Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hidden Beach, Aloguinsan Cebu

I am a Cebuano and I've been to a lot of local destinations for quite some time now. I never expected there are more than just savory lechon or 'puso' that can describe Cebu's flavor as a whole and more than just Moalboal or Bantayan Island that can describe beaches in Cebu as a whole. There are a lot of hidden splendid yet to be uncovered in our humble island (I'm pretty sure all other places in the Philippines too). 

Forgive me if I'm a little bias in this entry, I just can't help myself but admire my own place. I've been to different destinations outside Cebu but for a budget tripper like me and my wife, we asked ourselves why do we need to spend a lot when we can find stunning places nearby with less cost?

Hidden Beach, Aloguinsan Cebu
Hidden Beach, Aloguinsan Cebu

I never tire researching worthy-to-visit local Cebu destinations, especially hidden beaches. Aloguinsan was one of the results that came up from google when I was searching for hidden beaches in Cebu. Aloguinsan is located south of Cebu where you can find the famous Bojo river. Bojo river is amazing, you can ride a boat and cruise the entire river with a scenic view and magnificent rock formations (that's gonna be my next destination).

Hidden Beach, Aloguinsan Cebu
Hidden beach in Aloguinsan on other hand sure was hidden from civilization that you'll never expect a long dirt road with barely visible shore can lead you to a white sand beach.
the unpaved dirt road going to the place.
The humble signage.
The sand may not be as fine and as white as Moalboal and Tingko, but what I like about the place is how flourishing the shore was. It's full of life. I saw numerous hermit crabs, different colored star fish and sea urchins around.

best place to find hermit crabs

there are just plenty of starfish everywhere

careful not to step on these

rare blue starfish

sea shell

I admire healthy and clean beaches there are a lot of sea creatures here unlike Lambug, and that makes Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan one of my favorite local destination. 

My 2 cents:
  • How to get there? There are few bus trips from Cebu Bus Terminal straight to Aloguinsan, other alternatives are: 
    • Bus from Cebu to Mantalongon and Motorcycle (habal2x)  from Mantalongon to Aloguinsan.
    • Bus from Cebu to Toledo and jeepney from Toledo to Aloguinsan.
    • Bus from Cebu to Pinamungajan and jeepney from Pinamungajan to Aloguinsan.
    • You can the ride a motorcycle or tricycle from the main road to Hidden Beach Resort. 
    • Rent a tricycle from Toledo City to Hidden Beach and back for only P600 to P800, just don't forget to feed the driver. 
  • Accomodation. very cheap, overnight stay in a simple room/hut with electricity and bed will cost you P500. Entrance fee P15, cottages/stalls P150 to P300.
Small room but no limit to how many can clutter inside.

  • Food. It is always best to bring your own, but you can still buy meat or ready to eat food and supplies (water, etc) from markets on your drop off locations. Grilling is allowed in the place. 
  • Other head's up. Since the main entrance going to the place is secluded, you can ask your tricycle/motorcycle driver to pick you up when going home. And be very cautious in stepping in the water, a lot of sea urchins or better yet wear beach shoes. 
  • Contact them at (0939) 476-9012

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Canigao Island - Matalom, Leyte

A vivid memory of the old time flashes in my head whenever I see the beach. I grew up with beach-loving people, so I will never get tired (i guess) in going to the beach. 

Our feet brought us to Leyte this time with my college friends, in an infamous island in Matalom Leyte called Canigao Island in the Philippines. Canigao is just a small island, in fact in less than 45 mins we were able to go around the island. Though its small, the fine white sand covering the entire shore didn't fail to fascinate us.

Sand bar in Canigao Island.

The inviting pristine water of Canigao Island
Canigao Island Resort

Sunset in Canigao Island
The local government protects the untouched reputation of Canigao by not allowing too much stores/resorts on the island itself. I didn't even remember if there was even an electricity on the island. 

It's truly one of Leyte's gem with all the corals and sea creatures that you can visibly see from the crystal clear water. 

You will know if an island or beach is healthy if you can find bounty sea creatures  like sea urchins, starfish, crabs, etc

How to get there?

  • Depending on your location, get any means of transportation going to Leyte.
  • Matalom is famous in Leyte, you can get a van or bus going to Matalom, south of Leyte. You can even rent a tricycle to drive you to the place. 
  • Once you're in Matalom, there are numerous boats that can bring you to Canigao Island (30 mins travel).
  • Accomodation? You can camp around the island or rent a hut or if you don't have plans in staying overnight in the island, there are several room options in Matalom proper.

