Bohol Countryside Tour

Hola! It’s midweek and I’m currently on caffeine-induced survival mode. My body clock still has not matched up to my work shift, my brain is only working partially (I think the rest is working at keeping me awake)that the lag is very much noticeable. Boo! Here I am writing and fervently hoping that doing so will lull me to sleep..

Since it’s not Kim and I’s first time in Cebu (half of her relatives live there), we decided to go to Bohol on a whim. Haha! We bought round trip tickets (first ferry out of Cebu and the last ferry out of Bohol) from Ocean Jet to Tagbilaran. My favorite travel buddy (chicken boy!) would often tell me that while his travel skill is packing and navigating, mine is planning and execution (skills you learn from traveling solo lol). I’ve read up on Bohol prior to actually planning to go there, hence, I knew that it wouldn’t be efficient to rent a tricycle (if I was alone, though, I’d probably rent a motorcycle). I sent a quick email and got a response within a few hours from Bohol Rent a Car, who waited for us at the pier with my name on hand. (Photo: tired faces since we woke up at 4:30 in the morning after checking in late from the South Cebu tour)

Our driver, Christopher, was very chatty and told us a lot of trivia about Bohol and the places we passed by. I realized I made a great choice once we were near Chocolate Hills because 1) it really is far and would take a lot more time if we rented a tricycle and 2) it started raining. I read over at Leia’s blog that you can actually ride an ATV to the chocolate hills, and Christopher advised that our schedule can accommodate an hour of ATV ride. He even recommended it since we wouldn’t be able to see the hills at the viewing point due to the fog.

We all availed of Package B (exclusive of the Php 50/head entrance fee) since it also included the Mini Rice Terraces in the tour (although it isn’t included in the price list). It stopped drizzling when we were preparing to ride the ATV so we chose to forego the use of raincoats (provided free by the ATV rental).

All clean and ready! (I say clean for a reason)

It started raining on our way to our first stop, the 3 Sisters’ Hill, and we were drenched from head to toe before we even got there. (We will then proceed to tour Bohol covered in mud haha)

The Chocolate Hills are not very chocolatey when we were there since it was a weirdly rainy December. The hills got its name from having that chocolate color during the summer.

Mini Rice Terraces.

The trip actually took longer than an hour due to the weather and well, my sister isn’t a very safe driver.. she almost drove herself into a ditch (a few times).

It stopped raining on our way back and as the road started to dry up, the three of us (who are capable ATV drivers haha) went racing. Yes, that’s my sister’s muddy hand. After her near accident, I insisted that she ride with the guide. She took photos of us while I brought up the rear of our group. I like being the last one because I can stop and rest before stepping on the gas (in this case, push the gas button eagerly) to catch up.

Habitat Bohol is just a butterfly garden. I honestly saw about two butterflies flying freely, and the rest are in glass displays.

The garden though is pretty, and there are cabanas which look so comfy. The place was packed with tourists though so we left after ten minutes of roaming around. I think you can get a guide (I’m not sure if it’s free) since we saw some of the tourists have uniformed guides with them, but none approached us as we entered.

We passed by the Man Made Forest on our way to the Chocolate Hills, and we stopped to take photos.

image

These Philippine Mahogany trees were planted back in the 1970s! I’m not a Twilight fan but I was half expecting to see Edward go tree hopping at any moment.

Do not be fooled! A lot of cars pass by this area, and I had to literally roll off (ripping my dress in the process) to the side when a car whizzed by.

I was looking forward to the visit to the Tarsier Conservation Area because we are told in school year after year that the tarsiers are one of the major tourist attractions in Bohol. It’s important to note that it is clearly written in a huge sign (and in different languages) before entering the area that tourists should keep quiet and not use flash photography in order to keep the tarsiers undisturbed. We were the only local tourists when we went there, and there was a foreign group of tourists (the instructions were even written in their language) who were just so noisy and had to be reprimanded a few times by the numerous guides. I guess that’s the reason why there were only two tarsiers in sight. 😦

We also went to the Hanging Bridge. It’s made purely of bamboo!

We had our super late lunch at the Loboc River Cruise. Since there were so many tourists, we had to wait a bit before we boarded a boat.

It’s a buffet lunch and you are advised to get the food before the boat departs. There is no semblance of a queue in the buffet – you literally just go get the food which is frankly, chaotic and annoying.

It’s not something I would do again, but if you are planning on doing so, go get your food once the boat has departed. There are less (almost none) people competing to win the Hunger Games then. Haha!

Some of the local families earn a living by performing for the boats. You can also get off the boat to join them if you want.

On our way back, we passed by Alburquerque Church. According to Christopher, it’s one of the few establishments that did not get ruined during the 2013 Bohol earthquake.

Bohol at its finest

We also stopped by the Baclayon Church and Museum – you can’t really take photos within the museum and the church is still under renovation.

Our last stop is the Blood Compact site which commemorates the blood compact to seal the friendship between the Spanish explorers and the tribe that resided in Bohol when the Spaniards first landed in the Philippine land.

We did arrive in time for our 6:30 PM ferry back to Cebu! I’d like to go back to Bohol someday and visit Panglao. 🙂

Travel Vlog || #ProjectSursuroy: Tumalog Falls + Oslob Whale shark Watching + Sumilon Island + Osmeña Peak || #ProjectSursuroy: Canyoneering at Badian + Kawasan Falls + Pescador Island || Bohol Countryside Tour || A Day in Cebu City

#ProjectSursuroy + Cebu City Tour + Bohol Countryside Tour

Dear mom,

In the letter you left me, you told me you were so proud of me for accomplishing so much for my age. You have instilled wanderlust in me from a young age, and with your support, I pursued it once I started earning my own money. It’s Day 35 now, and our first new year without you. You always cook carbonara for NYE, so Tin cooked some because I was down with the flu. I hope I made you proud that I can afford to bring both my siblings on a 5-day trip. I know now why you were so practical when we travel, it’s different when you’re paying for a number of people hehe. I still wish I got to bring you places when you were alive, the way you and dad did. I just hope that you were there in spirit. 🙂

It’s going to be tough mom. I still miss you every day. And I know that we’ll have countless more New Years where I’ll long for your carbonara, your gelatin, and whatever you decide to experiment on in the kitchen. I guess the only consolation now is that you get to travel for free (hahaha) and you’re not in pain anymore. I’ll think of you every time I get on a plane, the same way I do whenever I wander without you. At least now I don’t have to Viber you the photos because you can see it from heaven. 🙂