I’m not a relationship expert but this I know and this I believe in – going on a date and spending some quality time with your partner is important. This is especially true if kids are already in the picture. This weekend, we found the perfect adventure and I’m so excited to share it with you – Bojo River cruise in Aloguinsan, Cebu.
Pre-Kai days, Ivan and I would travel hundreds of kilometers, crossing islands and going on epic adventures with our motorbike. All that changed when Kai arrived. Not that it’s a bad thing. We always have the opportunity to go out for long (or short) rides but most of the time we choose not to go because we would miss the little guy.
It’s our break from parenting-ish and time to ride!
We miss riding so we thought of going on a short ride to Aloguinsan Cebu. I’ve always wanted to check out Bojo River and boy, it didn’t disappoint. We highly recommend the place.
Like most of our trips, we didn’t plan this out thoroughly. I just thought, why not go for a ride? I know Ivan misses riding so I brought the idea up and he said yes immediately. That was two days before our trip. I’m glad my mom was available to babysit Kai for us. And since we didn’t prepare much, we brought nothing but jackets our money and my phone. That’s it! Haha
Welcome to Bojo River!
We traveled from Mactan to Pinamungajan via Transcentral Highway, our favorite route, where we stopped to eat sweet corn. We set off at around 6:30 a.m. and reached our destination at around 10 a.m. There’s an entrance fee of Php20 per person. After a short trek, passing a bamboo bridge, we got to the center and paid Php400 per head for the boat tour. There are other tours available for bigger groups but since there are only two of us, we had the bangka tour.
When we got to Bojo River, we saw just how beautiful it was and my biggest regret was not visiting this place a lot sooner. The eco-tourism project started in 2009 and I had heard or seen ads about Aloguinsan that time. It piqued my interest then but never really got the chance to go until now.
The water was so inviting I knew that we should’ve brought extra clothes. I know, you might think, “who goes on a trip without bringing extra clothes?” Well, apparently, that’s us. We decided to go on a whim so we didn’t think much about what to bring. But that was totally not a big deal. In our heads, we knew that we’re going to take a dip in the water.
So clear. So clean. So cool.
The idea that it’s a place we’ve never been before might scare me. I’m scared of the waters – especially if it’s not a familiar place, but to heck with it, I said before getting on the boat – “WE WILL GO SWIMMING!”
The Bojo River Cruise
The Bojo River Cruise eco-tourism project employs local fishermen to be the tour guide. Women weave baskets and even serenade guests with lively Cebuano songs. The staff at the reception will also give a brief orientation about your river tour.
So we waited for our boat and our tour guide, who happens to be a local fisherman around his 50’s named Paulino Canete and everyone calls him, “Pa-oohl” (but really, they meant “Paul”). I found it cute and funny.
Anyway, Bojo River Cruise’s tour guides are awesome and friendly people. What’s impressive about them is that they will tell you stories about the place and they will wow you with their memory of the different scientific names of flora and fauna in the area. Brings me back to my Botany days in college. lol I was like, “this old man has better memory than I do.”
Here’s our guide, Paulino!
Paulino also shared that for one to become a tour guide, he must ace the 5-day seminar given by Carolinian (USC-graduate) marine biologists. The applicants will take exams to prove to the management that they know the different local and scientific names of the various flora and fauna in the area. He said they had to take a 150-item (if I remember it correctly) moving exam. The applicants must get at least 80 items correct, or else they’ll flunk the test and won’t get to become a guide. Awesome eh? I did so bad with scientific names and moving exams during my days in college. Haha!
The whole Bojo River cruise lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes but you’ll be given extra time to enjoy the waters. From the starting point, your guide will take you to the mouth of the river, which then leads to the open sea. We’ve gone to the part where it’s really deep, but it looks like it isn’t because you can see the corals from where you’re sitting (but you can definitely tell it’s deep). Paulino informed us of a different kind of tour where guests will take the glass boat to see the vibrant marine life.
From the river to the sea!
The next time we visit Aloguinsan, we’ll definitely take that tour and bring Kai by then. We’ll let him see the corals, sea turtles and fish. Paulino says there are a lot of clownfish that can be spotted when you ride the glass boat tour.
The boat then turned around and it’s time to head back. But not before swimming. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m scared of the water because who knows what might lurk in there, especially when Paulino confirmed there are sea serpents in the river but immediately assured me that they’re harmless. Oh really now? Still, that didn’t stop me from taking a dip. I said to myself, it’s such a wonderful opportunity to pass up. Besides, if Paulino said that sea snakes won’t attack, then I trust him. *gulp*
Ivan and I spent 15 minutes in the water.
Both of us were cautious, scared and thrilled all at the same time. There are shallow portions of the river but we wouldn’t want our feet to touch the ground Haha! Maybe we’re scaredy-cats but we went for it anyway, so yoohoo! There was just one tiny problem – we didn’t have extra clothes. But come on! It’s really too good to miss out!
So we stripped! Nah.. We just took off our pants and jumped in! I would’ve gladly taken my top off and just swim with my underwear, I wouldn’t mind. But Ivan stopped me there. Haha! All the while, Paulino was just supportive. He’s such an awesome guy! He told us that it’s okay if we’d get our clothes all wet, which we did. Oh, and yes, he was our official photographer at that time.
On our way back, we passed by these guys who caught this big fish from the sea.
Taking the Bojo River Cruise is something you must do if you haven’t done it. If you’re from Cebu, go for it. If not, include this on your list of things to do when in Cebu. I promise you, you won’t regret it and you’ll definitely have a super awesome time! Watch out for my next post about a guide to Bojo River Cruise in Aloguinsan!