Thursday, June 5, 2014

Aloguinsan Part 1: Bojo River

I am glad we caught the only bus going straight to Aloguinsan a few minutes before its scheduled departure, 7AM. If not, we would have had to take a bus to Toledo then transfer to a jeepney to get to Aloguinsan; or a bus to Pinamungahan and then a tricycle to Aloguinsan.

It was a one–day weekday holiday and I would spend at least five hours on the road to and from Aloguinsan, just to see Bojo River.

After 2.5 hours on the bus, we were ejected near a turnoff where a bunch of motorcycles were parked under a tree, on which a tarp showing the fares was nailed.

For exactly how much the fare was shown on the tarp, Php 20, we were taken to Bojo River, where we paid Php 400 (weekends and holidays; Php 300 on weekdays) each for the tour. We had arrived just as the tide was coming in, perfect timing. (Bojo River tours only happen during high tide. Check the tides when scheduling your tour.) A briefing was held before we were asked to don lifevests and get on our assigned banca.

The starting point of the tour

As we drifted along the river, our guide pointed to different types of mangroves and rattled off scientific names which sounded gobbledygook to me. Half my brain absorbed the scene unfolding in front of me, and the other half struggled to register all the names of mangroves and other information the guide had painstakingly memorized. I commend him for going through months of study and training, just to educate us, but, unfortunately, this student is of the rotten bunch and would only pay attention to the interesting stories and funny jokes he injected in between.

A small clearing where fishermen park their boats


At the inlet, we were given time to jump into the water and swim around. If not for other groups waiting, we would have spent hours in the water, not caring if our fingers turned like raisins—all wrinkled. But time's up, we musn't be selfish, there were other groups to teach and it was their turn to get the Bojo River education.

To TaƱon Strait

When there are no guests to ferry along the river, the Bojo River tour guides work as fishermen. Tour proceeds go to the fishermen and their families, and to community projects. If you feel that Php 400 is too much for a short tour (about an hour), think of it as a way of helping the community.

Package tours (minimum of 5 persons) are also available. Advance booking is required. Contact the Aloguinsan Municipal Tourism Office at (032) 469 9034 or (032) 469 9041.



Aloguinsan
Bojo River (you're here!)
Hidden Beach



How speeding through Aloguinsan sped through Mustachio's wallet:
Bus, Cebu to Aloguinsan Php 80
Habalhabal (motorcycle) to Bojo River Php 20
Bojo River tour (walk–in weekend/holiday rate) Php 400
Habalhabal Bojo River to market to Hidden Beach Php 40
Hidden Beach entrance fee Php 15
Hidden Beach table rental Php 150
Habalhabal to Pinamungahan Php 50
Bus, Pinamungahan to Cebu (aircon Ceres bus) Php 100

9 comments:

  1. i've been here, and ur blogs just explain it all :) great job!

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    1. Thank you Brenda. How was your Bojo River tour?

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  2. is there a shower facility at the hidden beach - that is, somewhere private to get wash up/tidy up after frolicking in the sea

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    1. Yes there are, but you have to pay for a bucket of water for Php10. Thanks for checking out the blog.

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    2. Thank you for the quick reply – you don’t know how much it is appreciated. I had a headache trawling the net in finding practical info for a proposed Alonguisan visit.

      Your site is very, very good – informative with practical tips which most bloggers tend to forget. You’re the only site ive seen that publish Tour packages. Trying to find prices and what nots in Aloguinsan is like pulling a tooth (lol).

      Your comment about the short time spend in snorkelling is a gem.

      I need to find a way to extend that snorkelling time as half an hour is not good enough if you travel all the way from Europe to Cebu.

      Would you by any chance know more about the packages on offer? It would certainly greatly help me in drawing up our itinerary for the visit.

      Many thanks. L

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    3. Hello L. Thank you for your kind words. Note though, that this was last year, so prices may have changed. You may want to contact the Aloguinsan Municipal Tourism Office (see link and telephone number posted above) to check and inquire about extending snorkeling time. I think we were only given a limited time to snorkel because there were other groups waiting to take the tour (I am guessing it's not so busy on weekdays). Also, you may want to ask them what time is the best time to go (on your chosen date) since tours only happen when it's high tide.

      Regarding the tours, sorry I can't be of any help. We only went to Bojo River as walk–in guests. What I was told when I inquired prior to this trip was that to avail of tours, one has to book in advance because they have to prepare the food that is included in the package.

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    4. Thanks M, I did gather that – but its still pretty good info. It gives me a chance to play on a ball park figure rather than working in the dark. You see, there would be about 13x of us comprising of 3x generations to be catered for in visiting Aloguinsan. So I need all info I could get to satisfy everyone not to mention costing the trip.

      With regards to the phone, that’s another issue that I cannot get my head round. All sites I look at doesn’t seems to have the same telephone number. They all have different numbers. The govt site is not much help at all – cannot get much info from them. Nor they have any email address. There was one blogger (cant remember who) who was the only one that gives an email address to contact to. Tried it, but my email bounced so im stuck again.

      You already done so much to debunked/confirmed any issues I have. So thank you so much. I will keep trawling the net and try those numbers when we are in Cebu.

      Have a pleasant day and more power to you and yours! L

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    5. Hello L. The phone number I posted above was the phone number I was able to contact last year. For email, try this email address cgm528@gmail.com ... that was the email the person who answered my call used when she forwarded me info regarding the package tours. Hopefully the same person still works at Aloguinsan's tourism office! Good luck!

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  3. Hi! Do you know the schedule for the cebu-aloguinsan bus trip?

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