CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF DALAGUETE

6 things to do in the Veg­etable Bas­ket of Cebu

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Guide -

While many Sug­buanons are get­ting giddy pre­par­ing for their in­ter-province or over­seas trips in the com­ing weeks, we're guess­ing that some of you pre­fer a laid-back va­ca­tion within Cebu. You might want to visit Dalaguete dur­ing the hol­i­days for a breather from the city bus­tle and for that much-needed na­ture recharge.

Known for its cool moun­tain weather, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Dalaguete is lo­cated just 84 kilo­me­ters south of Cebu City, and if you’re plan­ning to get there any­time, go raid your room, grab your travel es­sen­tials, and step on the gas. Just drive straight along N. Ba­calso St. un­til you reach the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Waze can be a help­ful friend in times like this.

An­other op­tion would be head­ing to the South Bus Ter­mi­nal: just hop on a bus that will take you to the town dubbed the "Veg­etable Bas­ket of Cebu." Get­ting there won't be as dif­fi­cult as you think since the friendly Dalaguet­non mo­tor­cy­clists will take you to your des­ti­na­tion of choice, or you could just ask any of the lo­cals. Here are five stops for your Dalaguete es­capade:

1 Cool down at Obong Cold Spring

When one thinks of beat­ing the heat in a trop­i­cal coun­try, the beach of­ten comes to mind. But dip­ping into nat­u­ral pools like Obong Cold Spring can prove far more re­fresh­ing. Obong's clear cold brack­ish wa­ter springs from the nearby beach. At the spring's edge, cen­tury-old "dalakit" trees, from which the mu­nic­i­pal­ity de­rived its name, of­fer cool shade. For fun-lov­ing guests, huge rocks in and around the spring can be used as swim­ming plat­forms. With an en­trance fee of only P5, it's def­i­nitely an af­ford­able deal for a cold plunge!

2 Straw­berry time at Ser­gio's Farm

A good vol­ume of veg­eta­bles all over Cebu comes from Dalaguete, but the "Veg­etable Bas­ket of Cebu" pro­duces straw­ber­ries as well. Yes! Straw­ber­ries are not just found in the north­ern parts of Luzon but are also cul­ti­vated in the fer­tile val­leys of Malo­ray, Dalaguete. What started as a pri­vate farm, Ser­gio "Paul" Re­valde opened his twohectare farm to the pub­lic in 2013 and has grown or­ganic pro­duce with­out harm­ing the yield. With a P50 en­trance fee, you will find your­self in the straw­berry and leafy haven with birds chirp­ing in the up­lands. One of the most sought-af­ter ac­tiv­i­ties in the farm is hand-pick­ing straw­ber­ries and other veg­etable prod­ucts in straw­berry and veg­etable "tun­nels." Aside from fresh straw­ber­ries and other greens, they also sell jams, veg­etable salads, pick­led radish and re­fresh­ments made from straw­ber­ries. Here's a tip: visit Ser­gio's Farm for straw­ber­ries be­tween December un­til the sum­mer when it's peak sea­son. Take it from the lo­cals, you'll have a straw­berry over­load.

3 Bloom and blos­som at Sun­flower Gar­den

Apart from abun­dant fresh pro­duce that grow in the cold up­lands of Dalaguete, flowers bloom there as well on sun­nier days. One des­ti­na­tion that's grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity is the Sun­flower Gar­den of Dalaguete in Barangay Man­to­lon­gon, where the fa­mous Os­meña Peak could be found. Aside from sun­flow­ers, a variety of other flower species are also cul­ti­vated in the gar­den. Tourists and sight­seers can of­ten be seen ap­pre­ci­at­ing na­ture’s gift through their best snap­shots.

4. Stand high and golden at Kan­dun­gaw Peak

There's no doubt that Dalaguete has got to be on the top of the list of trend­ing moun­tain peaks hiked by tourists. Some of the tourists’ fa­vorites are Tabon Peak, Os­meña Peak and Casino Peak. But just last year, a fourth one has been added to the list: Kan­dun­gaw Peak. Be­tween the moun­tains of Dalaguete and Ba­dian, Kan­dun­gaw Peak started draw­ing tourists in 2017 when it first opened to the pub­lic. This is the sec­ond high­est peak of Cebu, just af­ter the more pop­u­lar Os­meña Peak. Man­aged by the Dalaguete Tourism Of­fice, Kan­dun­gaw is lo­cated in Barangay Malo­ray in Dalaguete, a lit­tle bit far­ther from Barangay Man­ta­lon­gon. The en­vi­ron­men­tal fee is only at P30, so if you’re in for a 40-minute steep hike and a spine-tin­gling but ful­fill­ing kind of fun, then this might be the peak for you. The sun­rise is sim­ply ma­jes­tic out here.

5. San Guillermo de Aqui­tania Church

Beau­ti­ful old churches that tell so much of Cebu's rich his­tory and cul­ture al­ways leave an im­pres­sion among those trav­el­ing down south. One of th­ese churches is the San Guillermo de Aqui­tania Church, which was com­pleted in 1825. The in­te­rior and rich artistry of the walls re­flect the Spanish era. The church is one of the is­land's most pre­served baroque-ro­coco struc­tures, val­ued for its highly or­na­men­tal and dec­o­ra­tive style. Dalaguet­nons fondly claim that al­most all the lo­cals of Dalaguete re­ceive the sacra­ments from this Church. Stop by the San Guillermo de Aqui­tania Church for some re­li­gious and his­tor­i­cal en­rich­ment.

6. Bonus: Take home Dalaguete's Torta

Per­fect get­aways are never com­plete with­out sou­venirs, or in this case, a spe­cial treat of take-home del­i­ca­cies. Con­trary to the be­lief that South­ern Cebu has one dis­tinct torta spe­cialty, Dalaguet­nons would beg to dis­agree! They claim that Dalaguete's Torta has the per­fect yolk-to-oil ra­tio, and that's what makes it Dalaguet­non. It has this dis­tinct sweet del­i­cacy taste and an aroma of pure home­made good­ness that makes it de­lec­ta­ble down to the last bite. Dalaguete's Torta, which re­mains as good as it was first bought for five to six days, surely is a sur­prise treat for your fam­ily and friends.

An ex­hil­i­rat­ing view from Os­meña Peak is best shared with this pho­to­bomb­ing cat (bot­tom left), which ac­com­pa­nies tourists dur­ing their na­ture hike.

Noth­ing is more sooth­ing than dip­ping in cold spring wa­ter. Photo:

Photo: IG: @wan­der­ingjo17 Peak sea­son for sweet and suc­cu­lent straw­ber­ries start in December and lasts un­til sum­mer.

Don't miss an in­sta­gram-wor­thy snap­shot with the sun­flow­ers in full bloom.Photo: Paul Ran­del IG: @pavlarvelo

Take in the beauty and seren­ity of na­ture at the sec­ond high­est peak in Cebu. Photo: An­jyen Booc IG: @an­jie.booke

Photo: Luke Anthony San­til­lan

A beau­ti­ful mix of his­tory and re­li­gious art can be found in the in­te­rior of the church.

You wouldn’t want to re­turn home with­out a pack of th­ese del­i­ca­cies.

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