Define beautiful. My friend Merriam said that it means very attractive, pleasing to the eyes, or it’s delighting the senses or the mind. Some say, it is what you see from the outside that catches the eyes. While other say that what lies inside is much more important, making the whole thing beautiful.
I lived in Cebu for quite sometime and I never expected to meet someone from there. It was a good thing that I had been transferred from one team to another that I met Bryan Kenneth (Bree) and treated me like a family. And in the Philippines, if you are a family it means that you are invited in whatever occasion there is. Hallelujah!
One day, he invited me to his niece’s christening. I was greeted with a smile and made me feel so welcome (They even got a new nickname for me! They called me “Ree”). And true to its name, Alegria is indeed beautiful, not just with its people but also with the treasures in nature.
Alegria was once known as Tubud (means spring) because of its cool flowing water. You can still see this tuburan near the main road, where people do their laundry while having a chit chat with friends or just take a bath for hours without paying a high bill for water. Looking up its history, it was said that a group of Spaniards witnessed residents enjoying a festivity with people dancing and having fun. Amused, they exclaimed, “Que Alegre! Que Alegre!” (How gleeful!) thus, the town earned its name.
From The Outside
They offer pleasant scenery just along the streets! That means, when you get off the bus from Cebu City, this is what gonna welcome you.
Bus going to the south via Barili usually drops passengers at St Francis Xavier Church. Across the church is Alegria Heritage Park where people usually spend their afternoon taking photos of the sunset, eating street food, or scrolling on their phones as there is free wifi connection around the park. I can still remember that I was on LSS with Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams that day, so in the afternoon, I slid my dress inside my backpack, grabbed my fedora hat and ran to the park.
We had snacks at Sun Xi Sea Shack and on our way back, we stopped at Batching for a swim. And what made our hearts jumped with glee? Swimming there was absolutely free as it was just along the road plus it’s a very good venue for watching the sunset. Mother Nature doesn’t really disappoint!
This was Bree’s backyard. And yes, I climbed that tree just to take a good photo.
From the Inside
After breakfast the next day, we decided to explore more. This time, we decided to discover what’s inside their forests and mountains. And just like Samboan, Alegria is also a home of waterfalls. We rented a motorcycle from Sta. Felomina and up up the mountains, we went. 4-5 passengers in 1 motorcycle made it even more fun! Bwaha!
First stop: Cambais Falls
We trekked for maybe a couple of minutes before we reached this falls. We did not really noticed because we were chitchatting on our way. Then, we reached a cottage where you need to register. There is also a small store that sells chips and drinks. However, it would be best to bring your own food as their offer is limited.
There was also a natural pool around the place. I was so jealous of the locals who get to play there. See that?
Second Stop: Montpellier Falls
This one is actually nearer but we went there on a different day. It also has clearer footpath but you might not notice the trail going there as it is beside a cliff. We get to trek a few minutes then, there it is! A beautiful waterfall in its natural shape and beauty!
If you are lucky enough, you will find a tall tree there with long vines which you can use as swings. You can play pretend as Eve as this waterfall is not too famous to other tourists. Just don’t get nude, please.
Third stop: Canlaob Falls
People who wanted to go canyoneering usually missed this part of Sangi in Alegria. The start point of canyoneering is actually just a few meters away. Once you started your first jump from that waterfalls down to Kawasan, you cannot go back so it would be best to try visiting this one first.
It was so enchanting to jump into that green waters, and just forget the world. You can jump from the crag, swim for hours, listen to the insects in the near forest or to the sway of the leaves of tall tress, or simply sit on one of the stones submerged in water and feel how therapeutic the water is to your mind, body and soul.
When there’s a constant buzz from the streets and even from the phones in our pockets, it can add a lot of stress and anxiety to our lives. So if you wanted to go for a quick getaway from your city life, Alegria is one of the places to go. From the welcoming people, to the blue scenery in the streets, to the green waters in the wilderness, you sure can meditate and find yourself. You will also see beauty in a different light, and after that, you will feel more connected to the world and those in it.