Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A taste of Bohol Part 2

Day 3: September 12, 2015
4:30 AM Hello Friday!

5:50 AM Call time, Kuya Chris offered to pick up us in Hope Homes since his cousin Kuya Loy will be our boatman for the island hopping tour.

Our boat departed at 6:30 AM, the waves were almost overhead high, it was a bit scary but they assured us that they are used to that kind of condition and we are in good hands.

7:30 AM We arrived at Balicasag island, took us an hour to reach our destination. We missed the dolphin watching because there is nothing to see, the water isn't clear. Our first activity for the day is snorkeling at the fish sanctuary.

Entrance fees:
-          Fish Sanctuary PHP 250/pax (includes paddle boat + guide + life vest)
-          Turtle viewing PHP 200/pax
-          Giant clams viewing PHP 150/pax

The fish sanctuary is just on the far left side of the island while the turtle viewing site is on the opposite side. Both for have different rates, it might be a bit pricey but according to the boatman the local government gave livelihood to the islanders because fishing is strictly prohibited on the area that’s why we still have to use paddle boat even though both can be reached by walking. Just think about this, “you enjoyed and you help the locals”. In that small act is one way of supporting the eco-tourism.

My partner and I decided to go to the turtle viewing site and we saw a huge, really huge turtle peaking its head above water but every time we go near it, it elusively go under, to the deepest part of the sea to continue its business, eating sea grass. The current was really strong that time and it was my first time snorkeling on an open sea. I know how to swim but I keep on holding to the boat because I don’t want to go towards the current. I guess we were so lucky because we saw 3 huge turtles.

9:00 AM Our tour to Balicasag island ended. We rested for a moment then after 30 minutes we continued our tour and went to the second and last island which is the Isola di franceso which is formerly known as the Virgin Island.

The island is already a private property but one good thing about it is we aren’t required to pay any entrance fee. However the down side about it is we can only stay for 30 minutes.
According to one of the care takers the island is owned by a rich Filipino businessman who was blinded before and miraculously got his eyesight back after being devoted to Padre Pio.
10:30 AM We head back to alona.
11:00 AM touch down Alona beach.

We walked all the way from Alona to our inn because the fare is quite expensive. We were asked for 150/2pax for a 2 kilometer distance. Took us 30 to 45 minutes before we finally reached our inn.

1:25 AM We had out late lunch at Bohol Bee Farm. It is 8 kilometers away from where we’re staying. We ordered honey glazed chicken side with cassava fresh lumpia, spare ribs side with organic salad, 2 corn muffin, 1 squash muffin with a can of soda and fresh pineapple shake. Our lunch cost us PHP 781, a little expensive but it’s just once in a lifetime experience plus I like their complimentary snack, their pesto spread is yummy.

The food is great! it is a bit pricey but you have to try their very own garden salad!

Of course our Bee farm trip won’t be complete if we will not try their best-selling malungay ice cream which tastes like avocado.

You can also explore their own pasalubong shop

Aside from their mouth watering dishes you can also have a tour of the whole farm. But in our case we decided not to go to a tour since we are so hungry and tired that day. We just ate our lunch, took photos and head to our inn to reward ourselves with uninterrupted rest.

Day 4: September 13, 2015
6:20 AM off to explore the north of Tagbilaran.
7:30 AM We had our first stop over to buy bread and drinks. Our first destination was Maribojoc watch tower. The effect of the earthquake is heartbreaking because I know that this place was once majestic. We explored the shoreline and we could still see the remains of dead corals which caused by the major tide shift after the said incident. The ambiance of the place is sad probably because most tourists rarely visit this place since it is out of way to Bohol’s main attraction which is the Chocolate hills. The place is now home for thousands of hermit crabs and dragon flies.

Entrance fee: PHP 5/pax plus PHP 5 for motorcycle parking

We didn’t explore the Maribojoc church because there is an ongoing mass that time and we are not dressed properly.
8:30 AM Off to Mag-aso falls in Antequera

9:08 AM touch down Mag-aso falls. We followed the 197 steps concrete path down to the falls itself, do not under estimate it because going down is just a piece of cake however going back to the entrance is the challenge I experienced the cold waters of the falls but didn’t go near it since I am a bit scared. We were so lucky because there are no other people except us.

When we decided to leave a caretaker arrived with life vests for 2 so we could go closer to the falls but we told him were leaving already.

