Bohol, Philippines: Friendly Heart of Visayas

When you’re planning to fall in love with a Wonderland, it would be definitely Bohol, Philippines.

Let’s lose ourselves and fall in love with a bizarre and perfect one-day trip in the Heart of Visayas.

I wasn’t really sure if I’ll include Bohol in my itinerary knowing my original plan was to explore Cebu for four days. Fortunately, I did spare one day in Bohol and it couldn’t have been any better. Its located in the Visayas and a quick ferry journey from Cebu. Yes, it’s the best side trip whenever you’re in the Queen City of the South.

Bohol, Philippines is popularly known to be the tenth largest island in the country. People come here for the white beaches and beautiful nature with its diverse wildlife. The world-class diving, waterfalls and hundreds of caves for spelunking. And they come for the incredible history of the place.

Welcome to Bohol, the friendly heart of the Visayas and one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Philippines.

What I came for Bohol, Philippines:

1. HISTORY

Boholanos still affectionately call their province the “Republic of Bohol” in reference to the island’s short-lived independence at the turn of the 19th century. Bohol is known not only for its environmental wonders but also for its old churches, some of which are built during the Spanish colonial era and considered national treasures.

I came to visit Loboc and get to see the famous Loboc Church, it is massive in scale and elegant in design. Unfortunately, I came and saw it dramatically damaged due to the typhoon Yolanda way back 2013. The infrastructure is work in progress, hopefully, it will recover soon. Now this place is called “Loboc Church Ruins”. But the place became even more attractive because of new mysterious and historical atmosphere.

 

2. MAJESTIC CHOCOLATE HILLS

One of the best spectacular landscape I’ve ever seen. The main reason why Bohol is famous and highly recommended as a tourist destination. They all have the same shape but differ in altitude. The best time to come here is when summer because they literally look like chocolate, while greener for the rest of the months.

I simply can’t imagine that everything around is not man-made, it’s a wonderful example of a caprice of nature. So mesmerizing!

3. JUNGLE INTERIOR

Man-made forest (Mahogany Forest)

It is filled with hundreds and thousands of Mahogany trees. Every one of it was planted by man. The place is beautiful, relaxing and nature loving. However it’s just a mahogany forest, nothing else. I even stepped out from the bus and walk-on.

4. EYE BUGGED TARSIER

Tarsier Conservation Area

Tarsier is Bohol tourism’s mascot. It is known locally by many names like; mamagmagomagaumaomag, malmag and magatilok-iok but I would prefer calling it Tarsier.


Tarsier Conservation Area is the new home of the captive tarsiers previously displayed for tourists along the Loboc River for decades.

We were told to strictly observe silence to avoid interrupting their sleep. The use of camera flash and touching them is strictly prohibited as well.

5. LOBOC RIVER CRUISE

The cruise was surprisingly pleasant. Actually, there were many foreigners onboard. There is an “Eat all you can” buffet system on this restaurant-boat, so it works well as a place for lunch. There’s also a native folk singer who will serenade you as you enjoy your sumptuous meal. It was very relaxing, serene and very good for the soul.

In general, the food was delicious, the river was astonishing and the waterfalls at the end of the route were picturesque.

I now know that a one-day trip isn’t enough to explore this wonderland. I have now more reasons to go back. Until my next time.

TRAVEL GUIDE:

1. Transportation:

Fast Ferry: The most convenient way to get from Cebu to Bohol.

Ocean Jet: If you’re from Pier 1, Cebu Pier Area this is the best choice. The fare is 800.00 Php (tourist class), and 1,000.00 Php (business class). The trip is daily from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm from Cebu port to Tagbilaran, Bohol vice versa.

Supercat: If you’re from Pier 4 North Reclamation Area, Cebu City this is the best choice. The fare is around 500.00 Php (promo fare) and 423.57 Php (discounted fare). The trip is daily at 6:30 am to 7:40 pm from Cebu to Tagbilaran and vice versa.

Starcraft: If you’re from Pier 1 North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, this is the best choice. The fare from Cebu to Tubigon vice versa is 200.00 Php (economy), 220.00 Php (tourist class), and 280.00 Php (business class). The trip is daily from 5:45 am to 5:30 pm back and forth.

Domestic Flights: Bohol is currently connected with Manila. (Check their websites)

Philippine Airlines: One-way fare starts at about 3,300.00 Php and it varies from time to time.

Cebu Pacific: One-way fare starts at about 2,438.88 Php and it varies from time to time.

Air Asia: One-way fare start at about 2,757.99 Php and it varies from time to time.

PLACES YOU CAN VISIT IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN A DAY:

Panglao Island

Corella Tarsier Sanctuary

Alburquerque (Santa Monica Parish Church)

Antequera (Mag-Aso Falls)

Balilihan (Spanish Watchtower)

Sagbayan Peak

Danao (Extreme Adventure Tour)

 

 

 

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