Discovering Bohol, Philippines

Posted: 12/11/2010 in Cha's Diary, Photography
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I know this one is long overdue, yet again, I want to share a one-of-a-kind travel with you, my avid readers. Maybe, this is so far the farthest place I traveled to, so the excitement and the enthusiasm of sharing my experience is evident.

First, allow me to tell you about Bohol. Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of 4,117.3 square kilometers (1,589.7 sq mi) and a coastline 261 kilometers (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea is Mindanao (from Wikipedia). Now, see below for my adventure.

It was Saturday morning, at 7 AM when we reached Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital. I was happy to see the the sun shining so bright (maybe I missed it due to the nature of my work) and happy to step on some other place. We then went ahead and met up with our contact who is supposed to take us to a road trip across all tourist spots in Bohol.

First stop was the site for the famous Blood Compact. The view was amazing, and the statues were cool. Too bad I was not able to take a solo snap of me with those “monsters”. What followed (in the order I could not remember) are visits to Baclayon Church, the butterfly farm, overlooking chocolate hills, tarsier farm, man-made rainforest, the hanging bridges, lunch at Loboc’s floating restaurants, a visit to the largest snake in captivity and Hinagdanan Cave.


Random photos taken during my first day in Bohol. Here are the landscapes taken from the site of Blood Compact, some pretty butterflies, and the world’s smallest primate, the Tarsier. You will also see me in my favorite dragon shirt, marveling at the captivating view.

That is pretty much what transpired during the first day of the trip. However, I want to highlight some places that I super like -grins-. We went to a church in Baclayon, Bohol. Which is considered to be one of the oldest churches in Bohol. It literally gave me goosebumps. Maybe it was because the church is too old and the air is chilly inside, or maybe because of the images on its walls. Maybe it is because of the effect given off by its stained glass, or the life-size statues of saints, of the Virgin Mary, and of Jesus. While I was there, I could say that the goosebumps were also because of the fact that I recognized a presence in there, the feeling that God is just there sitting beside you as you pray…

Photo of me posing beside the signage, of the altar illuminated by the stained glasses, and the exteriors of the church. Notice the markings on one of the posts that seems like the face of Jesus. Boholanos claim that it was a natural occurence, some believe that its a miracle.

Another place is the spot of the famous wonder, the Chocolate Hills. I personally was amazed at how beautiful it was to be on top looking down on it. They are like little Hershey’s kisses clumped up from a distance. (So this is where the idea of peanut kisses came from? Well, it’s just a thought.) While in there, I realized that there are things that are better off seen and felt from a distance.

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

And who would forget the experience of being able to share a delicious lunch with your family on top of a “balsa” floating on top of a river. I marveled at the beauty of the trees, the calm of the waters, and was overwhelmed at how rich the culture of my people is.

Lunch afloat Loboc's waters.

That pretty much sums up my day 1. Next day, we woke up really early since it is our water adventure. I had a lot of fun walking barefoot in the sand, watching the sun rise, and feeling the cool breeze kiss my cheeks. It was a nice, stress-free feeling. We rode the small boats, or “banca”, and sailed across Bohol’s Sea. We had a stopover tho, as we went ahead and tried our luck to see dolphins playing and yes, I saw a bunch. And then went to our destination, Balicasag Island. I had my very first snorkeling experience, and it was FUNtastic. I was able to feed little fishes in my hand and watched sea organisms chase each other, play, and thrive. After that, we went back to the island and shared a seafood-filled brunch. We then went ahead and spent the afternoon swimming on a secluded island, enjoying the view, and the waters. I was able to catch some hermit crabs, starfishes, sea urchins and a lot more. It was a fun day. Next leg was spending time buying souvenirs, having myself inked (henna tattoo rocks!), and having dinner with the family. It was awesome, eating with people you love, in the beach, on a table lit by candlelight and moonlight.

Random photos of Bohol's beaches.

Day 3. Going home. I was sad that I was leaving one of the most beautiful places in the country. But I promised myself that I would come back for more. It may not be the same place, but I would go somewhere again, one day.


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