Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1000th Post + An Ode to Summer 2012 at The Wonderful Bohol

The hills are alive
When I started blogging, I had a list of places I wanted to explore and share. I wanted have this huge map in my room and encircle those I've been to, just like my Dad's. But due to time and budget constraints, I had to travel only once or twice a year because, lets face it, going out of town costs a lot and if you scrimp some more, you can't really have the vacation you deserve. So with the help of budget airlines (Thank you AirPhilExpress) and research from the Internet, my vacation at Bohol was definitely the most relaxing and enjoyable to date.
Touchdown, Bohol!
Prior to our trip, I have dauntlessly researched about the what, where, hows and whys of Bohol. At first, I just wanted to see the famous Chocolate Hills and the tarsiers, but it led me to finding out more of the man-made forest, the old churches, the fine and powdery white Panglao beach and the like. When I booked the ticket June of 2011, I bombarded my boyfriend of emails on what to see in Bohol. I just had to sell it to him that he has to agree with me on going to this trip. But as he was always the "Baby, just take care of it and I'll go wherever you want to", I had to plan this on my own. After all, I think that's what I'm born for. :)

Whites and Greens is located at Panglao Island
With the help of Pinoyexchange, I contacted Kuya Paul Incon of Incon Bohol Tours for day/sea trip and accommodations. For only Php5,700 per person, our room at Whites and Greens Resort is also covered, our transportation to the Bohol countryside tour and entrance fees, as well as the Sea Tour and Island Hopping. We were hesitant to go on the sea tour at first, due to the rain but we pushed through it eventually.

Day One: Blood Compact Monument

Bottoms Up!
We arrived before lunch at the Tagbilaran Airport. Our Countryside tour started as soon as we met Kuya Paul and his trusty Hyundai Accent. All thumbs up to him because he's not boring like the usual tour guides. He made our day one so much fun, its as if we were friends for the longest time. Our first stop is the Blood Compact Monument of the Spanish Explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Bohol chief, Datu Sikatuna. But did you know that this is not the actual site of the Sandugo? A marker is set just a few meters away for people to visit and re-live Bohol's history.

Baclayon Church
At Baclayon Church
Our next destination was Baclayon Church. The former Immaculate Conception Church is one of the oldest in the Philippines. We were supposed to go inside but the doors were closed at 12Noon. We just admired the beauty of the surroundings of the parish. The way they restore beautiful churches like these makes me proud to be Catholic. 

Loboc River Cruise

I love it when were cruisin' together
If we have floating restaurants at Manila Bay, Bohol has a more interesting version of the latter - the Loboc River Cruise. For only Php500, the tour along the Loboc River includes a lunch or dinner buffet with only the yummiest Pinoy delicacies. I am not sure if the boyfriend brought along his anti-histamines because he feasted on seafood while at the tour. 

It's a feast!
After a short trip, our boat was ushered to one of the wooden rafts where rondalla was played and children with colorful costumes danced around with glee. They also performed the Tinikling, with the women singing behind them, and amazed the tourists. Whenever I see Filipinos who are happy despite living a very simple life, inspires me the most. I bet you wouldn't see that in any country. 

Kuya and his huge guitar
Kids that are great in dancing tinikling
Man-made Forest


Amazing Archway
Along the borders of Loboc and Bilar, stood a natural and man-made mahogany forest. Kuya Paul mentioned that these mahogany trees were planted by the Boholanos so they could provide a beautiful heritage to their future generations. These uniformed structures make Bohol a wonderful place for  the nature lovers.

Chocolate Hills

Tip of the kisses
I must admit, I only came to Bohol for this one attraction, or rather, a thousand hills that looked like chocolate kisses - the Chocolate Hills. Traveling to Carmen, you will be greeted by these fabulous hills the size of a giant cone. Since we came there a little too early, the hills are still green and not the usual brown in color. One of the tour guides said that they are mostly brown during the summer. But nonetheless, I still enjoyed seeing these beauties. Its definitely a unique experience.

