Planning your next vacation? You might want to consider traveling the Philippines’ Queen City of the South, Cebu! Who would have thought that beyond the vast areas of concrete structures in the city lies a wide array of pristine white beaches and activities that will surely pump up your adrenaline.

My travel buddies chose to explore Cebu and visit a few of its top destinations down south.

We booked the earliest flight from Manila to Mactan International Airport and went straight ahead to Oslob, Cebu via land travel. We rented a van for the whole trip which we find more convenient. The 4-hour trip from the airport was enough to have a quick nap and recharge for the fun-filled activities in Oslob.

After we had an early check-in in our hotel, Casa Bonita Inn, we started our tour to Sumilon Island which was a 5-minute land travel going to the port. From the sea port, it took us another 10 minutes before we finally reached our destination, the Sumilon Island Sand Bar.

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Tip: If you plan to stay there over lunch, make sure to bring packed lunch since there will be no other restaurants available in area aside from the resort which, I believe, is a bit pricey.

After basking in the sun in the Sumilon Sand Bar, we went straight ahead to the Tumalog Falls and experience its infamous fish spa and natural water massage. A roughly 5-minute “habal-habal” motorcycle ride from the parking area is necessary to reach the Tualog Falls since they don’t allow huge vehicles to enter.

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Your Oslob trip won’t be complete without experiencing how it felt like to swim with the gentle giant of the sea, the whale sharks or “Butanding”. Compared to the other carnivorous shark species, Butanding only feeds on plankton which makes it relatively more harmless. Swimming with them was a fun experience but make sure not to get too close for safety reasons.

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Tip: Go to the whale shark briefing center as early as 6AM. It could get really crowded if you plan to arrive later than that. Also, don’t ever try to touch the whale sharks! Unless you want to pay a penalty for doing it.

One of the most sought after activities we tried in Cebu is the Badian canyoneering. For those who wanted to burn calories and at the same time to enjoy the cool waters of Kawasan falls, this activity is for you. But first, make sure to wear the proper canyoneering attire, especially the closed shoes or other hiking gear is a must! It will take you roughly 4 hours to finish the activity from start to Kawasan Falls proper. The whole experience itself is tiring and fulfilling at the same time.

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Tip: Women are advisable to wear leggings during the tour. Also, make sure to bring your GoPro or other waterproof cameras to capture the whole experience. Don’t forget to bring extra cash, just enough to buy grilled food along the way.

To cap off our Cebu experience, we visited some of the popular scenic spots and must try food and restaurants in Cebu City.

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