Forming part of the towns in Camotes Islands, San Francisco is located east of the main island of Cebu province. A thriving coastal community, it hosts Pacijan Island and the tiny Tulang islet. The former has a 1,400-metre causeway that cuts across the mangrove swamp, connecting the island to Poro Island, while the latter is a five-minute boat ride from Pacijan.
The tiny municipality is an emerging tourist destination teeming with natural wonders, including white sand beaches and enchanting caves. A member of 5th district of Cebu, it’s composed of 15 barangays, the total population reaching almost 60,000, according to the 2020 census.
The locals in the area speak an endangered language in the Visayas, Porohanon. Distinct from Bisaya, the language was recognized by the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino as an important relic of the Porohanon people’s heritage and culture.
MORE ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO, CEBU
The town of San Francisco enjoys a vibrant economic activity supported by different sectors. These are its most important industries:
A Rising Tourist Attraction
With its breathtaking scenery and untouched natural wonders, tourism activity is vibrant in the municipality of San Francisco. Most of the frequently visited attractions in the area are beaches, such as Mangodlong Beach, Bakhaw Beach, and Santiago Bay Garden and Resort. Both locals and tourists are able to enjoy the clear waters, soft sand, and relaxing scenery in these destinations.
A Vibrant Creative Industry
The resource-rich bodies of water in San Francisco support the creative industry in the municipality. The most popular lake in the area, Lake Danao, is abundant in nipa palms. Locals harvest these to construct roof shingles. Along the banks of Lake Danao, you’ll find plenty of soli-soli grass. The artisans use these as primary materials for weaving handicrafts, namely mats, handbags, and souvenir products.
A Strong Agriculture and Aquaculture Sector
The main form of livelihood in San Francisco is crop production and fishing. One of the main crops in the municipality is coconuts. Amid the pandemic, the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas turned over multi-cultivator tillers to the municipality in an effort to extend assistance to local farmers and facilitate agricultural development. Meanwhile, the fishing industry in town produces tons of tilapia, mainly caught from Lake Danao.
The quaint town of San Francisco hosts different establishments that make provincial living easier for locals. These are some of the facilities you can find:
Academic institutions, catering to various levels of education, are scattered in key places in the municipality of San Francisco in Camotes Islands. Here are some of them:
- San Francisco Central Elementary School
- Union Elementary School
- Daan Montealegre Elementary School
- Esperanza Elementary School
- Camotes National High School
- Santiago National High School
- Consuelo National High School
Clinics and Hospitals
Serving the healthcare needs of residents, the local medical centers in San Francisco run small-scale operations. These are some of the municipality’s clinics and hospitals:
- Ricardo Maningo Memorial Hospital
- San Francisco Rural Health Unit
- J-Anne Maternity Clinic
- Tindoy Dental Clinic
A number of retail centers provide the daily essentials of locals in San Francisco. For your food, clothing, and home needs, you can visit these establishments:
- San Fran Public Market
- Agora Market
- Fiesta Mall Shopping Center
- Canuche Enterprises
How to Move Around in San Francisco
To reach San Francisco from mainland Cebu, you have to take a RORO boat from the port of Danao City or Fast Crafts from Cebu City Pier 1 or Cebu Yacht Club in Lapulapu City. Cebu City Pier 1 is located near the Plaza Independencia, while the Cebu Yacht Club is in Mactan Export Processing Zone 1.
To reach different places in town, you can hail a motorcycle or multicab. The fare will depend on the distance covered. These vehicles are often in front of popular resorts and hotels in the area, fetching and dropping off tourists.
