Cebu, Philippines: Adventure Cafe

by - 5:40:00 PM


One fine Friday morning, I decided on a whim to ditch work (ooops!) and went to the mountain town of Balamban in the province of Cebu. I was all geared up for work when at the last minute I opted to do something spontaneous and by myself for the very first time since I started to love travelling. 

From the concrete jungle of Cebu City, we rode our way up to the mountains of Busay and towards Barangay Gaas in Balamban through the scenic Transcentral Highway. I didn’t really have any concrete plans in mind; all I knew was that Adventure Cafe was right along the highway and could be a good place to kill some time before going back to the city.


Finding Adventure Cafe is easy! 
Just look for this signage on the right side along the Transcentral highway when coming from Cebu City.

Adventure Cafe is located in Barangay Gaas, Balamban in the province of Cebu and prides itself as the first “resto-adventure” cafe in the country. Being in business for the past years or so, this lovely cafe on a mountain has been a go-to place for people looking for some adrenaline-filled adventures or a quick stop for those wanting to take a quick rest when heading to the southwest towns of Balamban, Asturias, or Toledo.


Welcome to Adventure Cafe! :)
The two totem poles on the side reminded me of the Legends of the Hidden Temple - a childhood game show I used to watch in Nickelodeon.

Travel time was about 45 minutes to an hour and I reached the cafe a few minutes past 11 am. There were only two customers when I arrived thus I was able to enjoy some quiet time at the corner of the restaurant with a magnificent view of the mountains beyond. 



The quiet cafe a few minutes before lunch time. And did I mention it was cold up there? Think of Sagada or Baguio or Tagaytay.


Take your pick. I chose a heavy meal having skipped breakfast that day.

The waitress was very attentive and she readily handed me the menu the moment I sat down. Surprisingly, there were a lot of items on their list ranging from Filipino classics to American dishes like steaks and ribs.

The food I ordered would take around 15-20 minutes so I decided to roam around and explore the rest of the Adventure Cafe.



The zipline. 

I am not sure how much they charge for the zipline or if they're still offering this adventure. If you ask me, the facility and the equipment look a bit dated and could use some bit of updating and improvement.




The "love locks" - a symbol of unbreakable love.

Scattered along the rails of the restaurant are love locks or padlocks that lovers put to symbolize their unbreakable love for each other. They say, the lovers would then throw the key so no one can tear them apart. This reminds me of Pont des Arts in Paris which was recently taken down for safety reasons.  



On the left side of the cafe is this blue-roofed house overlooking the mountains of Cebu. I hope someday I get to have one just like that - a small cozy rest house on a mountain surrounded by plants and trees.



And here comes my order: the Baby Back Ribs. 

I didn't expect it to be this big! But I didn't have a hard time finishing it anyway as I was hungry as a hog. Haha! The meat was soft and tender though the taste wasn't up to par as to what I expected it to be. The vegetables were a nice complement to balance the taste of the main dish. Too bad the fresh fruit shakes weren't available that day I visited; it would have been the perfect pair for the feast.

Verdict

Adventure Cafe is a great place for a quick stopover for food if you are passing by the Trancentral Highway or to chill if you want some quiet time away from the city. If what you're after are the adventures (zipline, wall climbing, etc) then I'm afraid this adventure resto may disappoint you as the facilities seriously need some updating. But that's not to say I'm not coming back, I definitely will if my friends and family are game for some joyride to the mountains.

How to Get There

  • V-Hire in Ayala. Vans going to Balamban or Asturias pass by Adventure Cafe. Travel time may be around an hour for 120 Php (as of November 2015). This is the safest and most convenient option. Going down the city, fare is reduced to 50 Php.
  • Habal-habal (motorcycle for hire). Motorcycles abound at JY Square in Lahug. Fare may be a bit more steep compared to the van and may be a bit more dangerous. 
  • Hitchhike. Why not eh? :)

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