Tag Archive: Dalaguete

We didn’t plan on visiting Dalaguete. Much less visit it on its town fiesta which is celebrated every 9th and 10th of February. Yet there we were, witnesses to all that revelry in honor of its patron saint, San Guillermo de Aquitania.







As with similar town fiestas, Utanon is the Dalaguetnons’ way of showing gratitude for all their blessings. Through dance and music, they celebrate the town’s good harvest as Dalaguete is Cebu’s vegetable basket much like Baguio is in Luzon. It is also alleged that Dalaguete is the Music Capital of the island. The name Dalaguete came from balete, a tree which grew abundantly in the town, and which in Cebuano, is called the dalakit. On the other hand, Utanon means vegetables in the local dialect.







We caught sight of the bands and street marchers/dancers in front of San Guillermo Church. The festive colors of red, blue and green complemented the floats with “Hermana Mayors” gamely waving their hands as they were paraded around town. I have to say that the sight made for a very rural scene….. A village affair. I bet everyone knows everybody in this small town.







We surmised that the religious procession in honor of San Guillermo is scheduled later in the day as local men were still busy decking the floats with flowers. We said a prayer inside this 18th century baroque church with its shell-shaped altar before heading out for one last glimpse of the church and its adjoining convent. Should you come and visit this church, take time to stare up to view one of the few masterpieces by Canuto Avila, a 19th century maestro who did religious murals for 20 or so churches and convents in the Visayas, including the ceiling of Cebu’s Santo Niño Church.








Next time around though, we’d make time to do the trek to Osmena Peak. For now, it would just be a pit stop towards Carcar where more Chicharon awaits us ☺

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.






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.






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. 






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”.






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.