The Three-Dip Trip

After last week’s solo trip to Moalboal, I decided to do another solo trip. This time, my plan was to reach Tabuelan and go swimming in Maravilla. Compared to my previous trip, this one was a little riskier. Why? Well, because the road from Sogod to Tabuelan is long and a little too ‘quiet.’ A busted rear tire or sudden engine ‘death’ could mean trouble for a lone traveler. Also, I only had around 600 pesos in my wallet (The previous week, I had around Php1500 in my bag.) So, I gave it a lot of thought. The result is this!

Keep reading to find out why this post has a weird title. Haha.

Binaliw Spring in Bagatayam, Sogod – awesome!!!!

I left the city at around 8 am. My goal was to reach Tabuelan by noon so that I’d have enough time at the beach.

A few minutes later, I was leaving Mandaue City and entering the town of Consolacion. Hello to Arjay! Haha.

SM Consolacion opening this June! Sorry for this horrible shot. It’s hard to drive a bike with one hand, you know. Hehe.

Less than 30 minutes later, I was entering the town of Liloan! I made a shot stop to have breakfast. I picked Jollibee because I love Jollibee’s chicken sausage. I believe it’s always awesome to start a trip with chicken sausage. Haha.

After breakfast, I was back on the road. Now in the town of Compostela.

Soon, I was in the city of Danao!

One of the nice things about traveling alone is that you control your own pace. My speed was slow and easy. Which is awesome. Now, finally in Carmen.

When I reached Carmen, I suddenly remembered Uragay Spring in Baranggay Corte. So, when I saw the road-side sign, I made a left and decided to check it out.

Before I stopped at Uragay, however, I remembered that just a few turns away was the Benedictine Monastery. So, I kept driving.

And here is the monastery. It still looks really beautiful.

The chapel on top of a hill. Very peaceful here.

The giant statue of the Niño. Awesome!

The statue sitting on top. Looks really nice.

I also visited St. Benedict’s grotto and said a little prayer for me and my family. I also prayed for a nice, fun, and safe trip.

On my way back to Uragay, I saw this small sign. Durano EcoFarm and Spring Resort, it said. I’ve seen photos of this resort before. I didn’t know it was also in Corte! Definitely checking it out!

DIP #1

So, to get in, you pay Php60. The place is kinda huge. I didn’t see the ‘ecofarm’ that they mentioned in their board, however. Hehe. But let’s not talk about that. Let’s focus on the spring pools because they are awesome!

Four inter-connected freshwater pools are ‘fueled’ by a very tiny spring. I’m not sure how it was able to do it. But it’s really fascinating. Water was really cold – which was great because I was sweating like a pig the whole time I was at the monastery.

Dive in!!!

Less than five minutes later, I was in my shorts and swimming in the cool waters like crazy. Haha.

Fancy a quick swim under tall trees? Gorgeous place!

After more than 30 minutes of swimming (actually it was ‘crawling’ because the pool that I was in was for very small kids. Haha) I was ready to leave. And thirty minutes later, I was back on the road. Then, I saw this. Made me hungry.

Entering the town of Catmon. Very gorgeous town.

Quick stop. One-way! 🙂

One of my all-time fave spots in the whole island!

As soon as I entered Catmon, I began seeing road-side signs advertising a new native restaurant called Water Dragon. I followed the signs until I found it near a busy junction in Catmon Bag-o.

They sell delicious and very affordable Filipino dishes. And guess what? They have guys who take your food to your table. Hehe.

My table. Wow!

Sea-side lunch. Who would’ve thought? Hehe. Total bill – Php57. Cool!

Awesome view, too!

More tables. I bet this place is perfect in the late afternoon.

After lunch, I was on the road again. Now in Catmon Daan.

Moments later, I was in the District of Sogod.

I was singing to some random song I heard at a road-side karaoke machine when I saw this sign. Spring? Definitely checking this out!

A few steps down to get to the spring and shrine.

DIP #2

And there it is. Binaliw Spring!

The Lourdes Shrine just above the spring.

