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Bojo River: Aloguinsan’s precious gem

Community guides of the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association await the arrival of the participants of the Suroy Suroy Sugbo 2023: Explore the Midwest from their Bojo River Cruise adventure. | Niña Mae C. Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — When it comes to tourist destinations in the Philippines, Cebu never fails to showcase its wonders.

It is famous for its white sand beaches, historical sites, and attractions that provide an eco-adventure experience to tourists.

On June 11, 2023, participants of the third leg of ‘Suroy Suroy Sugbo 2023: Explore the Midwest’ had the chance to visit the award-winning Bojo River in Aloguinsan town in Cebu, and experience its cruise and eco-cultural tour.

Bojo River is undoubtedly Aloguinsan’s precious gem. Its vibrant blue water welcomed the Suroy participants in their journey.

Guests are usually set to enjoy the 1.4-kilometer river cruise which would take them at least one hour to finish.

However, the Suroy participants were only able to experience a fraction of it, according to Rudney Carcuevas, former president of the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS).

The participants rode the boat from Hermit’s Cove, and took the opposite side as they entered the Bojo River, Carcuevas told CDN Digital. Hermit’s Cove is approximately seven to ten minutes from the mouth of Bojo River if you ride a boat.

He said that it would have been nice if the participants passed the entrance so they could receive garlands upon arrival, and the moment they arrive at the station, a group of people from BAETAS would welcome them through a song presentation.

Participant’s experience

Despite the short route, Leah Teo, one of the participants in the midwest exploration, still enjoyed her first Bojo River Cruise experience.

“It’s great ‘cause it’s one of the award-winning ecosystems we have in Cebu, if not, for the entire country, maybe,” Teo said.

She told CDN Digital that it was her first time and she found the experience “nice” as it is something she hasn’t done before and only heard a lot about.

“Now, I get to experience it and definitely I will come back for more,” she said.

Besides the Bojo River, she said she also plans to visit other tourist sites in Aloguinsan.

What to expect in Bojo River?

Apart from the beautiful scenery in the river cruise, Carcuevas said the journey can also provide insights to the visitors.

“Basta dili ra kay tour nga mag bisita lang mo, ma experience ninyo ang educational tour,” he said as the community guides educate the guests about the Bojo River: its history, as well as the different kinds of mangroves growing in the river and the different wildlife species that can be found in the area.

Moreover, he said that swimming in the river is allowed. They have no problem with that. When guests want to visit the Bojo River, they need to prepare proper footwears and clothes that can be used for swimming.

And the best time to visit the river, according to Carcuevas, is during summer between the months of April to June.

“Nindot ang tubig, taas, di sad kaayo bawd,” he said.


In terms of safety, he assured that there are no dangerous species in the water that could provide risks upon swimming.

“Before mi nag start sa project (Bojo River Cruise), nag conduct mi og inventory sa flora and fauna. Flora is tanom. Naa ta’y hundred species of plants including the classes of mangroves. Ang fauna naman ang mananap. Wala ta’y angay kabalak-an kay wa gyud siya’y buaya,” he assured.

He added that they also have 71 classes of birds which are divided into three groups: endemic, residence, and migratory.

Bojo River was launched in June 2009 and it is managed by BAETAS, a community-based association. They welcome 60-70 people in a day, however, in 2020 due to restrictions brought by the pandemic lockdowns, Carcuevas said they would only receive 30-40 people in a day.

He is thankful that the restrictions are lifted, so they could go back to their normal operations.

Recipient of multiple awards

What makes this Bojo River Cruise special and a worthy gem is that BAETAS does not receive wages from the local government. Instead, the earnings they receive from their visitors serve as their salary. In other words, they are earning for themselves.

Bojo River was named among the 2021 Best Tourism Villages by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It was the lone entry from the Philippines.

Aside from the UNWTO award, it was also among the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in the World from 2016 to 2018. In 2015, BAETAS received the Tourism InSPIRE Award for Best Community-based Tourism Initiative.

In 2017, BAETAS received the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism Award for best community group.

The third leg of Suroy Suroy Sugbo 2023, the Cebu Provincial Government’s flagship tourism program, explores the west coast of Cebu.

It is a three-day excursion from June 10 to 12, 2023, that tours seven localities in the midwestern part of the province of Cebu. These localities were Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Balamban, and Toledo City.

How much does it cost?

To the people planning to tour Bojo River, take note of the following rates:
P850 per pax (minimum of 6 up to 10 pax) and P800 per pax (11 pax upwards) with the following inclusions: welcome lei (garland), welcome drinks, snack, lunch, river cruise, orientation and lecture, and handicraft demonstration.
Walk-in rate is P400 per pax

They also have a coral reef tour with their glass bottom boat for an additional P200 per pax (minimum of 10 pax).     /rcg


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TAGS: Aloguinsan, bojo river, Cebu‬, cruise, tourist destination, tourist spots
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