|Trellis over path leading to The Farmhouse at Aloguinsan|
A RIVER TOUR AND AN ELEGANT FARMHOUSE. We were just in time for a belated lunch on the hut/cabana by the Bojo river. Yeah, I know, most people will just automatically refer back to the more popular one being run on Bohol's Loboc river. I personally welcome the thought of more river tours as these ecotourism endeavors help preserve the river, mangroves and natural resources of the place as well as provide livelihood to the locals who live along the river. This one is no different though I must note that the lunch served was tastier, more substantial, than the one I tasted in the Bohol river cruise I took years ago.
|The Bojo River tour banca heads towards the mouth of the sea|
We pass by the remains of what was once a 400 meter boardwalk damaged years ago by a typhoon and still awaiting repair. It could be a nice site to set up a tripod and shoot wildlife -- some 61 bird species calling the river home -- inside a makeshift hide. When we got back to the hut, we grabbed a moment of rest and resisted being lulled to sleep by a lonely guitar plucking the strains of the classic, Visayan ditty, Usahay. There was no time left to take the 150-step natural trail on the hillside to a gazebo overlooking the riverine landscape as it was approaching late afternoon and the waterways we passed from the road to the hut were already dry, rained by the lowering tide. Next time, we will definitely explore that.
|Simple, elegant interiors at The Farmouse at Aloguinsan|
MOALBOAL AND AN EDEN CALLED HALE MANNA. We knew we were going to miss the sunset that afternoon as the sun was already dipping past a bank of clouds even before we saw the rather anomalous Gaisano mall on the main road near the turn heading to Hale Mana. It was rather strange finding a McDonald's in these parts, much less a mini mall in the middle of fields and mango trees, but it is there as writer, Cris Yabes and Oceana's communications director, Yas Arquiza, told us.
Hale Mana is still some 7 or so kilometers away so it was already a bit dark when our van pulled over at the resort's driveway. Ahhh, maybe our cue to relax a bit for the night and enjoy the place. By nightfall, my big toe has swelled a bit from repeated walking on the beach and getting soaked wading in the water. I also have a localized infection on my back that has made the lymph nodes on my left torso swollen. I sleep on the bed farthest from the air conditioner (good thing the rooms are really big and high-ceilinged), wondering if I'd be fit for next day's slew of activities. Never mind the diving and swimming; I have to be well enough to work. But for the time being, all I can think of was to grab some much-needed sleep.
|Really spacious digs at Hale Manna|
Info on the Bojo River Tour: Package 1 for walk-in guests cost P400/pax and includes the river cruise and swimming • Package 2 is the full tour and costs P650/pax (minimum of 5 pax) and includes welcome lei, welcome drinks, lunch at Bojo River, snack at the Farmhouse, handicraft demo, river cruise and swimming • Package 3 is the students package which costs P650/pax (minimum of 5 pax) and includes the ff: welcome lei, welcome drinks, lunch at Bojo River, snack at the Farmhouse, handicraft demo, river cruise, swimming, Baluarte Heritage Park tour, church tour, parola visit • Contact the Tourist Office at 469-9042; Rudney at 0905-9133055; Jamaila at 0922-6580094 or 0949-3758978; Jerry at 09175-7309757
Info on Hale Manna: Address: Barangay Saavedra, Moalboal (about 2 1/2 hour drive from Cebu City) • Contact Becky Pestaño-Smith at (+63-032) 316-2603; (+63+922) 842-4939; email: email@example.com; visit www.halemanna.com
|Day 3 Route Map by Oggie Ramos|
Read Part 2 of this series: Notes from Tañon Strait, Day 2: Sharing Virgin Island with Ethel Booba, Marketing for Dried Fish in Madridejos, Sunsetting in Lawis