WHAT TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO, CEBU
A rising tourist hotspot, San Francisco offers a lot of opportunities to embrace leisure and relaxation in its prized destinations. Most of these activities involve exploring the great outdoors. Thus, nature lovers and thrill seekers can enjoy their travel or residence here in San Francisco. Below are some of the recreational activities you can do in town:
Go on a Beach Hopping Adventure
Remember, you’re in one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. Take advantage of the fact that you’re surrounded by the best beaches in Cebu province. These beaches are worth including in your itinerary:
- Bakhaw Beach
- Heminsulan Beach
- Mangodlong Beach
- Mesiyas Beach
- Santiago White Beach
- Taliwangbas Beach
- Timubo Beach
As you hop from one beach to another, consider dropping by different islands, too. The Tulang Diot Island is a scenic destination you won’t regret visiting.
Explore the Caves
Aside from beaches and islands, the municipality of San Francisco is home to beautiful caves. Inside these natural wonders, you can enjoy the cool waters, too. See up close the stalactites and stalagmites and be in awe of the glory of nature. Here are some of the caves located in San Francisco:
- Bukilat Cave
- Heaven Cave
- Holy Crystal Cave
- Paraiso Cave
- Timubo Cave
Try Different Flavors
Restaurants and cafes in San Francisco serve sumptuous food at affordable prices. Some also treat customers to breathtaking natural backdrops. Try visiting these dining establishments to explore different flavors:
- Santiago Bay Restaurant
- Mangodlong Rock Restaurant
- Bossphil Restaurant
- Hayahay Restaurant and Cafe
- Pito’s Sutokil
- Lake Danao Sizzling Bar
- Sunset Bar
- Bamboo Cafe
- 3 Beans Cafe
- Delfin’s Island Family Farm
Maximize Nature Activities
In Lake Danao, you can enjoy pedal boating, kayaking, and horseback riding. Lake cruising with your big family is also an option. As you try these outdoor activities, take in the beautiful, serene view before you. Do note, however, that there are fees involved in these recreational activities.
Visit Pilgrimage Sites
With a deeply religious community, San Francisco hosts several places of worship. San Francisco Church, Consuelo-San Roque Parish, and Nuestra Señora Del Pilar Church are some of the churches you can visit to seek solace and quiet your mind.
Mount Timobo, a plateau made of manganese, is a frequently visited destination during Holy Week, as it features life-size statues of the Way of the Cross. These are set up by the Late Ramon “Manong Amon” Durano, Sr, the legendary political kingpin of Cebu.
Home to several Cebuano families, San Francisco is a municipality packed with small, vibrant residential communities. If you’re eyeing to buy a second home or an income property in this locale, you can consider these neighborhoods:
A coastal barangay that offers easy access to the local beaches, this community is among the top favorites of property investors who want to develop resorts and holiday destinations. The oceanfront properties in the area feature large cuts of land, ranging from 4,000 square meters to over 10,000 square meters. With the promising tourism activity in the locale, a property investment in this coastal community can bring excellent rental income.
This barangay is home to one of the most popular public beaches in San Francisco, Santiago White Beach. For this reason, most of its neighborhoods are only a walking distance from the seaside.
One of the popular residential areas here is Stavri Homes III, a safe, quiet community offering properties that have a minimum lot area of 100 square meters. When you live here, you’ll be able to enjoy an expansive space, as well as unobstructed views and access to the beach nearby. Meanwhile, in other residential communities, properties can get as big as 2,000 square meters in land area, the ideal choice for property development plans.
Like the other mentioned neighborhoods in San Francisco, Esperanza is home to breathtaking beaches. The Taliwangbas Beach, which boasts of a vast stretch of white sand, is located in this barangay. Similarly, the Bakhaw Beach, a go-to destination for swimmers and sunbathers, is in the area. Huge cuts of beach lots are available for sale in Esperanza. The properties range from 3,000 to 30,000 square meters.
This picturesque residential area is in close proximity to the top tourist attractions in San Francisco, including Lake Danao, Mangodlong Rock Resort, and Holy Crystal Cave. If you’re planning to set up your vacation home here, you can easily get into recreational opportunities in leisure destinations around you.
On the other hand, if your aim is to invest in a rental property, you’re more likely to entice tourists, as the location provides convenient access to local hotspots. The lot areas of properties for sale in Consuelo range from 400 to 3,500 square meters.