Tag Archive: Boljoon



Cebu is NOT all about lechon. There’s the coveted, sought-after Chicharon from Carcar too! 😍 Kidding aside, Cebu has much to offer. In between the lechons and the chicharons, its natural wonders and rich history make it a must-destination.

 

 

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Oh, how we indulged ourselves! More so after a NO-TUKI-SIGHTING day in Oslob. Imagine having to wake up at 3am to leave at 4am, cruising the next 3 hours down to Southern Cebu to meet the gentle whale sharks. F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N. Those giants stood us up!

 

 

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Not like us to let this frustration ruin our day, we made good use of our time (and money spent on the hired van) to make a few interesting stopovers on our drive back to Cebu City.

 

 

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Boljoon. Our first stop heading back to the city from Oslob driving along the coast. One of the oldest towns in the Philippines. Strategically located, facing Bohol Strait some 100 kilometers south of Cebu City. The church of Nuestra Señora Patrocinio de Maria, built in 1599 making it the oldest remaining stone church in Cebu, is very well preserved. The Museum adjoining the Church is a pleasant surprise.

 

 

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If I have not read earlier blogs on Boljoon, I would have easily dismissed it as another sleepy town. As we passed this seaside municipality, a huge limestone and granite rock caught our attention — allegedly a cavity formed by the collapse of a mountain range. These natural wonders never fail to amaze me — truly an unplanned composition of water and wind. It is likely that Boljoon may have derived its name from “nabulho”, meaning “collapsed”.

 

 

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I took the stairs and was floored by the vista of the Boljoon Church courtyard framed by mountains. Wow. You don’t get this view every day. Somehow the vista transported me to those times of the frailes. A truly colonial feel. I can almost visualize the frailes doing their paseos in the courtyard or venturing out of the church premises for a grand view of the sea. More than that, the Parish Museum has much to offer – from church vestments, well-preserved parish records and manuscripts dating as far back as the 17th century, to various religious artifacts and archaeological finds. Among these archaeological finds are Japanese porcelain and other artifacts. Since the church compound also has its own burial grounds, skeletons were also unearthed. What all these excavation finds reveal can fill many pages of a book, telling of a rich heritage of an otherwise “sleepy, seaside town”. We never bothered before, but these discoveries now beg our attention. It’s all up to us to make, and cherish, that connection to our past.

 

 

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Our group planned this 3 day, 2 night adventure in Cebu highlighted by a visit to Oslob. This small, heretofore vaguely known town in Southern Cebu hugged the limelight when it was reported that whale sharks — Butanding in Donsol, “tuki” in Cebu — were discovered. The “feeding” of these friendly gentle giants invited so much attention and excitement that we promptly packed our bags and flew to Cebu. This, even after the disastrous earthquake that rocked Negros and Cebu a few days before our flight.

 

 

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We arranged for a van to pick us up at the new Harold’s Hotel in Cebu City at the ungodly hour of 4am. Having feasted on lechon the day before — the day of our arrival — I hardly slept because of a disturbing headache (which I later learned was actually triggered by a spike in my blood pressure) which deprived me of the needed winks.

 

 

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We tried to catch some sleep in the van as we cruised towards Oslob on that 3 hour drive. Armed with my own life vest, life buoy and snorkeling equipment (all hand carried from Manila), we were ready eager when we arrived 7am in this remote village. The makeshift registration kiosk wasn’t that busy as it was a Thursday and it was just our group, a family, 2 Caucasian couples and a lone Frenchman arranging for a date with the gentle, krill-fed whale sharks. 

 

 

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But it was not to be. We waited another 3 hours, content with stories from this local who regaled us with her own adventures feeding the whale sharks. By 10am, we prepared to leave as the “spotters” who rounded up the area several times came back empty-handed.  Disappointed. Frustrated. Deprived of an adventure dreamed of weeks before. Thank God I was in the company of good (and cheerful) friends with whom a day is never dull nor devoid of “adventure”.

 

 

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Now, WHAT TO DO? The 3 hour return trip was marked by stopovers in Boljoon, Dalaguete, Carcar and Simala. Separate blogs to follow, as each has a story to tell. Tuki or no tuki, we certainly didn’t waste our day!  When you guys go, better pray you meet them. Pray for good weather. It rained nearly the whole night and early morning of our visit. The whale sharks may have been sooo disturbed by the strong current and choppy waters.