Part 1: A few minutes past six, I reached the municipal hall of Liloan. I took a selfie at the marker #liveloveliloan until the rest of the photowalkers arrived. Shortly, the action started.
Part 2 of 2
About 14 kilometers from Cebu City is the town of Liloan, a town everybody should start putting in their itineraries whenever visiting the island of Cebu. This quaint town got its name from whirlpools (lilo in Cebuano) that form in some areas of Silot Bay. This fast-growing municipality is also referred to as “The Light of the North”, a title that attributed to one of its prominent landmarks, a lighthouse in the coastline of Catarman.
FOOD TRIP, FOOD TREATS
There are many things to do in Liloan: nature trip, photowalk, swimming, adventure, and of course, food trip. The food junkie will love the plaza, where a long stretch of the sidewalk is lined with food stalls from seafood to lechon, ricecakes to seaweed salad, and anything else that can make a food trip enjoyable. There’s also the popular biscuit with a hole, Titay’s Rosquillos, which was first baked in the pugon of Titay Frasco in 1907. The rosquillos has made a big name that the town celebrates it in a festival every May . (Check this post to get more ideas on Liloan’s food haven.)
THE CHURCH FACING WEST
In front of the town hall is the almost 170-year old church of San Fernando Rey Parish, among the old churches in Cebu. The façade reads: AÑO DE 1847. It’s easy to appreciate the symmetry of its structure—a triangular roof at the center and two bell towers on both sides. The meter-thick wall is made of white bricks with arched windows on the sides. Unlike other churches in Cebu, this church faces west, a sun-proofing design which makes hearing mass in the morning more comfortable, according to the townsfolk.
ADVENTURES & SEAFOOD
The first time I went to Liloan was on that sleepy Saturday I joined my class to celebrate their second month at work. We tried out fishing, wall climbing, and the zipline Papa Kit’s Fishing Lagoo. When our stomachs came grumbling, we finally had a sumptuous meal of seafood for lunch.
A ROMANTIC SPOT BY THE BAY
A short habal-habal ride from the plaza can take you to the coastal barangay of Catarman. Here, you get a perfect view of the Mactan Channel, a serene place for picnic, biking, photoshoot, a nap under the trees, and of course, Liloan’s well-known landmark–the Bagacay Point Lighthouse also called as the Parola. This structure originally built in 1857 stands 22 meters high on top of a hill and continues to guide sea travellers since 1904.
In some parts of the year, the kalachuchi tree nearby sheds its leaves and brings this beautiful sight.
A BREATHTAKING COASTLINE
From the lighthouse, you can walk through the clearings across the grassland to reach the coastline. (Be careful of caves and holes you can fall in.) For the non-local, this is where you gasp in awe after finding out that that somewhere out there, hidden by the bushes and trees, are the ruins of a watchtower and a breathtaking view of the ocean.
The watchtower called as Bantayan sa Hari (Watchtower of the King) was built around 1857 to protect the town from the Moro raiders who snatched locals of goods and took people as slaves. Now in rubble, the chess-piece structure is a forgotten architectural treasure.
During my first visit in February, the scene that surprised me was captivating: the restless blue ocean with strong waves hitting the big rocks on the cliff. I took a dip in the shallow part secluded by the rocks and managed to refresh myself from the burning heat of the sun. On my second visit in October, it was low tide and most of the area was dry land. That time, the sea was calm; the waves gently slapped the rocks on the shore. Just like the first time I was there, it was surreal.
HOW TO GET TO LILOAN
Liloan is about 30 to 45 minutes from Cebu City depending on the time of the day that you take the trip. That’s roughly 19 to 25 kilometers using the real measures of distance. If taking public transport, either take a jeepney with a 25 marker or hire a habal-habal which can cost you a few hundreds of pesos. The jeepneys in Cebu, also called as multicab, can be uncomfortable for the less adventurous as passengers sit face to face and knee to knee most of the time. Of course, you can also take a cab. The road to the north is also not a difficult route, so taking public transport, using Google map and asking around will be a great adventure.
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