Kai’s Visit to Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary Cebu


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I want to start off by saying I was so excited when I found out about Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary. I’ve lived in since I was eight and I’ve never heard of this place. Ever. Three years ago, I attended SWU-Veterinary Medicine school, and I never realized that this hidden attraction has been part of my daily route.

I only found out about it because I wanted to take Kai to a place where I can support his love for insects. As I’ve said in my earlier post, our boy has developed this fascination with insects and it really showed when we visited Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary. He’s been raving about it while we were still in the car.

Once we got to the place, we were lucky since nobody else was around. We met Ariel, our guide to the Butterfly Garden and the whole sanctuary. I don’t want to get your expectations up, it’s not that big. I can tell since I’ve been to a butterfly sanctuary in Palawan. Admittedly, the place was not well maintained due to lack of funds, which is truly a shame. It’s projects like these that should be supported by the government. Nevertheless, it’s a great place for my toddler, who enjoys seeing the butterflies flying around.

ENTRANCE FEE, by the way, is Php 100 for adults and Php 50 for kids. The Sanctuary is open all days of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here we are. Welcome to Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary!

Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary in Cebu is not only a facility that helps with breeding butterflies but it’s also a mini-museum and art gallery established in 1974 by the late Prof. Julian Jumalon. The Fine Arts professor, who died in 2000, was a graduate of the University of Philippines and made butterflies as his hobby. You can read more about him HERE.

Someone’s getting impatient!

Kai's pretty excited to see the butterfly.

Hold up, little one! This impatient tot demands he’d be taken to see the butterflies, like Pronto. Kuya Ariel isn’t done with his introduction yet. He first showed us the distribution of butterflies in the country. I can’t remember but maybe he said there were three or four species found in Cebu. One of the world’s rarest butterfly species can be found in Palawan.

Here’s Kuya Ariel showing us a map of butterfly distribution in the country.

While walking through the butterfly garden, there were several butterflies flying around. The place doesn’t have a net above. Kuya Ariel says they’re free to get in and out of the sanctuary.

Listening intently…

Kai is listening intently.

In one of the first few stops we did, we saw a pupa. It’s awesome to see it up-close, because I’ve never really seen one in my entire life!

And of course! It was great timing we stumbled upon this!

Butterflies breeding at Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary in Cebu.

Spotted this little really cute little fella, the larva of the Troides rhadamantus species.

Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary breeds butterflies and hosts an insect museum.

Most of the pupae we’ve seen in the garden and the hatchery belonged to the Troides rhadamantus, or the golden birdwing.

Here’s one I spotted getting ready to pupate! So exciting!

Here’s where these pupae are placed to hatch safely.

Ate taking a pic while Kai’s busy looking at flying butterflies.

Prior to visiting Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, I’ve read on their official website that they could allow a small number of visitors to get inside the small breeding cage. That’s the place where you can get a super close encounter with the magnificent insects. If you’re lucky, a butterfly would land on you. However, in our case, we weren’t able to go inside the cage and I’m also thankful since Kai can be so touchy and his hands were everywhere. He almost squished a caterpillar because he wanted to pick it up. I would be scarred for life if it happened.

After our tour of the garden, we moved on to the next area. Ariel told us there are three areas in the ancestral home/sanctuary that’s part of the tour. The garden, the museum or collection room and the art gallery.

It’s obvious what the collection room is.

Fascinating insects in framed displays.

My favorite was the beetle display and the South American blue-colored butterflies.

And a few of the late Professor’s artworks.

On the left is Prof. Jumalon’s final painting before his death in 2000. Prof. also has a unique style – a mosaic art using damaged butterfly wings as the medium, a style called “Lepido-mosaics.” You can view more from the collection room HERE.

On to the final stop –  the Art Gallery, where all of Professor Jumalon’s art pieces are placed. This area strictly prohibits photography so we weren’t able to take pictures. You can see some of the paintings here.

Personal Thoughts:

Overall, we had a great time – personally, I did. I know Kai really did. It may not be what people would expect but one should understand that the family is trying and doing their best to continue the efforts of preserving the butterflies, which are rapidly declining in numbers. Ariel said that in 50 years, these butterflies will likely be extinct. Urbanization contributed to the decline in butterfly population in Cebu.

It’s sad to think how beautiful creatures like the butterflies paid the price of urban development. I’m just thankful that people behind Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary exist to somehow help preserve different species so that kids like our boy can see and appreciate what nature has to offer before it’s too late.

Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, Mini-Museum and Art Gallery is located at J.N. Jumalon St. Basak, Pardo, Cebu City. Contact them at 261-6884 or visit their official website for more information.

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