Entrance fee: PHP 20/pax plus PHP 15 motorcycle parking
9:45 Back on the road to see the Corella and Cortes church

Corella Church

Cortes Church, We didn't have time to stop and take a clear shot of it so here's what we got.
11:00 AM We reached the Tarsier sanctuary in Corella.
We entered the protected area with a size of 8.4 hectare. We are not allowed to start the tour without a guide. The guide assigned to us mentioned that 8 tarsiers can be seen on the sanctuary however it will depend on the person in charge to look for it every morning because tarsiers can hop freely on the place. On our trip we only saw 5 tarsiers; we were able to see them up close but I felt a little bad because we all know that they are nocturnal and they should be sleeping during the day but because of tourists visiting them they tend to wake up since they feel threatened. I just hope that the sanctuary’s priority is the well-being of the tarsiers. This will probably the last I’ve visit tarsier sanctuaries.

Entrance fee: 50/pax

12:30 NN Arrived at Island city mall and had our sumptuous buffet lunch at Prawn farm

2:00 PM Back to our inn

We ate dinner on a specific restaurant that we’ve been eyeing since the day we arrived because the name is too catchy. “EAT ME” we didn’t know that it’s a Korean restaurant until we saw the menu. Most people eating are Koreans too! Lol We ordered the BBQ platter(1 longanisa, 2 pork BBQ, 2 chicken, 1 prawn, 1 pork chop, 1 cup of rice, 2 banana slices, 1 half mango) with a price of PHP 400 which is not really bad, we just added 1 garlic rice and that made our tummies happy J. I’m glad we’re already at the cozy side of the bed when the rain starts pouring. Now time to sleep because tomorrow is another day!

Day 5: September 14, 2015
Today marks our final day in Bohol. You know what’s funny? While I was browsing what else to see in panglao island I accidentally bump on a blog about blood compact and I noticed that blood compact we saw is different! Then we realized that the one we saw might be just a commemoration for its anniversary! That’s why we are adding the blood compact shrine today.

We started the final day of our town tour at 6:40 AM. We headed to the Blood compact shrine. We just took some photos and went to eat breakfast at Jolibee in Tagbilaran town proper. We paid a visit to Tagbilaran Church and Tagbilaran museum.

The museum itself shared a lot of good information about bohol, my most favorite part is discovering where the chocolate hills came from.

Entrance fee: 10/pax

8:30 AM off to Hinagdanan Cave, took us 15 minutes before we reach our destination. The name of the cave came from the tagalog word “hagdanan” because you have to step on man-made stairs for you to explore the cave.
Swimming is no longer allowed due to some abnormality on the water. The pool is undeniably crystal clear and to be honest it is really inviting. I would really like to take a dip.

Entrance fee: 25/pax plus PHP 5 motorcycle parking
9:00 AM back on the road to have a glimpse of Panglao church and watch tower.

After lunch we head to Dumaluan beach resort and spent our last day in bohol on the beach. I used the beach blanket that a friend gave me since we do not want to rent a cottage. The sand is incredibly fine and white plus the location isn’t that crowded that day. There were only few people on the beach and because of that we really felt relaxed. This is just too good for a 25 peso entrance.

Entrance fee: 25/pax plus PHP 25 motorcycle parking

We were already at the inn when the rain started to pour. We waited for it to stop then we went to Alona to have our last dinner. We picked the El bleu elephant because it is one of the most recommended restaurants in trip advisory. I ordered chickem curry while my partner had bacon wrapped bacon. The food is great. The burger is big and the serving of the curry is for sharing.

The price were okay because we’re satisfied

Day 6: September 15, 2015

Woke up early to start packing,  Kuya Chris will be picking us up at 7:00 AM. Bye city of friendship, bye Bohol. You sure made us broke but we enjoyed every moment with you!

Other spots to visit in Bohol:
Kawasan falls and Camugao falls in Balilihan
Remains of Loon church in Loon
Remains of Maribojoc church in Maribohoc
Pamilacan Island
Bohol Coco Farm in Panglao
Tarsier Botanika in Panglao
Danao Adventure Park
Day tour at Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa - where you can see the Cambagat cave
Nova shells collection in Panglao

"You know what i learned on this trip? I developed a sense of trust. I trusted my data connection as well as the nice locals of Bohol to make this trip possible. I realized that in order for a person to fully experience what a certain place has to offer, he must learn to travel and blend like a local."
- The Lakwatserang Negra

Related links:
A taste of Bohol 
A taste of Bohol Part 2 ----->>> YOU ARE HERE
5 days / 4 nights Bohol expenses

Watch our Bohol trip here:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

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