In the Dumagueteneo team’s latest adventure, they traveled to Sittio Obong of the Tuna capital of Negros, the Municipality of Hinoba-an. Courtesy of Magbanua Tours, one of Dumaguete’s homegrown travel companies which has been rising in popularity. Sir Earl Magbanua, founder of Magbanua Tours, personally accompanied the team and
other guests to the secret paradise hidden deep in Hinoba-an, Negros Oriental.
Coursing through the wild off-the-beaten path either by trekking or by a ‘4×4 adventure,’; an image of pristine paradise comes into view; displaying the Magbanua’s family treasure in the form of a peacefully nestled white sand cove fronting the deep blue waters of the Sulu sea. Sir Earl’s great grandfather Daniel dela Cruz passed down the property down to generations eventually leading to him; and was meant only for family use during vacations and gatherings. Superstitions held by their late grandmother about mermaids residing in the caves stopped their whole family from visiting the place for a few years. His grandmother’s death in 2015 led them to take time in exploring the largely untouched property. Upon the start of his travel company, Magbanua Tours, Sir Earl then decided to develop the place slowly and surely, opening it to the public with the aim of getting people to also experience true paradise. Above all, he explained his intentions of developing the place in a way that will always prioritize the preservation of all the natural wonder of the cove.
Currently, the place has little cottages for guests to hang out in and a volleyball court for recreation. The Obong Paradise is rather a little version of Dakak in Dapitan. Both are coves that take your breath away with their serene beauty. In the Obong location lies numerous caves with several chambers; there are currently two on either side of the cove which are open for public exploration; also known as the wet and dry caves. Wet implying the presence of a cave pool that visitors are welcome to take a dip in.
Accompanied by Oscar Tilos, the designated tourism officer of the municipality of Hinoba-an, the team gladly learned that aside from its lush natural environment, the place was considered an amazing historical gem. The cove played its part in Philippine history when submarine Captain Capt. Villamor docked and hid here on January 13, 1943 to support with ammunition and supplies the guerillas in the noble fight to liberate the Philippines. It was recorded here that Capt. Villamor have established contact withGen. Douglas McArthur for the general’s return. The team was able to take on the thrill of exploring Obong’s dry cave where the small way led to several chambers and to a big opening as spacious as a covered basketball court. In one of the other chambers was a man-made hole caused by enthusiasts believing that the cove could possibly be the site of the hidden Yamashita treasure. Further down in the numerous chambers are the sayings that they eventually lead to somewhere in Canlaon city.
The Obong paradise is indeed a magical experience, an ultimate de-stressor to take away the cares of city life and just get in touch with one’s self and with nature. And because of Sir Earl’s generosity in sharing their family treasure with guests from all over. To get to this far-flung paradise, you can ask for assistance from the Municipality Tourism center; you can also opt to ask for the best experience from the owner himself at Magbanua tours. The Dumagueteneo team was full after a day’s worth of adventure, and definitely recommended Obong Paradise as one of the must-go attractions of Negros you should
put on your itinerary. Add to that, you should come and experience Hino-baan hospitality