Many, many months ago, I landed in Bohol for the first time. Could not remember the exact date because my short-term memory and I broke up for no good reason. It was a brief three days but quite enjoyable, but not relaxing! I know, Bohol is supposed to be a destination for a good R & R, but if you wanna do everything and see everything in three days and two nights, rest won’t be happening.
Not surprisingly, all our travel decisions were done in haste, poorly researched, et cetera, et cetera. Many people would take it as cramming. I call it adventure. 🙂
Along with me was my favorite travel bag, a bag that I asked from my husband to buy for me because of Ms. Chuvaness. When I said that I am boycotting her blog because she is friends with the crazy cat lady, I really did. When it comes to cats, there is no joking around.
Guess what? Underneath the sad veil of smog was this little precious I call home. 🙂 Or as they say, the Manila vanilla.
DAY 1 STARTS NOW.
With the heavy air traffic that is plaguing Manila airports, it is a better choice to fly Cebu Pacific. I do not really know anything about what is happening behind closed business doors but I feel like Cebu Pacific flights are getting priority for takeoff and landing over other airlines. Thus, this.
Curiosity killed the spider.
Remember the little girl in “Bayani” series? That is her. See that man in a black shirt? That is the ex-boyfriend.
Our hardworking tour guide/driver. He’s got a clean, spacious car and he was on time all the time. We hired him for three days inclusive of airport transfers and we were very satisfied. The rates depend I guess on your haggling skills.
This is how to contact him.
The regular rates.
A billboard that we saw along the way. I love makeup and I am quite good at it. This is an example of a major makeup joke. The guy had more gloss on his lips than the girl. I was sorry for him, after letting out a few chuckles. 😉
When in the Philippines, this scenario is very common. Proud to say, I had ridden on the top of the bus as a child.
Our very first chocolate hill.
Pit stop at a bus station with its “vintage” buses.
The adventure menu. Among all these things, we only tried The Plunge and the zipline. Our friend, Marlito wanted to do the air tour but early reservations were necessary because the pilots lived far from the area.
The plunge, I highly recommend. I have skydived before in Auckland, and before jumping off the tiny aircraft, thoughts were racing in my mind about scenes of me dying, my younger years, happy times and sad times. But with the plunge, I felt like I was constantly on the verge of a heart attack for several minutes. When the rope stopped swinging and I was pulled up by the plunge crew, my knees were still made of jelly. So if ever you are going to drive as far as Danao, better save some money for this action or don’t go at all. Capice? 😉
The plank of adventure. Couldn’t get hold of our the plunge photos.
The drop. Hopefully, there are no crocodiles waiting down there just like in Zimbabwe.
Cheap lunch also available at the site.
To the zipline…
A shrine for the Boholano hero, Francisco Dagohoy, who successfully resisted the Spanish colonial power for 85 years.
Whoever can spot Marlito will get a candy. Hahahah!
Found an accommodation in Panglao, as recommended by our driver. Paid, I think around 4K++ for a night for this room, inclusive of breakfast for four. If you are undecided of your hotel location in Bohol, it does not really matter whether it is in the city, in Loboc or in Panglao as long as you have a ready transportation like we did. It was quick to get around from A to B. Just don’t get it in Danao because that was really far.
These fruits were reserved for display only. Tsktsk.
The breakfast buffet which baffled me because there were no choices, really. There was a very wet corned beef with potatoes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, some vegetables maybe, watermelon and pineapple slices. They should have just served them in one plate, would have been easier for everybody. If one day I will get my own bed and breakfast, I will make sure a scrumptious breakfast is served for everybody. You may have clean and comfortable rooms for the guests, but the breakfast can still make or break the guests’ expectations.
The front yard.
Mama in a hammock.
First stop is the Sandugo (blood compact between Miguel López de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna) site in Tagbilaran city. Expect a local guy to sell to you your photo at the site with historical captions in it for P200, I think.
