The hardest part about a great travel adventure is to get back into reality, perhaps think twice then retrace your steps, gather your thoughts and make sure you are right on schedule and move on to the next adventure on the list. This was what I felt when I left those whale sharks in Oslob. 40 minutes was not enough! I still wanted to swim with them even if it meant paying P200 more. But I knew there’s always gonna be a next time so with a heavy heart and a grumbling stomach seeking to break the fast, we had to leave Oslob and headed to the next town on our list – Boljoon, where we saw their historical landmarks and enjoyed the Boljoon Heritage Walk.
This wasn’t my 1st time in Boljoon. Just a month ago, me and my fellow travel buddies Ed, Edwin and Dom accidentally crashed their town’s fiesta. We were not that lucky though in getting invited to dine at one of the houses that celebrated the feast of the town’s patron saint. We never knew there were other things we could have done and seen in Boljoon. Luckily, on the eve of Christmas Eve 😆 my travelling feet found its way back to this town again.
Boljoon Heritage Walk and Jumping off the Boardwalk
Boljo-on, pronounced as Bol-ho-on, is the 2nd to the last town located south of Cebu. The beautiful street lamps that decorates the coastal area of this town is what you’ll notice the first time you’ll lay your eyes on her. As you get nearer, you will see an arch at the right side where 3 angel statues stands as if trumpeting your arrival. The arch is the gateway to Cebu’s oldest remaining original stone church, the Patrocinio de Maria (Boljoon Church).
Artifacts have been discovered in the area linking Cebuanos to their heritage. These artifacts, together with the town’s relics and other important historical items are well-preserved in their museum and is available for the public’s viewing.
The town of Boljo-on is not only famous for those structures within the Church Complex – the Rectory, Belfry, Plaza Cemetery, Escuela Catolica, El Grande Baluarte and the Gates and Walls. This town has much more to offer.
After touring the Boljoon Church Complex, we decided to check out the platform in the town plaza. Although we just finished swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob, the perfect weather couldn’t stop my travel buddies from getting excited at the sight of that platform. They immediately tested the depth of the waters and were soon jumping off the boardwalk. They looked like kids who were unleashed from their
cages playpens as they took turns in jumping off the shallow waters.
I was so tempted to join my friends but the tide wasn’t that high. Some of them even had bruises after their jumps but they never paid attention to the pain as the thrill and fun jumping off the boardwalk of Boljoon was enough to keep them pumped up from the semi-dangerous stunts they were doing 😆
Since we had so much time to kill, we decided to wait for 12 noon to get inside the El Grande Baluarte watchtower thanks to Edgar who was able to ask permission from the caretaker to let us sneak in when it was time to ring the bells.
The El Grande Baluarte was said to be an old watchtower which also served as a prison cell. There’s this vacant room on the ground floor where you can see several graffiti of Spanish boats, whom they believed were drawn by those who were imprisoned there. What’s surprising is you’d see the transition of the drawings from what looked like wooden ships to those box-typed boats indicating the shift of boat designs – from wood to steel.
A few meters to side of the church, you will see an old stone pillar which leads you to the town’s houses. And if you follow the road, you’d find centuries-old houses that dates as far back as 1881. We started walking the streets of Boljoon after checking out the watchtower and saw a lot of old houses which were still intact. Then there’s the Baño sa Poblacion, the town’s common area where people can take a bath and wash their laundry. We also checked out the Bojoon Bridge where an old wooden bridge sits beside the new one. Exploring that old bridge would give you a view of a river that exits to the sea. The Baluarte sa Fuente is also a sight to behold as it kinda reminded me of one of the temples of Ta Prohm in Siem Reap, Cambodia due to a huge tree that stands on top of the structure.
As soon as we were done with the Boljoon Heritage Walk, we found a store that sold home-made ice cream. Care to guess what the rest of the gang did? 😆
Here are the main highlights of the Boljoon Heritage Walk:
- Patrocinio de Maria Church Complex (Rectory/Belfrey/Plaza Cemetery/ Escuela Catolica/ El Grande Baluarte/ Gates and Walls)
- Dr. Dionisio Niere House
- Cirilio Sestoso House
- Boljoon Bridge
- Baluarte sa Fuente
- Gabaldon Building (Boljoon Central School)
- Baño sa Poblacion
- Ili Rock
How To Get There:
Go to the South Bus Terminal located along N. Bacalso St. near eMall and look for buses the ply the Oslob or Santader route. Tell the driver your destination, which is Boljoon. Fare is around P129 one way for an airconditioned bus. Travel time could take up to 2.5 hours.
There’s a bathroom near the boardwalk and there’s also one beside the church’ rectory in case you are concerned on where you can change your clothes after jumping off the boardwalk. Oh, did I mention that the town of Boljoon is a free wifi zone? 😉
This is Part 2 of the series where me and a couple of my friends from my Pinoy Travel Bloggers group went on a day trip to the south of Cebu to experience 3 amazing adventures. To checkout Part 1 of this series, visit the link below 😉
For more photos of the heritage walk, check out the FB Page here.