What else could you think after a long week at work?
A walk in the forest? A day of relaxation in the beach? A long drive or a road trip? A view of fascinating landscapes and seascapes? Well, simply let your imagination fly with the wind and think of any ideal vacation you could think of then bring your mind to Camotes Islands in Cebu , Philippines and you'll realize that what's in your psyche is more than just mere imagination.
A two-hour ferry trip from Danao City, Cebu brought us to the captivating group of islands named Camotes which is composed of four municipalities namely San Francisco, Poro, Pilar and Tudela. San Francisco is the biggest among the four municipalities and home of most of the tourist attractions. According to the owner of the homestay where we lodged for a night, only Pilar town is separated from the municipalities. All the rest are connected by bridges.
The trip itself going to the island was fascinating because we were accompanied by friendly dolphins showing their hospitality to tourists visiting the island. We arrived in Consuelo Wharf in San Francisco town around two o'clock in the afternoon and did a hike around the nearby village. The hike was so disturbing as there were two motorbike drivers who followed us all the way forcing us to take a ride but thanks to the rain which saved us from those stalkers (hahaha!). Later on, we decided to rent a motorbike and driving around the town was really a good experience. We rented the motorbike for only 500 pesos and it already allowed us to visit different spots in the place.
A serene view at Lake Lanao Park - an
enchanting work of nature.
Our first destination was Mangudlong Rock Resort. Too bad, the sea wasn't that good that time so bumming on the beach wasn't a good idea. We then headed to a private owned beach house to see what the place could offer. The longest stop was in the enchanting Lake Danao Park. One would really wonder how a huge body of freshwater could exist in the middle of seawater. The park is vegetated with lust green trees of different species. Visitors could go for boat ride around the lake or enjoy a simple meal in a small floating cottage. We saw locals in the area weaving leaves of local plant called silo-silo and just a trivia, they celebrate Silo-Silo Festival once a year.
White sand beach at Santiago Bay.
The next destination was San Francisco town proper which boasts its baywalk and clean surroundings. Almost every house in San Francisco is tag with the name of the owner and a local said that it's part of their cleaning and greening program. The town is a recepient of Cebu governor's environment program award. It has also earned mentions in international environment programs such as the Geneva convention.
It was already late in the evening when we headed to Santiago Bay to get some place to stay. Some of the hotels were already fully booked and they're quiet expensive so we ended up staying in a homestay which is just walking distance to the renowned Santiago White Beach. The following morning was a wonderful breakfast along the shore followed by refreshing rest under the heat of the shining sun.
We went back to San Francisco town via coastal road where the views are more fascinating. We then headed to the enchanting Timobo Cave where the crystal clear and cool water is just so tempting for a refreshing bath. However, the time was so limited as we needed to go back to the pier for our trip going back to Cebu where another week-long work awaits. We left Camotes on a gloomy afternoon when the sun was about to set telling us that another adventure awaits us when we come back.