SURE it’s the rainy season, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating September as tourism month. And what better way to awaken your sojourner’s spirit with a trip to Cebu City’s hinterlands. That’s right, Cebu City, which is actually 80 percent hilly and mountainous. You can only imagine what natural secrets the less traversed parts of the city’s 315 square kilometers hide. Scenic trails, pristine rivers, streams and falls that cut through boulders and canyons, countless caves.
In line with their Lakbay Lingaw campaign, the Cebu City Tourism Council took Sun.Star Weekend to a mountain road trip for a glimpse of its Cebu Highlands Tour packages, which is in the final stages of preparation with tourism stakeholders, especially the local folk.
The day trip — travel time to the first destination some 30 kilometers away from Lahug took less than an hour — offers ideas on what to do during the highland tour, which is a whole lot of awesome, really.
1. Contemplate atop one of the massive boulders in the waterfalls in Barangay Tabunan. The trek to the falls from the barangay hall is a mere 15 minutes, but it takes you past a gentle stream that flows through a natural landscape of rocks, river sand and lush vegetation.
2. Take a quick dip in the shallow pools en route to the canyon that hides Tabunan’s falls, where you can cool down further. Tabunan, by the way, was named after a bird that buries its eggs along the river banks.
3. Smell the flowers and watch the bees up close in Betty’s Flower Farm in Barangay Cantipla. It’s another 15 minutes on foot from the Cantipla Elementary School to the six-hectare farm, but it’s one of the most relaxing walks you’ll ever get in the whole of Cebu City: the trail is lined with ferns, pine trees and a host of endemic vegetation. The view of forested slopes can get breathtaking as well.
4. Take selfies with bats in Bombahan Cave as you make your way through the damp cave, which is 200 meters long from one opening to the other. Bombahan — named as such because locals pump water from the mouth of the cave — is just one of the close to 30 caves in Barangay Sudlon 1.
5. Score some fresh produce, such as these really delicious, rich and creamy avocados in Sitio Satuhan in Barangay Sudlon 1 that the farmers themselves brought to the village center. (NSV)