If there’s anything a solo female traveler knows, it’s how to figure out exactly what she wants. My upcoming flight out of Cebu left me with a laundry list of adventures to seek and so little time left. And this was just the southern half of the island. Possible or not, I had one day to visit another set of waterfalls in Samboan, summit the peak of the island at Dalaguete, and eat lechon from the Carcar market. What else was I going to do except to overexert my body and try?


Aguinid Falls


Getting There

From Moalboal, I took the Ceres Liner bus to Samboan, $1.30. To reach Aguinid Falls, I got a motorbike driver to pick me up, wait for me, and take me back to Samboan for $4. I then hitchhiked to Dalaguete, and from there, like in Samboan, I got a driver to motorbike me to and from Osmeña Peak, $4.

Buses were always headed for Cebu city by the time I reached Dalaguete, so I hopped on one, and hopped off at Carcar for around $1. I hopped on the next Cebu-bound bus that took me back to the South Terminal of Cebu city.


Osmeña Peak



The Aranaz Family Beach Resort was not exactly the beach resort its name claimed, but rather something much better: a simple cozy place to stay on the water. With the help of a passing motorbike driver, I convinced the family to house me in their air con $24 private for $12.

They questioned my singleness and solitude and aloneness and called me a simple girl. My place was safe and had clean showers, proper beds, and no wifi here or elsewhere in town.How they had perfect electricity when so many other places ceaselessly black out (looking at you El Nido) was a blessing from God that I refused to question.


Aranaz Family Beach Resort


See and Do

Aguinid Falls requires a guide, which can be obtained at the entrance as many young men queue up to earn tips from travelers. The amount paid at the end is up to you, but remember this is how they make their living. I gave $2 which not a lot, but I warned them that I really was independent and a cheap-o. To enter the waterfalls you also have to pay $1.20 for an entry ticket at registration.


Aguinid Falls


Getting the motorbike from Dalaguete to the Osmeña Peak trailhead required a bit of bargaining. Aim for $4. To enter the area I paid $.60 at registration. No guide necessary. For the adventurous, you can hike towards Kawasan Falls and camp or hammock for the night, waking in the morning first thing to the waterfalls. Follow the trail on maps.me and it should take 4-6 hours. I totally wanted to do this but lacked time and company.


Osmeña Peak

Day 82 (pm)

I watched the coast zip by with adoration through the bus window as the sun indubitably sealed in the face tan I had worked up from scuba diving. Virgin Marys stared over children playing basketball (it was always basketball in the Philippines) after school. Women fried bananas and skewered them, two at a time, into hearty street snacks.

When I got off the bus there was nothing but a welcome sculpture of S-A-M-B-O-A-N in the stifling heat, and one winding road leading to a pebble beach.


Aranaz Family Beach Resort


The Aranaz family had a tiny shop in their living room full of one-peso snacks so I picked five to munch on as my dinner. I sat in a torn yet picturesque hammock for the sunset wrapped in my own thoughts until some neighbors tried to impress me with the odd creatures they’d caught at sea.


Aranaz Family Beach Resort


Day 83

I rose so early that I had the five tiers of Aguinid to myself.


Aguinid Falls


I went back to sleep until I actually felt awake, meditated within the embrace of the clean sheets of my bed, and left my thrift shop maxi dress with one of the cutest single mom of two.

I think I earned the trust of the family and they told me to come back one day. Back by the highway I sat down in a careneria to a plate of veggies I ordered and the 10-cent “basura” bananas I’d bought off of the fruit vendors, much to their amusement.


Aguinid Falls


I stared at the highway, anxious to continue on to my next outdoor adventure. A truck came by to deliver cooking oil. I approached the driver and found they were headed exactly where I needed to be to climb to the top of the island. Shut up!

I was quickly sandwiched between a brother and sister who had just finished their deliveries. My bag was in the back with all the empty oil jugs.


Hitchhiking to Dalaguete with mayo buns.


They pointed out the southernmost tip of the island and stopped at a bakery, handing me a bag of three peculiar “mayo buns” before stopping at the household of one of their other siblings. They handed over a giant bag of breads to a woman who clearly had a lot of mouths to feed.


The hike to the top of Osmeña was quick and a good enough substitution for the chocolate hills of the neighboring Bohol island.


Highest fist on the island.


I downed some Buko juice and got on a northbound bus. By now several drivers had told me the best lechon of Cebu lay in the corner of the Carcar market so I hopped off on a whim.

My eyes feasted on long rows of roasted pigs in their crackling skins were being hacked into quarter-kilo mounds. And this time it was hot. I grabbed a portion for $4, got a juicy slice of watermelon from the next stall over, and was pounding in the calories on the next bus within minutes.

Best whim ever.



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