When I got there, the place was almost empty(which is always GOOOOOD.) I saw this lady and her kid by the spring. They were having their lunch break at the moment. I asked the lady if the water is deep. She said no. I told her that I didn’t know how to swim. ‘Dili lagi!” she said. Haha.

Ready to dive in! Hehe.

The result of a timed self-shoot. Haha.

The lady saw what I was doing. She knew that the shot was bound to suck. So, when I asked if she could take my picture, she didn’t say no.

Phone shot. Haha. Thanks to the lady and her kid!

The Bagatayam Falls just a couple of meters from the main road. Lovely. And yes, the water of this fall comes from the Binaliw Spring.

After taking a few photos of the falls, it was time to say goodbye to Sogod and hello to Tabuelan.

After almost an hour in the lonely and quiet stretch connecting Sogod and western Cebu (thank God nothing awful happened!) I finally saw the welcome sign. Whew! What a relief! Welcome to Tabuelan!

Tabuelan proper. Finally!

I made a short stop at a road-side store and searched online for more spots to visit. Most suggestions pointed to a certain  Barangay Marmol. The photos looked really mouthwatering, too. So, before I could even finish my bottle of soda, my mind was fixed. I’d skip the beach and see Barangay Marmol instead.

Welcome to Tuburan! Woohoo!

When I reached Tuburan, I parked my bike outside the town gym and walked around. I was trying to look for someone who could tell me where I could get a ride to Marmol.

The old traysikad driver that I first asked didn’t know where it was. Tough luck. So, I decided to check out the town church, instead.

When I went out, I saw a traffic enforcer on a bicycle. I asked him if he knows where I could get a ride to Marmol. He readily agreed to help me. He approached some habal-habal drivers and made a deal with them on my behalf. Thanks for your help sir!

Anyways, a driver agreed to take me there for Php100.

What I never expected was the exact distance of the Barangay from the town proper. It was freaky. We literally crossed the river more than 10 times! Let me correct that. We were traveling ON the actual river bed. At top speed!

Honestly, I really wanted to go back halfway through the ride. What if this driver kills me and leaves me behind some bushes? What if this driver takes my things?  What if he asks for more than a hundred pesos? Without gas money, I’d be stuck in Tuburan! These things really crossed my mind. Too bad I didn’t think about all of these when I was still in town. Haha.

Crossing river! Exciting and nerve-wracking. One slip and we’re both wet!

Finally, after more than thirty minutes, we reached Marmol.

By the way, yes, the place is just gorgeous. The driver said a lot of people come here for pre-nuptial shoots.

DIP #3

Okay, not a full body dip. But still a dip! Hahaha.

An old lady trying to get to the other side without getting wet. She said when water rises, they have to climb up those rocks to get to the other side.

My driver waiting patiently while I took pictures. Hahaha.

Anyways, as promised, I didn’t keep Mr. Habal-habal driver waiting. After 20 minutes, we were on our way back to where I parked my bike.

Big thanks to my driver to being honest and, you know, not bad. Hehe.

Heading back to the city now. I was shocked to see the fuel prices in Tuburan! EXPENSIVE!!!

Which reminds me, after stopping by the station, I only had 100 pesos left in my pocket. When I reached Balamban, I was running very low on gas. If I buy a liter of gas, I’d have 30 pesos left. But what if one of my tires explode and I’d have to buy a new ‘interior?’ And if I don’t buy gas, I might run out and I’d be stuck in the middle of TransCentral Highway!!! That’s scary! I was worried.

My solution? I was literally running at top speed to hopefully reach the city before my tank dries out. Hehe.

I only stopped for 5 minutes for this gorgeous sunset.

There were other reasons why I had to hurry home. It was almost dark. Cebu’s highlands are freaking cold at night!

Also, I was hungry.

Finally reached Busay just a few minutes before six. Whew! Thank god! Gas level: 10%

It was almost dark when I reached Lahug. Gas level: 5%

It was already dark when I got home. And my tank was basically empty!

Still, all is well that ends well! Hehe.

Do watch out for my full entries on Marmol, the Durano EcoFarm, and of course the Binaliw Spring of Bagatayam in Sogod.