Oslob is a town in the Southeastern coast of Cebu. It is over 100 kms away from Cebu City. I’m not always a fan of long road trips. Knowing that the trip to Oslob exceeds 3 hours, I try not to take it as much as I can. Sometimes I ask myself why my hometown couldn’t be closer to the city. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. There’s a part of human nature that doesn’t want to settle and always seems to crave for something more or better.
The relatively quiet town has gotten more activity as of late. This is due to the rising tourism industry of the place. Suddenly, people from all over the world are spending a part of their vacations here. They’re willing to go through the road trip that I dread.
This has given me a new sense of perspective. A new set of eyes, if you will, that let’s me see this place in a new light. Oslob may lack the activity of a metropolitan like Cebu City. However, that is exactly what some people are looking for. Of course, the main attraction is the unique mix of nature and history. The presence of Whale Sharks have definitely put the town in the map. A short ride from where you find them is Tumalog Falls. There you’ll see fine sets of curtain-like drops of water framed in a mix of rocks and bamboo trees. Swimming in the cold pool of water there can definitely ease your tension.
In the main part of Oslob town, you’ll find some remnants of history. The Philippines, as you may already know, is a former colony of Spain. Filipinos have been under Spanish rule for over 300 years. What you’ll notice first is the Immaculada Concepcion Church. It has a particularly big bell tower. Such a contraption serves to call on the Catholic faithful whenever a mass starts or ends. Equally important, in the past, it served as an alarm against incoming Pirates. History has been quite chaotic. You never knew when a bunch of bandits will suddenly come into your town. In the modern world, we are relatively safer, but not 100% safe.
The town also has the Cuartel. It was supposed to be a barracks for the Spanish army but it was never finished due to the arrival of the American forces. It became a place where many locals went to for a date. When it got renovated and furnished with lights at night, it finally became a ‘proper’ tourist spot.
The seaside park of town also contains the Oslob museum as well as an old watchtower or ‘Baluarte’ as it is called. Again, it was to prepare for Pirates. Oslob, together with the towns of Boljoon, Dalaguete and Argao have the same setup for Pirate preparedness.
The park is a really good place to take a walk, reflect about history, breath the fresh sea breeze, take a seat, hear the waves, appreciate the view and live in the moment. I’ve come to realize that each place offers different things and we should go for which one gives us what we want in a certain period in our lives. For now, I’ll enjoy life in the province while I’m still based here.
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