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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's more fun in the Philippines: Argao, Cebu

The new slogan of the Philippine's Department of Tourism (DOT) is "It's more fun in the Philippines". The slogan received some praise and it also has its share of critics. Me? I would rather support it. So in the spirit of the new thrust of DOT, I will try to write articles relating to it.

It's summer already and some of you might be looking for places to visit and explore. Today, I'm gonna share my recent visit to the town of Argao. The municipality of Argao is located 68 kilometers south of Cebu City.

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Do you like my cap?

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
A giant guitar?
It's more fun in Argao Cebu
What a big Torta!

It's more fun in Argao Cebu with Shiela Castro and Kerwin Raga


It's more fun in Argao Cebu
 The first place we visited when we went there is the town's Church. This Church was completed in 1788. Argao's patron saint is St. Michael the Archangel. The feast day is on September 29 (just like Jagna, Bohol, my dad's hometown).  Just like the typical towns in Philippine provinces, the church is located near the municipal hall and the town plaza. You can take a lot of awesome pictures when you are in the town center. The plaza is clean and well maintained. 
It's more fun in Argao Cebu - Argao Chocolate
Hot choco later!

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Pic with Guilang Tableya's lady boss

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
The famous Torta de Tuba of Argao, Cebu



It's more fun in Argao Cebu

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Bought a dozen and after 2 days it was gone
We next visited the places where we can buy Argao's famous products and delicacies. We visited Guilang Tableya where you can buy one of the best Tableya or unsweetened chocolate rounds in Cebu. Guilang Tableya has been producing chocolate rounds since the American occupation. We have met the proud owner and founder of the business. If you love sikwate (hot chocolate) or champorado, you have to buy some tableya from Argao.

We also visited Jessie's Torta. Torta is Argao's most popular delicacy. Torta de Tuba is produced using Tuba or coconut wine instead of yeast. The people of Argao are so proud of this delicious food that they named the town's festival as "La Torta Festival". I bought a dozen of freshly baked Torta for 300 pesos ($6.70). The Torta could be perfect for your hot sikwate in the morning.
It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Posing with the statue of Mangao

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Don't shake while on the hanging bridge

It's more fun in Argao Cebu

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Wanna paddle?

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Swing!

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
"Tempura" for snacks
 Next in our itinerary was Argao Nature Park. The park has a mini-zoo, canopy walk, zip line, rent-a-boat and other stuff that kids and young at heart can enjoy. The entrance fee is only 5 pesos (10 cents). The place also has a WiFi connection so you can actually connect to the world while being there. You can learn some history of the town by reading markers in the park. There is also a playground outside the nature park where children can play the whole day for free. There are also people selling snacks like "tempura" and dirty ice cream near the playground.
It's more fun in Argao Cebu
The beach is a good backdrop for jump shots

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
Mahayahay is a good place to skimboard

It's more fun in Argao Cebu
The last stop of our road trip was the beach. A lot of people go to Mahayahay Beach during weekends. You can actually take a dip for free. It is a free beach where you can skim board or just jump around and take pics. There are cottages and houses for rent should you wish to stay longer.

Spending a day in Argao is not so expensive. The town is very child-friendly and you can have a very memorable weekend without spending so much. The next time you want to have a budget friendly adventure, try exploring Argao and bring some torta and tableya for me!

Links: 

Argao products (buyincebu)
Trips: Caohagan Island 2009

Other favorite tourist spots:

Kalanggaman Island