total : ¬†—————————————————– 2045.57php / 48.70USD per person

The cost is just an estimate and a guide for people who want/planning to travel to Camotes. Prices may not exactly be the same. Be mindful of the blogpost date. Thank you for reading and I hope you find this blogpost helpful. ūüôā