A couple of months ago, I was on vacation in the Philippines. And no vacation in the Philippines is complete without a trip to the beach. When I was a kid, my father would take us to the beach on Sundays. He’d wake us at around 5am, and if we didn’t get up, he’d just haul us to the jeepney and let us sleep until we get to the beach. I actually miss that.
Anyway, it just didn’t feel right that I was in Cebu, home to a number of white sand beaches and I was not in any one of them at the moment. So I got in contact with my cousin and asked her if she wanted to go on a trip to Aloguinsan. We still had a few days til her days off and started planning.
We planned for an overnight trip, but on the day before our trip, we found out that they were changing shifts, which meant she’ll only get one day off for this week.
It was a good thing nothing was booked. 😅
If you want to know how much this trip cost us and skip my ramblings, scroll right down to the bottom. 👇
We didn’t want to cancel going to the beach, so we decided to get on with it and just come back to the city by nightfall. My cousin, Alison, told me that her shift’s ending by 2 in the morning and that she’d be home by 2:30am, so we decided to meet by 3am.
Here’s a short itinerary of our day trip. 😊
Meet up at Mabolo Church at 3am.
Get on a 01K jeepney across SM City Cebu. The jeepney fare is 10pesos.
Get off at Emall. Walk towards the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT).
Look for a bus that that has the ‘Aloguinsan’ signboard. The bus ticket should cost 80 pesos. The first trip supposedly leaves at 4:30am, but we left the terminal at around 5:30am, because there weren’t enough people on the bus yet.
Get off at the municipal hall. It should be close to the market. There are plenty of habal-habal drivers willing to take you around. The municipality has regularized the habal-habal fare at 40 pesos per person, but due to the rough roads, most drivers would suggest that they only take one person, which meant you might end up paying for two. That’s 80 pesos per habal-habal.
The tide was low that morning, so taking the Bojo River Cruise wasn’t a good option. We went to the Hidden Beach instead. The entrance to the resort is 50 pesos and the table is 150 pesos. They collect the fees as soon as you get in to the reception.
The Hidden Beach had a small stretch of fine white sand and rooms for guests. The best thing about the resort was that even if they have people regularly cleaning the beach, they have signs everywhere reminding even the guests to take care of the environment. From the reception to the beach, you’ll pass through pools of koi, foliage, small dogs willing to accept pets from guests and babies who might think you’re their mom. 😅
Forgive our faces. My cousin’s a cutie, isn’t she? We stayed just enough to wet our feet, since the water was still not high enough for any swimming. Since it was a work day for most people, we had the beach all to ourselves. It was windy, wasn’t as hot as usual and I could easily imagine ourselves chilling with hammocks and sipping cold juice while we talked about life in general. 😄
The resort can provide you with habal-habal drivers. We decided to go to Hermit’s Cove and scratched out the Bojo River Cruise since we were running out of time. We didn’t go to Aloguinsan just to see the place, take pictures and then leave. Just in case anyone’s interested, the cruise will take around two hours and is 400 pesos.
Moving on, the ride to Hermit’s Cove is 100 pesos per person, on the same motorcycle. The ride is rough, bumpy, and a lot of times, almost vertical. The view is awesome though. Unless you have acrophobia. 🤭
The entrance fee to the cove is 100 pesos per person and you can pick any table. The restrooms are clean and they have a well where you can get clean water from. The local residents in the area are very accommodating, will answer any of your questions and even help you with the water well and your stuff. They won’t ask for tips, but 10 pesos per person isn’t much.
There were other guests at the cove, but not enough to congest the place. A local we talked with said that the place can get pretty crowded on weekends, especially during summer break.
The water was pristine, cool but not cold, and we had fun catching the waves. Although, I would’ve preferred rougher waters because I’m just weird. Our family kinda liked battling with seawater whenever we go to the beach. Being the eldest of three in our family, I’ve always been the daredevil, even more than my brother. I’ve jumped off a few cliffs when I was younger way before cliff jumping was ever a tourist attraction. Don’t judge, some people can’t even jump two feet from a banca to open water, even with life vests on.
If you think about it, they’re seeing two feet plus their eye level, so they’re seeing about seven feet worth of space before getting into the water, when in reality, it’s really just two feet.
Whenever we go on island hopping excursions, I’d always be one of the few who would dive down as far and as long as I can before I even knew it was called freediving. I was never comfortable with a snorkel, so I would hold my breath and when I discovered that I couldn’t dive further down, I learned how to let go of my breath and adjust to the underwater pressure.
The last bus leaves at 2:30pm, so leave while you have enough time. The ride from the cove to the main road takes around 20-25 minutes. We missed the last bus because apparently there weren’t enough buses running that day. Instead of waiting at the main road though, we contracted a motorcycle to take us to Mantalungon for 250 pesos.
If you decide to wait by the main road in Aloguinsan though, the ride will cost 100 pesos per person.
We waited at a bakery for about 15 minutes, where a kid kept trying to catch us off guard to poke our butts. We had to keep watch over each other to dodge her attacks. 😅
The bus to the city finally picked us up and we coughed up 50 pesos per person for it.
The traffic to the city was horrible since it was a working day, but the good thing about riding in a bus is that you can just sleep it off especially if it was your day off and all your plans for the day have been fulfilled. 😁
Unfortunately, since it was a working day and after working hours, it meant you would be competing with the working class in getting a ride home. Waiting and looking for a jeepney to get back home took longer than the actual ride. 😭
Here’s a breakdown of the costs for two people, minus the expenses for food and tips for help at Hermit’s Cove.
a. Jeepney fare SM to CSBT (01K) – 20 pesos
b. Bus to Aloguinsan – 160 pesos
c. Habal-habal to Hidden Beach – 80 pesos
d. Entrance fee to Hidden Beach – 100 pesos
e. Table at Hidden Beach – 150 pesos
f. Habal-habal to Hermit’s Cove – 200 pesos
g. Entrance fee to Hermit’s Cove – 200 pesos
h. Habal-habal to Mantalungon – 250 pesos
i. Bus to Cebu City – 100 pesos
j. Jeepney ride Cebu to Mandaue – 20 pesos
Total: 1,280 pesos
This is actually the longest blog post I’ve written in a while. I do hope you enjoyed reading it and if you have tips that you want me to include in this post, just let me know in the comments section.