Exploring Northern Cebu: Municipality of Carmen
I stayed in Cebu for almost a year, but I haven’t really explored the island because of work.On my days off, I’d usually stay in my rented room and doze off. Sometimes, if I feel like going out, I’d hang-out with friends by spending hours in the mall or even have a few beers. To tell you honestly, for the whole duration of my stay in Cebu, I can count in my fingers the number of times I’ve visited SM City Cebu. SLEEP > LAAG. Always.
When I left my job, I knew that I have to explore the province before I go back to Bacolod. Blogs became my guide, and most of them would post about their trips in the southern part of the island. So off to the south I go.
I explored the beaches in Moalboal, took a dip in Kawasan Falls in Badian, found serenity in Simala Shrine in Sibonga, and had lechon after checking out some ancestral houses in Carcar. I am pleased. I can say that I am more comfortable taking a trip to the south because my officemates and I would usually have our ginabot breakfast in Talisay after our EOS beer session.
The northern part always triggered my curiosity. I came across some online articles about great places to see in North Cebu, but I only had a chance to set foot in Danao once (and at that time we went there around 8 pm so sightseeing was not an option), when I had a few beers with my friends Archie and Fares, and in Liloan when Geliebter and I wandered around to see the lighthouse.
And this month, I went back to Cebu for my monthly appointments. I had a chance to meet up with my schoolmate, Bagwis. I mentioned that I wanted to go sightseeing in Northern part of Cebu, and Bagwis offered to show me around. Talk about having a free tour guide! (Thanks for being an angel ^_^)
Our first destination is the Municipality of Carmen.
Carmen is a third income class municipality in the province of Cebu and is located about 42 kilometers north of Cebu City. It is bordered to the north by the Municipality of Catmon, Municipality of Tuburan to the northeast, Municipality of Asturias to the west, and to the south by the City of Danao.
Carmen was founded in 1870 with the total land area of approximately 8,210 hectares. It comprises of 21 barangays with a total population of 41, 279 according to the 2007 census.
According to “A Publication of the Cebu Association of Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators”, the town was named Carmen by the Spaniards because of a woman’s necklace. The Spaniards held the first baptismal ceremony to Christianize the natives of Bugho (the name of the municipality before the Spaniards came). There was only one woman to be baptized and she happened to be wearing a necklace bearing the name “Birhen sang Carmen”. A Spaniard who served as a recorder to take down important notes asked her for the name of the village before the ceremony took place. She thought that the man was referring to her necklace because he was looking at it, so she answered, “Birhen sang Carmen”. Not long after that, the town was named Carmen by the Spaniards.
Carmen has two festivals. Their very own Sinulog and the Sinamay Festival.
Sinulog sa Carmen is held every fourth Sunday of January. This annual event was started by Father Jose Motus in 1974. Yes, Sinulog sa Carmen is 6 years older than the Sinulog Festival in the capital city. Father Motus hailed from Kalibo, Aklan so at first, the festival was called Ati-atihan sa Carmen but it was renamed a year after.
Another festival in Carmen is the Sinamay Festival. It is held every August, in honor of the town’s patron saint San Agustin. The festival is tribute to the town’s signature product – sinamay.
From swimming to spring waters, spelunking, hiking, to meditating, both adventure-seekers, and those who are seeking tranquility will enjoy Carmen’s places of interests.
- Mt. Uragay Spring Resort
- Durano Eco Farm & Spring Resort (read about my adventure here)
- Mangitngit Falls
- St. Benedict Monastery
- The Contemplatives of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary
- The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate House of Contemplation
- Titip Cave
- Lapos-lapos Cave
- Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
- Luyang, Carmen = Oldest Fishing Village
In the days to come, I’ll be posting about my recent Cebu adventures. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on your Twitter or Facebook. Thank you loves!
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