When we hear “Bohol,” the first thing that comes to mind is it’s famous Chocolate Hills. It has been said the hills turn into a chocolatey color during rainy seasons hence the name. However, there is more to Bohol than it’s famous hills. Keep reading as I share with you my short but awesome trip to Bohol with the love of my life. 🙂
Going to Bohol
Before getting to Bohol we had to fly from NAIA Terminal 4 in Manila to Mactan Cebu International Airport. The flight took approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Upon arrival, we immediately went out of the airport and booked a cab from Grab. Grab has a promo code posted in the airport and you’ll be able to see it as you make your way to the exit. We always used Grab in places that have it since we weren’t familiar with the places and wanted to minimize possible risks from riding in cabs. While waiting for the cab, of course, we had to take a…. SELFIE!! Since we are a couple, I made up a more apt term— COUPFIE (Couple+Selfie). It kinda sounds like coffee. Hahaha. I know. It’s lame. But sometimes lame jokes and/or ideas make people laugh. LAUGH! PLEASE!! Hahaha 😀
We asked the cab driver to take us to Pier 1, where Ocean Jet is.To get to Bohol Island, you need to ride a fast ferry. There are a number of companies that offer fast ferry rides on different schedules. You should research in advance for the ferry schedules to make sure that you’ll be able to get the one that works best with your itinerary. Doing so will also remove the hassle of traveling from pier to pier just to check which company offers the best schedule for you. The pier you depart from depends on the company you choose. Click on this link to check the fast ferry schedules. http://www.bohol.ph/article107.html
We bought tickets to Tagbilaran, Bohol for 500 PHP each before getting inside the Port. We went there during the low season – that’s why the price of the tickets were lower. It can go up to 800 PHP during peak seasons. You will be asked to write down some basic information before they process your ticket. Just like any other port, terminal fees are required to be paid. We paid 20 PHP each for the terminal fee inside the building. Ocean Jet also has the option of checking in baggage. I wasn’t able to ask about it as we were in a hurry and we didn’t check our bags in but I believe that service is offered for a fee. We wanted to catch a certain ferry on the schedule; that’s why we were running around like minions during the whole process, which was hard with my tiny legs.
I’m sorry for my dirty nail. I never had the time to clean it from all the traveling. Hahahaha. After a tiring cardio-like exercise, we finally got inside the ferry and sat on our seats. And to reward myself, I mean, ourselves, for trying to be fit with all the running and rushing, we bought some snacks and enjoyed the 2 hour cruise to Tagbilaran.
Arriving in Tagbilaran
We rode a cab to Loboc River Resort. Grab is not yet available in the place so we had no choice but to negotiate with the available rides outside the port. If you did not arrange a pick up service with your hotel or place of accommodation, then you can choose among the cabs and tricycles that are lined up outside. The tricycles were charging 300 PHP to Loboc River Resort. The cab barker was charging us double the price of the tricycle, so 600 PHP. It was too hot outside so we just settled with the cab. When we entered the cab, the driver told us that he will be charging us double the meter but I firmly said that the barker already agreed that we will be paying 600 PHP flat. The driver just agreed with us. If the same thing happens to you, make sure that you will stand your ground and not let yourself be bullied and taken advantaged of.
When we arrived at the river resort, the meter was over 400 PHP, so it’s a good thing that we negotiated at the port first. We checked in and arranged a tour with the resort. They suggested that we get the check out tour package since we will be checking out the next day anyway and it would be less of a hassle for us.
The check out tour package included the Man-made Mahogany Forest, the Tarsier Sanctuary, Bohol Hills, a small Animal Sanctuary, the Butterfly Garden, River Cruise, and a drive back to the Pier. The tour was supposed to include the Blood Compact statue and the Baclayon Chruch but we decided to skip last the two as we were short in time.
Loboc River Resort
This place is wonderful. The staff were very nice. They smiled a lot and they really made us feel welcome. We got a standard room with a river view. The room was spacious and cozy. It had a balcony too. It was raining when we got there so we just stayed in the room and ordered room service. The food… OH MY GOSH. The food was to die for. Their dessert was divine and heavenly. If we had stayed there for more than one night, I would’ve gotten big as an air balloon and would’ve rolled down the chocolate hills. Hahaha.
Bohol Day Tour
The next day we had our complimentary breakfast in the resort’s restaurant, put our bags in the back of the car, and started our tour. Our first stop was the Man-made forest. It was absolutely mesmerizing. The tall mahogany trees and the story behind them. We were told that the trees were planted by students during the Marcos Regime. So the trees are still quite young. It is not encouraged to hike in the forest. They seldom allow it and only if you’re with a guide. Europeans are usually the ones who trek the forest, said our driver/ guide.
Our next stop was the Tarsier Sanctuary. My home. Did I mention that I’m a tarsier? Viva big eyes! hahaha. Our driver said that there two sanctuaries there but we just went to the nearest one. There weren’t many tarsiers in the sanctuary we went to. There were probably less than ten. Even so, it was still fun seeing the cute tiny creatures. The guests are asked to be very quiet while walking around the sanctuary. This is to avoid stressing out the tarsiers. Tarsiers are extremely sensitive so please observe silence while roaming around and taking pictures. At first, I thought the tarsiers were not real as the first two we saw weren’t moving. I was thinking that the sanctuary was faking the tarsiers. Haha. But the next ones move, OH SO SLOWLY. I didn’t know they move so slowly. Hahaha. I’ve never seen a tarsier before and I’ve never really done my research about them. I just learnt about how sensitive they are from my logistics instructor in college. Hi sir!
After taking pictures of one of the most adorable creatures in the planet, we headed out to see the famous chocolate hills of the Island. To capture a better view of the hills, you first need to climb a flight of stairs. It was like hiking the Banaue Rice Terraces part two! And just like reaching our destination in Banaue, reaching the top of the stairs was also worth every torture and pain on our legs. Hahaha. There’s a telescope at the top to help you check out the chocolate hills closely. I wasn’t able to try it tho because I’m too small. That was one of the moments I hated my height.
We continued our tour by quickly stopping by a small animal sanctuary. They had a few animals inside different cages. There was a porcupine, an eagle, a bear cat, another type of cat (I forgot the name), a python, and a bird (I forgot the name again. lol). They made us hold the bird and python. I was too scared of the python and the bird surprised me a lot – that’s why i wasn’t able to take a picture with it. I think the bird was a female cause it somewhat hated me but liked my boyfriend. -_-
Before we proceeded to the floating restaurant/ river cruise where we had our lunch, we first went around the beautiful Butterfly Garden. The tour inside became really fun because of our tour guide. He took great pictures of us too. We learned a few things about the lives of butterflies and moths. It was a short but awesome tour.
Our last stop for the day was the river cruise or floating restaurant. The restaurant will be cruising while the guests are eating. However, eating before the boat leaves is not prohibited. You can eat before the cruise and while the cruise is ongoing. I thought it would just be plain cruising but all the guests were surprised when the boat stopped by a cottage where a group of local people showed us a marvelous performance. They sang and danced and even let some guests dance with them (me included!)
After the cruise, we headed straight to the port and bought tickets back to Cebu. Sad as it was, it was time to leave that wonderful island and head out to more adventures in the other islands of the Philippines, experience more things, see more places, and create more memories!
Update: Direct flights to Tagbilaran are already available. Sad for us, but lucky for you!
Next stop, Puerto Princesa!
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See you in the next blog!