Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Aloguinsan: Bojo River Tour and Bird Watching

We're set for a long weekend after P-noy declared the day after Jose Rizal's birthday a special non working holiday.  So despite the typhoon "Egay" we quickly booked for a Bojo River Tour at Aloguinsan.  We were enticed to the allure of Aloguinsan after so much hype from the local media.  With a limited budget on hand we just can't let this opportunity off our grasp, as we wanted to experience Aloguinsan first hand.
Bojo River, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines



We meet up at E-mall and bought a few things there such as water and quick- to-prepare foods and snacks (We're definitely clueless if there's any grocery out there). We then took a hike towards the Cebu South Bus Terminal.  We learned that there is no bus going directly to Aloguinsan, so we took a bus that will take us to Pinamungajan, Cebu (the municipality before Aloguinsan).  We can actually go there via the city of Toledo, but that would make us a town and a city away from Aloguinsan.  The bus left half-filled at 10:25am but began to fill up after it left the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines
Heavy rain fell coupled with strong winds as we reached Toledo City.  But by 1:00pm as we arrived at the town of Pinamungajan the rain subsided.  Then we searched for some food establishment in the area.
Pinamungajan Public Market, Cebu, Philippines
We took our lunch at an eatery at the Pinamungajan Public Market.  We had corn rice, dried fish, some meat and an odd looking bottle of coke.  (They said the coke bottle looks like this in the provinces.)
Tricycle ride to Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We then rode a tricycle that will take us to Aloguinsan at the terminal which is just beside the Pinamungajan Public market for a fee of P15 per head.  The travel to Aloguinsan will just take about 10 minutes.
Poblacion, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
You'll know you've reached Aloguinsan when you cross the Aloguinsan Bridge and you'll immediately see an obelisk marker at the curve road leading to the 
Municipal Hall of Aloguinsan.
Poblacion, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Some steps away from the marker is the Al Maxi Apartelle, the place where we are to stay.  
Al Maxi Apartelle, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
It is a three story building with the ground floor being rented by commercial establishments such as convenience store and an eatery.
Al Maxi Apartelle, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
The rooms are located in the second floor.  Ours has two rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room.  The third floor is still under construction.
St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church, Aloguinsan
Our Pension house was just beside the Church of Aloguinsan - the St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church.  
St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church, Aloguinsan
It is a beautiful structure which stands out in pink as it nestled majestically atop the vast greeny hill. 
Poblacion, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Across the street is the Barangay Hall of Poblacion, Aloguinsan, Cebu.
Alodome, Poblacion, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Beside the barangay hall is the Alodome, a multi-purpose and sporting venue of Aloguinsan.  
Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Along the street one can find bakeshops, pawnshops, remittance centers, internet cafe, eateries and convenience stores, all in just walking distances.  
Aloguinsan Public Market, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
The Aloguinsan Public Market is also just steps away from the main road, where you can find lots of dried fish and the freshest catch of the day.
Aloguinsan Municipal Hall, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Just beside the Aloguinsan Pubic Market is the Aloguinsan Municipal which was closed when we went there.
The Baluarte, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Behind the Aloguinsan Municipal Hall is the Baluarte, a heritage park in Aloguinsan.  We were not really able to appreciate much of the historical significance of the Baluarte because it was already dark when we went there but we did enjoy the great views of the ocean and the cool breeze.  
The Baluarte, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
The Baluarte of Aloguinsan shows ruins of a watchtower on a hill that overlooks the Tañon Strait. 
Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
As it was already dark, we had our dinner in one of the many eateries along the streets of Aloguinsan.
Habal-habal at Aloguinsan, Cebu , Philippines
The next day, we were off to the Bojo River, Aloguinsan through a "habal-habal" or a motorcycle ride which can accommodate 3 to 4 persons on it.  It is just a 5 minute ride from Al Maxi Apartelle.
Bojo River, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Our Aloguinsan, Bojo River tour began with the bird watching at 6 in the morning.  
Bojo River, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
From the inner roads of Aloguinsan, we have to hike for 230 meters to reach the main cottage where guests are welcomed.  
Bojo River, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We were given a short talk about the birds that are endemic in the area as well as the migratory birds.  
The ideal time should have been 5 in the morning when most of the birds flew out from their nests but nevertheless we were not dismayed to see such birds we thought only exists in pictures.  


Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We were each provided with binoculars as our tour guide Kuya Rodney and his aide pointed out the different birds along the way as we walked on the boardwalk by the Bojo river.
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
It was such an enchanting experience - to walk amidst the sprawling mangroves on a bamboo boardwalk, early in the morning just as the sun begins to rise, amidst the sounds of different birds humming a tune.  
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
How i wished the binoculars were my camera so that i can photographed those beautiful birds who seemed to know that they are being watched.
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
At the end of the boardwalk is a 150 step climb towards a hill, wherein you'll see the Bojo River and the adjacent mountains of Aloguinsan as well as more of the birds.  
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Atop the hill is an open native cottage where one may just sit and enjoy the beautiful view of Aloguinsan and the breeze and the sounds of the birds.  
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We stayed there for a while to breathe some fresh air, talked with our tour guides and took pictures.
Visayan songs at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We walked back to the main cottage where we were greeted with some Visayan songs. 
Bird Watching at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
We were given leis made of local plants and flowers of Aloguinsan. 
Coconut Juice at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
As we climbed the stairs, 
Coconut Juice at Aloguinsan, Cebu Philippines
fresh coconut juice were given as refreshments.  
Hot choco at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
After some time snacks were served consisting of hot chocolate. 
Native Delicacies at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
and some native breads, puto or rice cake and some pansit.  
Pansit at Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
I just couldn't stop eating the bread which is like a bibingka but tastes like bread and also the pansit which is so yummy.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
At last the tide is now rising which is ideal for the Bojo River tour.  But first we had a short seminar on the history of the BAETAS or the Bojo Aloguinsan Eco-Tourism  Association as well as a short lecture about the mangrove detrital food chain.



The lecture was very informative and enlightening  'coz we learned the importance of the mangroves in the environment, specially its importance to the people of Aloguinsan.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Now it's time to put on those life vests and get on to the bancas.   


But before that an ancient ceremonial tradition was being performed called "Pa-aso" wherein a fisherman will carry a container with some charcoal in it as it is sashayed around, emitting a smoke in the process.  This they say is to invoke the spirit of the river and the sea to protect the journey on the sea and so that there will be a good catch.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Now, I couldn't contain my excitement.  I want to jump unto the green waters of the Bojo River.  Oh, Aloguinsan its calling me.  
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
And by this time children of the locale were swimming with such enjoyment in the Aloguinsan, Bojo River - their playground.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
But if boating is not your thing, then you can just walk on the bamboo boardwalk and enjoy the serenity in the Aloguinsan mangroves and the fresh air.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Our guide who also paddled the boat, told us of the different varieties of mangroves that grow in the Aloguinsan, Bojo River.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
These are newly planted mangroves in the Aloguinsan, Bojo River.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
These are  called "saging-saging" because it is shaped like saging or banana.  Birds feed on these here at Aloguinsan, Bojo River.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
These are the leaves used to make nipa roofs in native cottages and now i knew that they are actually a mangrove specie.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Our Guides who are natives of Aloguinsan also told us that monkeys used to lived in this area and will swim with the locals until treasure hunters blasted dynamites on their abode frightening them thus they fled to the neighboring town of Barili and never  returned.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
The Aloguinsan, Bojo River tour ends at the mouth of the river where you can see the neighboring Negros island. 
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
You can tell the guide if you want a dip and they will oblige you to do so.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
It's a great feeling to swim in those turquoise waters surrounded by massive boulders of rock and trees, where no one else is there but me, my friends and the guides.  
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
It's as if i discovered the place, so virgin, so pure, uncommercialized, nature in its rawest form. Such is the charm of Aloguinsan.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Where every shot taken is a picture-perfect, postcard moment.  Oh tantalizing Aloguinsan.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
When we return to the main cottage, a sumptuous lunch awaits us.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Humba or Braised pork
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Kinilaw na puso ng saging (sauteed banana heart in vinegar and coco milk) cooked the Aloguinsan way.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Sinugbang isda and baboy (Grilled fish and pork belly)
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Mongos (Stewed Mungo beans inside a whole squash)
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Fresh mangoes




While we had a a gastronomic feast, a local Aloguinsan band was playing music and Visayan songs.


