Philippines

Cebu, chasing waterfalls and swimming with whale sharks

One of the longest travel hauls of our travelling adventure. We arrived into the Philippines capital Manila in the early hours of the morning. We decided to fly directly to another island the same day.

Not even an hours flight we arrived on the Island of Cebu, our first destination to explore. The views from above were absolutely stunning. Clear blue water and small islands dotted about. I was full of excitement that we were finally here. The philippines has always been a dream destination for me to visit, and felt so surreal that I was finally there.

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We had planned to explore the north and south of the island in two weeks , Cebu is packed with unique natural wonders I wasnt sure if this was enough time. With no real plan, we decided to be spontanous and book as we go.

Our first stop was Cebu city, described as the Queen city of the south. Cebu is the second largest air hub, its also a very busy city with a well developed infrastructure. The city had a strong spanish latin america reminiscent. Its also the oldest city in the country.

We had book 2 nights in a Air bnb apartment, close to the centre. Arriving late afternoon, we found ourselves falling asleep instantly, 32 hours of travelling with lack of sleep , our bodies needed to rest.

The next day we planned to visit Alaya mall, via a colourful Jeepney this is how the locals travel. Only costing 7 peso, 13 cent, these run 24 hours a day, and pretty much cover the whole city. Alaya mall is situated close to the centre. With over 200 shops, including resturants, supermarkets and a cinema. We found ourselves overwhelmed by it all. Coming from South East Asia where its less developed we truly were spoilt for choice.

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We decided to visit the supermarket, stocking up on items some of our favourite items. It was so good to finally have our own kitchen to cook in.

Cebu is by no means not a pretty city and there isn’t much to see.  The downtown area around Colon is very crowded , the city is a sprawling mix of mainly slums with some nice neighborhoods and glitzy shopping malls.

After a quick stop in Cebu City, we decided to catch a bus further south, to the town of Oslob.

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Oslob via the bus can completely vary in time, the traffic within cebu city is just extreme. Dont expect to arrive somewhere on time. A lot of people will do day trips to this town. But we had decided to booked two nights at a small guest house outside the main town.

The main attraction in this area is the Whale sharks. There is a lot of controversial since this started. Many people are unware of the negative impact, me being one of them.

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The following morning we hired a motorbike to visit this attraction. Completely overwhelmed by the amount of tourists there. We were a little unsure if this was the best thing to do. The owner of our guest house was there, he convinced us it was well worth it.

Given a mandatory orientation about the guidelines of whale shark interaction.  Shortly afterwards we were lining up in small groups to get onto the boats. We had around 30 minutes in the water, where we snorkled and were able to get close to these incredible creatures. It was a surreal experience, getting to see these beautiful and also the biggest fish in the world.

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The same day we decided to explore a little more on our motorbike,  the ride took us along the coast of Oslob witnessing a vast expanse of sea, before heading up a steep road to visit the Tumalog falls.

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Reaching the last part by foot down a steep road, you can see the magnifience falls from the distance. Feeling the mist of the falls as you approach it felt so refreshing. The waterfall is a real beauty, be prepared to get wet. The water being knee deep, its perfect for a quick refreshing dip.

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After spending more than an hour in the waterfall. We decided to hike up the steep road and venture back to our guesthouse.

It was a lovely surreal day.

From Oslob we decided to follow the coastline south via a bus to the west side to the town of Moalboal.

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