Dalaguete has been getting the buzz lately especially after the town was featured in Byahe ni Drew of GMA NewsTv. But even before this feature that dubbed Dalaguete as the ‘Summer Capital of Central Visayas’, this small sleepy town in Cebu South has been frequented by locals who are on mini-vacations and Day Trips. I was fresh from college when I first visited this town, a barkada hails from there and from her we learn of Obong Spring.
Obong Spring is a cold spring whose fresh water flows out to the open sea. The water taste weird, must be the mixing of spring fresh water and the briny sea water. I don’t recommend tasting the water though.
Until now I am left baffled as to the source of the cold spring, is the water coming from under the big boulders or the gigantic balete tree? And why is it that the water continues to flow? I mean doesn’t the water dries up at all? It’s been more than 10 years apart since my first visit, yet the cold spring is still there. Lol these things can be explain by science, do forgive this tourist who at this point does not want to research but wants spoon -fed explanation of the whys of things hehe.
Summer has been really hot lately, so hot in fact that after you ask for the temperature reading, you follow it up with “what’s the real feel?” So it was a welcome respite that last Saturday Titus and I headed to the Municipality of Dalaguete for a sojourn to Obong Cold Spring.
Giant Balete Tree at the heart of the cold spring?
It was supposed to be a barkada getaway so me and friends can recreate one of our old picture from the same place but one by one my friends back-out of our plan day trip because of emergency commitments and various other reasons. Busy lives you know. But I have prepared the pork adobo and chips and chocolates for the trip as well as my summer get-up. Lol summer get-up talaga. So when it look like no one will be coming, Titus and I decided to push on. After all I really want to visit Obong again and Titus has been complaining there is no river nor cold spring in Opon, no escape from heat. So at 4 AM I was already awake and cooking rice and eggs and reheating the adobo cooked a few hours earlier. And at 5 AM, we were heading to our next summer destination!
The sea is yonder, a stone’s throw away
I am one of those oc-oc passengers, I must have reminded the bus conductor thrice or was it four times to make sure we are drop off in Obong. I know that this famous summer destination in Dalaguete was a kilometer or so from the Poblacion or the town center but I am not 100% sure where. After passing poblacion, I keenly look out at my window to catch any signboard that says Obong. I also keep reminding Titus to watch out for markers welcoming visitors to the cold spring. Hehe.
I know I should just have trusted the conductor to help us get off in the right stop but well as I have said I am oc-oc about these things.
Welcome to Obong Cold Spring
The conductor finally called our attention ‘ Obong Spring!’ We alighted from our Ceres bus, crossed the street and well took a picture of the welcome sign so you know what to watch out for. =)
Entrance fee for adult is just P5 per head while for kids below 10 years old its P2. One of the most affordable entrance fee to something that you will really enjoy to your heart’s content!
If you are bringing automobile, you pay P20 parking/entrance fee. Tricyle and motorcycle is charge P5.
The walk from the highway to the cold spring complex is less than 10 minutes. Just 5 if you can walk fast. We arrived early at slightly past 9 AM, so we did not have to contend with a large crowd of visitors and tourists.
There are mini cottages available as well as tables for rent at the water’s edge for only P100 for full day’s use. We took one of the prime lot tables beside the stack of salbabidas. =) I don’t know the rate for the cottages/huts though.
Tables for Rent
If you want to grill you can do so at designated places. Just don’t forget to bring charcoal and all other grilling stuff. We were so envious looking at a big family with their assortment of fresh fish and liempo that they were grilling, we only have adobo and boiled egg hahaha. Look at our table and its [no] contents! Nyahaha.
We like to travel at the cheapest way possible to all destinations we can possibly reach with our meager budget fund, so we have to cut cost where we can, and this time it was food haha. But lami amo food so payter ra! We brought lots of adobo that we end up giving a good portion to the kids collecting rental fees for the tables.
Field Trip Boy can cook a mean adobo. =)
Day Trip / Travel Date haha
If you did not bring food for lunch or snack, there are carenderias nearby as well as sari-sari stores. CRs and shower room are also available. If you want to take a bath, you’ll pay P5 per pail.
