Kuya Yoyoy, your most reliable tour guide in Canyoneering

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Whenever I go backpacking, I heavily rely on the words of the tour guides I will be with and the drivers I encounter along the way. Obviously, they know their places more than I do kaya I give them my trust and thankfully, they’re returning a favor of not defrauding me.

Kuya Yoyoy is someone you can rely on when you go canyoneering in Badian, Cebu. He has been in that place for more than 20 years already, discovering it in as early as nine years old – which means that he’ll do no harm to his guest and rest assured that you will be guided safely since he knows the place more than any other in the area. In fact, he can traverse the river at night whenever he initiates his ‘ritual’ by seven in the evening. But don’t get me wrong! The ritual isn’t what you are thinking but his care for the nature. He would sometimes do a cleanup in the area to preserve this beauty he discovered more than 20 years ago. He cared for the place more than anybody else. More importantly, he deserves the credit!

He can make your adventure less extreme and more fun with his unending jokes and some pranks. He takes good shots with your friends that you’ll cherish and make fun after reviewing it. He knows where and when to take photos and what position you should create to make the adventure more memorable. You can just leave your cameras or phones with him and he’ll take care the rest of the documentation. But don’t you dare cry when he says your gadgets are not with him. It’s a prank and you’ll only laugh out loud. Obviously, the humor is overflowing; that makes the adventure, indeed, more fun.

Why am I doing this?

Well, he simply deserves it. It’s my way of helping someone who I believe is humble enough to ask for help in promoting his service. He finds it difficult to communicate with people because of his cleft palate and he admits that his lack of education is an hindrance for him to get more customers. In fact, we almost gave up communicating with him via sms. However, we chose not to because we already know his story through a Facebook post and we want to help in simplest way by getting him as our guide.

Truly, every centavo we paid was all worth it. And we know that his family will benefit from it. Buti na lang hindi kami sumuko makipagusap sa kanya because another story of perseverance full of hope will not be heard by us and by many.

I hope you consider him when you’re planning to have canyoneering in Cebu. Below are his details:

Kuya Yoyoy

Canyoneering Tours

09777753176

Rate: Php 1,000.00 per head

Inclusion: life vest and helmet, tour and environmental fees

Exclusion: shoe wear, lunch, dry bag.

While he deserves more guest and customers, you as a customer deserves a better service for a great experience. Kuya Yoyoy is the man, that’s for sure.

Note: You may also contact me via comment if you have questions about the tour. I will direct your inquiries to him. Thank you very much and I hope that you can also help him while having fun canyoneering. ;)

– Ton

Budget and Travel Itinerary: Canyoneering in Badian | Kawasan Falls | Whale Shark Watching in Oslob

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Background is the unedited Kawasan Falls.

I know a lot of people is looking for a fun and adventurous activity in South Cebu in, as much as possible, a tighter budget. I guarantee that you can because I just went to the famous Canyoneering in Kanla-ob River in Badian Cebu, Kawasan Falls in Alegria and Whale Shark watching in Oslob for only PHP 4,000.00 budget each for a group of five. This will be direct to the point as I will post a separate blog about the experience. But for now, let me share with you our itinerary and budget.

Note: Plane fare is excluded. We got a PHP 1,300.00 promo fare from Davao to Cebu. For sure, there will be more promo fare offers of Cebu Pacific Air for travelers coming from Manila. 

DAY 0: MAY 5, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
5:30 PM Davao International Airport 120.00 24.00
6:00 PM Terminal Fee: DIA 1,000.00 200.00
6:40 PM Departure to Mactan, Cebu
7:40 PM Arrival at Mactan International Airport
8:00 PM Taxi : Going to Airol Pension House 320.00 64.00
8:30 PM Check in at Airol Pension House 1,300.00 260.00
9:00 PM Dinner at KFC (Budget includes Taxi) 500.00 100.00
TOTAL 3,240.00 648.00

The taxi going to the pension house has an additional Php100.00 since they don’t allow five passengers in the taxi. Actually, it’s just Php 50.00 additional but since the taxi driver is mabait, we just gave him a decent tip. :)

We do not recommend staying in Airol Pension House. The place is seriously not clean. And we found out that there are other pension houses that can provide better service at almost the same price. You’ll find out below  where we stayed on our last day. So on Day 0, we spent about PHP 648.00 each.