The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon is claimed to be the 2nd oldest church in the Philippines. In fact, the first Spanish missionaries first settled in Baclayon in 1955. It has a rather gruesome story behind its religious background. The building of the church was started by 200 Boholano natives forced to labor by collecting coral stones from the sea, cutting them into square blocks and cementing them together with countless number of egg whites. Inside the Baclayon Church is a dungeon where the natives got punished whenever they violated the rules of the Roman Catholic church.
We were not able to get inside because the church was closed for the day.
Indulging my religious mother.
CLARIN ANCESTRAL HOUSE.
This house was owned by the former governor of Bohol, Don Aniceto Velez. It has a traditional architectural design and is a good example of a rich Boholano house back in the 19th century. Entrance fee is P20 which is to shoulder the repair and maintenance around the house.
La Familia de Clarin.
Basically, everything is antique inside the house. Antique jars, cabinets, beds, windows, clothes, book collection, an entire nativity scene, a petrified porcupine caught during one of the hunting trips, paintings and so much more. Don’t miss the big jar of antique coins dating back the American era like I did!
A four-post bed and a creepy mannequin.
The boys’ favorite part of the house, for sure.
Me and my mama.
There is also a restaurant on the first floor, the Cafe Olegario. It was not open for business when we were there.
Moving on to the EXZOOTIC ANIMAL PARK in Loay, Bohol where you can take a photo with an oblivious python. Photo opportunity with the pythons were only paid with donations. It all depends on how much you would like to give.
This Philippine eagle looked very unhappy to be in this small cage, and so were the rest of the birds.
Mama’s favorite color.
LOBOC RIVER CRUISE
If I remember correctly, the river cruise with lunch was P450 each, inclusive of a buffet and a drink. For that amount, please don’t expect anything fancy. It was like eating in a carinderia. The food was okay. Surprisingly, a lot to choose from. It would have been a lot better though if they served them warm. 😦 That was the only downside. Other than that, it was worth the money.
God knows how much I missed this!
The menu for the lunch buffet.
A few songs later, Marlito grabbed the microphone from this guy and performed a mini concert of his own. TRUE STORY!
Some of the locals who live along the river.
A little ice breaker. Do I look like I was having fun?
The Museo de Loboc which we did not go to. Got no time for that.
Cold buko juice for only P30.
If you don’t mind the dust and the heat, you can tour around Bohol in a motorbike.
TARSIER CONSERVATION AREA
The Philippine tarsier is the smallest PRIMATE in the world. It is not a monkey but a primate. Fun fact is that a tarsier can rotate its head to a full 180 degrees without having to move its body. Creepy. 🙂
I have no idea about how many Philippine tarsiers are left today but their existence is highly threatened. This conservation area is a very noble call.
Tarsiers are nocturnal creatures, which means that they sleep during the day.
A living gremlin…er, a spectral tarsier. It is different from the Philippine tarsier. Too cute! Not found in Bohol, though.
A very short stopover for photos at the man-made forest of Bohol. It stretches for two kilometers from Loboc to Bilar and only 30 minutes away from Tagbilaran.
Now, for the highlight of this trip, the thousand hills of BohoL.
Did you know that the Chocolate Hills of Bohol were formed when two feuding giants hurled massive stones, rocks and sand at each other? Their fight lasted for four days until the two of them got very tired that they could fight no more. So they sat down to rest and eventually forgot that they hated each other. They became friends again but when they left, they forgot to clean up their mess. That, my friends, was the origin of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills.
According to geologists, these lovely sight of conical mounds with almost symmetrical shapes are actually grass-covered limestone. They used to be under the water ages ago and were pushed into the surface by a massive geological shift.
This is the view from a lookout point in Carmel.
The best spot to take a photo.
The babylove of my life.
The other baby love of my life.
Cheese balls and sweet corns.
My fair share of narcissism.
Remind me to clean those sunglasses.