I guess no visit to Obong Spring ends without sampling their famous offering like their grilled banana coated with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. For just P5 per stick you’ll have a fulfilling and delicious snack.
They also have another local delicacy, what locals call the podrida, the kakaibang cheeseburger of Dalaguete. Instead of your usual burger bun, what you get is banana stuffed with grounded meat. I wonder how that taste, sounds weird to my ears but lots of locals loves this. Will put this in my “list to try” next time and will report back to you. =)
“Coolest Place in Cebu”
This is a sort of official tagline that local stakeholders attached to Obong Spring, you can see this proud words on the “Welcome” marker. =)
So was it cool and cold in Obong Spring?
If goosebumps and wrinkly fingers were an evidence, it certainly is true! Every time I get into the water, it’s so cold that my skin develops goosebumps and on my 4th time going down in the spring, my fingers were looking all wrinkly from too long exposure in exquisitely cold water. Brrrrrrrr.
As a comparison, I did not have wrinkly fingertips after spending hours in Kawasan Falls last April and the pool at Kawasan was cold too!
Obong Spring is really cold and it doesn’t seem to get warmer as you stay longer in the water. The opposite, in fact, is true!
If you are bringing small kids, they can swim in the shallow portion. I am not sure how deep Obong Spring can get, but there were areas when I was tip-toeing to keep my head above water.
Observing the other visitors can also be fascinating. Small kids were diving in from the side, there were also bigger kids who bravely climbed through the balete roots to reach the trunk and get on one of the potruding branches. They were crazy courageous, jumping into the spring from a height of 20 feet, give or take a few feet. One by one, they jumped-in triumphantly into the water. My breath was in my throat watching them lol.
I thoroughly enjoyed our day trip in Obong’s clear water pool. I recommend a short trip down south for you and your friends!
Obong Spring It’s Summer Approved! \o/
Wait! There’s more….
Just before we head back home, we made a short exploration of this standing stone ruins. It’s beside the parking lot, a few meters from the spring. If you have been exploring the South of Cebu, you will notice this watchtowers / mini-forts scattered along the coastline from town to town, the most famous probably is the one in Oslob near the Cartel Ruins.
These stone forts or lantawan were built at that time when moro pirates come often to Cebu to pillage and bring chaos. If you are interested to know more about these watchtowers and baluartes, please click this post – Heritage Trail, South Cebu.
If you want to make a side trip to the public beach, just hail a tricycle and this can take you to the white-sand beach of Dalaguete. Fare is just P10 per person but minimum of 3 pax. Habal-habal motorcycles are an alternative in going back to the Poblacion or to the beach.
Travel Route and Time
The trip from our house in Mactan to Cebu South Bus Terminal just took 20 minutes via a taxi ride, we paid P160 fare. Then it was on to a Ceres Aircon bus. SBT to Obong barrio (?) in Dalaguete was P111. Curiously the return trip was P110 from Obong to SBT. Anyhow, travel time was just 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Travelers no longer have to pay P5 SBT terminal fee, yey!
On the return trip, we did not take a taxi but we walked all the way to Elizabeth “E-mall”. As you exit SBT, turn right and walk straight until you reach the main entrance of the mall, there you can catch 01K Urgello – Colon – SM – Northbus jeepneys, these jeepneys pass by their to pick-up passengers. Fare was P9. We alighted in SM, took a Vhire for P25 to Gaisano Mactan.
If you are going to Ayala, then walk all the way to reach Jones Avenue. It’s two blocks away from SBT, you will pass EMall along the way. Take 14 D to Ayala, it’s route is Colon – Fuente – Escario – Ayala.
This blogger is HAPPY to have made the trip! =)
Looking for more Dalaguete side trip?
Climbing mountain might be your thing. Check out this post on Reaching Osmena Peak, the highest peak in the island of Cebu. We went there summer of 2012.
Thanks for reading!