Argao: More than the Torta and the Cave

The southern part of Cebu offers a great deal of gastronomic journey - starting from the chicharon and lechon in Carcar up to the sweet and delicious torta of Argao. One never leaves the bus to Cebu without bringing one ore more of these delicacies home. 

Five Year and back in Argao
I remembered that I had written an article about Argao several years ago. I wandered daringly to its explore its magnificent cave, Balay sa Agta. I watched the sunset from its black-sand beach and satiated myself with its torta and tsokolate. What more than I hadn't discovered in Argao? That was my very question when I decided to return after five years. 

  "Arrived in Argao with these folks"

Different People. Different Memories.
It was a week after my Tuburan trip that I had a strong conviction of traveling down south. One sure reason why was the wedding invitation. I would be hosting a friend's wedding. I had a few experience when I thought about Argao. I spent my moments with different people from various nationalities. I had convoyed with a motorbike group some more years back. And recently, I spent it together with my co-teachers. 

Some Things Gone. Some Things Stayed
The ride to the south excited me so much. The century -old churches, the glistening reflection of the seawater plus the hugging trees along the road in Carcar. These kinds of things while traveling entices my soul so much.

We arrived in Argao with one thing in my mind. I wanted to visit the heritage church of St. Michael, the Archangel. I am so in love of this Spanish-inspired church that I couldn't believe myself that I would be hosting a wedding to be held in this church. With that in mind, I was more than overwhelmed of the idea and the opportunity. 

I was also looking forward in dining at Alex Cafe. My memory served me so well about the cafe's location and its menu. It was something that I had been thinking along the way. Unfortunately, when we arrived, I had learned that it closed down years ago. I couldn't forget their home-made humba and their pure mango shake. 

"They really serve delicious torta here."

With a heavy-heart, I told my co-teachers to eat at the Torta store instead. We had a noontime snack and bought a few "pasalubong" before taking lunch and heading towards Balay sa Agta and Bugasok Falls. 

The Trek towards Balay sa Agta
It was on my 25th birthday that I had my first try of spelunking. I was so young then that all I could think of was trying something new. And Balay sa Agta was my first cave to explore. After half a decade, I returned and trekked down the cave. So much had changed! First, we need to get a permit at the Department of Tourism in the Municipal of Argao with a certain fee. However though, since it was a holiday (June 12, 2017), we weren't able to have the permit. 

We were crossing our fingers if we could find a good guide to lead us to Balay sa Agta. Time was on our side that we met the two motorbike drivers and told us that they could guide for spelunking.

"Flowing waters at the cave's entrance."

The trek was short but the trail towards the cave was challenging. We were told that Balay sa Agta was closed down for several months because of an earthquake and was newly opened for visitors once again. The huge crevice greeted us with a flowing water. I couldn't remember there was a waterfall back then. The opening of the cave before was dry and much easier than we present one. We needed to scramble down before reaching the mouth of the cave. 

Honestly, it was a dangerous trek down below and our guides weren't equipped with ropes and other spelunking gears. Good thing that I had my own "sort of" reliable rope and headlight that we managed to further explore the cave. 

The Unexpected Side Trip to Bugasok Falls
What made the trip to Argao more rewarding was that our kind motorbike drivers slash guides told us that there was a waterfalls nearby. When they told me about Bugasok Falls, I answered them that the name was familiar and my memory told me that I saw few photos of my friends in that same waterfalls. 

 "Thanks to Sai that she brought with her her camera."

It was enchanting, I must say. Well, the view was wonderful but the water was wild at that time. Nonetheless, it was soothing to watch the rapid flow from the river down to the waterfalls. We couldn't agree more but told ourselves that we had another adventure stored in our memory bank. 
"Feeling hyped at Bugasok Falls"

Separate Ways.
As the afternoon reaching its peak before the dusk, we finally had our way to the sea and watched the sunset. As always, Argao is a beautiful destination to relax and to bask in the sand and the beach. Even though we didn't take a dip to the sea, we truly enjoyed our adventure that day. Finally, we bid each other goodbye and my co-teachers were heading back to Cebu City while I was on my way to my friend's house to prepare for the wedding the next day. 
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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