Tuburan is a peaceful coastal municipality of Cebu located in the northwest side of the province. An unexpected haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers for its natural wonders such as the numerous natural cold springs present in Molobolo, Mantiwahan and Little Baguio. Another famed attraction is the enigmatic Marmol Cliff that look like a gateway to another world and its numerous caves & waterfalls yearning to be explored. The historically significant Lantawan Lookout and the many white shores of Daang Lungsod, Apalan and Friendship. The best part of their existence is it's not known to many tourists and still conceal numerous natural splendor waiting to be discovered. We've visited it in one weekend and we were all in awe of its inherent beauty.
This sleepy municipality is famous for its crystal clear spring that can be found in almost every barangay thus where it got its name 'tuburan' which means 'natural spring' in the local dialect. The people here depend on nature for a living that's why most of their industrial & economic products are made of seashells and coconut shells. They also held an annual Tubod Festival in honor of the parish patron - Saint Anthony of Padua ↸ and it is also famously known as the hometown of the Filipino revolutionary hero Arcadio Maxilom ↸
The municipality is comprised of 54 barangays.
- Barangay I (Poblacion)
- Barangay II (Poblacion)
- Barangay III (Poblacion)
- Barangay IV (Poblacion)
- Barangay V (Poblacion)
- Barangay VI (Poblacion)
- Barangay VII (Poblacion)
- Barangay VIII (Poblacion)
- Daan Lungsod
- San Juan
- Santo Niño
Shortly after our exhilarating seven cave adventure in Talisay we decided to visit Tuburan in the next day for the infamous Marmol Cliff and an assortment of unexplored waterfalls. This was the peak of our waterfall chasing days and we couldn't let a weekend pass without discovering a new one. Just like any other trip this is just a day trip so we have very limited schedule counting the travel time we have to take from the city to Tuburan.
We took an early van ride in North Bus Terminal to have a lengthy time for exploration in Tuburan. The fare for the V-hire coming from North Bus Terminal to Tuburan is Php 120.00 (for AC) & Php 100.00 (for non AC) and there's also an available V-hire in Ayala Center Cebu Terminal plying to Tuburan for Php 140.00 (only AC). The travel time usually takes 2.5 - 3 hours.
Once we arrived in the municipality, the summer heat was unbearable so our senses are screaming for a dip in one of its many glorious cold springs but our priority at that time are waterfalls and everything follows once we've conquered at least one. This is going to be another mountain exploration so I've conditioned my senses to brave steep trails again which I usually have trouble. The researcher of our group tells us there's a waterfall near the famed Marmol Cliff so reasonably that's our first destination.
We search for any habal-habal near the market area where we took our breakfast but to no avail almost everyone is busy at that time getting ready to witness Pacman's fight. Every Manny Pacquiao sort of become an unofficial holiday in the Philippines where people gather and cheer for our sports hero.
It took us quite some time to find our ride to the said cliff and we tried bargaining for the best deal possible but all we got is Php 75.00 per pax one way to Marmol Cliff. We left with no other choice but to take it since we will run out of time. The regular fare here is usually around Php 50.00 per pax.
I've been doing countless habal-habal rides in my past travels in Visayas & Mindanao but I'd say this was a new experience for me. The ride going to Marmol Cliff demand skills from the driver to navigate the river. Yes! You read it right, we literally follow the river going upstream as the trail heading to the cliff. I tell you it's stirring & exciting because one wrong move we'll go swimming into the water.
Of course! An experienced driver knows where the shallow part of the river to make that exhilarating twist & turn. The twenty-minute trip going to the cliff is an adventure in itself if only the destination is worth it.
There are locations that are so drop dead gorgeous in the photos that anyone will easily be swayed to give it a visit however the experience is not as good. Maybe it's the negative effects of setting a high expectation or maybe beautiful pictures has its ways of deceitfully stir an unreal assumptions within you. That's how it was for all of us when we arrive in our Marmol Cliff.
We were all awed for the first few minutes and left wondering "this is it!?" in the remaining minutes. Yes! Marmol Cliff is a bit underwhelming in person. The water is too shallow to enjoy a good swim. The captivating impact of the location wouldn't last as long as the length of time going there.
They're just two enormous rock that looked like a gate with a shallow stream breaking in the middle. You'll be given a few more minutes of enjoyment if you are into rock climbing. We did took a lot of beautiful photos. It would have been a better experience if the water is deep, and there's a raft in the middle, and we get to do lots of cliff diving but it's not. It will get that deep if there's a flood and it'd be too dangerous to come there during that season.
To dampen the mood further, we found out from the locals that there are no waterfalls around the area and it's actually in another barangay which is literally in another mountain. Isn't that depressing!? Well... we didn't let that ruin our day of adventure and move on quickly to our next destination ➫ the historical Lantawan Lookout.
As soon as we got back to the town center we immediately search for a tricycle to take us to the historical fort of Lantawan Lookout for only Php 10.00 per pax. This ruin is a significant structure back in the days to protect this coastal town from pirates and other seafaring invaders which serves as a sentry.
We enter through the resort standing here now which is run by a pinay married to a foreigner and they were quite nice and accommodating. They didn't collect any entrance fee from us. There's even a classy retro themed restaurant inside which is perfect place if you're in the mood to eat but that's the least of our priority at that time. I, for one, am itching for a good soak in a relaxing spring which made me moody and uncooperative while they're out exploring the area.
The prominent structure of the ruin is a lighthouse which is now barely recognizable and reduced half of its height. We enter the lighthouse with curious eyes and found nothing that interest us. Some bougainvillea and temple flowers decorated the abandoned port which gives it a winsome appeal to visitor. I couldn't stop taking photos of the plumeria blooms lying waste in the ground.
There's not much to see here other than the decapitated ruin itself but the location is quite scenic facing the ocean. My companions explored the rocky coastline whilst I was stuck looking for a good composition with the plumeria in the ground of the ruined port for a melancholic Instagram post. There's just something so appealing with the temple flowers that can subtlety draw my attention more than I can resist.
We stayed for less than 10 minutes and moved on to the final destination of the day which promises relaxation. We hired another tricycle which surprisingly fit all nine of us en route to Molobolo Coldspring for only Php 15.00 per pax.
Molobolo Spring is the most famous destination in Tuburan and commonly frequented by the locals and tourists alike for its icy temperature. It is widely known as the pride of Tuburan and synonymous to the name of the municipality. People love to gather here during weekends and holidays just to chill.
Upon arriving in the supposed location of the spring, we were told a short hike is necessary to reach the coldspring, and for some reason the word "hike" is annoying in my ears in that moment no matter how short it is. My body is begging for a dip in a spring ever since in the morning, and I've been disappointed with the lack of waterfall to bathe. It's already pass two in the afternoon when we got there.
Thankfully, the hike is really short, and took us only less than ten minutes. We were welcomed with a crowd of people escaping the summer heat and that sight made the spring less flattering to the eyes and so we spend the remaining time of the day in Molobolo Coldspring. It didn't bother us one bit because we were there to take a dip and not take photos.
They've stripped all natural aspect of the spring and turn it into a public swimming pool complete with tiles lining the edge, and made an effort to divide it into three flowing pool, with the last one shallow enough for the kids to enjoy. I was amazed of the vast flow of the spring emptying into the ocean and the shade of a huge Balete tree is a favorable addition.
Rest assured there's an assortment of food sold here with competing stalls setup by the locals. The local halo-halo easily caught our eyes first which cost only Php25.00 and is the first batch of food we ordered.
Naturally, we lazed our remaining time in the rejuvenating temperature of the spring and even resort to a game of tag when the crowd slowly thins out. This causes some minor cuts and bruises in some of us caused by accidentally diving into the concrete floor. I love company such as this who can have fun in childish activities without any reservation.
Surprisingly, it was another memorable and fun day for all of us. We manage to unwind well in the arms of nature ready for another week of work. Those were some of the best days of our lives and adventure awaits us every weekend.
- Mantawihan Spring of Cogon - an unfrequented natural coldspring that's not as developed as Molobolo Spring and is also connected to a river with some mangrove (nipa) palms. Legend says a fisherman spotted a mantaga ( mythical freshwater black octopus ) during full moon here thus where it got its name.
- Little Baguio Beach of Barangay I Poblacion - a famous brown beach in Tuburan known for its crispy cold air reminiscent of the famous tourist destination in Luzon.
- Arcadio Maxilom Park - the park dedicated to the revolutionary hero born in the town of Tuburan.
- Rizal Park - every municipality in the Philippines have a park dedicated to the national hero, Jose Rizal.
- Heritage Dao Tree of Jagbuaya - a gigantic tree with a body size of more than 7 cubic meters and is known to be two centuries old.
- Adela River of Daan Lungsod - the biggest river in Tuburan which pass through three barangays.