The Philippine Airlines flight was delayed and we arrived in Bohol at 7:30am. Our guide and van was waiting at the airport's gate. We proceeded to our farthest destination: the Mag-aso falls. At the falls, my officemates were happy to see how beautiful the place is. There were no other tourists except for us. I only noticed that there were parking and entrance fees to be settled. It would have been better if the local government would lessen the fees to attract more tourists.
Our next stop was the Chocolate Hills. On our way to this destination, we passed by a different road. It was an hour drive due to road improvements and a landslide. I was very much surprised of the landslide since Bohol has intact forests. At the chocolate hills, we went up the stairs and we asked the photographer to take our group photos. The photo was a bit expensive for just one photo it cost us PhP100. It was a cloudy day at the site but nevertheless we enjoyed our climb. Our picture looked ok since the background was edited to make it appear it was sunny. On our way down, it started to rain. We passed by the Bilar man made forest, we stopped for awhile for our group photos.
We then went to the Loboc Tarsiers. The new location was a lot better as the tarsiers give ample space to move around. I photographed all the tarsiers that were pointed to us by the guides. The tarsiers were very cute specially the sleeping tarsier that I photographed. We requested our tour operator to take us to the hanging bridge. We all enjoyed our walk due to the beautiful scenery. Since this was my second time, I noticed that they added another bridge. Again it started to rain as we hurried back to our vehicle.
The rain was down pouring on our way to the river cruise but, it was a good thing that the rain stopped when we were aboard the river cruise boat. We had our sumptuous buffet lunch on the boat, and when we were almost done eating, the boat proceeded for the cruise. As the boat was sailing, a local singer serenaded us. We visited the Ati tribe who showed off their talents and sold to us some of their products.
After the cruise, we then went to Baclayon Church. It was again raining and I decided not to go out of our vehicle. The rain already stopped when we arrived at the Blood Compact site. We immediately proceeded to the souvenir shop where we bought our pasalubong for our families and friends. It was 4:30pm when we went to Dauis Church. When we arrived there, a wedding was being held so we went to the church’s souvenir shop and had photo shots at their lawn. Since five of my officemates were women and they were wearing shorts, they were asked by the church personnel to wear a cloth to cover their legs. We even asked for the free miraculous water from their well, which was located at the altar.
Still early to go back to our resort, the group went to Hinagdanan Cave. There was nothing spectacular about the place except that the cave has pools. At the area, there were a lot of stalls that sell souvenir items. We practically stayed for a while to buy shirts and have mango shakes. We checked -in at Dumaluan resort. We were happy with the resort’s ambience. Some decided to take a swim at the pool while I decided to take a merienda at their restaurant. I had pasta for merienda and it was expensive. In the evening, we dined in at their open restaurant. We enjoyed the dinner since we were serenaded by the restaurant’s band.
On our second day at 6:30am, we left the resort for our island hopping and dolphin watching. On the boat, we were asked to register and wear life vests. Unfortunately, there were not enough life vests for the group. Only six life vests were provided and good thing, I brought my own. The boatmen advised us that one life vest will be provided at Balicasag Island. It was 7am when pods of dolphins appeared. I took some video but my shots were not as good as I expected it to be. We only saw a few compared to my first visit some time in 2009. I was also disappointed with the boat’s speed since it cannot catch up with the other boats. Then we went to Balicasag Island for our snorkeling and lunch.
We had our lunch at one of the tables in the island. We only bought the soft drink since we brought our own complimentary food from the resort. Then, we rested for few minutes and rode our respective boats to go to the marine sanctuary. We paid PhP100 each for the boat ride. I was not supposed to take the boat since I knew the sanctuary was near the shore and it would just take few minutes to swim the area. However, I was told that we were required to ride their boats. I think this was for commercial or livelihood reasons since when I returned to the shore I only swam. I also mingled with the locals by going to the lighthouse and some even asked me to take their photographs.
On our last island visit, the Pungtud Island, I was very happy to see the long stretch of white sand bar but disappointed with the private island’s condition. On my first visit, only seven persons where at the island and there were bountiful of trees surrounding the area. However during this visit, there were around 50 persons in sight and there were only a few trees around. It was low tide and we were courageous enough to walk on knee-deep water towards the other sandbar. There were a lot of starfish. I only hoped that I had a water proof camera for the picture perfect starfish. At the sandbar, my officemates stayed near the water while I walked towards the end of the sandbar to see the seabirds. As I sneaked at the birds, the flock flew as I pressed my camera shutter but every time I docked, the birds go back to the sands. After a few photo shots, I left the flock of birds since they were getting very noisy as if they were telling me to leave immediately. Dark clouds already engulfed the island when we went back to our boat. Heavy rains poured as our boat sped back to the resort.
At the resort, my group swam in the pool while I decided to meet my former colleague at the local mall. I was already walking towards the main street when it started to rain so I had to walk fast. By the time I reached the waiting shed, my clothes were already wet. I asked the local if there were jeepneys or tricycles ply the route because I noticed that there were no vehicles passed in the span of 15 minutes. A tricycle agreed to bring me to the BQ Mall but for PhP100. On the tricycle, I was also with an old man who was kind enough to tell me the directions. Unfortunately, we were only at the road for 10 minutes when the vehicle’s tire encountered problem. I was not aware of the exact problem but I was asked to alight as they fix the problem. It was still drizzling but I had no choice but to wait for the vehicle to be fixed. I was very anxious to reach the mall since I was already late by 30 minutes. Eventually, the tricycle was repaired but it cannot reach it minimum speed and my travel time was doubled to one hour. Upon arriving at the mall, I had some few chit chats with my friend and bought some food for my officemates. At 7pm, my only choice of mode of transportation in going back to resort was motorcycle (PhP150 fare). I was not sure if rain was following me but again it rained as I went back to the resort. My officemates were already waiting for me to have our dinner. After our dinner, we tried the fish foot spa (PhP120) for 30 minutes. Everyone had a few laughs as the group of fish nibbled on our dead skin. At 9pm, some drank the local drinks found in our respective rooms while I decided to sleep early.
On our third day, we went to Bohol Beach Club. The resort was just a 10 minute walk from our resort. We paid Php550 each for the entrance and buffet breakfast. The rates were cheaper during weekdays. While most of my officemates were swimming, I opted to just go back to our resort and just relax.
We left the resort at 1pm. When we arrived at Tagbilaran airport, there were a lot of passengers waiting for their airline. There were four airlines serving this route and the airport has very limited seating and space capacity. I was hoping to leave ahead of the group since I took Airphil express but I was wrong because the seven officemates who took Zestair left on time while I waited for my plane that got delayed for 30 minutes. I will be very cautious next time of my airline of choice.
Visited last March 17 - 19, 2012