Disconnect to reconnect at Bacalla Woods

While everyone else were partying during the Sinulog weekend, the Titos and Titas found themselves off the grid at Bacalla Woods Camping Site. Familiar? You may have heard of this place as it became viral before due to its famous Bali-like swing. It is located in the mountains of San Fernando, Cebu and definitely a perfect place for a laid back weekend, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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How to get there?

The camping site is located in the same road to the Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort and will only take you 1-2 hours of travel. Getting here isn’t really hard with the number of options available.

  • Bus – you can opt to ride a bus from the South Bus Terminal. Just ride any bus going to Carcar, Barili, Sibonga and etc. Just tell the driver to drop you off the corner to the Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort. Trip fare is approximately Php 40-50
  • Private Car – the camping site is accessible by private vehicle. Just look for “Bacalla Woods Campsite” in waze.
  • Jeepney –  We did this option and rode a jeepney to Naga from Labangon. We then transferred to another jeepney going to San Fernando. Just tell the driver to drop you off the corner to the Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort. Trip fare per way is around Php 20-40 depending on where you came from

When you reach the corner, ride a habal habal motorcycle going up to the camping site. Note that the max fare per trip per motorcycle (not per person) is Php 90. Beware of habal habal drivers trying to take advantage of you.

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What to expect?

Once you reach the place, don’t expect a grand resort like feel. Again, this is a camping site and amenities are really simple. However, the place is artsy and homey at the same time. Here you can find tents and hammocks everywhere, some huts, the famous swing, a few hangout places, a common kitchen and only one small sari-sari store in the area.

You have an option to bring your own tent and just pay the Php 200/ head overnight camping fee or you can opt for additional tent rental. They have tents available depending on how many you are in a group. By the way, the overnight camping fee already includes your breakfast which was such a good deal.

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You can also cook here. Just make sure to bring all ingredients with you on your way up. They have available grillers, cooking pots and utensils for everyone’s use. Your boy scouts skills will really come in handy here since there are no stove for use. Just the old fashioned wood to light up your world.

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Did I mention that there’s no signal here? Yes, there’s no facebook, twitter and instagram to update in the duration of your stay. Aside from having no choice but to face each other, isn’t it a perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends/family through personal conversation and shared experiences while being off the grid? In a world of social media, even if we constantly see each other’s updates on facebook, there is still much disconnection between people. Getting to talk in person still has a different impact and we all need those moments to just be physically there and reconnect with each other.

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Not only will you have a great moment with your friends, you will also meet a wonderful community of artists and musicians here. We were invited to a bonfire session at night where we met with fellow campers and jammed through each other’s music. My friends were asked to sing and play the guitar for everyone. It’s a free zone and everyone is just very friendly.

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Aside from purely hanging out, there is also an organized trekking activity to a nearby falls although  don’t expect much about the falls cause it isn’t as grand as Kawasan falls (but they did inform us ahead of time about this). Be prepared though as the trek will take around 2-3 hours and most of it will be spent in the rivers. Wearing slippers isn’t advisable, although they said it’s okay (it’s what I wore too), cause some rocks can be slippery and you can fall along the way.

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From the morning trek, we treated ourselves with a cup of hot noodles and coffee while enjoying the chilly weather and infinite view of the mountains. Perfect weekend indeed!

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First timer tips:

  • BOOK AHEAD. They don’t accept walk in visitors to avoid a lot of people flocking in.
  • Bring mosquito repellant – very much needed if you plan to stay overnight
  • Bring your own food. You can cook here and they’ll be happy to assist you too!
  • There’s actually electricity but you may want to bring your own power banks. Although I didn’t get to use my phone a lot cause there was no signal. We only used our phones for music and as flashlights at night.
  • Bring a dry bag to store your valuables when you plan to trek. You may suddenly fall or it may rain along the way. Who knows? Just be prepared.
  • Have lots of fun away from the stresses of life! 🙂

For more information, you can visit Bacalla Wood’s facebook page here

See their rates below:

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Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time. Take nothing but pictures

 

Expenses breakdown

Activity Amount
Cebu City to San Fernando (jeep) Php 40
Lunch at San Fernando Php 74
Habal habal to Bacalla Woods (solo) Php 90
Camping Fee (with breakfast) Php 200
Tent Rental (Good for 10pax @ Php 1000) Php 111
Trekking Fee Php 50
Habal habal from trekking’s last site back to Bacalla Php 50
Food (Dinner, Lunch, Snacks) Php 400
Blanket/Comforter rental (Php 150 for all) Php 17
Habal habal from Bacalla to Highway (with a friend) Php 45
San Fernando to Cebu City (jeep) Php 40
Total Php 1,117

Expenses could be less, just depends on how much you plan to eat haha

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Ciao for now!

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