It was a "full" weekend

If we're not somewhere else traveling or looking for serious adventure or not in the mall. Me and my small family turns a regular weekend to an in-house gastronomic feast (okay, that's exaggerated). 

If we didn't have an itinerary on a Saturday or a Sunday morning, I always expect our day to start very late like around noon time. Since I'm a morning person, and I don't want to have a boring weekend I usually prepare breakfast. I always make it to a point to add a little twist to whatever I cook so that my 'waking-them-up' very early will be worth it.

Instead of a regular toast, top any kind of bread with a mixture of tomato, cheese and  spring onion.
I put scrambled egg, lettuce and a customized salsa sauce in between the white bread

see how boring a bread can be, without a little twist
Adding cheese to your omelet and topping it with parsley will make it look fancy

Fruit juice
Another suggestion I got from a Thai restaurant is to add bits of fruits in your regular fruit juice. It adds flavor and color too!

One of my favorite was turning our regular instant noodles to a healthy (maybe) pleasing-to-look-at treat. I did it by adding eggs, a little chilly powder (or curry), thinly sliced vegetable (carrots and cabbage) and bits of hams.

P.S. I'm not a cook and I don't consider myself one. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Travel Cebu - Lambug, Badian

Going out with my wife is one of the best moments I always treasure. We don't choose what place to visit as long as we're having fun and we never miss a good conversation. What I like about Ivane is that she never seldom complains and she always share what she's thinking. Anyway, (sudden shift lol) In my search for a nice and secluded white sand beach in Cebu, I came across with some interesting photos about Lambug Beach in Badian Cebu. 

Compared to other white sand beaches in Cebu, Lambug beach is not crowded, so I was thinking this could be a nice place to visit on a weekend.

Lambug beach, Badian

Me with the colorful boats

The place did not fail us. If I'm not mistaken, the white powdery beach stretches more than 1 kilometer. We rented this hut for P150 only and that already included electricity, utensil and comfort room usage. We stayed there just for a day but the place had a handful of cottage options where you can actually rent for an overnight stay. 

Time for a volleyball fun!

I'm not just sure if there are available boats you can rent for island hopping or snorkeling but I saw a few small boats anchored on the shore.

There weren't a lot of hermit crabs in the place. I found this strolling  alone.

There weren't a lot of sea creatures here compared to the Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan, but the sand in Lambug is an edge.

So I guess, the next time we might visit Badian, its not just Moalboal that will come in our mind but maybe Lambug Beach as well.

My 2 cents:

  • In going there. You can find buses in Cebu South Bus Terminal bound to Badian, just tell the bus conductor to drop you off in the junction going to Badian Golf Course (2-3 hours of travel), and rent a tricycle to bring you to Lambug Beach (trike fair is P15 /person).
  • Food and Drinks. Bring your own, but if you want to instead buy food there, you might need to visit the market first and ride a tricycle going to Lambug beach (10mins trike travel from market to Lambug).
  • Bring a tent. If you have one, it'll be more fun I guess and lesser expense in paying for the hut rental.
  • In going home. Air-conditioned buses (according to a lady we met) passes every 2 hours but there are still regular buses. Just be ready to be dizzy, its gonna be a 2-3 hours bumpy ride back to Cebu. Don't forget to bring home ampao and chicharon when you pass by Car-car.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dine Cebu - Countrystyle Cafe

This is not your usual cafe. The place is very simple, yet out of its simplicity you'd be surprised how amazing their Halo-Halo and Pizza are. They also offer different unique drinks and other usual dish like shomai and steamed rice just to name a few. 

They're highlighting their Halo-halo and pizza but sure you can still enjoy lunch and dinner here. 

My wife's brother worked here and decided to invite us over to just try what the cafe offers. Sure the halo-halo didn't fail us, I'm not really fond of halo-halo but after finishing this one, I told myself to bring my friends back here to try it for themselves, and that shouldn't be my last visit.

We got too full to try these, maybe next time.

Fine ice shaving is the key. I eat my Halo-halo like this, I don't like mixing everything. 
Hawaiian pizza. Notice the pepper? We sure do like everything with lots of pepper on them.

The interior. They are planning to renovate the entire place. Hope to be invited on the relaunch. lol

You can find them at the back of Cebu Doctor's hospital in J. Avila St. beside Princess Chicken.