Trekking is an activity that many Cebuanos do often. They love the thrill of climbing the steep slopes of mountains and hills. Some prefer canyoneering, while some would jog or ride a bike to these places. If you’re one of those thrill-seekers, there is a new hangout spot you should definitely check out — the Man-Made Forest in Camp 7, Minglanilla.
Though not as big and nationally known as the man-made forest in Bohol, this is a Cebu tourist spot that is starting to get the attention that it deserves. It is considered the oldest man-made forest in the Philippines, dating back to 1916. Though it may not be a widely known tourist attraction just yet, the future is bright as plans have been set up to improve it as a trekking destination. Plus, there is no entrance fee, making this one of the many cheap things to do in Cebu.
This place is popular among travelers and adventurers, as the colorful canopy of trees is a sight to behold. You might also be interested in taking many photos of the place, as the forest is very photogenic. Don’t be surprised to see visitors with big cameras along the road.
CEBU’S VERY OWN MAN-MADE FOREST
Also known as the Osmeña Reforestation Project, this 2,710 hectare forest was consistently preserved after experiencing mining and quarrying from the neighboring villages. With improvements throughout the years, the forest is now home to much wildlife and vegetation, and it could even make a great camping site.
This man-made forest is found at Camp 7, along the Toledo-Manipis road in Minglanilla, one of the tallest peaks in Southern Cebu. The challenging climb makes it a great place for health junkies looking for an intense workout venue. You can join many groups of bikers who love to ride along the neighboring cities all the way up to the mountains.
This might as well be the best place to unwind in Cebu as the solemnity of the trees makes your experience very memorable. You can also find some places in the area with a good view. Though most of the things you will see are trees, you will surely grow an appreciation and love for nature.
There are already plans to develop the place even further to make it a go-to trekking destination to boost tourism in Southern Cebu. The area has had more exposure to people through social media, and there are several small businesses that are taking advantage of the people’s excitement. There are several eateries you can drop by to have a quick snack or hefty meal.
There are many plans for this forest in the future. In due time, this might become Cebu’s go-to camping spot and nature attraction. Gone will be the days when the man-made forest was quiet and restful. There are more cars passing by so that the drivers and passengers can experience the tranquility before going back to the city. However, there are some risks that you will have to be wary about when you visit the forest.
The Manipis road, which is the road to get to the forest, is quite accident-prone, and it is susceptible to landslides. It is best to stay away from this place when there is heavy rainfall to avoid the fear of rocks and debris falling from the side of the mountain. You might have to ask for a more experienced driver to get there.
If you wish to commute to this place, you have two options. One is to go to Barangay Tabunok in Talisay City. To get there, you can ride a jeepney that passes by Minglanilla or Naga. You will have to go under an overpass where there are many tricycles and motorcycles. You can ride a motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) that will bring you directly to the forest.
Another option is to ride a bus going to Toledo City. You might have to inform the driver’s assistant that you will be getting off at “Eskina Landing.” Don Andres Soriano National High School is going to be your landmark. You will see more motorcycle drivers there and they can bring you to the man-made forest.
Though this place was just a forest that people from the South would pass by to go back to the city, there are a lot of chances that it will be Cebu’s brand new hangout spot for trekkers and photography enthusiasts. A walk in a forest like this, like the famous Bamboo Forest in Medellin, is indeed one of the many unique things to do in Cebu. Whether you are there to trek or witness the beauty of the area, this is a place that should definitely be in your itinerary.