A visit to Aloguinsan is never complete without the required dip in the clear waters of Hermit’s Cove. It is said that Tabog (hence Kantabogon, the barangay), a hermit (hence Hermit’s Cove), discovered the crescent-shaped beach secretly ensconced amid the high mountains behind and the blue sea in front. The local government promotes the cove as part of the town’s eco-tourism campaign along with the internationally recognized Bojo River. Having said this, be advised that the admission to the cove is booked at The Farmhouse — which is, at least, 9 kilometers away. It is a must that you drop by The Farmhouse first before heading to the cove. I’ve also posted the fare rates in my previous post for your reference.
Hermit’s Cove was a long ride on an uneven road of loose stones and dirt. Going there was a challenge in itself. The road would go up in a steep ascent and down in a quick drop. Please be careful.
The cove is under the stewardship of the Kantabogon Eco-tourism Association (KEA). It surely has gone a long way from the unknown marine sanctuary that it was to the popular summer hideaway that it is now. Thankfully, KEA is able to safeguard its natural beauty despite the surge of visitors coming to the place. Parking areas are designated. Orientations on the Leave No Trace principles are conducted for every guests prior to entering the wooden gate of the cove. Comfort rooms are installed for everybody’s convenience.
One thing to remember, however, is that the cove is a marine sanctuary; therefore, while we are having fun, we have to be careful not to wreak havoc – in any degree – to any of the life forms there. After all, we are only visitors. They (fish, sea horses, eels, among others) own the place.
A flight of concrete and wooden stairs built along the sides of a cliff led to the sandy beach 88 steps below. Going down the stairs was an amazing experience in itself. The surrounding mountains gave the cove a mystifying ambiance. Each step down the stairs brought us closer to a world of blue-green sea and white sand where all of our worries and frustrations seemed to vanish into thin air — at least, for the time being. The cove was crowded. Summer was especially hot this year and everybody was dying to relieve the heat in any way possible — and, the beach was the quickest refuge.
Buko juice, grilled fish, seafood, and many others were hawked by ambulant vendors and in some stalls by the beach. Snorkeling gears were also available for rental. Stern warning against boating was given to visitors during the quick orientation but, apparently, it was not enough to stop some fishermen to peddle boat cruises for a price.
Eco-tourism does not only take care of the environment but it also brings food to many of the residents’ tables. A group of women was hired to fetch water from the sea for the toilets while another group maintained them clean for use. It was not uncommon for some locals to serve as lifeguards while others welcomed guests as ushers and usherettes.
Aloguinsan is definitely doing something worth emulating by other towns in Cebu. From posting a tourism office cleverly promoted as The Farmhouse, to the globally acknowledged river cruise in Bojo and to the crowd-favorite Hermit’s Cove — Aloguinsan is on the rise to becoming a premier tourist destination in the island.
We would like to know your thoughts on this article. Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Live life. Love life.