49km away: Southtripping to Toledo’s Hinulawan Festival

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Travel to Toledo, Cebu
Happy Fiesta Toledo!
Happy Fiesta Toledo!

I went on a 3-day vacation in Toledo last week in time for its Hinulawan Festival. I’ve never been in Toledo for so long and I was excited while I was packing up my things for another adventure. I went there with my colleagues and stayed in Sheen’s place for the rest of the vacation. Having four of my colleagues living in Toledo City is an advantage for this trip because our foods and accommodation is already guaranteed. Our transportation expenses were not shouldered though but that’s fairly fine for everybody.

Arrived in Toledo after an hour trip or so from Citilink in Cebu City.
Arrived in Toledo after an hour trip or so from Citilink in Cebu City.

Initially, I don’t really have a single hint of what Toledo City is celebrating on its festival day. I just learned that its festival is called “Hinulawan Festival”. Then I asked my friend from Toledo why it is called Hinulawan and she told me that there is a river called “Hinulawan” in the locality. Later on, I also did some research about the festival.

The term hinulawan refers to the old name of the place. It is also an abbreviated form of the Cebuano phrase “Hinaguang Bulawan” which literally translates to “hard-earned gold”.

The Hinulawan Festival showcases different cultural dances portraying the past and present of Toledo. It features the different historical eras of the place – starting from the Pre-Spanish era up to the modern times of Toledo.

Source: localphilippines

We did not watch the street dancing event because it was really hot outside. We just had our lunch in Sheen’s place at Luray II. Then we rode a tricycle to the plaza. The place was crowded because I suppose it was the end of the street dancing event and there was an awarding ceremony afterwards. I noticed that majority of the crowd are teenagers mostly in their groups. Some are wearing uniformed t-shirts or checkered polos. There were also lots of delicacies sold along the streets. The delicacies were just the typical delicacies we see around Cebu City since Toledo doesn’t have its own delicacy. We also paid a short visit to the parish church. Then we strolled and took some pictures at the Toledo Port. The view was nice most especially during sunset and from there you can see Mt. Canlaon and the island of Negros.

Port area
Port area
Sunset
Sunset

We had dinner in Chin’s place at Poblacion, Toledo. Then we had karaoke and met new friends. The humid temperature was keeping me uncomfortable. I was really sleepy, tired and dirty but we still managed to go to the carnival near the terminal. The fares range from 25 pesos to 50 pesos which I think was pretty expensive based on the quality of the ride. In the end, we did not ride anything. We finally decided to go home.

Dinner at Chin's crib with new friends
Dinner at Chin’s crib with new friends
Carnival
Carnival
The not so scary ferris wheel ride
The not so scary ferris wheel ride

So much for my first time in Hinulawan Festival. If you wish to go there, you can take either a vhire from Citilink or a bus from Southbus Terminal. If you want to travel conveniently, I suggest to take a vhire. As expected, the fare is more expensive compared to a bus but I think it is just affordable. The transpo vehicle will just drop you off in the terminal.

V-hire fare from Citilink to Toledo City: 100php

Minibus fare from Southbus to Toledo City: 70php

Once in the terminal, there are pedicabs, buses and jeeps which can take you to your destination. There are also rooms for rent and inns near the port. From my experience, my first day in Toledo was superb. I’m looking forward to next year’s Hinulawan Festival.

Photo credits to: Sheen and Joey

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