Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bojo River, Aloguinsan : Part 1 of our Toledo and Aloguinsan Day Tour '2014

Posted by Free-Spirited Vixen (Juliefe Cuenca) at 5:35 PM
    Toledo and Aloguinsan Day Tour Part 1: Bojo River Cruise

   We had a 2-day tour in Toledo and Aloguinsan. For the 2nd day, we went to The Ranch Resort.

    For our first day, we followed the ffg schedule: 

6:00 AM                 : Wake up Call
6:00 - 8:00 AM        : Breakfast & Preparation for the Tour
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM : Day tour

    Our Package cost 969 pesos per person which was already inclusive of the tours as follows:

        3. BOJO RIVER CRUISE, 

It was really worth it considering that the Bojo River Cruise also included the ffg:

                 a. River Cruise with local guides (around 2 of them)
                 b. Welcoming group of singing folks plus adornment of lei
                 c. A lecture on Mangrove Ecology, Folklore & History
                 d. Lesson on how to wear your marine gear, and the proper manner 
                     of snorkeling
                 e. Snorkeling around the Bonbon Marine sanctuary with 5 - 6 guides   
                      (highly recommended!) 
                 f.  Drinks, Lunch, and snacks ( appetizing! )

1. Our trip from Cebu City to Aloguinsan
       The trip from Cebu City Proper to the Municipality of Aloguinsan is almost 2 hours depending on the traffic. Since we traveled as a group, we decided to rent a vehicle to bring us there. Aircon Bus fares from Cebu City to Aloguinsan is around 60 pesos.
2. Municipality of Aloguinsan
       This was our first stop, and where we met with our tour guide.
3. Baluarte Heritage Park
     Adjacent to the municipal hall is the Baluarte Heritage Park. Perhaps it was because we were early, but it seemed we were the only ones strolling around the place that time, perfect if you want serenity. The landscape was quite picturesque.

    There were also cottages overviewing the sea. The seabreeze plus the surrounding trees offer a fresh and cool atmosphere, fostering good mood to visitors.

Rock formations added a quaint backdrop to several spots.


4. Bojo River
       Upon arrival, we were welcomed by several folks who also adorned us with leis. They then proceeded to guide us towards the Bojo River which was around 230 meters away from the roadside.

Upon reaching the riverside, we were met by singing and dancing folks who serenaded us. We felt like VIPs!
After dancing, we rested inside a cottage where we were served with a gumamela-decorated BUKO JUICE.
      There was a briefing about our ecotour, and the community's history. For those who will participate in the snorkeling, we were also taught on how to use the snorkels and other swimming gears, as well as how to navigate thru the waters.

The Eco-Tour
After munching on our snacks, and listening to the briefing, we headed towards the dock where our respective boats and lifevests were waiting for us.

We also passed by some makeshift bridges 
    Indeed, the river was full of a variety of mangroves, the local and scientific names of which are mastered by our guides. The latter also shared the history, while squeezing in some folklore and legends about the place.
A couple of children swimming in the deep waters
    Upon reaching the junction, we were met by around 5-7 trained divers who guided us for our 20-30 minutes snorkeling to the marine sanctuary which was around 100 meters deep. It was such a fun adventure especially since some of us were first timers and not good swimmers. Nevertheless, we felt safe since there was almost a 1:1 ratio between the snorkelers and the guides. The only regret we had was that we forgot to bring an underwater camera with us and so weren't able to take pictures of the beautiful and colorful corals and fishes.
    And thus, I greatly advise those who are planning to visit Bojo River, to also snorkel in the Bonbon marine sanctuary. I recommend this even to first timers not only because of the lifevests but also because of their highly trained and experienced guides. I've tried snorkeling in Boracay before but it wasn't really a pleasant experience since we were left to fend for ourselves, and the corals were unhealthy and many were even dead. So unlike the situation in the Bonbon Marine Sanctuary where a variety of corals abound, plus we were also provided with complete gears (including flippers!) and a briefing on how to wear them properly.

But Wait, There's More!
   After the Bojo River Cruise and The Bonbon Marine Sanctuary Snorkeling, we were treated to a very sumptuous native lunch. We also tasted for the first time their specialty drink made from camote. It was reddish in color and really good! We thought it was ice tea until we were informed that it was not. Wow, that was really creative and resourceful!

   Honestly speaking, I got quite full and sleepy afterwards. On the other hand, my companions were busy learning weaving since it was part of their itinerary to teach us how to do it. They were fast learners too. ^_^

And now, it's time for us to move on to the next course of our tour, which was to visit the Farmhouse in Aloguinsan.


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