Baluarte Park in Aloguinsan, Cebu Province, is an excellent place for relaxation. It is a neat and green space where you can inhale and breathe fresh air coming from the sea nearby.
Exactly, Baluarte Park is a perfect place to stroll around as it is also a beautiful and historical park. From here, you can watch a panoramic sight of the ocean and a stunning sunset over Tanon Strait in Aloguinsan.
The remnant of the baluarte, one of the Spanish era’s historical heritages (others include forts, churches, cuartel, houses, etc.), is still visible but not quite to what it was initially - tall enough to watch the incoming boats loaded with invading pirates.
Anyhow, you can only reminisce how the area looks like in the past and how the locals were using it by then. Now, it is a fantastic place to enjoy your walk and nature. Let’s find out more what we can see and do below.
You will find Baluarte Park behind the municipal building of Aloguinsan town proper. Therefore, you do not need to spend much time and energy to get there.
The Watchtower - “baluarte”
This bulwark (a literal translation for ‘baluarte’ in Spanish) is located right on the top of the central hill in the area. It is a two-level stone structure ? actually made of coral stones and some wood. This is one part of the defense system established by Fray Julian Bermejo which stretched along the southern coastline of this provincial island. You will notice that it is protected by metal chains surrounding it to keep visitors from approaching this delicate remnant of the past (18th century).
To keep the grass from covering and invading the structure, which might cause to degenerate it faster, gravels are spread around it that also super-impose its delicate existence. It is in some way a form of art!
Surrounding the baluarte, you can find trees and green lawn spreading everywhere. Some concrete and elongated seats are available for resting and probably for laying your snacks down.
Just opposite the baluarte, you can see a small fort where watchers or soldiers would most probably sleep, eat or take a nap during their duty. This fort is also built with coral stones and only visible of what remains of it.
Grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Before you reach the baluarte, you will be greeted by a medium size grotto of the Virgin tucked by the boulder-shape coral stone. You must understand that Cebu is where the seed of Christianity was first planted in the Philippines. So, most Cebuanos are Christians or Catholics by faith (and action) or inheritance!
Near the grotto, you will also see a small pond with a small concrete bridge crossing over it.
If you really want to sit down, relax and look around while under a substantial protection from the sunshine or rain, go to one of the gazebos in the park. You will have a magnificent view of the blue sea and the surrounding islands in the distance. Go to any of them depending on what you want to explore with your naked eyes.
Performance Area or Arena
I guess this area is where one can practice performing one’s skills in dramatics, singing or other public talents. You will see that there is concrete floor just below the concrete seats or stretched benches where spectators may watch the performer below. It looks like an arena to me or just like one of those places where gladiators fight for their lives (or to their death)!
Of course, a public restroom is available for all visitors. To blend with the atmosphere of the historical background of the site, the restrooms were built to look somewhat like forts or garrisons.
Now that you have some ideas about Baluarte Park in Aloguinsan, you might want to go there to find out yourself. If so, you may find it helpful to use the following travel guide to get there.
Assuming that you are in Cebu City if you prefer to get closer there via bus, head for the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Yes, click that link to find more specific instructions. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Aloguinsan Public Market. You can walk from the market to the Park which is located just behind Aloguinsan Municipal Hall.
If you are coming from Cebu-Mactan International Airport, you can take a taxi for Cebu South Bus Terminal for about PhP350 (may increase over time). By the way, the bus fare is about PhP80 (maybe change in time) for a two-hour ride to Aloguinsan Town.
A V-hire can also be a great idea to save time due to its faster speed, and they do not stop often. However, you may pay more than for the bus.
Places to stay in for overnight or longer are also available in the area. Certainly, more accommodation facilities are being established to accommodate visitors from outside the municipality of Aloguinsan. Here are some...