Wow, we were treated like tourists and foreigners! Like VIP's!! This just shows the genuineness of the hospitality of the people of Aloguinsan. 
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
They have a souvenir booth showcasing tshirts, native hats and bags and other stuffs made by the Aloguinsan folks and we bought some before we left.  And as we bid goodbye, they sang a Visayan parting song for us.
Bojo River Tour, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
Yet nothing left such a great imprint on our minds and our hearts than the well preserved natural wonder of Aloguinsan - the Bojo River, its mangroves, the birds, the mountains, whose picturesque beauty will forever spark glimpses of God's wonders.
Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
and we were left mesmerized and wanting for more . . . with Aloguinsan on our minds.


For more information about Aloguinsan and how to get there, please comment below or enter your e-mail above. 



















13 comments:

Hamlet's Lair said...

looks like an awesome adventure. love the food! i've actually lived/worked in cebu nearly a couple of years but didn't get to see this place. thanks for dropping by my page!

estoryahe bai! tanan CEBU ug BISDAK said...

Hamlet's Lair indeed it really was a great adventure.. we'll go back there coz there are lots of great places we haven't visited yet like a cave, an island and some heritage sites. The place is on the southwestern part of Cebu, a 3 hour travel from the city.

Hamlet's Lair said...

yeah, i regret having missed the opportunities for adventure when i was there. it's nice of you to showcase your trips here. you make cebuanos and all bisdaks proud.

estoryahe bai! tanan CEBU ug BISDAK said...

Hamlet's Lair, thanks.. next month hopefully i'll be able to feature Cagayan. adto ko didto pohon mag laag hehehe

Anonymous said...

how much did you pay for your stay at Al Maxi?

Bai Rai said...

Anonymous - we only paid P800 for the room. supposedly the room's rate is 1500-1600 but the room was large enough for us since it has 2 component bedrooms, one living room, one dining area and one CR, we only rented one bedroom that's why we were able to rent it at such rate. The room we rented was their family room but there are other rooms you can rent for P1000 for a maximum of 4 persons per room. You can contact al maxi at this number Al Maxi Apartelle Contact #: 09104299687

Anonymous said...

wow! couldn't be any prouder! thank you for featuring our little town, and our apartelle. we would love to serve you again. =)

Bai Rai said...

Anonymous - You are most welcome. It is my greatest pleasure to be in Aloguinsan and yes definitely i will be back coz i didn't have the chance to visit the organic farm and the the baluarte Aloguinsan at daytime and Al Maxi is the best place to be when in Aloguinsan because of its proximity to everything beautiful about Aloguinsan.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your trip. I like your blow-by-blow narrative and the accompanying photos. We can really see how the trip will be, since we plan to go too! :)

Bai Rai said...

Anonymous, you're welcome. i hope you'll have a blast. try visiting their organic farm too. You can contact Kuya Rudny Carcuevas - Mobile No.: 09059133055 BOJO ALOGUINSAN ECOTOURISM ASSOCIATION
Brgy. Bojo, Aloguinsan, Cebu
Telefax: (+63 32) 469-5604 - 4699312 so that he can help you in your booking..

-mayang- said...

how much was paid for the tour package with lunch?

Zumi said...

Wow! by reading your post and looking at wonderful photos it seems that I already visited that place, even if it isn't. How I wish to experience how grateful to be in that location. Perfect for camping , weekend getaway and a lot more. I will try to research about this place. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

tobolita said...

http://sowhatright.blogspot.com/2012/11/111812-aloguinsan-bojo-river.html

for another information about bojo river

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