THE TROUBLE IS YOU THINK YOU HAVE TIME - BUDDHA - THE TROUBLE IS YOU THINK YOU HAVE TIME - BUDDHA
I have just added Bohol on the list of places I would love to visit again!!
For those who have not been to Bohol yet, let me share with you some things, which I can still vividly remember about my visit to this wonderful place last summer....
If you are coming in by plane, your touchdown should be in Tagbilaran Airport. The airport is not much of a big deal as it can accommodate only two flights at a time but the place is quite orderly. Airlines that fly to Bohol are Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air. Each airline has at least 2 flights a day to Tagbilaran.
Yes, there are several flights going to Bohol but if you are a visiting tourist, my advice is for you to take the earliest flight to really make the most of your time and stay in this awesome place!
In our case, we took the 5:30 a.m. flight and arrived in Bohol at 6:55 a.m., which means- that we have traveled a good 1 hr. and 25 mins from Manila to Tagbilaran, Bohol.
The airport was far from spacious but was remarkably clean though....
Not knowing how to get around Bohol, we decided to hire ourselves a guide. He was refered to us by our travel agent and he was a remarkably good guide. Bimbo got all the information we needed- for us to all the more appreciate Bohol.
The first place we went to- was the Blood Compact Site (check Philippine History) then we visited the Baclayon Church, which is said to be one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines, and celebrating its 414th anniversary this 2011. After saying a little prayer, we passed another old church in Loboc before finally heading for the mountains to see for ourselves how tarsiers actually look like.
TARSIERS are found only in Bohol, Philppines. These creatures are unbelievably small and lovably cute. Most tarsiers grow just approximately 6 inches tall. They have very big eyes. In fact their eyes are even bigger than the size of their brains. Lucky me! I was not born a tarsier! They cling to the trees all the time and feed on insects like grasshoppers and bugs. Just like the owls and bats or other nocturnal animals, they have poor eyesight in daylight. We also had the chance to see Lemurs.
Like the tarsiers, Lemurs are found only in Bohol. It looks like half bat-half Malay Cat and it can fly. These Tarsiers and Lemur in captivity were found in the deep mountains of Corella. At present only a few families were granted special permits to keep them captive/as pets.
After playing with the tarsiers, we headed for Loboc River to take our lunch while cruising the Loboc River. On our way to the river, we passed a town called BILAR where the locals painstakingly planted mahogany trees several years ago. As a result, you'll feel the coolness of the air while viewing the awesome display of grown mahogany trees when passing this man- made forest. It may not seem to be a big deal of a forest right now but in a few more years to come, these trees would grow some more and surely there would be another story to tell. Cool sight and a literally cool place indeed!!
LOBOC RIVER CRUISE. View the majestic panorama of the NIPA Palm plantation along Loboc Loay River while having lunch aboard cool boat houses (floating restaurants). You'll get an additional fun bonus as these boat restaurants cruise along the Loboc River while its guests are enjoying lunch aboard. I loved it myself and even ate with more gusto while aboard this cruising restaurant! Cool air. Fresh smell. Nice sight! They serve buffet lunch daily. Don't miss this treat if you find yourself in Bohol someday!
After having our lunch while cruising along Loboc River, we went to Carmen to take a look at the famous Chocolate Hills. These hills are embraced with different versions of myths and stories. Anyways, we all know that there is always a scientific explanation as to why these hills got formed. Lime, seawater , water flow, waves, current, and etc. Use your imagination! The wonder of these hills is that- they turn chocolaty brown during hot/dry season, which was how they got named chocolate hills. The local government constructed a good 214 -step stairs leading to the view deck on top of the highest hill. From there, tourist can get a magnificent 360 degrees view of all the1268 haycock hills around. The wonder of nature!!
OTHER AWESOME TOURIST SITES that you should not miss when in Bohol:
HANGING BRIDGE located in the town of Sevilla- This bridge was originally built by the locals who live across Sipatan River. It was meant to be used as the more convenient way to cross the river without getting wet in the process. Little did they know that one day, this simple creaky bridge would become one of the fun tourist spots too. Now, as more and more tourists flock to this site just to find out the excitement one would feel to get on this bridge made of rope and woven bamboo slats , the local government has resorted using concrete foundation and steel cables for added safety and stability.
This bridge literally bends and sways especially when there are lots of people on it. Although most agencies do not recommended this place to tourist when it is raining, should you attempt to try crossing it on a rainy day, just be careful with your steps as those bamboos could really get deviously slippery when wet. Watch where you land your feet and don't forget to hold on to the rope railings.
PYTHON in captivity. Several years ago, in the small town of Albuquerque, one of the local farmers caught a mere 5-kilo baby python somewhere in one of the mountains there. The farmer's sister took pity of this baby python and so she fed and took good care of it. Even gave her pet a name... "PRONY". But when the local authorities knew of it, they took the python and
put it under their care. However, the baby python became depressed and would not eat a bite of what they fed it with. Instead of losing this suicidal python, they decided to give it back to the lady who took good care of it since captivity. After which, Prony never missed a meal anymore. To date, Prony now weighs 300 kilos and have grown several more meters long. Python Prony eats 2 whole chicken a day or 1 whole pig a week. So, those who want to take a look at Prony out of curiosity, are charged a 10-Peso entrance fee. The money collected shall be used to buy Prony's food and maintenance.
MIRACLE WELL. Inside the Lady of Assumption Church in Dawis is where you will find this "Miracle Well". According to the locals, during the time when the mischievous pirates invaded the town of Dauis, the people had to seek refuge within the walls of Dauis Church (now Our Lady of Assumption Church) .
There, they hid and prayed. However, they quickly run out of water and food. Still, they stayed inside the church and even on empty stomachs they never ceased praying. Then one day- a miracle happened. There at the foot of the altar, water came pouring out. They dug the wet spot until they found a well, which tasted as clean as spring water. This well provided water to drink for the people who hid themselves inside the church during the invasion. The water coming from this well has been claimed by many believers to have healing powers and many have already given their testimonials.
If you get the chance to visit Bohol, do not miss stopping by Dauis Church and find out what you would feel when you get inside this Holy Sanctuary. You will also get to see the very same miracle well I have just told you about- right there in front of the altar. In fact, when they had the water taken from this well checked for bacteria or any alien existence in it, the examiners found none. This well still provides unabated supply of water to all the locals nearby. To tourists who want to taste this miracle well water, Dauis parish has put up a small cubicle directly at the back of the altar, where devotees could avail of bottled miracle water being given to those who ask- for free. But it would be best to bring clean empty containers if you want more than just a bottle of this miracle water.
CLARIN ANCESTRAL HOUSE- On our way back to the Hotel in Laya, Baclayon, we stopped by the famous Clarin Ancestral House. If you are into "Heritage & Antiques", I am sure you will be delighted to see a very old place like this- still in existence. When I got inside this ancestral house that has been claimed to be over a hundred years old already, I felt like being literally transported back into the Spanish era.
My mind filled with all sorts of imagination. All the things you'll see around you are nothing but antiques. Some of those who visit this place claiming to have a third eye, have felt some eerie presence in this house. Ugh??
MAG ASO FALLS- From Tagbilaran City, it would take a 30-minute ride by car to get to Mag -Aso Falls. Aso- means smoke in Visayas. See the picture herein to understand why it was called Mag-aso Falls. This falls is located in Barrio Mag-aso in the small town of Antequerra, Bohol, Philippines.
