My plane touches down to a relaxed grey and rainy Cebu afternoon, exactly the opposite atmosphere and weather from Manila just an hour ago.

I’m still in an upbeat & happy mood considering the traffic jam from hell that I had to endure at the Manila airport, plus my flight having been delayed for two hours.

Delayed Flight Manila Domestic Airport hayz lagi na lang…


There is an extra spring in my step for this journey, because on this adventure, I will be able to do two things (“multi tasking”) Aside from doing what I love, which is to travel, I will also be able to attend the culmination activity of project Pinoy Backpacker Teacher of Two Monkeys Travel Group, Super Excited na ako!..

There must be a reason – The taxi queue at the Cebu airport is simple yet efficient. Even with the rain pouring hard at five in the afternoon (A.K.A “rush hour traffic death in Manila”) the line for normal metered taxis moved along fast.
The security guard was friendly and helpful, entertaining any questions as best as he could answer in Tagalog and English, as he also listed down the license plate number of the taxi. Ang galing ng mga Cebuano o SugbuanonTri-Lingual  sila.
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Mandaue Cebu City
Heading to the hostel where I am booked in Mandaue takes less than an hour by taxi and costs 280pesos. My taxi driver is not familiar with my hostel, so isip ako kung paano, nag research ako sa internet sa phone ko, hirap pa ng signal pag data lang ang gamit, then that’s it! I tell him to drop me off at the most popular hotel beside it and as I proceed on foot, the sun “sets” on Cebu and I reach my hostel as night falls.
After finishing up and a hearty ” Byahero Dinner” at the nice karenderia beside my Hostel, I then head to our prelim meeting with the volunteer teachers and our Secretary General John Ray Sevilla Lomugdang ( Just a quick itinerary check to synchronize our schedules for the 3 hour trip to Tabuelan at 6am the next day.
The best Karenderia for me sa Cebu!


Cravings Satisfied – The Danggit (Cebu specialty Dried Fish ) plus egg plus Sinangag rice that the karenderia was offering for breakfast was so hard to pass up on. I swear, if I just had more time and wasn’t so late, I could have stuffed myself silly! Amoy pa lang gustong gusto ko kumain hehe. Lucky for my diet, that I was running late and had to rush to the North bus station in Subangdaku, Mandaue City  that morning to travel on to Tabuelan. “NomNomNom”  Naglaway talaga ako sa  Danggit.

The bus terminal was clean. There was a Dunkin Donuts, that was the only stall open so early in the morning. I got coffee there.

To find out which bus to ride, you will have to ask the bus conductor to get to your destination.

Although most of them don’t speak Tagalog, konti lang, as with almost all Cebuanos, they do understand English which helps with the communication barrier. After 20 minutes of waiting inside the bus for more passengers to fill the seats, it dawns on me that it will take at least another hour before the bus is ready to leave. So I decided to step out for a while, to hunt around the terminal compound for breakfast. Its then that I discover that there is also a Van Terminal on the right side of the compound. The air conditioned van ride to Tabuelan costs 120 pesos while the non air condition bus that I was on earlier costs 80 pesos only, Hmmm… Which do I ride?  Van or Bus?.
The bus would be leaving much later, and would have lot more stops for people along the way and did I mention the van had A/C?! Luckily I hadn’t paid the bus fare yet, as bus conductors collect the fare later during the trip.

Best of all was that I found out there were karenderias serving home cooked hot ” Ulam and rice ” they were all hidden behind that van terminal! Even though they didn’t have breakfast to offer, they did have freshly cooked specialty ulams of Cebu like ” Tinolang Isda, different veggies and Sinugba“. They even offered a choice of plain rice or “corn” rice. Rapsa!!! cravings satisfied!

On the Road– The almost 3 hour trip from Cebu City to Tabuelan took us through a mix of beaches and shoreline on the right, while lush green trees line the gradually elevating mountainous terrain to the left.
The zigzag and winding road also indicated a path thru a mountain. Just like the zigzag roads to Lucban Quezon or Baguio City.

Zigzag Road


When i reached the placeUpon reaching the Tabuelan elementary school, I am greeted with the sound of excited children and happy music playing in the background.
The backpacker teacher culmination program was a successful and heart warming day for everyone, thanks mainly to the efforts of our Two Monkeys Travel Group. Please follow them.

Cai Dominguez – Pinoy Backpacker Teachers Luzon Team Leader (

or in Travelosyo follow him.

Yvon Cañete – Pinoy Back Packer Teachers Visayas Team Leader

Marvin Arnejo – Pinoy Back Packer Teachers Visayas Team Leader

it’s officers and most especially the volunteer teachers and wonderful people, students and school officials who all worked together to make the whole program success. 

After the day’s activities come to a close, our group, the volunteer teachers, including us, the representative of Two Monkeys Travel Group were invited to be the guests by the mayor, at the Bgy. Maravilla public beach and Bgy. hall complex, this is the beach where the local Iron-man competition was held.

I was also in for some more good news.. We were also to be given a special tour of Tabuelan the next morning! Yay! The plot thickens Dun..Dun..Dun!!!! ..

