Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Breathtaking Bohol Part 2 of 2

Breathtaking Bohol Part 1 (click here)
Beachfront Fun
At the southwest of Bohol is the island of Panglao which is the range of beaches and fun in the sea adventure.  The Panglao beachfront has fine white sands and crystal clear water that makes it one of the better beaches in the country.  It's surrounded by a chain of hotels and restaurants and is a gateway for those who wants to go on island hopping.  This is where we spent day 2 of our Bohol escapade.
Dolphin Watching
One of the more popular early morning activity in this part of the island is dolphin watching.  You get to see hundreds of dolphins swim in the open water.  You have to catch these dolphins early in the morning as it coincides with their feeding time and unlike the dolphins we watched at shows, these dolphins are a bit shy and would just prefer to just swim freely in the ocean waters.
Balicasag Island

Balicasag Island is a small island in Bohol and one of the best dive sites in the Philippines with its rich marine life.  We went snorkeling in this site and was amazed by the variety of fishes and corals. When you go through the wall which is the area between the shallow and the deep part, it just gets better as you see bigger fishes chunk away at the bread you feed them.
Puntod Island
The activity just shifted from island hopping to bar hopping as you get introduced to a very long sand bar in the island of Puntod (now called Virgin Island).  We also got to try out eating sea urchins with vinegar and a drink fresh buko juice.  It's also a visual delight to be stepping on the sand bars while being situated in the middle of the waters.
Bohol Beach Club
Next stop was Bohol Beach Club which was an excellent place to just chill and relax along the beachfront.  I took this opportunity to run in the beach front which was a bit difficult since you tend to sink in the soft sands and an even softer shoreline but it was fun.  I also took the opportunity to sleep in the 'duyan'.  I just love these 'duyan' moments.  We also took a dip in the pool before calling it a day.
Back in the City
We were then back to Tagbilaran where we were set to wrap up our tour.  We ate at Bojol which was nearby our hotel for a sumptuous chicken inasal meal and halo halo sa buko for dessert.  We were suppose to go to Mag-aso falls but it was raining hard in the morning so we deemed it was not safe to proceed.  We instead shifted to the remaining part of the city while awaiting our flight.
Butterfly Garden
It was interesting to note that in a butterfly's life cycle, it spends more time from egg to being a cocoon than being a butterfly.  They also had a part called the butterfly effect wherein you get to have a picture with butterfly wings on your back.
Python Encounter
Then there's also the part where you can be up close with an actual python.  I'm not a fan of cold blooded creatures but it was satisfying to seat beside such a big python.  They also had monkeys, iguanas, ostriches, bear cats, leopard cat and civets in this area.
Clarin Ancestral House
The house was built in the 1800s and belong to one of the more prominent families in Bohol.  It was nice to see antique items and discover a bit about the family that lived in this house.  There's also a coffee shop inside the house and quite ironic there's Wifi in this old house.
And there goes the whole trip
We were off Manila after taking in an early lunch armed with memories of visiting the finest places in Bohol and also looking forward to the places we have missed out.  Maybe Bohol Marathon is not a bad idea after all since the beach front image is still on my mind.

Breathtaking Bohol Part 1 of 2

Breathtaking Bohol
Bohol has been famous for its chocolate hills and the cute little Tarsiers and the experience is just a little bit over an hour away from Manila by plane.  It's my second visit here in Bohol but with so many attractions, I may see a different side of Bohol this time around.  So here we go, squeeze all you can 3 days and two nights around the large island of Bohol.  Touchdown Bohol at past 10 am after our flight got delayed by an hour so we started with a tour of the city and some famous structures.
Blood Compact Site (Old and New)
In the past friendship treaties were sealed in blood and so was built the blood compact site structure in Bool, Tagbilaran to honor the blood compact between Spanish Explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Datu Sikatuna in Bohol in 1565 to seal their friendship.  The original site was later on discovered to be in Hinawanan, Loay, Bohol in 2006 as there was a reference in the past that the blood compact site was made in a town between two rivers.
Baclayon Church
Bohol is the home of one of the oldest churches in the Country which is Baclayon Church and the oldest one in Bohol.  It also houses a museum of old religious artifact and has a convent just beside it.  The second oldest church in Bohol which is Loboc Church. Loboc Church was actually the first one to constructed but since Baclayon Church was nearer the construction resources, Baclayon Church was the first one to be completed.
Loboc River
Definitely a must try experience in Bohol is having a buffet lunch or dinner while cruising the rivers of Bohol at a floating restaurant.  It comes with good music and a great range of meals.  The cruise along Loboc RIver was a visual delight with the view, the singing and dancing kids at the stopovers and the Busay Falls.
Here comes those cute little Tarseirs.  It's now an endangered specie and is very shy and easily stressed by people around them so even if they are so cute to touch, it's better not to do so.   Tarsiers are nocturnal animal so they are mostly asleep during the day and they hunt at night.  They have now been centralized in a single area and have individual guides to ensure their safety.
Chocolate Hills
Talk about eating hills.  Here's several hills that sounds more like a food than an attraction.  With over a 1,ooo hills that look like chocolate kisses on dry months, chocolate hills is one of the main attraction in Bohol.  As this was not my first time to visit chocolate hills, we also tried exploring the hills via ATV vehicle.  Using an ATV, I didn't avoid any mud or watery areas which made it a lot more fun and it was nice seeing the hills from a different vantage point.
Hanging Bridge
Another city attraction is the hanging bridge. On the other end of the bridge are souvernir shops and the famous Buko King, who was made famous for peeling a buko using his teeth.  It's always a thrill crossing this bridge as you can really feel the bridge shaking at the slightest movement. Wouldn't it be exciting if they added the hanging bridge in the Bohol Marathon.
And there goes day 1
And with a packed itinerary like this (compliments to Ruth for her travel skills), I couldn't believe that this is just a day spent in Bohol.  We now proceed to the second half of the itinerary which is enjoying the beach side of Panglao and just to add a tinge of suspense, I'll make that post at another time.  Watch out for it!!!
Breathtaking Bohol Part 2 of 2 (click here)