The Badian adventure trail is a TPB tourist destination

Published January 24, 2023, 10:11 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

Another one to add to your travel bucket list

For most domestic tourists, the Badian canyon experience on the eastern side of the island of Cebu will be something of an unknown quantity. It’s a tourist destination that, ironically, a good number of foreign adventure tourists will already have discovered and raved about. Too many of us stick to the familiar and the tried and tested, but there’s so much more our country can offer to reward the curious when it comes to tourist destinations, and once in a lifetime experiences. 

The Badian Wayfinder Signages Project launch.

And that’s why I’m especially thankful to the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) for inviting me down to Badian to enjoy what the less heralded destination has to offer. Along with other media platform representatives and a number of social media personalities, we enjoyed Dumaguete (and it’s Henry Hotel), Badian (billeted at the Badian Wellness Resort), and Cebu City (Thank you, Radisson Cebu). It was four days of enjoyable experiences, and even more enjoyable company and camaraderie. 

Our Tourism Secretary, Christina G. Frasco.

First up was attending the launching of the Wayfinder Signages Project at the Badian Multi-Purpose Center. Special guests at the event were Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, her daughter who is also the Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina G. Frasco, TPB COO Marga M. Nograles, DOT Undersecretary Shahlimar H. Tamano, and local officials led by Badian Mayor Carmencita Lumain. The event was a wonderful showcase of Badian culture and hospitality, with the local band, dance troupe, and singers showing the way.

Badian Mayor Carmencita Lumain with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia.

The Wayfinder Signages Project is deceptively simple, and, yet, makes a lot of sense. Spearheaded by the DOT, the TPB, and the LGU where the designated tourist site is found, the overriding idea is to standardize and make uniform in color, font, and design, the signages of these tourist destinations. Whether for foreign or domestic tourists, these signages will now be easily identified and recognized, enhancing the tourist experience.

TPB COO Marga Nograles with Miles Roces, Chris Tiu, and Hanky Lee.

The Kawasan Nature and Recreational Park at Badian is a recipient of such a signage, and this was unveiled during the ceremonies. What transpired after was our group actually heading to Kawasan, and taking the shortened two and a half hours version of the canyoneering experience. For nature lovers and adventure-seekers, I can’t recommend enough how fulfilling a visit to Kawasan will be. Be prepared for jumping off a cliff to the water below, and taking an arduous trek over unspoiled and challenging terrain. The Kawasan guides are there to lead the way and ensure any group’s safety. 

The Badian Wellness Resort, situated on an island.

We stayed at the Badian Wellness Resort and it’s located on an island that’s a short five-minute pump boat ride. The resort covers about a third of the island and it’s a lush setting that’s complemented by comfortable and spacious accommodations. I had their Badian Hilot massage—and if you opt to have it at their spa, you’ll be overlooking the water, with a cool, fresh breeze that enhances the ambiance, and lulls you into a deep, relaxing power nap. 

When asked how I found the massage, I had to confess that I guessed it was great, as after the first few minutes, I was brought to slumberland. It’s either that good, or the masseuse spent the hour on her device, and I didn’t know any better. 

The drive from Badian to Cebu City is around three hours of coastal highways and winding mountain roads. There are several interesting pit stops one can take to soak up the culture and local flavor of the drive. And yes, I mention “flavor” on purpose, as one town along the way is Carcar, notorious for its chicharon and lechon. There are interesting churches that one can visit, and it’s an extremely pleasant drive that takes you to Talisay, one of the southern districts of Cebu City. 

From TPB COO Marga Nograles’ IG page, touchdown in Dumaguete.

While Cebu City weaves its own magical spell, I loved the rural countryside allure of Badian and how there’s the option to reach Badian coming from Dumaguete and taking a short ferry ride from Negros Oriental to Cebu. The new Henry Resort Hotel in Dumaguete is one well-appointed that feels like luxury, option to make one’s “base of operations.” From there, one must activity is to head to Oslob and the whale shark watching.

Discovering one own’s country, and the diversity of its tourist destinations is now up there in my bucket list. If you’re like me, I confess I previously had the attitude of how they’re always just there, and I prioritized other countries. Badian is just one example of realizing just how much and what I’ve been missing. I’d love for the TPB to help me discover even more of what’s here at our own doorstep.