Driving down southern Cebu , one marvels at the sight of white, fine beaches, glittering white, exposed limestone rocks contrasting the green colored patches of stunted trees and the typical rural Cebuano setting. Visitors and tourists can hardly imagine that in one of those municipalities in the south, the largest block of rainforest awaits to be discovered. This limestone forest covers less than a thousand hectares and is home to two unique birds found only in the island: Cebu Flowerpecker and Black Shama. Yes, as most Cebuano would know, the place I’m talking about is in Alcoy , home of the largest population of Black Shama or popularly called "siloy". It takes two and a half hour travel from Cebu City but it is worth the experience.

Going up the zigzag asphalted road to the village of Nug-as, you get a good view of the sandbar/ marine sanctuary of Alcoy, the islands of Balicasag, Panglao and Siquijor. Approaching the Community-based Forest Management Areas means you are near the site and one starts to feel the sudden drop in the temperature, the coolness of the breeze and the sense of anticipation as you travel inside a regenerating forest. Nature trecking in Nug -as is quite a challenge and needs to be booked in advance. The limestone trails are built for experienced trekkers and those that love the adventure. But if one prefers birdwatching and seeks the elusive Cebu Flowerpecker, Nug-as offers a better chance of seeing the bird. It is also a destination area for those aspiring to be bird photographers. Organized local forest wardens serves as tour guides.   As you walk towards the forest, you get to have a view of the jagged mountains of Alegria, and when the weather permits, a view on Mt. Guinsayawan of Negros Oriental. Try it and you get to experience the wonders of Nug-as, Alcoy .

Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (CBCF) along with its partners, Kapunungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Yutang Lasangnon sa Bululacao (KMYLB) and the Municipal Government of Alcoy also conducts educational tour in Nug-as. This is part of the community-based sustainable rural tourism project of the municipality. In this activity, one experiences trek in the limestone forest, a glimpse of the wildlife, and contributes to the conservation of the forest. For more information, contact: CBCF at 18 Diamond St. , Gemsville Subd., Lahug, Cebu City with tel/fax: 032-234-2069 or email: cbcf98@pldtdsl.net.