This is the “obligatory” broomstick photoshoot in Bohol where you get to pose with a broom or other accessories such as a bow and arrow and various fun hats against the Chocolate Hills backdrop in a tarpaulin. It was a lot of fun!
I saw this flying broomstick photo online where this guy stood on top of his flying broomstick. I wanted to be epic and tried that but I ended up hurting myself. Hahahah!
I was very tired too but I could not stop just yet. There was another short pit stop just for me and Marlito. The two boys were done for today.
SIPATAN HANGING BRIDGE.
This hanging bridge is in the upper area of Loboc River. You won’t miss any of the fun if you won’t go there, but it could be very photogenic.
If many Filipinos are oh so fond of jump shots, lying on the ground is my thing.
I will always have time for a banana cue.
Took a cheap accommodation near the city center so we could get to the airport fast the day after. The place was clean and the linens smelled fresh. It just had a haunted house vibe to it, which might appeal to some of you. LOL
The boys left to get massage while I stayed to supervise my son’s homework. I took him away from school for a week so he could tag along with us. It is either I am a very cool mom or a very stupid one.
The boys were back!
Last day in Bohol.
BOHOL BEE FARM
These handcrafted accessories are the first things to greet the visitors.
The resort’s pool. I would not dare to jump into that. Did not look very clean to me.
Their famous organic ice cream.
The next time we come back to Bohol, I would probably stay in here. You could not help but feel peaceful and de-stressed in this environment. Most of the buildings were built of wood, the houses had straw roofs, the menu was faithfully organic, you would have an endless ocean for a view, the tweeting of the birds and the rustle of the tress would wake you up in the morning. That is as close you can get to nature when you stay in this island.
Just look at how cozy that dog looked in his own little space.
A sundeck for guests only.
That looked like an excellent snorkeling site.
All the food served here were quite tasty and reasonably priced. Here is to give you an idea.
Bon apetit to us!
This is how you should not eat the flowers. You’ve got to smear them with salad dressing just like a vergetable salad. 🙂
Went for my favorite fruit flavor—the durian ice cream. Theirs was not the best, but at least I know it was healthy.
I just could not get enough of the Filipino menu! 🙂
A typical room at Bee Farm.
Even the kids’ playground is very old school.
Paid for the farm tour to have a photo with the bees.
A diva queen left the hive.
My most epic photo for this trip.
When Buyog meets the buyogs. Our son’s nickname is Buyog, after this wasp that made him burst into loud shrieks and giggles every time it visited the house. TRUE STORY. 🙂
Some of the displayed handicrafts of Bee Farm.
Sorry for the blasphemy but that is one ugly baby Jesus.
The cutest tired baby…ever!
This is another Bohol tourist destination that you can just cross off your list. Unless you are adventurous enough to jump into the pool inside the cave that is littered with bird poop, then it is not really worth the trouble. Not to mention it was super humid down there. The only good thing about this trip was the very comic tour guide/ photographer who should leave his job and be a stand up comedian instead.
Paintings on the wall.
The Hinagdanan pool.
And basically, that was it.
For our final stopover, went to Amorita Beach, allegedly the best resort hotel in Bohol. Right beside it is Bohol’s little Boracay, the Alona Beach.
The private jacuzzi. This room costs 15K for a night. We only stayed for the afternoon, really.
We had a lovely view for lunch. That’s the Little Boracay to the right.
This was the best meal we had so far in Bohol. Amorita did deliver! I had the king prawns which I always love (the best ones I had were in Lagos, Nigeria).
A little bit of R&R before we left.
Flying away again. Where to next? 🙂
A helpful tip about going on a trip to Bohol.
TAKE A CHAUFFEURED TOUR. TAKE A CHAUFFEURED TOUR. TAKE A CHAUFFEURED TOUR! If you needed to know anything about Bohol, ask the driver. If you needed to go anywhere in Bohol, tell the driver. So simple. 😉