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Bojo River Tour : Cruise for a Cause

There is an all-time saying that goes all rivers run to the sea. But I haven’t really experienced its literal meaning not until I explored the Bojo River on one afternoon cruise.

It is a small river community in the Municipality of Aloguinsan, on the southwestern side of Cebu City. The river runs through 1.4 kilometers until it reaches out to Tanon Strait, the sea that separates the Province of Cebu and Negros Occidental.
Bojo in Cebuano means hole. In this river is a small inlet shaped like a hole. It provides shelter to local fishermen during unbearable sailing weather. In history, Aloguinsan served as a Spanish fort against marauding pirates in the late 1800s and it was a battleground between the American forces and Filipino revolutionists during the American period. When World War II broke out, this small town once stood the fierce Japanese invaders until its end. Bojo River and its small inlet served as passage to its victories and defeats all through its war history.
The river is a protected nature reserve as it is home to endemic and migratory birds, extensive native flora and a sanctuary for mangroves. All these protected ecosystem runs through the placid Bojo River. As it breaks to the sea, Tanon Strait is also a safeguarded breeding and feeding ground of endangered marine animals.
Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association, a small community of local fishermen, operates the river cruise. These simple townsfolk are the guardians of the river and the sea. Not only they are adept at the harvesting water’s bounty, but also amazingly knowledgeable of all the plants and animals around and its ecosystem. Their care for its habitat is an upheld practice because it is, after all, what makes them survive.
The cruise could run between 45 minutes to an hour. Guests may linger more over buffet lunch, mat weaving demonstration and short lectures on ecology. On special arrangements, cultural presentations are staged for its guests’ entertainment. Visitors may also hike on its 400-meter boardwalk, cutting through mangroves until it reaches the summit of a hill that overlooks the entire stretch of the river.
On this cruise I have realized that if not well taken care of, not all rivers could reach the sea. Challenges have risen so tough and we are in a constant battle with climate change. Eventually, it will run dry and while we can still save it, let us nurture the ecosystem it breathes. Visit the Bojo River and be part of the ecotour that sustains its community…… and while the river is still there.
Via Cebu City
  • All major airlines regularly fly to Cebu City. Check their websites for schedules and tariffs.
  • From the airport, proceed to the Southbound Citylink Terminal. V-Hires and buses to Toledo City or Pinamungahan are available throughout the day.
  • From Toledo, jeepneys may bring you to Aloguinsan. Pinamungahan is the closest town and from there, a tricycle may be hired to reach Aloguinsan.
  • From the town proper, tricycles to Bojo River may already be contracted.
Via Negros Occidental
  • If you are on the side of Negros, ferries to Toledo City are available.
  • The nearest airport within Negros Occidental is Bacolod-Silay Airport.
  • Once in Toledo City, jeepneys to Aloguinsan are already available.
Important Tips
  • Coordinate with the Municipal Tourism Office or directly with Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association for your trip. This is necessary to make sure that it is high tide when you get to the river.
  • You may also be offered to avail of its package tour that includes buffet meal, cruise, lectures and entertainment.
  • While there are decent sleeping accommodations in Aloguinsan, more options are available in the nearest city in Toledo.
  • If you wish to see more of Aloguinsan, other attractions include Hermit’s Cove in Kantabogon and The Farmhouse.
Aloguinsan Municipal Tourism Office
Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines
+63 32 4699312 / +63 32 4699034
Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association
Rudney Carcuevas
+63 9059133055

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    Comments ( 4 )

  • Thanks. The detailed explanation is appreciated.

    Now, would I be considered a native Cebuano speaker also? My mother was from Cebu, her family being able to trace its roots all the way to old Parian, but my father was from Cagayan de Oro and we did spend a good part of our childhood here in Cagayan de Oro. Still, we navigated between the two dialects, which though similar we always referred to ours as binisaya or bisaya.

    We got introduced to still another dialect since most of the domestic helpers then came from Bohol.

    Thus, the reason for my question, since indeed bojo meant “a hole” to them, which is a far departure from our common usage, which is either bang-ag or lung-ag.

  • I wonder who you asked for its meaning, since I believe the word bojo is more common in Boholano than Cebuano. The use of the letter J being more common in Bohol.

    • Hi Amadeo,

      Thank you for reading my story and sharing your thoughts. Please allow me to explore responses to your inquiry.

      1. I am a native speaker of the Cebuano language & had a few conversations w/ the locals during this cruise on its meaning.

      2. This is taken in the context of where it is located, in Aloguinsan, Cebu. Thus, direct reference on translation is in Cebuano.

      3. Bojo as spelled with a “j” is pronounced as “bu:ho” which means “a hole” or “an opening”. I believe in Boholano, it takes the same meaning.

      4. As mentioned in the article too, Bojo was once a principal footholdings during the Spanish period in the late 1800s. They brought with them the Spanish Abecedario the original alphabet of the “catholicized Filipino”. One of it was the letter “J” (jota) which in Spanish is not pronounced, thus the sound “h”.

      5. Abecedario was used in writing even in some indigenous Philippine languages. Clearly, Cebu was one the strong Spanish colonial areas in the country and have assimilated this in the local Cebuano.

      6. In the Tagalog based national language, Pilipino, it accommodated 31 letters, consisting 20 of the Abakada alphabet & the rest for foreign letters such as “J” in Spanish. Thus Bojo, which could be alternatively spelled as “BuHo” will take on the same meaning “a hole”.

      7. In speaking it, Bojo could take the phoneme “dz” but as it is Spanish in origin, thus the “h” phoneme, which is silent.

      8. Linguistically speaking, there are 3 main Bisaya languages spoken in this region: Cebuano, Waray-Waray and Hiligaynon. Cebuano (the language, not the place) is spoken in many provinces including Bohol but takes on the Boholano dialect or linguistic nuances especially when spoken. Case in point is the use of “j” such as “baja” for “baya”, “jamo” for “yamo”.

      9. In the case of this river, it could be etymologically be derived from the Spanish word, bojar, the Catalan vogir, the classical latin volvere which means “roll along” “to forward”, which is the movement of the river.

      To sum it up, this is taken in the context of where it is located in Aloguinsan, Cebu and thus where it matters, as it is spoken in Cebuano, Bojo (as written in Spanish Abecedario), is said as “bu:ho” which means “a hole”. In this case, it refers to that inlet that separates the river from the sea.

      Thank you.

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