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Paradise on Earth: Bohol, Philippines

by Micole
(Davao City, Philippines)

The Virgin Island in the Philippines

Me, my family and 3 other friends of mine from college went on a trip to Bohol. It is an island situated right at the heart of Visayas in the Philippines. We actually spent 3 days in Cebu, attending the Sinulog Festival, before proceeding to our Bohol adventure.

Getting to Bohol

From Cebu City, we rode the Ocean Jet Ferry boat. It was rainy outside but it couldn't have stopped us from going on our trip. The Ferry service was also good. They had food for sale and they had a television screen for entertainment. Since we were a bit tired coming from Cebu, my brother Mario and I just slept the whole ride. My sleep was actually a good one! After 45 minutes of water transportation, the ferry docked at Tagbilaran Port in Bohol.

We had a package tour there, all good with accommodations and transportation for the tour but the food was exclusive. So the Van driver named Richard(?) was patiently waiting and holding my mother's name up so that we could recognize him. I thought he was just our driver, but nope! He was actually our tour guide for the entire stay in Bohol.

The Sea Corals Resort in Panglao PhilippinesThe Accommodations: The Sea Corals Resort

Richard, the driver and tour guide drove us around 30 minutes past the streets of Tagbilaran to our resort in Panglao Island named Sea Corals Resort. Tagbilaran is the capital city of Bohol where most of civilization takes place while Panglao Island is where the great beaches are located.

So we arrived at our resort and the place was actually nice. It was not that expensive-looking but still a good place to stay. We got to our rooms and just prepared for our first wave of the tour with Richard. The thing I love about the resort was it was quiet and not very many people were there and so it was relaxing. The wind was just wonderful! So going on to the tour then...

The Bohol Tour

Since we stayed 3 days and 2 nights in Bohol, the tour was basically 2 and a half days. I can vividly remember our first stop in Hinagdanan Cave. It is an underground cave where bats can be seen but what makes it wonderful are the ancient stalactites and stalagmites. It was such a precious view. They also give you a companion who takes pictures and explains the history of the cave. On the other hand, outside the cave, there are shops of souvenirs and delicacies.

After Hinagdanan, there were many more places to cover. Because there were so many, I will share my favorites. One on the list is the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. These are hundreds of hills that are very chocolate in color during dry season. Bohol is best known for these hills because they are an amazing scnery. It was just a bit unfortunate that it was foggy when we went there but nonetheless, it was so beautiful.

The Tarsier in the PhilippinesThe second one is the Tarsier visit. These creatures are truly wonderful. They are so cute and so friendly. They have big eyes but they are a small species that are said to be part of the monkey kingdom.

The third one that I enjoyed was visiting the different old churches there. The Baclayon Church for one is a place where there is much history. The walls and, most especially, the altar are just awe inspiring.

The fourth one is the Loboc River Buffet Cruise. We ate lunch in a cruise boat where the food is buffet style. While eating the great dishes of seafood and meat, we enjoyed the wonderful scenery of the Loboc River because the boat was literally cruising the long river. Talking about food, we had the chance to eat the famous Peanut Kisses and Kalamay of Bohol. Both sweet and both something that kids and kids at heart would love to eat! Adding to the entertainment was the on board Filipino singers who could sing in different languages. Truly a treat I won't forget.

Balicasag Island PhilippinesLastly, what I truly loved about the whole experience was the third and final day. It was our Sea Tour. We got to go to Pamalican Island, Balicasag Island, and The Virgin Island. On top of that we got up early in the morning to go dolphin watching. The dolphin watching was a fun experience because your boat along with other tourists are all racing to see dolphins. It was funny because there were so many and all were like racing their boats and stuff.

The islands of Balicasag and Pamalican were like heaven on earth. The waters were so clear; they were like mirrors of the sky to me! The Virgin Island on the other hand was a white sand island that is literally a virgin as in not developed or untouched in other sense. It was just bare but the beauty it gives is just inexplicable. The sand was so white and you get to experience eating sea urchins! Raw sea urchins! My dad really had a treat there!

Coming to an End

Well, all in all, the experience was so memorable that I would really love to visit again. The food and the places were not just the winner of them all but most especially the warm and accommodating Boholanos. From the transportation and the whole tour, they really met my expectations as someone new to the place. One sentence says it all in this experience. "One of the Philippines Finest: The Land of Beauty - Bohol."

Many thanks to the Sea Corals Resort in Panglao Bohol and Mr. Richard for the great tour! Jamong Salamat Gid!

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