DAY 1: MAY 6, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
3:00 AM Wake up call
3:45 AM Off to South Bus Terminal
4:00 AM Breakfast at 7 Eleven plus to-bring snacks and water 470 94
5:00 AM Bus: Departure to Badian (Ceres Bus with signage ‘Bato via Barili’) 735.00 147.00
7:30 AM Arrival at Matutinao Church (Sto. Tomas Church)
8:00 AM Start of Canyoneering 5,000.00 1,000.00
10:00 AM BBQ Snack 280.00 56.00
12:00 AM Man-made slide in 1st Falls (Must Try!) 25.00 5.00
12:30 PM Lunch at the Falls 0.00 as in ZERO as in FREE
1:30 PM Spend the rest of the tour at the famous and majestic Kawasan Falls
2:00 PM Habal: Back to Kuya Yoyoy’s House 300.00 60.00
2:30 PM Kuya Yoyoy’s Tip (He simply deserved it!) 500.00 100.00
2:30 PM Freshen up at our tour guide’s house
4:00 PM Private Van: Off to Oslob 1,000.00 200.00
6:00 PM Check in at Oslob New Village Resort 1,150.00 230.00
7:30 PM Dinner 375.00 75.00
9:00 PM Socials and rest
TOTAL 9,835.00 1,967.00

The good thing about Airol Pension House is it’s walking distance to the South Bus Terminal so you won’t have any worries of getting late in departure schedule of buses. However from 11PM on, the buses take off every after an hour. We arrived at the terminal by 4 AM, however, the 4 AM sched was already fully booked. This means we have to wait for the 5AM bus. Again, do not worry because although we were late, the 5AM bus was immediately occupied so we were able to leave Cebu City by 4:45 AM and just in time for our 8 AM canyoneering schedule since the travel time is only about 2.5 hours. But of course, I recommend being early in the terminal so you avoid any glitches that might interfere your travel itineraries.

The canyoneering adventure was definitely one for the books! I will have a separate blog post for that experience but I’d like to highlight in here why it became a greater experience. Kuya Yoyoy (Mobile No: 09777753176) was our tour guide. He is very accommodating and makwento despite his cleft palate. He exactly knows how to make the canyoneering experience a worthwhile one. He suggests things to do like where to take photos and where to jump and how to make your jump more memorable (I remember mine ‘superman-ning’ during a slide). He take good photos, by the way. He is very reliable  and really maaasahan.

And as you may notice, we’ve spent nothing on our lunch. We were surprised that Kuya Yoyoy has arranged the lunch for us FREE OF CHARGE. This was not part of the package kaya nabigla kami that he’s doing it out of courtesy. His brother Marlo took charge of the rest of the tour since Kuya Yoyoy has to attend to his visitors by 1 PM. But we found out na kaya kami nalibre sa lunch was because nahihiya raw siya sa amin for not known reason. But his message, as captured below, is so touching kaya we highly recommend him to all others who wants to do canyoneering. He is humble and mabait and what’s for sure is he can give you a better, or yet best, canyoneering experience.

Kuys Yoyoy MSG

Together with other travelers going to Oslob, we agreed to rent a van for Php 200.oo each since the buses took so long to pass by Alegria. We checked in at Oslob New Village’s fan room for Php 1,000.00 for four persons. We just added Php 150.00 for extra mattress. Although siksikan, the room is okay for five since matutulog lang naman doon at para rin may mapagiwanan ng mga gamit namin during whale shark watching.

The place is near the market so you won’t have any problem having your budget dinner. Also at night, we contacted a tricycle to fetch us out by 5 AM so we have sure transpo going to whale shark watching area.

DAY 2: MAY 7, 2016

TIME DESTINATION / ITINERARY BUDGET (PHP) BUDGET per pax (PHP)
4:00 AM Wake up call
4:45 AM Breakfast (Bread from Julie’s Bakeshop 42.00 8.40
5:00 AM Tricycle: Off to Oslob Whale Shark Watching 200.00 40.00
5:30 AM Arrival at Whale Shark Watching
6:00 AM Registration Fee 2,500.00 500.00
8:00 AM Tricycle: Back to Oslob New Village 200.00 40.00
8:30 AM Freshen up
9:30 AM Visit The Ruins of Nuestra Senora de la Immaculada Concepcion
10:00 AM Brunch at Karinderya 365.00 73.00
10:30 AM Bus: Off to Sibunga, Cebu 400.00 80.00
12:00 PM Arrival at Sibunga, Cebu
12:00 PM Tricycle: Going to Our Lady of Simala 100.00 20.00
1:15 PM Tricycle: Going to Van Terminal 100.00 20.00
1:30 PM Van: Off to Cebu City SM Seaside 500.00 100.00
3:00 PM Taxi: Going to Robes Pension House 120.00 24.00
3:30 PM Arrival at Robes Pension House 1,450.00 290.00
6:00 PM Taxi: Off to SM Seaside 100.00 20.00
7:30 PM Dinner at CNT Lechon 858.00 171.60

