Friday, February 24, 2012

On the Move in Medellin

How do you ride a town's every possible mode of transportation? One, do not do your research prior to the trip. Or do so haphazardly. Two, get busy talking while on commute then ask your friendly fellow passengers for directions a little too late. Three, continue reading and follow me around Medellin.

The municipality of Medellin is located about 120 kilometers north of Cebu City. If you want a bit of history, sorry, I have no tidbits for you. I only have tips on how to get lost.

Mission 1: Go to the beach in Medellin
Step 1: Go to North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City and get on a bus bound for Kawit Medellin
Misstep 1: Got off at Medellin town proper. Right bus, wrong stop. Ooops, 8 kilometers short of my destination!
Vehicle: Bus
Fare: Php 135

Mission 1.1: Go to the beach in Barangay Kawit, Medellin
Step 1.1: Get on a bus or jeep going to Kawit. Alight at St. Ignatius Loyola Church.
Misstep 1.1: I shouldn't have gotten off at Medellin town proper, but at Kawit where my bus was headed!
Vehicle: Jeepney
Fare: Php 10

The beach at Brgy Kawit

Mission 2: Find a beachside cottage
Step 2: Choose from the accommodations listed here and take note that they are located in different barangays.
Misstep 2: "Try my luck" way. Not a misstep, but a good decision since I found a cheaper option!
Vehicle: Slippers
Fare: 50 to 5000 calories, depends on the area covered
Found: Costa Blanca (Php 1200 per room) and Silver Beach cottage (Php 800, actually it's Php 1000 per room but haggling got me Php 200 off). Contact person for Silver Beach is Conie Searez 0908 918 8694.

Silver Beach cottage. Just two rooms for rent, both with AC and a toilet and shower.
If you want to be sardines for a night, extra head will cost Php 30.

Mission 3: Go to Gibitngil island
Step 3: Call the Municipality of Medellin at (032) 436 2031 to hire a boat....if you're a large group. It's Php 1500 for a 20-person capacity boat.
Misstep 3: Php 1500 divided by two persons equals too much! Two people (that's me and my friend) walked to Alpine wharf to check if there are passenger boats (nope, sorry, no passenger boats here! But there was a boat heading to the island, we could hitch a ride and just swim back. Hitch a ride? Excellent idea. Swim back? I think not.) or find a fisherman willing to take us to Gibitngil island (yes, we found Maricel 0907 882 1511 at the wharf whose father was willing to take us to the island and back for Php 500).
Vehicle: Pumpboat
Fare: Php 500
Found: "Funtastic Island" on the west side and a sandbar on the south end of the island.

Gibitngil island as seen from the beach at Kawit

Off we go to Gibitngil with the captain of our boat

Spot the diving boards of "Funtastic Island" 

Cottages for free

Gather up some courage to jump off a 30-feet high 8-inch wide narrow plank 

What's left of the sandbar at high tide

Mission 4: Buy drinking water and some supplies
Step 4: Go to the market
Misstep 4: Asked for directions and got this for an answer: take a pedicab to market. Turns out the market was just three corners away. We walked on the way back.
Vehicle: Pedicab
Fare: Php 5
Found: Mangoes and eggs we added to our camp meal. If you don't have a cookset, you can ask the caretaker of Silver Beach to cook something for you or you can grab lunch/dinner at carenderias (food stalls) in the market.

Mission 5: Go to ZipAway
Step 5: Take the jeepney back to the town proper and ask fellow passengers for directions
Misstep 5: I asked a fellow passenger for directions...a little too late. By the time I asked, we were already at Central, near the milling company. She said we were supposed to get off at Brgy Caputatan.
Vehicle: Jeepney
Fare: Php 10

The jeepneys for Bogo (which pass by Medellin proper)
can be found beside the Kawit Barangay Hall

Mission 5.1: Go to ZipAway at Brgy Caputatan
Step 5.1: Take a tricycle to Brgy Caputatan
Misstep 5.1: Tricycle driver dropped us off at Caputatan...Sur.
Vehicle: Tricycle
Fare: Php 8

Mission 5.2: Go to ZipAway at Brgy Caputatan Norte
Step 5.2: Ask people for directions to ZipAway: take a tricycle to the new market then take a habalhabal (motorcycle) to ZipAway
Misstep 5.2: Nope, this time, we were given the right directions! Thanks stranger!
Vehicle: Tricycle and habalhabal (motorcycle)
Fare: Php 8 for the tricycle and Php 25 for the habalhabal
Found: 150 steps to ZipAway (the habalhabal driver can take you up top via the long road -- no, he can't drive his motorcycle up these steps! -- for an additional Php 15), zipline, Tarzan jump, and a cable car. All closed. Turns out they are open weekends and holidays only.

