“It does not matter who you were with, but how the world conspired to make everything possible when you were together.”
While most of us are dreaming of a luxurious trip to virgin paradises, time and financial constraints prohibit us from doing so. Although I am one of those people who have been craving to unravel the exquisite beauty of my own country, sad to say and accept, such dream seemed too far away. But not because I can’t achieve them now, I’ll already stop. I believe that a true-blooded adventurer does not stop when he or she can’t get what he or she wanted. A true-blooded adventurer seeks escapades in the most unbelievable way!
Upon browsing the Internet, geek as I am, I found this interesting river which flows from my very own province unto the verge of Tanon 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 THERE?
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.
Because we are not that knowledgeable of the place, we decided to stop over the town proper (lungsod) and ask for a habal-habal driver to send us to Bojo River. What makes this adventure totally risk-taking is that there are three of us (Me, my colleague Wilma and his boyfriend – yeah, I’m the chaperone), so the three of us compacted into a single motor single (four people riding over a skinny XRM, hahaha!) The ride took about three to five minutes. We paid P20.00 each. One good thing about the place is that these motocycle drivers can’t take advantage of those people who are new to the place since fare rates were visibly written / painted / printed on walls and places where most tourists go. From the entrance, we walked a kilometer before reaching the actual site of the river.
When to get there?
Before going to the place, check out first your calendar. If you’re from the city, make sure that you’ll give a two hour allowance for the travel. Make sure also that it’s a high tide! It’d be hard to do the river cruise if it’s low tide. :D
Example: High tide is 10:30 am. Time of departure from city is 8:30am. This way, you can really enjoy the cruise and the swimming activity.
What to expect upon arrival and the 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 makes the ride extraordinary?
- You get to know more your own locale.
- You get to discover the history of the place (it has been believed to be a port of the Japanese and that they hid their treasures on the rocks and caves near the river).
- You’ll discover stories your mom never told you! (There was this enchanting lady named Maria Tang-an who gives favor to the native inhabitants of the place. When there are feasts and big celebrations which would require utensils, people will go the rock formation which seems to have a very big door opening and leaves a letter – written on banana leaf – which specifies what will they borrow from Maria Tang-an. After three days, the one who requested will go back to the place where he or she left his or her letter and expect to have the requested material already!)
- You’ll learn more about the animals which lived and once lived on the place like monkeys, heron, bangkiyud and many more! (It has been believed that Japanese left their treasures on the place that’s why a lot are planning to excavate the area. Since this requires explosions, monkeys living on the mangroves and trees of the river were forced to evacuate to Barili fearing that those explosions were gunfire for them).
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. :D
What to expect in 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 highest peak! 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. :D
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. J
- If you are really willing and craving to do the trip, the world will conspire to help you.
P80 – Bus to Aloguinsan from South Bus Terminal
P20 – Habal-habal to Bojo River
P400 – Tour Package
P150 – Bojo River to Mantayupan Falls
P20 – Waterfalls Entrance
P70 – Bus fare bound to Cebu City
Total Expenses: P740.00
- 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. HAHA :D
- 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!