If you asked me three years ago where to go in Badian, I would have only come up with Kawasan Falls. But thanks to a three-way birthday bash and a toast to the New Year at my friend’s Badian beach house, Agua Azul, I now know better. Chill and fluid like its name, Agua Azul is “the” barkada getaway for more reasons than one. Here’s why:
Reason # 1: The Road Trip
Despite my friend’s insistence that the southbound town was only an hour’s drive away from Cebu City, the trip ran three hours but came with welcome distractions.
We first dropped by the heritage city of Cebu, Carcar—the only place in the island that still makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into a scene from the Spanish colonial era, with beautifully preserved structures lining its streets. Of course, the visit to Carcar wouldn’t have been complete without having a taste of their famous lechon, which manages to have shiny, crisp skin despite the meat’s saucy texture.
The next stop was for a dairy fix at the Molave Milk Station off Barili’s highway. Not your ordinary summer treat, the ice cream and shakes are made from fresh cow’s and carabao’s milk that can also be purchased in liters. Their ice cream comes in a variety of flavors, the classic favorites—chocolate, buko pandan, vanilla, mango and strawberry—infused with the unconventional combinations of buko chocolate and pandan chocolate. We stayed awhile to watch the cattle graze the fields near the milk station before continuing on to our destination.
You know you’re in Agua Azul when you notice a red metal crab mounted on a white gate framed by two blue posts. As you walk to the entrance, you will see a short wooden bridge leading to the front porch of a festively colored house. The sight alone screams adventure.
Agua Azul was once just a rest house that an art hobbyist built to be closer to the sea. Having designed the layout himself, the previous owner also attended to the interiors and had most of the antique finish wooden furniture shipped from Pampanga or custom-made in Cebu. A picturesque spot in the house is a wooden swing at the steps leading to the backyard. A splash of sun is mimicked in the yellow (same color as the exterior) stucco walls that are filled with contemporary paintings, and a wide balcony in the back provides a relaxing view of the sea.
Eventually, Agua Azul was purchased by the Mancao family. It is open to friends and relatives and is ideal for group outings, with accommodations that can hold as many as fifteen to twenty people.
Reason # 3 A-Plus for Amenities
Agua Azul is the dream treehouse we always wished we had as kids. Aside from being fashioned out of wood and actually having a treehouse with a bedroom beside its main structure, it offers a variety of activities, from lapping at the pool and hanging out at the gazebo, to lounging at its own beachfront. It even has a jacuzzi facing the sea. The days are far from dull at the private beach house, where guests can go paddle boating or bouncing off an inflatable trampoline in the middle of the sea. If you’re in the mood to catch dinner, a small fishing boat by the jetty is also available for use; after which you can cook and grill to your heart’s desire at the kitchen, which comes with its own set of kitchenware.
Those looking for a drier form of recreation can try their hand at the chess, pingpong, mahjong and pool tables, or rough it out in the garden for a volleyball or badminton match. Needless to say, we were entertained to the core.
Even when some of us wanted to unwind the next day, a home service masseuse and a manicurist were only a call away. It was official—Agua Azul was beyond awesome (for lack of a more fitting term), and being in the company of the coolest people on earth certainly leveled up the experience.
Reason # 4 Location Location Location
Did I mention that Agua Azul is also just a thirty-minute walk away from Badian’s main attraction, Kawasan Falls? Also, since it’s located on the outskirts of Badian, you might as well explore the neighboring towns of Alegria and Malabuyoc. Really, your sojourn to this part of Cebu doesn’t get any more thorough than that.
*You can take the bus to Badian at the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City for about a hundred pesos. Agua Azul can be rented for a fee per night but a referral is required. Call (032) 254-9246 for reservations or inquiries.
**We found a video on the internet of the place if you want a better look. -Editor