150 steps to ZipAway

I contented myself with a nap in the breezy cottage

Zipline and Tarzan jump

Cable car or cable cage?

Mission 6: Lunch
Step 6: Go back to Medellin town proper and find a cafeteria
Misstep 6: No public transportation in this sleepy part of town (Caputatan Norte). Because we didn't ask the habalhabal driver to wait for us, we walked about half a kilometer to the road where we saw trucks pass by and stuck our thumb out. 
Vehicle: Slippers and truck
Fare: Free!
Found: There are a couple eateries at the town proper. Take your pick. They also have a little park with an old locomotive on display.

To the road where we saw trucks passing

Hitched a ride on a truck hauling some tubo (sugarcane). Can be standing cab only.

Truck traffic

Turista mode at the town proper

Mission 7: Home sweet home
Step 7: Take the Ceres bus back to Cebu
Misstep 7: I think buses for Cebu pass every hour. Being impatient, I almost dared hitch a ride on the CNU bus that was waiting for students at Medellin proper. Almost. Then this yellow bus comes barreling down...and I will be home in 3 hours.
Vehicle: Bus
Fare: Php 135

How joyriding around Medellin bore a hole thru Mustachio's pocket:
Bus from Cebu to Medellin Php 135
Jeep from Medellin proper to Brgy. Kawit Php 10
Room at Silver Beach (Brgy. Kawit) Php 800
Pumpboat to and from Gibitngil island Php 500
Food and water Php 46
Pedicab to market Php 5
Jeep from Kawit to Medellin Php 10
Tricycle from Central to Caputatan Sur Php 8
Tricycle from Caputatan Sur to new market Php 8
Motorcycle/habalhabal to ZipAway Php 25
Lunch Php 80
Popsicle Php 15
Bus from Medellin to Cebu Php 135

After going the long and lost way, I couldn't help but trace my steps and label the map...

Cebu map from wikipedia. Satellite maps from wikimapia.


  1. sure is another great sidetrip destination in cebu. cliff jumping!

    1. Hello dong ho. Walking the plank, I got jelly knees. No cliff jumping for me. Haha! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I keep wondering who you tag along with your random trips. :P

  3. I love Beaches, haven't been to Cuba but i have visited Dubai once its more like an artificial city but this looks much realistic and much calm.

    1. Hello Coby_Hunt! Thanks for visiting. This is in Cebu, Philippines :) I take it you're not from the Philippines? Since you love beaches, you should visit the Philippines soon. Plenty of islands and beaches to bum around in :-D

  4. What a great adventure! I didn't know Zipaway is closed on weekdays. :(

    1. Same here. Oh well, I just took a nap in the cottage and enjoyed the breeze and quiet ;-)

  5. then i was curious who's the owner of tumulak's ancestral house.. there you go..mustachio's puppet?! :)

  6. Hi Im headed to Medellin tomorrow and I found this very helpful. I even took some notes! Thank you!

    1. I hope you did not get lost like I did :-)

  7. Now this is just the blog read that I need. I'm going to Medellin with my best friend by February 2014 and probably stay there for at least 3 days. This is awesome. Thank you very much!

    - Tim

    1. Hi Tim! Just don't follow all our missteps hahaha :)) Please take note this post is from 2012, prices man not be the same anymore...and I heard there are already entrance fees and cottage rentals in Gibitngil/"Funtastic" Island. Enjoy your vacation!

  8. How about the cable car,. How much the fee?., to ride,.

    1. Hi Louendo. Thanks for dropping by. I'm sorry, but I don't you may have read above, when I went there, it was closed.

  9. How much the entrance fee of caputatan zipline?.,

    1. Please call the local government of Medellin at 0917 623 6248 / 0932 866 7661 / 032 436 2031 / 032 436 2959 to inquire.