Rumor has it that one of the many reasons why infrastructures are built (despite the troubles in traffic, manpower, and budget) is because of the on-going treasure hunt done by many excavators. According to legends, the Japanese have hidden thousands of treasures upon their occupation here in the Philippines in between 1942 – 1945. And true enough, during our visit to the city of Toledo, we found some of Cebu’s treasures.
It was through an invitational post on Cebu Wanderer’s Group that I got a chance to visit Toledo – the gateway to the western part of Cebu Province. It is the home of the Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation, now Carmen Copper Corporation. Planning to join a treasure hunt as well in Toledo City? Here’s what what we found.
Places to visit around Toledo City, Cebu
Puting Bato/ Batuga’g Banog
Puting Bato (locally known as Batuga’g Banog) is a steep rocky peak located in Lutopan, Toledo. Guides are highly recommended upon ascending to the summit of this peak as the trail can be really difficult. The prize on top is very much rewarding though, as it gives a panoramic view of nearby mountain ranges in Toledo.
Capilla Sta. Ana
Capilla Sta. Ana is a privately owned place of worship located in Sta. Ana, Barangay Ibo, Toledo City. Aside from the wide collection of relics and statues, what made Capilla Sta. Ana comparably famous than the rest of the chapels nearby is its labyrinth that ends to the statue of the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus in her loving arms. The main purpose of this is to provide visitors a time to pray the rosary while meditating while walking around the maze of Capilla Sta. Ana in Toledo City.
Biga Pit is an open pit mining site located in Barangay Biga, Toledo City. We were informed during our visit that it is actually prohibited to visit the site given the dangers of the trail and the mining site in this part of Toledo. However, the alluring blue waters still encourage travelers to include this place in their itineraries. Don’t tell me you were not warned.
Lake Bensis/ Lake Pingganon
Lake Bensis (or locally known as Pingganon Lake or simply ‘Dampingan’) is a man-made lake which once served as deposit site for mine tailings of Atlas Mining Corporation in Toledo. It recently gained the attention of a lot of outdoor enthusiasts because of the serenity of the place. It is located in Barangay Loay, Toledo, adjacent to Barangay Sinsin, Cebu City.
By far, Malubog Lake in Toledo is one of the biggest lake found in Cebu. It is located in Barangay Climaco, Toledo City. This grandiose lake (which was once a dam) is an attractive place to visit for those who want experience serenity and calmness.
Malubog Tunnel is the gateway to the restricted lagoon owned and managed by Carmen Copper Corporation in Toledo City. It is strictly guarded and only made accessible to locals (who do their fishing and other economic activities in the area). Beware: restricted area.
But more than these enthralling natural treasures of Toledo, Cebu, the greatest gem that we found was friendship treasured and built upon our adventure. Who would have thought that such group of strangers and persons of different interests would be able to find adventure in each other through this natural treasure hunt? Indeed, in the words of Horace Bruns: friendship is a priceless treasure never to be bought or sold (or excavated) – it can only be cherished. To Charm and the rest of Toledo adventure getaway, thanks for this opportunity to be with you. Hope to see you again on trails.
Poog Crag is one of the newest rock climbing sites in Toledo, Cebu. It is easily accessed via Uling-Naga Road and offers a more beginner-friendly routes to first-timers or novice climbers. The white limestone of Poog Crag has 34 bolted routes with difficulty level ranging from 5.8 to 5.11. Read more here.