The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary is among the most fascinating tourist destinations in the amazing island of Cebu. Since it opened in 1974, it has pulled the largest crowd of tourists in the city using its draw as a natural haven for butterflies. Crowds of local and foreign tourists head to the sanctuary to catch sight of these colorful and peaceful creatures. This sanctuary is one of the first of its kind in the Philippines. The most interesting part of the place is that it does not have an enclosure so that butterflies are seen to fly freely within the area. The tourist destination is the brainchild and result of the passion of famous artist, Julian Jumalon, after whom the sanctuary is named.
There are around 53 species of butterflies – including the beautiful Daedalus – inside the sanctuary, with at least 10 to 15 kinds guaranteed to be spotted within a day. A number of rare species of butterflies can be spotted inside as well and at least 100 types of plants that serve as food for the insects. The butterfly refuge has certainly become a nature lovers’ paradise.
Not only is the butterfly sanctuary a popular attraction for tourists, but it is also an important leaning destination for students. It has been a favorite school educational field trip. The haven house completes life histories of butterfly species and a special segment in the sanctuary features detailed information regarding various specimens of butterflies dating back as far as the 1930s. It is said to hold the oldest existing collection of butterfly specimens. The place has a collection of scholars making it a comprehensive source of education. Many students that are taking up biology even frequently visit this place to gather information for their theses.
More than just a sanctuary of butterflies, the venue also features a gallery of the paintings and artworks of Professor Julian Jumalon. This part of the venue is also frequented by large number of visitors annually so make you stop and take a look at the elaborate works of the paintings and mosaic art pieces by Jumalon himself. Some paintings even incorporate damaged butterfly wings that truly show Jumalon’s passion for the creatures.
The Jumalon butterfly sanctuary remains open for public viewing daily from 8am to 5pm. An entry fee of 50 pesos per person is charged for every visitor. Not a bad deal for the distinctly beautiful butterfly shelter that is home to butterfly reserves, a unique museum and an art gallery. Entrance fee includes an hour-long tour of the sanctuary and a lecture about the butterflies’ life cycle. The best time for viewing is in the morning during the months of June to February. It is located west of the downtown area, particularly along the Basak Elementary School inside Basak, Pardo, Cebu City.
Regardless of age, the haven for butterflies is a great place for the whole family to enjoy a fun outing. The Jumalon butterfly sanctuary remains a favorite destination for tourists, so make sure to stop by to have your own butterfly experience.