Day 3: Osmeña Peak, Ili Rock, Boljoon Church, Binalayan Hidden Falls, Mainit Springs
Our first destination on the 3rd day of our trip is Osmeña Peak. We plan to reach the peak before sunrise, so, we were suppose to leave the resort at 4 am. But, like most obedient Filipinos who strictly comply to Filipino Time, we left just a few minutes before 5 am.
The road to Osmeña Peak is curvy with lots of uphill, kinda like the roads to Baguio. Most part of the road is still under construction and some roads with the ‘dangerous curves’ don’t have safety barriers in place, so it’s best to drive carefully. We arrived at the market where the habal habal terminal is located. We don’t plan to take the habal habal ride since we have our own vehicle, so we just asked for directions. A habal habal rider followed us, and a good thing he did because we missed the turn by a few hundred meters and the habal habal rider signaled us and pointed the right direction. We followed him to a rough (rocky and muddy with a lot of uphills, not advisable to small cars), single-lane road to the tourism office (it opened this year) in Baranggay Mantolongan. After registering and hiring a guide (a guide is optional, but why not help some of the locals, the amount of tip you give is up to you), off we go.
When we finally reached the summit, it was still foggy. We had to wait for almost an hour before the fog starts clearing up and the majestic view reveal itself. When it finally did, it’s photo shoot galore.
We’re so lucky to have seen the surroundings of Osmeña Peak without the Silent Hill fog. TravelCorp, who visited it in the afternoon were not so lucky, all they’ve experienced was a 360 degree view of nothingness, just the foggy fog fog, foggy fog foggy afternoon. The habal habal rider led us back to the market and we gave him a tip for being our road guide and guarding our vehicle. After Osmeña Peak, we ate merienda at Julie’s Bakeshop (free Pepsi for 50 pesos worth of purchase, how come we don’t have that promo here in Luzon), we made a quick stop at Ili Rock and Boljoon Church.
Ili Rock and Boljoon Church
Before going back to the resort, we made a quick stop to Ili Rock and Boljoon Church. Ili Rock is a natural rock formation (small mountain) that was once used as a watchtower in the 1800s, overlooking the Bohol Sea. After a strong earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu on October 2013, a project (which included pulverizing a portion of the rock) to make the road safer was initiated. The project started in 2014, but is still only partially finished. When we got there, only the stairs and hand rails were done, the top of the mountain looked like a rocky desert.
We didn’t stay long on Ili Rock because it was very hot at the time. So, we went to Boljoon Church which is just a few hundred meters away from Ili Rock.
We didn’t explore the church premises further due to the hot weather and time constraint. We then head back to Cloud and Xky Resort for lunch and rest before travelling to visit the Hidden Falls in Binalayan.
Binalayan Hidden Falls
After the much-needed rest, we went to Binalayan to see the Hidden Falls. Lei was so exhausted after the hike in Osmeña Peak and climbing up the stairs of Ili Rock, so she decided to stay at the resort and meet up with TravelCorp. group later (who will be doing their Whale Watching activity at the time).
The falls is hidden indeed, the path is surrounded by coconut trees and streams, it will take a 10-20 minute hike to reach the falls. You will pass by a pond with a tire-swing and smaller waterfalls.
Tsong and Raph enjoyed the jumps, the rest of us just enjoyed taking a dip in the cool water. We laso enjoyed watching the guide doing their demo jumps, some do backflips, while others jumped from the highest point, the top of the waterfall, which is probably 50 feet or more. It was very crowded that day and we did not stay long since we also plan to go to the Mainit Springs for a relaxing time.
Mainit Springs Malabuyoc
Our last destination for the day was Mainit (Hot) Springs in Malabuyoc. We all had an exhausting day hiking and going up 136 steps of stairs, so it feels just right to relax and let the soothing, hot water rejuvenate our bodies.
Feeling cleansed (from all the hiking dirt we picked up earlier) and energized, we went back to the resort satisfied, feeling good. And that ends Day 3 of our Cebu-cation. Coming up is Day 4, the last day of our Cebu adventure and it’s exactly the right kind of closing, by having luxurious time (living a classy life) at Plantation Bay. Part 3 is coming up soon.