With my newfound passion in freediving, it wasn’t long before my [virtual] friends in FB noticed the gazillion photos I share online about our freediving stunts. And on a fine Thursday night, Jona, a Cebu-based travel blogger who’s a gifted poet (whom I only know in FB and in our FB PTB group) sent me and selected travel/freediving junkies a message asking us to join her in exploring the reef that sits beside the Terra Manna Camping & Resort in the small town of Badian, Cebu.
She accidentally discovered the rich marine life that dwells on the seabed where Terra Manna is nestled when she went snorkeling not long ago. And knowing that we share the same passion as hers – travelling and the love for the ocean – she thought it best to invite us to join her in a little expedition to discover Terra Manna’s marine life. Of course we said yes to the invitation. We could never resist the call of the sea.
So after 3 weeks of impatiently waiting to soak our gills in sea water, me and my mermen friends finally bade temporary goodbyes to our homes and embarked on a journey to surveying the marine life at Terra Manna – a place I would gladly call my second home in the town of Badian, Cebu.
Three hours after dragging our sleepy heads to the South Bus Terminal for that early bus trip to Badian, we finally reached the quaint town famous for its Kawasan Falls. We actually missed the bus stop and had to walk back about 500 meters just to find a trike that would take us to Terra Manna.
the road leading to Terra Manna
Once we reached the resort, a guard greeted us and confirmed our booking. Before allowing us to get inside, we had to follow the customary registration process at their reception cottage where a delicate mandala flower arrangement graced our arrival.
wonderful mandala flower arrangement consisting of locally grown flowers and leaves
Jona was already waiting for us at the resort’s Panorama deck and when we were given the go signal to get in, we started walking towards the gravel-filled drive way and searched for that area. As soon as I got a good glimpse of the entire 4-hectare camping grounds my mind was blown away by the natural beauty of the resort. You could see well-manicured lawns with coconut trees growing on strategic spots.
the resort’s camping grounds
I immediately saw the tents where we will be spending 2 nights and got excited at the thought of camping out in this heavenly paradise. This would be my second time (having to camp out at Nagsasa Cove two years ago in Zamables as my first).
Lantawan, my favorite spot in Terra Manna
The Terra Manna resort is covered with greens. You will see refreshing sight of greenery anywhere you look. From coconut trees, local plants and trees and assorted crops growing in their garden, the resort guarantees a peaceful nature retreat away from the bustling city life that you are accustomed to. And just as you get near the edge of the cliff, you will see the Tañon Strait with the Negros island across it. When you look over at the right side, you will see the Pescador Island of Moalboal. While looking for Jona, I couldn’t help look at the sea. It was terribly calling us to hurry and discover its secrets.
We finally met the fun and free-spirited Jona and we instantly felt at home at the Panorama deck claiming it as our living room the entire time we stayed at the resort, the camping grounds as our bedroom and the sea as our playground.
a glimpse of the alluring view of the sea, our vitamins
After exchanging Hi’s and Hello’s we started getting ready to jump in and bathe in the bewitching waters of Badian. Sea addicts like us can’t afford to dilly-dally when we are presented with an amazing weather and clear blue waters.
It was no surprise how we could wear our freediving gears in a flash. Soon enough, we were wading the sea waters in excitement as we could not wait to see what we’ll discover on Terra Manna’s seabed.
looking back one last time before heading for the reef
As soon as we hit the waters, we immediately discovered the rich marine life lurking beneath the waters of Badian. Huge sea urchins are scattered a few meters away from the sea deck. As soon as we get passed those stingy creatures, we were given a sight of the living corals that surrounds the area.
Jona diving to capture photos of corals
I am happy to see that the seabed of Terra Manna have intact and living corals. They were almost everywhere. The wonderful weather and the good visibility underneath made it possible to enjoy endless freedive attempts.
Dylan surveying the seabed of Terra Manna Camping and Resort
rich and beautiful corals grow abundantly beneath Badian’s sea bed
It probably took us approximately 20 minutes to swim out to the reef where we found more corals. There were quite a number of fishes swimming in there too.
Johnn freediving to the edge of the reef
We took turns freediving to practice and push our limits. With the reef beneath us, it was the perfect place to practice freediving in Badian.
Dylan cruising on top
photo credit by Johnn
It took us approximately 3 hours to finish free diving and surveying Terra Manna’s seabed. We only stopped swimming when the tide shifted. The current was starting to get stronger bringing with it bad visibility underneath.
couldn’t get enough of the clear waters
But once we reached the sea deck, we took advantage of the remaining time we had left and started swimming in the natural pool beneath us. We couldn’t afford to throw away the perfect weather and the remaining clear waters that was offered to us.
We only went back to the resort grounds when we could no longer bear the sound of our grumbling tummies. Our excitement reverberated the peaceful resort as each of us shared accounts of our dives while having our late lunch. We couldn’t contain the happiness we felt staying on a paradise retreat that is the Terra Manna Camping & Resort.
the sea deck gets a total face lift during low tide
waiting for the sunset
And just as we thought that we had already experienced the beauty that engulfed the resort both in and out of the water, we failed to realize that we will be given the most rewarding gift at the end of the day – a chance to witness a colorful display of orange hues before the last light gets blown away by darkness.
As soon as we decided it’s time to rest to recharge our energy for the next day’s freediving activities with more friends coming over, we figured we don’t want to be stuck in the confines of our tents under the perfect night sky. Instead, we started pulling out the mattresses provided inside our tents and laid them on the camp grounds.
stargazing to sleep
On our first night in Terra Manna, the heavens blessed us with a wonderful weather making it possible to sleep peacefully under the canopy of stars.
The experience of staying in a resort that brings out the beauty of nature with the resort’s simplicity is surreal. If only I could claim this as my home and never return.
Terra Manna Camping & Resort
Landline #: Globe +63324750296, +63324750297
Mobile #: Globe +639165297014, Smart +639399124252 and +639192282435