The Chocolate Hills may be the most famous tourist attraction in Bohol, but there are a lot more places to see in this beautiful island province.
Bilar Man-made Forest
Carmen is an hour away from Loboc. On our way there, we passed through this forest. We didn’t stop anymore to take photos with the group doing Twilight saga poses because we were running late for our lunch reservation at Loboc.
Loboc River Cruise
This is where we had lunch for the Countryside Tour. Since our ‘Chocolate Hills Tour’ took much of our time, we arrived there at around 2PM. Good thing they still allowed us to get in the boat since we were starving from the activities we did all morning.
We were entertained with live music while dining. During the cruise, we also passed by another boat with local performers and we were asked to give any amount on their donation box. The locals consisted of different generations–the musicians were the lolos and lolas while the dancers and singers were the younger ones.
Tarsier Conservation Area
Of course, we wouldn’t miss this part because it ain’t Bohol if you’ve seen no tarsier. We didn’t make it during its operating hours on the actual day of the Countryside Tour, but we made sure that we’d get to see them before we fly back to Manila. We rented the hotel van for another P1,500 to bring us to the Conservation Area.
We had to be really quiet while inside the premises because tarsiers might get stressed out and commit suicide [no joke!]. We wouldn’t want that, of course, since they are endangered species. We also learned that tarsiers are very territorial so they live far away from each other. When we went there, the staff were only able to find three of them. We were already lucky to see three tarsiers that morning because the staff said there are times when they all go up the trees which means no photo sessions with the visitors.
This was our last stop for the tour and this is also where we bought our pasalubong. This area is just a small block along the highway and it is surrounded by hotels and restaurants. Beside the shrine was a souvenir shop where we bought Bohol delicacies such as peanut kisses, calamay, and tablea. They also have the usual magnets, keychains, shirts, bags, and accessories.
For our second day, we had the Sea Tour and Panglao Tour.
- Dolphin Watching
- Balicasag Island
- Virgin Island
We went to Balicasag Island first thing in the morning. The van picked us up at 5am and drove us to the port and transferred to the boat. The boatman said we *might* see the dolphins on our way to Balicasag Island. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any of the dolphins because there was Typhoon Jenny that time and the waves were getting bigger and bigger. Some of us were actually scared during the boat ride because of the wild waves.
We arrived at Balicasag Island in 30 or 45 minutes. The skies were gloomy and we were just praying for a nice sunshine that morning. We had to ride another boat, a smaller one this time, to go to the snorkeling area.
Our life vests gave us a hard time floating because they were not secure enough and they had no harness. It was kind of choking us so you could imagine the struggle of floating and keeping our view of the fishes. Despite the struggles of floating and staying near the boat [the current was also taking us away from it], we still managed to enjoy the view of the marine life. We gave the fish some pieces of bread and it was fun seeing many of them come near us.
It was high tide when we went to Virgin Beach so the island was a bit submerged. Either way, the beach was still nice and there were vendors selling coconut juice, banana cue, and sea weeds. It was a food trip station, actually.
- Hinagdanan Cave
- Bohol Bee Farm
- Dumaluan Beach
A lot of people say that the beaches in Panglao are similar to Boracay minus the nightlife. Dimaluan Beach, however, was probably not at its best during our visit because of the typhoon. Not that I’m complaining, but the wind was blowing hard that the fallen leaves were hitting us quite violently and the waves were bigger. While some of us were taking loads of aura shots, Meg, Steffi, Ferlyn, and I opted to enjoy the beach and the big waves.
After beaching around, we had lunch at the Buzzz Cafe at Bohol Bee Farm which, I must say, is the best meal I had that day.
The last destination for our Panglao tour was Hinagdanan Cave. The stairs going down the cave was only a few steps but it was narrow and slippery so we really had to be careful with each step. It was quite dark inside the cave, of course, but the locals installed a small light bulb near the stairs to enable tourists to see the steps. There is also a natural hole on the cave’s ceiling so it wasn’t totally dark inside the cave. The water is brackish [mixed salt and fresh water] which makes it clear and at the same time gives a nice blue hue.
Final thoughts about Bohol:
- Four days is, of course, not enough to explore Bohol but I’m glad that we were able to achieve the must-do’s and must-see’s in this province.
- Bohol is still on the process of recovering its beautiful churches although it’s sad to know that some of them cannot be restored anymore. I’m still hoping to see them in their almost original beauty when I come back.
- I’m also hoping to see Bohol on a sunny day and go back to Panglao. 🙂
- This trip may not be perfect due to the weather, but I’m still very grateful to have chosen Bohol as the destination for our first ‘grown up’ trip with my college orgmates.
- Lastly, I will definitely come back to Bohol because I need to take The Plunge in EAT Danao!
PS. Writing this post took me weeks to finish because I still had to compile or grab photos from different albums uploaded by the twelve of us. K. I don’t have to explain, I know. I’ll try to post more photos from my camera next time!