HINAGDANAN CAVE- is in Panglao, Bohol. This cave has become one of the famous tourist sites when the local government of Bohol opened the area for public viewing. The cave was unexpectedly discovered by the owner of the land when the spear he was using to till the land broke loose from his hands and fell somewhere far beneath the ground. When he peeped through the hole, which he accidentally poked open, it was then that he discovered the existence of the now famous Hinagdanan cave below his property. This cave's flooring has a basin that looks like a huge pool filled with water Depth of water is more than 10 ft. Water is 70% fresh and 30% salty as this cave is located just several meters from the sea. The light coming from the hole that the farm owner poked is the only illumination in the cave. Magnificent!! Cool!! I got mesmerized...
BEE FARM in PANGLAO is where you will find out that even flowers can be as palatable as veggies and fruits are! Only organic fruits, veggies, and crops are grown in this huge farm. Check this out- Organic rice, fresh lemon grass juice with honey , veggie pizza, grilled native chicken, flower salad with garlic ranch dressing, variety of seafoods soup, freshly baked cassava chips, organic green tomatoes and homemade cheese, dressing, and etc... Bee Farm also culture healthy bees that produce high grade yummy honey.
They also concoct rich and flavorful ice cream made from Fresh cow's milk and flavored with spicy ginger blend or malunggay(moringa) extract, which they exclusively serve to tourists who come by to visit the farm. They also produce handicraft items from rattan, buri, and pineapple leaves. There are also rental cottages for those who wish to stay for a night or two in this farm. Bee Farm Restaurant chef would be more than happy to concoct nothing but organic food for their guests. So, if one day- you find yourselves in Bohol , don't miss to visit this farm!
DOLPHINS. Most of the dolphins in Bohol are found between the Islands of Pamilacan, Panglao, and Balicasag. Watching them playfully jumping or chasing boats can be so refreshing and fun!
DIVING ANG SNORKELING SITES:
PAMILACAN ISLAND. You will find one of the most beautiful coral gardens in the Philippines in Pamilacan Bohol. Soft Corals everywhere. A breathtaking beauty beneath! So alive and colorful. Good thing that locals are doing everything to religiously protect those corals embracing the entire island. Rich!
BALICASAG ISLAND. Is another island or site best for diving and snorkeling. With all those colorful fish swimming just inches from your face, you won't even notice you have been in the waters for hours already. Great!
NOVEL SHELL MUSEUM. This is a privately owned museum. House of shell collection.
The original owner of this museum was a free-spirited adventurous lady who did nothing but collect rare priceless shells when she was still alive. From the smallest to the biggest shells, name it- they have it in this museum! After this lady was gone, her brother took over her place and continued to keep her shell museum open for tourist viewing.
BALETE TREE STORY. Do you believe in the paranormal thing? bad lucks? Well, our tour guide told us that the land where this Balete grew was formerly owned by a local Boholano.
However, since they build their house near the said tree, some family members got incurably sick and worst, died, without known major health problems at all. At first they did not believe in the paranormal spells and boldly announced there is no such thing as paranormal stuff. But when a foreigner got interested in buying that property, the old owners did not hesitate to let go of it. There are still stories heard about this mysterious tree but the new owner would rather not talk about it.
ALONA BEACH AREA. Is where the action in Bohol is. You will find several restaurants, bars, and watering holes facing the sea and adjacent to each other.
These establishments become busy at nights. Most foreign tourists and divers flock to this area due to its convenient location. There are several nice but cheap hotels along Alona Beach area. Check it out.
PUNTA CRUZ WATCH TOWER. This tower was built in 1796 and is situated near the sea. It was used by the Spaniards as watch tower to observe movements of their enemies from afar.
HOTELS and Resorts. Checking in in any of those hotels that are located near Alona Beach Area can be fun for several reasons. Convenience, lively, crowded, busy, and etc... Boredom has never been an issue in this part of Bohol. There are also a number of bed and breakfast establishments near the beach that offer very cheap rates. Shop now!
But as tourists who prefer to have ourselves checked in in a neat and cozy hotel with privacy and peace, we opted for Coconut Palm Beach Resort, located along Aba-a St. in Laya, Baclayon. Good food. Huge pool. Their rooms were neat and smelled so sweet and clean!
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