The Beauty of Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary

Butterfly Sanctuary

With the many thrilling activities you will encounter in the Philippines, there will always come a time when you and your loved ones will want to unwind and rest. But resting doesn’t mean returning to your hotel rooms and lying in bed. Many adventurers would want to find a perfect environment that provides such ambiance. The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary serves as an ideal attraction for this very need. 

About Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary

Cebu is a popular destination known for its paradise-like island and housing some of the best waterfalls in the Philippines. It is also a destination that offers numerous natural attractions that play important roles. A garden full of peaceful hovering butterflies provides the feeling of being in a fantasy brought to the real world.

Founded by the late Julian Jumalon, this butterfly sanctuary is a 1,460 square-meter botanical garden that houses over 54 different butterfly species, as well as over 100 types of fruit plants. It also focuses on its research and conservation efforts, serving as a breeding hub. Staff take strong precautions to monitor the growing caterpillars and pupae around the garden.

History Of The Sanctuary

Built in 1974, the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary was originally a residence of Julian Julamon, who was both a painter and a lepidopterist at his time. He was recognized for designing money for the Philippine government in the 1940s during World War II and the inventor of the art lepido-mosaic, a painting entirely made up of butterfly wings.

Alongside his artistry, Jumalon also has a deep fondness for studying butterflies and moths, which led him to collect many species of butterflies all around Cebu for years. He has also discovered over 30 new species, which have been named after him. He even held the biggest butterfly collection in the Philippines. 

His fascination didn’t just stop at framing these butterflies. He also wanted to have them in his garden, especially uncommon ones. He has planted butterfly-attracting plants across his home and collected many live specimens, which he kept in his greenhouse. Julian Jumalon was even named one of the 100 Most Prominent Cebuanos of the Century in 2000. 

Upon his death, his children and grandchildren established the Julian N. Jumalon Foundation, Inc., officially registered by the Philippine government in 2001, to take care of his collection and the entire compound as a whole. This leads to the sanctuary that many people recognize today.

See also: Cebu, Philippines

Attractions Of The Sanctuary

The sanctuary has become a popular attraction for young children and nature lovers alike. Here, guests can learn about the life cycle and importance of these creatures, as well as the life and history of the sanctuary’s founder. Here is the list of attractions when visiting the butterfly sanctuary.

Jumalon House

The Jumalon House serves as the starting point of visitor tours within the sanctuary. Being a former residence of Jumalon, guests will be introduced to the many butterfly and moth collections he has amassed over the years. The collection displays a nearly uncountable number of butterfly species, including the largest butterfly in the Philippines. Besides the wide butterfly collections, guests will also be introduced to Jumalon’s many collectibles, including native instruments, weapons, dolls, and even matchboxes.

Located on the right side of the house, the art gallery contains many of Jumalon’s most prominent artworks. A sculpture depicting former Senator and Journalist Vicente Sotto is at the gallery’s entrance. Adorning the walls are photographs of his grandfather, Tito Sotto, during his visit to the gallery.

His collection ranges from oil paintings to actual silk-screen posters. In this gallery, Jumalon’s Lepido-mosaics are proudly displayed and made up of over more than the entire exhibit. Some of his most recognizable works include the painting of Pope John Paul II and the image of Colon Street during the old times.

Butterfly Garden

The butterfly garden is by far the most iconic attraction and makes up the last part of the tour. The garden is spacious and is home to numerous butterflies, which guests can see fly around the sanctuary. Moreover, the garden is also full of plants and fruits that serve as food for the insects. The garden also houses several flying insects, such as dragonflies and grasshoppers.

At the back of the garden is the hatchery, complete with even more displays of different insects and invertebrates, such as beetles and scorpions. Furthermore, because the sanctuary serves as a breeding hub for butterflies, guests should expect to see multiple caterpillars and cocoons hanging around tree leaves.

See also: The Best Vacation Spots in the Philippines for Family

How To Get Here

Tourists can visit the sanctuary all year round. If crowds and busy hours are not your preference, it is recommended that the best time to visit is on the weekdays in the late mornings. Ride a jeepney route from Colon bound for Basak, Pardo, to get to Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary.

Final Thoughts

The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary may not be as widely recognized as other historical sites, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. Nor is it situated within more urbanized and busy areas. There is no other place that provides a peaceful atmosphere while having beautiful butterflies hover over the air freely. It is nevertheless a wonderful attraction anyone can highly recommend visiting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary has gained a growing audience for its relevance and strong connection to its founder’s deep fascination. Its attention also leads many visitors to inquire about the following frequently asked questions.

What is the purpose of Butterfly Park?

The butterfly sanctuary, also known as the butterfly park or butterfly gardens, plays a role in conserving local butterfly species and plant life. Like other conservation facilities, these sanctuaries promote awareness about the importance of these insects on the environment.

How did Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary come to be?

The sanctuary was originally a residence of the late Julian Navarro Jumalon, where he would collect butterflies and keep them in his private greenhouse. After his death, his family converted his residence into a sanctuary to keep his dreams and hobbies into conservation goals.

What is the butterfly capital of the Philippines?

The island province of Marinduque is considered the Philippines’ butterfly capital. Marinduque houses 85% of the butterfly and pupae populations as opposed to other locations in the country.

Related: Top 7 Thrilling Outdoor Activities in the Philippines

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