Valentine’s Day… also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. A time of the year when the world is filled with songs, flowers and gifts. When smiles are warmer, hugs are tighter, and sweet nothings are exchanged. An annual celebration of love in all forms.

And who said you can’t celebrate this day with friends?

The last time I traveled via Transcentral Highway was in 2017 when my friends and I hiked Mt. Manunggal and Mt. Mauyog in Balamban. It has been quite a long while since my eyes feasted to the view of Cebu’s highlands. The cool wind, the uninterrupted ride (no traffic, yes!), and the long winding stretch of scenic mountain view are already a treat to every traveler’s heart. Going farther north with me are my SMS peeps, James, Chiarra, An Jurvel, CJ Estrada, Kevin, and Belle.

After two hours of van ride, we reached the municipality of Tuburan. The town got its name from the Cebuano word “tubod” which means “spring.” We stopped at the covered court across the San Antonio De Padua Parish Church which is also a pilgrim destination for devotees of the patron saint of the poor, the lost, and more. After a quick lunch and last-minute errands, we charted motorcycles to take is to our first destination.

Sea, sand and sunny smiles
Eve’s Beach Front Home and Garden Resort is a slice of paradise situated not too far from the heart of Tuburan. Their two-storey beach house offers guests enough rooms and space for a weekend getaway. Here, you could either spend an intimate time with your loved one or go with family and friends without worrying much about a crowded shoreline.

Peace and quiet. ©CJ Estrada

It was past noon when my friends and I checked in. Had we been younger, we would be quick to scan the place. Take pictures of whatever Instagrammable spot we find. Chase the sunset. Run straight into the high tide. But, inevitably, time has turned us into titas and titos ─ a little older yet still young at heart. We have a new priority on top of photographs now.

And that is none other than food.

My friends and I quickly turned on our kusinera and kusinero modes. Everyone got busy with slicing, grilling, cooking, with punctuations of lots of laughter and banter in between. As usual, we had a feast enough to last throughout our late-night conversations, swimming, and Tiktok marathon by the beach.

YUM! ©Chiarra

It was only during the morning that we got to explore Eve’s. The beach is lined with tropical trees which also makes it an ideal spot for hammocks. They also have a camping area for guests who opt to pitch their tents.

Helugoodmorneeeeeng!
Striking some ‘child-friendly’ poses

A spring of hope and a ‘hole’ lot more
Tuburan is also known as a “spring of hope” with its abundant water sources. One of their many springs that is recently making rounds in social media is the Blue Hole Spring located in Brgy. San Juan.

Look at that gorgeous view! ©CJ Estrada

Locals and tourists alike visit this natural pool to take a quick dip and enjoy its mesmerizing blue water. On a great day, one can bask in nature’s best with the sun shining warmly over the surrounding green trees and refreshing spring.

Ready to dive?!

But aside from the picturesque view, what makes Blue Hole Spring likable is the kindness of their locals. Kudos to the LGU for the good tourism management. The entrance is free and there are locals and tanods who oversee the order place and the safety of the people. Tables and chairs or cottages are available for rent at a reasonable price. They also have bamboo rafts that you can ride above the blue waters.

What goes up must come down
Of course, our sea to summit experience will not be complete without a taste of the mountains. We headed next to Brgy. Marmol where the infamous Atabay Peak is located. From the circulating pictures we’ve seen, its limestone rock formation could be likened to that of Mt. Mauyog and Licos Peak.

Bird’s eye view of Atabay Peak. ©CJ Estrada

But trust us when we say that Atabay Peak is much scarier than those two.

Not sure if it was the rainy weather, the slippery rocks, or the delicate scaffolding that pushed us to fear but the experience was literally breathtaking. Only a few of us braved to go on the edge and we all came down hurrying away from the intimidating cliff.

Our kind habal-habal drivers offered to take us to a nearby open hill instead which gave us a 360-degree view of the town’s coffee-scented highlands. This hill is located in the Plantation 1 part of Tuburan’s coffee farm which offers the Cebu-grown robusta beans.

Finally, happy faces after the knee-trembling climb!

Centennial Dao Tree (Dracontomelon dao)
The last part of our round Tuburan escapade is a trip to Brgy. Jagbuaya where the centennial Dao tree is. According to locals, this giant tree is approximately 200 years old and could possibly be one of the oldest trees in the country. Years of rain have eroded parts of the bank yet you could see how this Dao tree continues to thrive and survive.

Kataas… sa kahoy. LOL!
Capping our Tuburan escapade with one last happy groupfie!

Overall, this weekend was a wonderful celebration of Valentine’s Day (and birthday). No fancy dates or flowers and chocolates, just pure fun. Here’s to more moments like this! ❤

Check out CJ’s vlog during our Tuburan escapade on YouTube: