9° 53′ 0″ N, 123° 36′ 0″ E for Fifth

by Enzo Tacadao

9° 53′ 0″ N, 123° 36′ 0″ E is a beauty.

Argao is not a popular tourist destination in Cebu.  It is not as fabulous as Cebu City, and not as vibrant as Mactan Island. This makes Argao interesting.

It was a humid summer day when my girlfriend and I visited Argao for our fifth anniversary. It was a spontaneous trip as we originally planned to go to Aloguisan, a small town southwest of Cebu City. We were already inside a bus bound for Aloguisan when we decided to alight on the last minute to look for a bus going to Argao. Time was not on our side, so a trip to Aloguisan may not be our best choice – so Argao instead. We may have enjoyed Aloguisan, but Argao was just fine. So fine.

The trip from Cebu South Terminal to Argao was roughly two hours. When we arrived at Argao – nothing special, I thought. Small town and cool people, which are quite common throughout Cebu. Nothing riveting. We walked our way to St. Michael the Archangel Church, then the town started to show off. It was like a hybrid town. If Vigan City and Puerto Princesa had sex, and had a baby, that baby would be Argao. It is a melting pot of everything nice about small towns – laidback people, friendly smiles, and antiquated structures.

Argao could easily be a playground for history buffs and über-chill hippies. The town has a lot of history under its belt, which is apparent with its old structures like St. Michael the Archangel Church, Puerta Real, and Kapilya de Sakripisyo (Chapel of Sacrifice), which was used by locals to offer prayers to stillbirth infants. Then, there’s Mahayhay beach. Not the best beach in Cebu, but offers unique feel and experience. The water is crystal clear and the waves are calm as Marley music. Lazy Sunday on a Monday was the theme of the beach for us. The local beach seals the deal for the premise of Argao being a humble and laidback town. It was a refreshing experience seeing local kids diving into the waters. As a professional who was born and raised in the heart of Metro Manila, such scene is uplifting.

We stayed in Argao for only five hours. We did not have the time to visit other points of interest like Riverstone Castle and Argao Nature Park. It was short trip but a great one. It was a splendid way to celebrate our fifth anniversary.

9° 53′ 0″ N, 123° 36′ 0″ E is a magnet for beauty and romance.


St. Michael the Archangel Church


St. Michael the Archangel Church


Puerta Real


Kapilya de Sakripisyo


Mahayhay beach


Mahayhay beach


Mahayhay beach


Mahayhay beach



How to get to Argao?
From Cebu City, go to Cebu South Terminal and ride a bus going to Argao or farther municipalities like Alcoy.

Argao beach resorts and hotels?
There’s a handful of beach resorts and hotels in Argao. If you are looking for one, you may want to see this list for your guide.

Places to visit in Argao?
In order to enjoy Argao even more, it would be better to allot at least 12 hours of your trip for swimming, eating, and visiting good spots like Cabicera de Argao, Mahayhay beach, St. Michael the Archangel Church, Chitang’s Torta, Argao Nature Park, and Riverside Castle.