Have you heard of Bojo River? How about the quaint town of Aloguinsan? While this place has been recognize worldwide, it has remained as an unfamiliar destination to many tourists, both local and foreign, as it is not usually taken as a part of tours round south of Cebu.
But if you’re interested with nature, specifically learning about mangroves, marine life, and conservation, then Bojo River is something that you should not miss if you are in Cebu.
ABOUT BOJO RIVER IN ALOGUINSAN, CEBU
Upon browsing the Internet, geek as I am, I found this interesting river which flows from my very own province unto the verge of Tañon Strait. This was the recently discovered, through the Suroy-suroy Sugbo of Gwen Garcia, Bojo River of Aloguinsan. The place has been listed as one of the places which should be visited before one dies in Yahoo Travels. Totally amazed, I then search for blogs that offers major exploration and reviews of the place. Good thing contact numbers were given on the blogs (although not all are guaranteed to work.
HOW TO GET TO BOJO RIVER?
Basically, to get to Bojo River, we travelled by bus to the town of Aloguinsan. We met up with friends at the South Bus Terminal. The bus took the Barili-Mantalongon-Aloguinsan route so it took some time before we reached our destination. No complaints though as we were only asked to pay P80 for the joyride – and slight emersion with locals.
Basically, one can get access to the place by just riding a bus or private vehicle. We travelled through bus. We were lucky that we were able to ride on a bus which goes directly to Aloguinsan, given that there are only a handful of those buses (no Ceres bus goes to Aloguinsan). The ride was actually not that luxurious. People from all walks of life were compacted on the bus – most are bringing luggage with them since there was no classes the following day because it’s National Heroes Day but that what makes the adventure fun. You meet all types of kind-hearted people who randomly talks and shares with you amazing facts of the place where you’re going, not to mention their own background. (This is what I like the most about people from provinces, they are very eager to share their lives even when you literally don’t know or remember their names. They are just too enthusiastic to be with). The ride took almost two hours since we passed through Barili – Mantalongon via Carcar before reaching Aloguinsan. But it’s okay since we only paid P80 for the ride.
As we were not that familiar with the place, we asked the bus driver to drop us off at the town proper (lungsod). Upon knowing that Bojo River is located quite distant from the town proper, we then hire a habal-habal driver to bring us to Bojo River.
What made this trip to Bojo River a total adventure is that since our fourth company decided to back out last minute, only three of us pushed with the trip. And before I forget, yeah, I’m third-wheeling. So, there you go, imagine the three of us compounded at the back of the habal-habal driver – squeezing ourselves so as not to fall off the motorbike. Good thing it didn’t take that long though, or else we’d end up like sandwiches. Okay, not funny.
So, in less than ten minutes we arrived at our destination. From the entrance, we walked several meters before reaching the actual site for the river cruise.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BOJO RIVER?
Do note that the river cruise in Bojo River can only be done during high tide. Therefore, before visiting the area, make sure the check the calendar. Also, add up the travel time and expected time of arrival to be able to enjoy the whole trip (and even do swimming in the grand Tañon Strait.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE BOJO RIVER CRUISE?
Upon arrival, BAETAS’ personnel will welcome and give a short seminar on the place. You have to pay P400.00 for the whole river cruise package (P300.00 on weekdays). You might think that this is too expensive, but it will really pay off. Part of the money will go to the municipality, for the maintenance of the place and the rest will be evenly distributed to the fisherfolks who volunteered to do the paddling and tour guiding during the river cruise.
Since we arrived on the place almost noon and we had a very good weather, it was totally hot! Good thing umbrellas were provided for the cruise. The river is 1.5 kilometer long and would take 30 to an hour (depending on how talkative the guide is :D). While cruising, you will get to know a lot of mangrove spices you never know existed. There are about a hundred pus specie of mangroves there that serve as a habitat for marine and aerial animals. The place has no shore, therefore expect that when you exit from the river, the wide Tanon Strait, which separates Cebu and Negros, will welcome you! (not to mention the strong and mighty Mt. Kanlaon which is very visible on the naked eye!)
WHAT MADE THE BOJO RIVER TRIP EXTRAORDINARY?
My friends and I really did enjoy the whole trip because we were able to get to know more of our locale, amazing history, legends and myths of Aloguinsan. The bangkero was actually very talkative. He got tons of stories to share (as well as amazing fun facts to learn about mangroves and marine life) during the whole river cruise trip.
After our short trip to Aloguinsan, my company decided to go directly to Mantayupan Falls which is located in Barili proper. Since there are very few buses that passes by the area, we decided to take the habal-habal again. I believe this is the most interesting part of our adventure! The three of us again pact on a motorcycle as we pass by on roads that are on the cliffs! In addition, our former agreement with the driver is that we are only going to Mantalongon, but then decided to go directly to Mantayupan Falls. The problem is, the driver does not know were the waterfalls was located! Good thing, people there are kind enough to assist us.
SIDETRIP TO MANTAYUPAN FALLS
I’m really a big fan of waterfalls. I don’t know why. This has been my fifth waterfall gazing and this has the been the tallest among those I have visited! I’ve been to Talamban, Kawasan (Badian), Bugasok (Argao) and Tumalog (Oslob) but nothing became close enough to compare to the height of Mantayupan! It’s humungous! First timers would really be awed by the beauty and exuberance of this majestic gift of nature. The only drawback of the area is that it is muddy. But you can do away with that by staying on the rocks or swimming too far enough that you can feel the mud under your feet.
Realizations of the whole adventure:
- Prayer is an essential part of the trip. There are a lot of things to pray for like good weather, good company and financial stability during the entire trip, not to mention safety.
- You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of company to enjoy a trip. As long as you are with a person close to you, it would be awesome!
- Risk-taking is very important. It’s a matter of trust and faith that the people you hold on to will not fail you and that God will be there when the rest of the world fails :)
- If you are really willing and craving to do the trip, the world will conspire to help you.
Total Expense of the Bojo River Cruise Trip:
P20 – Habal-habal to Bojo River
P400 – Tour Package
P80 – Bus to Aloguinsan from South Bus Terminal
P150 – Bojo River to Mantayupan Falls
P20 – Waterfalls Entrance
P70 – Bus fare bound to Cebu City
Total Expenses: P740.00
Tips and Tricks for your Bojo River Cruise Trip
- Check the calendar before going to Bojo River.
- Spare two hours travel time.
- Learn how to swim.
- Bring extra money for unexpected cases.
- Be kind and talkative so that you’ll win the hearts of the drivers and bangkeros
- Bring your own food to avoid extra charges on the food that you’ll be buying.
- Bring protection from the heat of the sun.
- Act like a cowboy. Ayaw pag-inarte!
- Trust God. :)
Hope you’ll have fun too. Thanks for reading!