A Malabuyoc experience
Carlo Modequillo (The Freeman) - September 2, 2018 - 11:51pm

CEBU, Philippines —  Southern Cebu has been quite a buzz among travelers, both local and foreign. But the buzz is mainly about the “butanding” in Oslob and the old church in Boljoon, the heritage town of Argao, and the “chicharon” of Carcar. Most of the other southern Cebu destinations are often outshone.


Of course, there are many other interesting – even exciting – places to visit in southern Cebu than those already frequented by visitors. One example is the town of Malabuyoc, on the southwestern side of the island province, some 125 kilometers from Cebu City. It is about three hours’ drive from the city’s south Bus Terminal.

One would wonder, “Why the name Malabuyoc?” The story is that back in the day the place grew plenty of fruit-bearing trees like mangoes, lanzones, cacaos and others. Owing to the fertile soil, when in season the trees would be bent heavy with fruits.

The local word for bent is “buyok,” apt to describe the abundant trees during fruit-bearing season. And so the place came to be called Buyoc. In time, the name evolved to become Malabuyoc.

The town celebrates the annual feast day of its patron saint San Nicholas de Tolentino on September 10. The festivities include the Binuyocan Festival, with contingents representing the town’s 14 barangays parading the streets. Visitors to the town during the fiesta may have a lot on hand to get busy with.

The website http://thecebuano.com recommends that visitors to Malabuyoc check out a number of places of interest in the town:

Aranzana Springs

It’s a cluster of several freshwater springs located in Barangay Aranzana. The springs, which all flow into the river, are the sources of drinking and washing water for the nearby communities. Enterprising locals divert part of the spring waters towards tiny pools for swimming and dipping.

Montañeza Beach

It is a public beach located along the South National Road in Barangay Montañeza. It is a small beach that only locals – and very few visitors – know about. The beach is unique in that it mainly consists of pebbles and rocks instead of the usual fine sand at other beaches. And the sunset is breathtaking when viewed from this beach.

Montañeza Falls

Also in Barangay Montañeza is this amazing waterfall. With several small drops and a major one that totally looks stunning from all angles, Montañeza Falls is truly one of Cebu’s best-kept secrets. What makes a visit to the waterfall even more engaging is following a trail that leads to the final drop. Those who are brave enough may crawl through rock holes, climb on carved footpaths, and wade through knee-deep water to get to this amazing beauty.

Mainit Springs

Those who want to try some hot bath after several hours on the road may drop by the Mainit Springs, still in Barangay Montañeza. There are four different pools – each one with different size and temperature. The hottest pool has a temperature of 42.6 degrees Celsius.

Kabutongan Falls

Located in Barangay Looc, this waterfall is touted to be one of Cebu’s most challenging natural wonders. To get to the main drop, one has to climb up slippery slopes, wade through waist-deep water, swim across deep natural pools, and crawl up boulders and tree branches. Caution: The trail is not for beginners and one has to be extra careful. Wearing a life vest and seeking the assistance of a well-trained and experienced guide are advised.

And, while there, visitors shall also take the time to mingle with the local people. They are most willing to point to other interesting places in the town, like Ilihan Hills, Kagula Cliff, Kawayan Marine Resort, Talangnan Marine Sanctuary, the old Roman Catholic Church etc. Malabuyoc can really be some kind of an experience.

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