Shiphaus
Aye, aye captain!
Before going to the Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuya Paul stopped by the Shiphaus, also located in Carmen. Of course, this doesn't float, but the tourists love to go here and have their pictures taken at this unique establishment. I believe they have also been featured at TV shows in our local channels. Going to the Shiphaus doesn't require an entrance fee, and their captain will be glad to snap a photo with you, as one of their co-captains. :)

Butterfly Conservation Area

Different butterfly species
Marlon, our tour guide
Caterpillars
Also at Bilar is the Butterfly Conservation Area. Marlon, the tour guide that was assigned to us was rather funny. He said that he'll make me a butterfly after the trip. I wasn't sure what he was talking about. Our tour was very interactive. Aside from the model butterflies, we also encountered live ones. We even got to touch the caterpillars. What I loved the most was the gold ones that looked like chunks of earrings.  

I'm a butterfly!
When our tour was over, Marlon asked me to stand in front of this glass panel and then he took a picture. Then he showed me the finished product and I was so enthralled by what I saw. The photo was so cool, people who have seen it thought that I wore wings. I felt like Tinkerbell, even for a day. :)  

Tarsier Conservation Center

How big your eyes are!
I've always had this miniature tarsier that came from my former office mate when she went to Bohol. Finally, I was able to see a live one after so many years. Too bad because we couldn't touch them anymore. The caretakers were all there to protect these endangered creatures that they couldn't bear for them to get stressed. You seem tarsiers commit suicide when they are in a great deal of stress. During our visit, a group of merrymakers were singing just near the sanctuary, so imagine how the caretakers are very worried the entire time. 

The sleepy tarsier
The Tarsier Conservation Center is a vast resting place where they could procreate and continue their habitat. I think we should be proud of these animals and do our best to protect their species. Entrance fee to the sanctuary is only Php20.

Python Sanctuary


Norio, the Burmese Python
Since it's beginning to get dark, we cut our trip short and made the last stop at the Python Sanctuary. I am not a big fan of snakes, so I was squeamish to get near Norio, the python. Good thing Jeff was cool with holding and even enjoyed posing beside it.  

Day Two: Sea Tour and Island Hopping

Off to Balicasag Island!
As a certified beach bum, I signed up to go snorkeling and go dolphin watching. Due to the rain, the dolphins were infrequent that morning. We went to Balicasag Island afterwards so I could snorkel and see the undersea creatures again. This would probably be my first time to see a deeper diving site. 

Do you know how much I enjoyed seeing the fishes and the corals? I was unaware that my head was already bumping into the nearby boats, so when I surfaced near our small boat, I have this huge lump on my forehead. So much for loving the sea.

Panglao Island

My falling stars!
The calm Panglao
At Whites and Greens
After going to Balicasag, we headed to our resort again just to enjoy where we are staying. And due to the excessive lunch that we had, the boyfriend and I decided to explore the Panglao shoreline. Its pristine white sands are like those of Boracay, but even better, because starfishes are scattered almost everywhere. You'd know that its clean and the sea animals are unharmed. 

Our last day at Bohol was composed of just lulling around the beach. I'd take the Bohol beach everytime, because its not crowded and I get to unwind even for just three days.

So far, this is the best trip I have ever had in my lifetime. And so to celebrate my 1000th blog post, here's to more adventures, places to visit and happy moments! September is just a few days away and its time for the semestral break again. Now is the time to plan and kiss the beach once again.

How about you? Where are you planning to go next? Drop by a place or two so I could include that in my bucket list. :)

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks for this comprehensive entry about your trip to Bohol :) The closest encounter I have with the island was when I was in Cebu a couple of years back. After reading this, I am definitely including it in my bucketlist. :) Happy 100th!

    Xoxo,
    Melissa
    The Pink Margarita

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to see you enjoyed Bohol! I love Bohol too! It's one of those places that I had the greatest times. The pic of you with the butterfly wings is cool! And I so love the buffet lunch at Loboc River. Missing Bohol! XD

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  3. I am sure you did enjoy and thank you for vising my home province.. :)
    I enjoyed all your photos and you have quiet a good itinerary..

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  4. Thanx for visiting Bohol...

    ReplyDelete

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