Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finding the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary

That’s pronounced “who-ma-lon” the “ma” as in mama and the “lon” as in gallon.

Some months ago, I’ve been meaning to see what this sanctuary looks like and what things I might find there. But the idea fell into the ‘memory-lapse bin’ of my lowly brain. Then yesterday, I saw a local morning TV featuring it, so, what else, I went there. And am happy I did!

Going there
Its tricky but just the same I found it! First I checked on the web and found that their number is +63 32 261-6884, called the number and the man who answered told me they are located at 20-D Macopa St., Basak-Pardo, Cebu City, just behind Basak Elementary School. Checked on wikimapia and I knew where I was going. From Colon, I took a front seat ride on a multicab going Bulacao along Cebu’s south road. That way, I wouldn’t have missed the place – the school I mean. Also told the driver to drop me off at Basak Elementary School.

As the seven-peso ride went, judging from what I earlier saw on wikimapia, I should have been near my destination so I asked the driver if the school in front of us was Basak. Screeeeech! We suddenly stopped with some passengers moaning and muttering words of disbelief. And the driver said “oo sir, basak elementary”. Haaay! Getting off, I saw a church. My mind was asking… is this the place? I walked back to front of the school and passed by a small street with signage that the Basak Barangay Hall was somewhere in there. Checked the corner for street names… none. I just guessed, that must have been Jumalon St., It looks a bit like a peep at one of the streets on Barrio Luz (if you know what I mean)!

Front of the school’s gate, I could not see any name if that really was Basak Elementary School. The concrete fence is too tall as the ground is a bit elevated from the highway. Walked past it passing under the stairs of a pedestrian overpass to the next street. Ah this one was a bit bigger and quieter in terms of the number of shirtless men who walk or hang around, that is! But there was also no street name. There were jeeps and multicabs passing on that street and I could see they ply the Basak-Pardo to Colon or Manalili routes. Hmm, was I on the correct street?

I moved on walking the street anyway. Target was the end of this school compound on my left, to see if indeed I would find the sanctuary. Hmm, still no name of the street… two even smaller perpendicular streets had names, though I don’t remember having seen them on wikimapia. Oops, not sure if it was still the same compound but I read a big signage that the school was Vicente Rama something. Oops, where was I? Wasn’t it supposed to be Basak Elementary School? Told myself it might have just been a memorial building or something. But walking onwards, the building I saw next was teeming with bigger kids… a high school! OMG was I really in the right place?

Continued on towards the end of the high school and found that there was a corner. Ahh, told myself to veer left on the corner since if I was not in the correct place, I would anyway turn left again and walk the long way out to the highway where I got off the multicab – meaning I have just rounded the school (or schools?) perimeter. Hmm the even smaller street I was trotting on was quiet but to my right were all residentials while to my left was still the high school building. Okay, I was resigned that it was an error and was on my way back to the highway.

Voila! Nearing the corner I could see big signage of the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, Museum and Art Gallery (green dot on map and picture)! Yeheyyy! I was in the right place after all and itched to take a pic of the big signage but shirtless people, their wives, children and friends were cooking and eating on the side of the street just below the signage (red dot). One was even grating coconut via that old fashioned way. Would have been nice if I was able to snap a photo or two but the more careful side of me was prim and resisted lest those shirtless men and their dogs pounce on me. Duuu hehehe!

As I approached the corner, I quickly scanned where the entrance would be. To my right, there was a door to some shack. I was sure that was not Jumalon. So I looked left and there it was, the grilled gate of the sanctuary that looked just like an ordinary 1930s or 40s house.

Look at the map again, house/sanctuary is indicated by the neon-green shading on Jumalon St. Then read their official address again (3rd paragraph above)! Perplexing, right? And to think that street where the sanctuary actually is, was named after Julian Jumalon, then owner of the house and the very person who started collecting butterflies! Ironic why the place insists on using Macopa St., when in fact it is not! My hunch, so visitors pass there cuz it’s a bit wider than Jumalon, plus on Jumalon st., houses are a bit towards the “slummic” types hehe!


  1. Why write something on finding where the location is when it is very clear at google map? use the satellite version you silly sob.

    You should write how great the butterfly wing mosaics are and how awesome the tour is.

  2. ^^^ wos! if I know you didn't also know how to go there until you read this. pataka ra kag react, read the rest of his stories on Jumalon first before you react, silly.