We arrived at Mactan International Airport at 9am and I arranged for a vehicle that would bring us to North Bus Terminal. The fixed fare was PhP400. The driver offered to bring us to Hagnaya port but we graciously refused since we were uncomfortable with the vehicle and the driver could have asked us earlier before proceeding to the bus terminal.
Unluckily, we were not able to board the bus scheduled to leave at 10am since there were no seats available. We boarded the 11am bus and arrived at the port by 2:15pm. There were a lot of stops along the way but the scenery was great. Next time, if I would be traveling with a group I would just rent a vehicle to lessen the travel time.
From the port, we took the 2:30pm boat to Sta. Fe. The boat was an ordinary RORO (roll in, roll out) with no air-conditioning. We paid Php170 each for the fare and Php10 each for the terminal fee. The travel time lasted for one hour and 15 minutes. As soon as we disembarked the boat, we were fetched by the resort van. I was surprised by the extra service since I was not informed about it. The resort was very near the port and it took us only 10 minutes to be there. When we arrived at the Sta. Fe Beach Resort (tel. nos. 032.4389090/0928.7787770), we immediately ordered for our food since our last meal was breakfast. We brought our belongings to our respective rooms as the food was being prepared. I was happy with the room – it was cozy and most of all it was affordable for the group (2 rooms for 10 pax PhP4,980.00). The food that we ordered were great and the servings were enough for our hungry stomachs.
A guide named Jerry (mobile number 0922.9544879) arranged the tours for us. At night, we went to the oldest parish in the area – St. Peter and St. Paul. As most shops were already closed, the driver (multicab rental Php300) brought us to his friend to buy souvenir shirts. When we were about to go back to the resort, the vehicle encountered some engine trouble. We had to wait for almost 30 minutes for it to be repaired. The driver eventually asked us to transfer to another vehicle. The roads were dark as the lamp posts were far apart from each other. When we reached the resort, we just slept early to prepare for our next day activities.
On our second day, we left early for our island hopping (PhP1,500 boat rental). It was a 30-minute boat ride to the private island. We were asked to settle PhP100 each for the entrance to the island. It was beautiful with turquoise blue water and white sand. The people living in the island depend on fishing and fees. The island has no freshwater so the people collect water from the rain through their earthen jars.
We swam for a while and just enjoyed the island with only a few guests. Our next stop was the snorkeling site. The group had difficult time swimming due to the strong current so we decided to stay near the boat and moments later, there were few jellyfishes that passed by the boat as big a plate. We were very cautious as we do not want to get stung by their tentacles. The group enjoyed the snorkeling because several schools of fish went to our direction because of the pieces of bread in our hands. It was a 30-minute fish feeding.
We also went to the sister resort, Ogtong Cave until we decided to go back to our resort for breakfast. We hurriedly ate our meal as I wanted to buy kilos of dried fish in the market. I bought around five kilos of the dried fish called danggit, which my peers back in Manila asked me to buy for them. The price of the fish in the island was relatively cheap compared to the mainland. Good thing I brought an extra bag for the fish since it has a strong scent.
On our way back to the resort from the market, our vehicle had a flat tire. Admittedly, I was nervous because we might not be able to ride the 1pm boat back to mainland. We were lucky that the driver immediately changed the flat tire with the spare tire. We reached the resort barely 15 minutes before the boat leaves. When we finally boarded the boat, it was almost full of passengers and we had no choice but to seat far apart from each other.
After waiting for an hour at the port, we waited for 30 minutes for another air-conditioned bus to arrive since we missed the earlier bus that was full. We left around 3pm from the port and again, it was a long trip since we arrived at the city almost 8pm. We just checked-in at Cebu Pacific Pensionne (tel no 032.2535271 / 0927.2579163) and it cost PhP3,150.00 for two rooms.
Immediately, we proceeded to Crown Regency Hotel (032.4188888) for our adventure rides. It was a 15-minute walk from Pensionne going to Crown. We were able to get the PhP950 package for the Sky walk, Edge coaster, 4D theater, buffet dinner and a souvenir. Initially, we chose the 4D theater with a museum movie. It was my group’s first time to watch a 4D movie. Everyone was anticipating for a big surprise. Practically, the group was terrified with the mouse effect that was sticking on our legs and the splash of water over our faces. Our next activity was the edge coaster. Only two persons can ride per coaster. When my turn came, instructions were given. I opted to ride without my slippers because I felt that I would loose them since we were at the edge of 38th Floor. I asked my officemate to take care of the control button so that I can hold firmly to the bars. It was an adrenalin rush taking the ride. Our next stop was the much-awaited buffet dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. We enjoyed the food as it served international cuisine. Then, our last stop was the skywalk at the 37th Floor. We were asked to wear the prescribed suit and harness. The view from the top was awesome: We clearly saw the city and the Bohol province. We had some individual photos and group photos taken by our guide. For the photo, we paid P130.00 each.
The next day we rented a van for our tour. We were brought to Dapdap wharf for our Olango island tour. We paid PhP15.00 each for the pump boat and the ride lasted for only 15 minutes. Then in Olango island, we rented 2 tricycles for PhP200.00 to bring us to the sanctuary. When we arrived at the sanctuary, we were asked to pay only PhP10.00 each. The area was high tide and the birds were hiding at the mangroves so we did not see any migratory bird. The group had group photos and drank coconut water in the sanctuary. When the seawater reached where we were staying, we decided to leave the area.
From Olango wharf, the seawater was evidently getting higher as it reached the pavement. We immediately boarded the pump boat and witnessed the water getting rougher as it crashed to our boat. We were a little bit uneasy but the good thing was the ride was only 20 minutes. We were picked up by the van and went to Lapu-Lapu shrine and bought some souvenirs. We had our lunch at CNT Lechon near SM mall to try the famous Cebu lechon. Lastly, we went to Magellan’s cross and Sto. Niño shrine.
At the hotel, we hurriedly took our turns in the bathroom and prepared our things for our check out. From the airport, our flight was delayed for more than an hour due to heavy rains in Manila. We had our dinner at the airport and took turns in taking photos. What I love about the Cebu International Airport was their free wireless internet so we did not mind the delay as we kept on updating our Facebook and Twitter accounts on our mobile phones. Finally, when we boarded the plane, everyone was eager for our next trip wherein we will explore south of Cebu.
Visited last July 30 –August 1, 2011