Things To Do In Argao, Cebu: History And Nature

things to do in argao philippines

Argao, Cebu is an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located at the south of Cebu - two hours away from the city of Cebu, Argao is a town that gives off a charm that has been untouched by people. It is a simple and quiet town that hasn’t really been known as a tourist destination. While it is not a hot spot compared to other Philippine destinations, Argao still has a lot to offer to whoever decides to drop by this lovely town.

Natural sights

1. Try skimboarding at Mahayahay Beach

Skimboarding on Misquamicut Beach, RI
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Juliancolton used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Skimboarding is a popular activity in Cebu and there are two beaches famous for having large waves perfect for skimboarding. One is in the town of Lilo-an, and the other one is in Argao - the Mahayahay Beach. Unlike other beaches in the Philippines, which is known for its sand and picturesque shores, the sand is not something to fawn over and the beach is quite simple. From October to May, the water is very calm, which is perfect for a day of relaxing or swimming in the beach. It is from June to September when the big waves come to this beach; not big enough to for surfing, but big enough to learn and practice your skimboarding skills. In September, they hold a skimboarding competition where anyone can join in or watch.

Mahayahay Beach

Address: Argao, Cebu

Price: Cottage Rental: 200 PHP (4 USD); Skimboard Rental: 100 PHP (2 USD)

Access: 2-hour bus ride from Cebu City in the South Bus Terminal

2. Visit Bugasok Falls and Balay sa Agta

Source: Photo by Flickr user Cheonsa used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Bugasok Falls and Balay sa Agta (Giant’s Cave) are two natural sights that can be found in Argao, Cebu. Going to these two sights requires a trek starting from the Conalum Barangay Hall. To make it easier for the tourists, the Argao Tourism Office offers tours going to Bugasok Falls and Balay sa Agta but of course, call them at least a day before your planned visit. The first destination is Balay sa Agta, the reason why it was called the Giant’s Cave is because of the enormous size of the cave, so enormous that the thought of a giant living there is possible. It is a 480 meter (1,574 foot) long cave with a lot to discover as you make your way inside, making you wonder how everything was naturally formed. The second stop is the Bugasok Falls, a 10-minute ride from the cave, a refreshing stop after going into a gigantic cave. You could go swimming or take a plunge at the falls, unless your guide says otherwise for safety reasons.

Bugasok Falls and Balay sa Agta Tour

Price: 500 PHP (10 USD) per guide, 20 PHP (0.40 USD) for barangay fee

Contact: +63 324858063

Historical sights

3. Visit the oldest municipal hall in Cebu

Casa Real
Source: Photo by user Victor D. Kintanar used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Argao City Hall, or commonly known as Casa Real, is known to be the oldest municipal hall in the province of Cebu. If you’re a history lover, especially in old architecture, then you should definitely visit this place. The building was built in the early 1800s, during the Spanish colonization, which explains the combination of stone and hardwood materials used in the building. The first floor is made up of stone walls while the second floor was built with wood. The hall is one example of what a Filipino would call a ‘bahay na bato’ (house of stone). The hall is easily located as it is in the town’s center.

Argao City Hall

Address: Argao, Cebu

Access: From Cebu City, take a bus from the South Bus Terminal.

Contact: +63 324858063 (Tourism Office)

4. Argao Hall of Justice

Argao Palacio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joelaldor used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another historic building in the town center is the Argao Hall of Justice. The building itself has a lot of history. Being built during the Spanish colonization, it served as a school for the children of church workers and as a military barracks during the Second World War. It had been destroyed before in a fire, but has been restored and rehabilitated today as a hall of justice.

Argao Hall of Justice

Address: Argao, Cebu

Contact: +63 324858063 (Tourism Office)

5. Visit the St. Michael the Archangel Church

Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Argao, Cebu
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SamTan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The St. Michael the Archangel Church, or Argao Church, also located at the town’s center, is one of those churches that have stood against time. It was built in 1783, using the style of Baroque and Rococo in its design. The church houses a beautiful interior, with the main altar painted with gold, silver, and gray colors, and a ceiling painted with the stories from the Bible. The church still has a pulpit, a raised platform where priests would do their sermons back in the old days, and a Spanish-era pipe organ - said to have been built around the 17th to 19th-century by Spanish pipe organ makers.

St. Michael the Archangel Church

Address: Argao, Cebu

Contact: +63 324858063 (Tourism Office)

Must-try food in Argao, Cebu

6. Chitang's Torta

Torta Mamon (Philippines)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obsidian Soul used under CC0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Torta is a delicacy in the town of Argao and is a must-try to anyone who visits their town. There are a lot of bakeries that sell this delicacy, but it is said that Chitang’s Torta sells one of the best-tasting tortas in Cebu. What makes the torta in Argao different from others is beause they use tuba, or coconut wine, instead of yeast as one of their ingredients, which is then baked in a clay furnace, using coconut husks as charcoal.

Chitang's Torta

Address: 717 Mariano Abear Street, Poblacion Argao 6021, Cebu

Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm

Contact: +63 324858095

Facebook: Chitang’s Torta

7. Guilang's Tableya

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lauro Branigan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The best companion to Argao’s torta, is their famous tableya. Guilang’s Tableya is made from 100% cacao beans, which are harvested from the cacao trees found in their backyard. Tableya is the main ingredient for the traditional Filipino hot chocolate, and one of the best makers is found in Argao, Cebu. You can buy packs of Guilang’s Tableya and if you’re interested in the process of making them, they are very open to visitors. Just give them a call to see when the best time is to come see them work!

Guilang's Tableya

Address: 101, San Miguel Street, Argao, Cebu

Opening Hours: 8am - 8pm

Contact: +63 9098226747

Facebook: Guilang’s Tableya

Big sights, small town

Compared to other tourist destinations in the Philippines, the town of Argao is like a humble giant. It is a simple and quiet town but with a little exploration, there is so much more to discover. There are a lot more things to see in Argao, what is mentioned above is just to get you started. If you’re up for taking the path less traveled, then you must visit this town and see more of what the Philippines has to offer.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Clarence loves travelling and experiencing different cultures from around the world. She has been to several countries in Asia and Europe and has gone several times to the US, and still counting....Read more

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