WARNING: 10 Instagrammable Places in Cebu that are Restricted to the Public

The earth was never ours for the taking. (Malubog Tunnel)

Instagram has an inevitable power among millennials these days. With more million s of users, advertisers, and influencers across the board, Instagram has finally infiltrated the lives of many individuals causing more and more people to set forth on an adventure, purchase high-end cameras, and learn how to perfect angles just to get thaose “Instagrammable” photos, earn those likes, and get featured on various brands and companies. And in the efforts of getting those “hearts” many people go to places which are highly restricted not knowing the consequences they may bring among them, the environment, as well as the locals of the community.

Here are 10 Spots in Cebu which are totally Instagrammable BUT YOU MUST NEVER SET FOOT INTO. 

Mangitngit Falls, Carmen by Chasing Potatoes

Because of the landslide in 2007 and untoward accidents that happened to some locals and guests, the waterfalls, no matter how serene has been closed to the public. Nevertheless, its adjacent rivers and springs are still accessible. You can still visit the waterfalls but only to view it from afar.

Busay Falls, San Fernando (also called Basak Falls)

 Located several kilometers from the highway, the second level of Busay Falls can be accessible by the public; however, its other cascading part entails a very dangerous trip down below. Not only that the trails are dangerous, unexpected visits may pose danger to both miners working in the area and guests.

Lumanoy Cave (Catmon/Carmen) Photo by Wandering Soul Scamper

Lumanoy Cave is one of the many side trips done by those who climbed Mt. Kapayas; however, it has been closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to give the cave ample time to recover and rehabilitate from the damages incurred from vicious and invasive visitors.

Read more: Mt. Kapayas: A Letter From the Mountains

Montaneza Falls, Malabuyoc

Unfortunately, a year after my solo backpacking trip to the southern part of Cebu, the highest level of Montaneza Falls – where canyoning can also be done as featured in Biyahe ni Drew – has been permanently closed by the municipal government due to some falling debris and boulders from the cascades. Currently, issues regarding land ownership have been discussed on the area causing the temporary closure of its entrance, Mainit Spring.

Read more: Where will you P500.00 bring you?

Biga Pit, Toledo

Photos of Biga Pit had been recently flooding in social networking sites. With its picturesque view, it has drawn a lot of visitors coming from different places (not to mention that a lot of habal-habal drivers in Landing, Toledo are openly hailing guests to visit such place). However, going to this place does not only bring you to the front of danger, as its trails are uneven and steep, but as well as, will cause you more trouble for tresspassing a private property. According to reports of some locals, there were visitors who were detained because of this. Carmen Copper has been recently visited by the former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez and has been duly recognized for its efforts of preserving the environment in return of mining and quarrying.

Cebu Zoo, Cebu City

September last year, Cebu Zoo has been put to close by the Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena. The area has been agreed to be swapped with the Cebu Provincial government to provide socialized housing sites under Ordinance 93-1. Moreover, because of inadequacy of resources and financial support for the care of the animals, some of them are being sent to Amlan.

Malubog Dam
Malubog Lagoon

Malubog Dam/ Malubog Lagoon, Toledo

Located several kilometers away from Biga Pit is one of the largest privately owned reservoirs in the country – Malubog Dam – which is used for domestic and industrial consumption. However, no matter how beautiful and captivating the place can be, it has remained private and trespassers can be duly sanctioned by authorities. This is the company’s way of protecting the area from irresponsible visitors and avoiding further accidents as the trails are steep, narrow, and slippery. Though it’s open for locals who get livelihood (fishing and foraging), guests from other places are prohibited by local guards from entering the area. Forcing your way in (getting inside without the knowledge of the guards) may cause suspension of the guards assigned and result to their inability to provide for their family.

Malubog Tunnel, Toledo

This is actually the entrance of Malubog Dam. Before getting to the lagoon, you have to pass through this man-made tunnel. You can refer to the number prior to this for the sanctions. Probably, the only thing that I can comment on this is that they have failed to post signage on the area that states the prohibition of entrance by visitors. Of course, due to curiosity and Instagram, it’s difficult not to really enter the premise and do a photo shoot. But as the famous quote says, “ Curiosity killed the cat” and “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.”

Tieza Botanical Garden (Malubog Lake/ Sirao Botanical Garden), Cebu City

For someone who’s been a constant visitor of Sirao Peak, Tieza has become a normal side trip for me. However, on our recent visit, we found out that the area has been closed for maintenance and rehabilitation. Hearsay tells that it has been closed due to the unstable grounds of the area which might result to a landslide, or probably, it has something to do with business venture as well.

Read more: Trails and Tales of Sirao Peak

Jaclupan Dam, Talisay

Batanes? Zambales? Nope. It’s just Jaclupan Dam. Though totally enchanting, doing photo shoots in the vicinity is actually prohibited by the management. According to the security guards, there were issues on poisoning and irresponsible acts of visitors done prior our visit which resulted to the strict implementation of such ruling. Of course, who would want unsafe water running down the faucets?

Read more: Hidden Charms of Talisay: Igutan Cave and Jaclupan Dam

Surely, social media and all those social networking sites have brought a lot of changes in the society today. But of course whether it’s boon or bane remains a debate and would always depend on how we use them. So to avoid issues and damages – not only to oneself and the environment – it would be best to wait until these places are made open to the public and of course, to be a responsible tourist, traveler, hiker, mountaineer, or whatever shoe you’d like to fit in. Remember, the environment is not ours for the taking. We’re just borrowing it from the future generation.

Did I miss something? Feel free to comment or let’s discuss more of these over Facebook and Instagram! See you on trails and remember: Be responsible. Leave No Trace.