TOTAL

6,935.00 1,387.00

Oslob New Village is about 10-15 kilometers away from the Whale Shark watching area but the place is still a good choice especially if you have tight budget. Just like what we did, we contracted tricylce driver to have us tranferred to the area as early as 5 AM. I recommend going to the place by that time so you can secure a spot on first batch. Doing that, you’ll definitely avoid queuing long lines and the heat of the sun (because sun block isn’t allowed in the area to avoid contamination of the water); plus the mesmerizing view of the sun rise.

Also, it is walking distance to an old church in Oslob, the Nuestra Senora de la Immaculada Concepcion. You better visit this place so you have the feels of Spanish era with the relaxing view of the crystal clear ocean and its ‘selfie-prone’ park.

I also recommend to include Simala in your travel itinerary for a monarch-feel ambiance. The church is unique among others due to its castle-like structure. It’s huge and you’ll feel like you’re in London or Disney land. :) But most importantly, it’s miraculous.

Robe’s Pension House is a good choice for an overnight stay. What we’ve got was a deluxe room for two. We just requested for additional 2 mattresses so we can be accommodated in just one room for only Php 1,450.00 or Php 290 each. The place is safe and comfortable unlike Airol.

So there! In 2 days, we were able to visit and experience Canyoneering in Badian, Kawasan Falls, Whale Shark watching in Oslob, an old church since ~1800, and Our Lady of Simala for only PHP 4,002.00 each.

I hope this will make you more excited to visit South Cebu while spending just right with your budget. Also, if you have no tour guide yet in Canyoneering, kindly contact Kuya Yoyoy (Mobile No: 09777753176). Every single centavo is worth his service. And for sure, it will be a big help for him.

If you happen to follow or decided to follow this budget and itinerary, I will appreciate any comment from you. Questions are also welcome.

Thank you!

– Ton

Hard lesson from the road

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…What if the doctor I was waiting until 1PM was already available by 12NN and decided to go to the Mall to eat chaofan and Halo-halo in Chowking, it couldn’t have happened.

…Or what if, although the doctor became available by 1PM, I decided to eat chaofan and halo-halo at Chowking instead of just taking out halo-halo, it couldn’t have happened.

…Or what if, although I took out halo-halo in Chowking, I decided to consume it inside the car while idle at the mall’s parking lot instead of choosing consuming it outside another doctor’s clinic, it couldn’t have happend.

These thoughts were running in my head after the accident happened. I could have believed the clues of my unconcious to do something else before the accident. But at the right timing, at the right place, and at the right phase, I bumped into a trike at the intersection that caused it, together with its driver and passengers, to flipped. Sadly, wrongfully right.

image1 (1)

But thank God that nobody was seriously hurt despite that image above although I have to send them to the hospitals so we can be assured that no serious injury might be unnoticed or occur. I did it out of my conscience because I know that it was me who’s capable to do it at that time despite believing clean hands over the accident. Yet, it’s an accident and as one of the local reporters (Ate Bheng) told me, “Nobody will ever admit mistake in an accident.”

But going back to my thoughts, what if one of the three situations I mentioned actually happened, maybe the trike could have passed by that intersection a little earlier when I arrived. This could not happen.

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It was my first time to have been involved in a road accident making it a big deal on my part. I was travelling alone at that time outside Davao. Of course, I was nervous, shocked and frightened especially na baka kuyugin ako ng mga locals from there. Thankfully, they were calm and easy to talk with. I was in the police station for more than five hours without any companion (except when a friend’s mom (hehe) rescued me after all things were set fine). Buti na lang okay kausap mga pulis doon. Thanks to Chief Alsong although mali talaga investigation niya that I was at fault. Grrr. LOL.

Anyway, I was really very grateful that everything was fine after that accident. It made me become more careful and attentive when driving. It’s just sad to know that despite being defensive driver, there are people who are reckless especially those that should be taking extra ‘diligence of a good father’ as public transport drivers. Everybody on the road should be responsible because driving is not a right but a privilege. Nobody should abuse it.

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