In between the progressive city of Danao and Liloan is a town frequently passed by many, but unknown to some. While it’s already a third class municipality with approximately 47,898 people, there is so little that has been heard about the town of Compostela. Hence, we listed some facts that would probably interest you to stop by and get to know more about this gem of the north.
- Compostela was once a part of Danao.
Compostela was among the barrios which were part of Danao. Its establishment was attributed to the Roman Catholic friar who visited and brought the image of the now town’s patron saint, St. James the Great. This was also the time when the Spanish authorities created the local government units in the northern part of Cebu. When the population of the barrio increased, the chapel dedicated to St. James was made into a chapel until a Catholic Church was decided to be constructed in 1866. When the Americans gained control over the Philippines, the restructuring of LGUs was done; hence, in 1919, Compostela became a municipality of its own.
- They hold the annual celebration of the Queseo Festival.
One of the unheard delicacies of the town is a cheese made from carabao’s milk. This is one of the primary livelihood of many locals living in the mountain barangays of the town. This is created through a meticulous process in order to create a distinctly creamy product which is usually paired with biscuits or bread. To promote this product, a dance routine mimicking the process of making the queseo was created: limpyo, puga sa gatas, sa-an, init kaldero, huwad suka, hulma, and putos. This was danced through the official Queseo Festival jingle and was made to public on July 24, 2013.
- But they once hold the Caballo Festival.
Interestingly, the town of Compostela used to celebrate its grandiose festival in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. James the Apostle. The term “caballo” directly refers to the white horse of the saint – symbol of unity, strength, and faith attributed to the Spaniards. However, upon the conception of this festival, Queseo Festival was also considered but at that time, it was unimaginable for them to come up with a dance that demonstrates the preparation of the product. Hence, the concept laid in the sidelines.
- Its oldest structure, the church, is also the foundation of Compostela.
Built in 1866, the St. James the Apostle Parish stands as the oldest structure in Compostela. The priest, Fr. Jose Alonzo, who facilitated the construction was also the one who suggested to name the town Compostela in reference to Santiago de Compostela where Saint James came from. In July 2017, Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal declared the church as an Archdiocesan Shrine. The town holds its annual festival – Queseo Festival – on the feast day of their patron saint every 25th of July.
- Compostela is a home for adventurers.
Deep into the heart of Compostela are places that are purposely visited by adventure junkies because of the challenges they offer to them. There’s the iconic hills of Lataban that are frequented by mountain bikers and hikers and there’s also the renowned rock formations (Stone Arc and Malingin Rock) of Mulao River.
Another off-the-beaten-track is the Holy Cross of Tagaytay, Compostela which is probably one of the tallest standing cross in the island. It has an estimated height of 30 feet with an overlooking vista of the town of Compostela, Camotes Sea, and glimpse of Metro Cebu. Going to this destination though entails long hours of hiking (but I tell you, the rewards are great at the top).
- And a sanctuary for those who seek peace and comfort.
On the other hand, if you just wanted some time to relax and forget the hassles of city life, here are some resorts and parks that you can visit:
- Q Park
Q Park is a 200 hectares religious landmark in Compostela, specifically located in Barangay Buluag. It is a project of Norberto Quisumbing Jr. in partnership with Norkis Group. In it is the Heroes Hill (a tribute to the fallen soldiers, OFWs, and Filipino Foundation awardees from 1986 – 2003), Stations of the Cross (the last stop of the Stations of the Cross), Statue of Mother Mary (a 44-feet tall statue standing 1,000masl on the Second Mountain of Salvation), and Boys and Girls Camp (still under construction).
Operating hours: 8am – 6pm (Monday to Sunday)
- Paradise Hill Mountain Resort
Just few meters away from Q Park is a recently opened mountain resort with hilly landscapes and magnificent mountain view. It is located Barangay Bulang and has an affordable entrance fee of P100.
Operating hours: 8am – 6pm (with additional rates from 6pm – 10pm)
Contact details: 0926-055-5260 / 0923-043-4973
- Gatubod Spring Resort
Just 25 minutes away from Compostela Market is a spring resort with 2 main two main pools and slides. It also has a function hall which is best for gatherings. Enjoy this escape for only P60 entrance fee.
*Price is subject to change without prior notice.
- Estaca Garden Bay Resort
Just an hour away from Cebu City, you can already enjoy the stunning beach and two swimming pools of this resort. It gives a perfect vista of the sun setting with great choices of food to choose from. It is also very accessible either to private and public vehicles. For only P30 on weekdays and P50 on weekends, you can already have that relaxation stay you’ve been itching to have.
- Compostela Boardwalk Resort
If you want to get that tropical island vibe, then then Compostela Boardwalk Resort is the one for you! For only P120, you can already take numerous IG-worthy photos, while being surrounded by lush of greens. The area is also very quiet; hence, a perfect stay for those who really want to relax and unwind.
See? So many things to do and see! So the next time, you plan to set forth on a stroll to the north, why not step on the brakes and enjoy pure moments of joy at Compostela.