Visayas Roundup | BOHOL 2015

It's been months since my last post but New Year has come and with it also comes my fresh self who's trying her best to manage time better. Hopefully this continues ;)

Last October, I was able to take a trip to Central Visayas, in the wonderful province of Bohol.

October is not exactly a good month to take a trip outside, with the unpredicatble weather and all but that did not prevent us from taking the risk of having another adventure! This time, we went to the 10th largest island of the Philippines, Bohol.

There was a typhoon when we took this trip but we pushed through with our booking, praying and hopeful for a good weather.

Last 2013, a 7.2 earthquake shattered the lands of Bohol. I became curious as to what happened after the devastating event. Our driver, who's a local of the province, told us that he could recall how terrifying it felt when the ground was shaking, making them think like it was the end of their days. 

During our trip, I noticed that Boholanos were able to continue with their lives like how it was before the quake. I'm sure it was difficult but it made me feel proud of how Filipinos can be very high spirited and resilient.

The Tagbilaran Cathedral lies at the center of the city proper. This is one of the many old churches that made Bohol famous.

Our first stop in Tagbilaran is the Bilar Man-made Forest. You will pass by this when going to the Chocolate Hills. I was all-smiling when passing by the forest as I couldn't help myself admiring it while I was there even though I've seen it many times from photos. I hope they would make more projects like this in the future, and hopefully, in Manila.

One of the destinations that made Bohol very famous is the Chocolate Hills. I didn't enjoy this stop as much as I expected to because along with us are college students having their field trip. Still, it was beautiful seen with my own eyes.

We rode the ATV to get closer to the hills. I highly recommend this as sidetrip from the Chocolate Hills viewing.

We stopped by Bohol Habitat and had the chance to capture these little fancy creatures. We had a guide while we were inside; he explained the life cycle of butterfiles (Grade 1 lang kami eh, hihi :p). Thank you Kuya Pen for the refresher course. 

A Bohol trip is not complete without visiting the Tarsier Sanctuary. This is one of the things I was looking forward to in this trip. Sadly, the weather was gloomy and the tarsiers were asleep. :( We only saw 7 tarsiers while we're there. At least I saw one, for real. :)

In Sevilla, Bohol there is this 20-25 meters hanging bridge. At the end of this bridge, you'll be greeted by vendors selling pasalubong items and refreshments like buko juice.

We spent our lunch time cruising the Loboc River where we had a sumptuous lunch buffet of Filipino food. During the cruise. we passed by a small falls and music was playing all throughout which kept everyone entertained.

Thumbs up kuya for the good music!

During the cruise, we stopped by somewhere to watch the lively and joyful dancing and mucis of the locals. They were dancing the traditional Filipino dance of tinikling while the ukelele was playing.

We went to the Loboc Church after the Loboc River cruise. The church is being renovated after it has been destroyed partially by the earthquake 2 years ago.

The Alburquerque Church is the only church in Bohol that wasn't shaken by the earthquake. There were a few parts affected by the quake but the damage was not siginificant. I was able to go around but unfortunately the church was closed. But still, I offered my prayers to the Lord while in this beautiful church.

The Baclayon Church is the most famous of all churches in Bohol and sadly, this is what happened after the quake.

Inside Baclayon Church, the altar survived, thankfully. I felt in awe when I entered the Church and saw this.

At the 2nd floor of the church, there's a museum however I wasn't able to visit.

The Blood Compact is a historical event in our country. A few souvenir shops are located nearby this spot.

I recommend stopping by The Buzzz ice cream store, which you will pass by the road going to Alona Beach in Panglao. They alaso have another store in Alona Beach.

I enjoyed my Guyabano ice cream. :) Peanut kisses ice cream tastes okay too.

We arrived in the Alona beach with the gloomy weather. It can get very crowded here during peak season (summer months). But since the time of our trip wasn't a popular time for beach bums, there were only a few tourists enjoying the beach.

There's another beach in Panglao called the Dumaluan Beach, which they say is quieter than Alona.

We spent our second day for our island tour and our first stop is the Balicasag Island where we went dolphin watching and snorkelling. The weather, still, wasn't very nice and the waves were high during that day. We started at 6am for the dolphin watching activity but since the weather wasn't so friendly, we saw zero dolphins. This is also one of the things I was looking forward in this trip so I was left disappointed. 

We also went there for snorkelling and the marine life was beautiful. If you are doing this, I suggest that you bring your own meal because the food available for sale in the island are quite expensive. You can also bring bread during snorkeling to feed the fishes.

Our second stop is the Virgin Island, which I think is very beautiful, a highly recommendable and my favorite. The Virgin island is now being developed into "Isola Di Francisco" where a church is now being built.

Our third day was our free day. The weather was worse because of a typhoon but it did not prevent us from going out to see the Mag-Aso falls in Antequera, Bohol. The weather was okay in the beginning but it got worse as the hours passed by.

Before reaching the falls, we had to climb down 158 steps, and then we saw this. We were told that the falls was about 25 meters high before the 2013 earthquake but this is what was left of the falls. 

Despite the heavy rains, we pushed through with our day plan, which is to go to the Bohol Bee Farm.

Bohol Bee farm is a famous spot for organic food and other products.

We had our lunch at the Bohol Bee Farm restaurant. We also bought a few souvenir items from the farm. They also offer spa, massage, and accommodations.

After the Bohol Bee Farm, there was another destination in our plan but we decided not to go on any further because of the worsening weather. The other places we would have visited are Hinagdanan Caves, Dauis Church, and Shell Museum.

After the rain stopped in the afternoon, we went out to look for bike rentals near our place. We biked our way to Dumaluan Beach to make the most out of our day.

The next day was our fourth and last day in Bohol. What we did was bike from Panglao to Tagbilaran. We rode the bike for that entire stretch of 30 kilometers! Achievement unlocked!

This entire trip is not complete without this person. This sums up our one year together. The trip was somehow similar to how the past year had been, there were sunny days and there were stormy days but despite them all, we are happy and I feel grateful for all these. After this. we felt more hopeful and stronger like Boholanos after what went through. Cheers for more adventure #lakwatserongnurse! :)

Bohol is a developed tourist destination. But its more than the place, its the people that makes the experience of staying there worthwhile. It has as a beauty that no books, magazines or pictures can give justice to. Only by visiting is how you can see and experience Bohol's hidden gems.

Leaving the island brought us memories that will forever be kept in our hearts.

Daghang Salamat Bohol! 

Travel Young
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