Dinner Time – The sun is about to set by the time we reach the beach where we are to spend the night. Our dinner, grilled fresh fish and squid was the perfect combo for our Maravilla beach dinner. The only way to eat in a setting like this is “kamayan style ” Ang sarap!!!


photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


The ever present “ATM” or “Automatic Tubig Machine” was beside our table, I noticed this all over Cebu.

Water Dispensers that cost 1 peso for about 200 ml. No free drinking water in Cebu just like Hongkong, but cheaper. At least you are sure that your water is always clean, thanks to the “ATM”. hehe tuwang tuwa talaga ako nung nakita ko ito…

“ATM” Automatic Tubig Machine or Water Dispenser


We were eating at the Sari Sari store/ Canteen in the Bgy. Compound beside us was the Bgy. Hall, across  from us the Bgy.Basketball court, Play Ground and a Small chapel. The area was very safe and well lighted. Some guys could even play basketball at night because the lights in the court were still powered on.

Bgy. Maravilla Small Chapel


Brgy. Hall of Maravilla


Take advantage of the moments–  There were nipa huts or “kubos” for rent by the beach. Some guys floe our group chose one kubo as their sleeping quarters for the night while the rest of the group stayed in one of the 3 large air-conditioned ones at the Tourism Center and in rooms also available behind nipa huts. We were also given Banig and blankets to use by our generous hosts.

I used the banig to lay on the beach after a heavy dinner, nappy time while I gaze up at the stars on this peaceful and moonless night at Maravilla beach. sarap mag muni muni, mag emote bakit nga napapa isip tayo pag tahimk at nasa beach? hahaha Emoterang froglet lang ako….

I finally woke up from my extended nap and hear the laughter of my group mates. When they see that I am awake, I am offered “Tagay tayo” tagalog words that my Cebuano friends apparently know just as well as I do. We had a great night of bonding and tagay time! We started with red horse beer.

I learned that there is a hidden “kangaroo and a frog on the label of the red horse bottle (for those who cant see it – sirit? Text or call me, I’m gonna have to show you personally if you wanna see! hahaha)

I learned some funny Visayan to Tagalog translations (ex: lagay, libog, para and etc.). As the night progress our ” tangero” who was a little trigger happy shifted to hard shots of liquor. Although being labeled ” light”, my head became very heavy! That night we literary had so much fun under the stars! Too much fun it seems, because someone told us that our music was a little too loud . “Oops sorry po.” pinahina na namin ang sounds.
I ended up sleeping in the “Banig” on the beach that night. I loved falling asleep to the sound of the waves. I have done this before, but never on a public beach that seems so private.



Hidden Paradise – The next morning I was surprised! The beach where we spent the night, is even more incredible, wow what a place! akala ko nung gabing yun, isang pangkaraniwang public beach lang. The opposite of what I expected! kung makahusga ako eh, hahahaha. This place is truly paradise! “White sand! And the sand was really fine! Yes, and I’m not joking!, kala mo Boracay sand.


White Sand and its powdery


I felt blessed to get such a tour of this hidden paradise, where very few tourists have had the privilege to explore, sino mag aakala na may ganito sa Brgy. Maravilla Tabuelan, Cebu?. No other people are around, and you don’t need to worry about spending too much, kasi it’s a Public Beach but seems very private, No Entrance Fee. Oh dba?!! wow na wow!! and you can pitch a tent if you want, and its free rin!..

photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


Public Beach, no entrance fee, in Brgy Maravilla, Tabuelan Cebu photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project Backpacker Teacher Visayas Team


Satisfied – There’s cottages available for rent and it’s like 250 pesos

There’s a Public Bathroom and Restroom available. It’s clean.

Kubo o Nipa Hut Cottages available for rent photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project Backpacker Teacher Visayas Team


The place is safe Baranggay Tanod roaming around the beach, and it’s located just in front of Brgy. Hall, pero syempre to always keep your valuables like camera, laptop, phone or anything else you don’t want stolen. Kasi it’s a Public Beach and the Baraggay officials let us stay the night at the Tourism Center, but techies be warned, there’s no Cel signal  and WiFi yun lang hehe.

Tourism Center


I also learned Brgy. Maravilla is a quite place and one of the most White beaches in the North of Cebu


This is one of the best beach place I found!,.. 

A cheap vacation doesn’t have to mean “cheap” experience, another experience of a kind.

Backpackers Teachers and Volunteers Visayas Team photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


photos courtesy of "Yvon Canete" Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team
Backpackers Teachers and Volunteers Visayas Team photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


Backpackers Teachers and Volunteers Visayas Team photos courtesy of “Yvon Canete” Project BackPacker Teacher Visayas Team


Maravilla is a baranggay of the Tabuelan province of Cebu in Central Visayas and is part of Visaya’s group of islands, and Tabuelan is a part of a bigger town, the town of Taburan, original name of the town was Tabugohan or Tabugok, it’s a kind of octopus that grows abundantly in the area.

I will always want to come back to Brgy. Maravilla, Tabuelan Cebu, a hidden paradise. An undiscovered town North of Cebu with wonderful people all around. Visit na kayo!

Cebu Toirism


46 thoughts on “Cebu Affordable Beach, Discover Hidden Paradise In North “The Province of Tabuelan”

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