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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Falling in Love with Bohol province part II

It was my birthday treat last September 2011 when we visited the province of Bohol coming from Cebu City. It was a 4 days 3 nights trip where we spend an overnight stay in Cebu City and 2 nights in Panglao Bohol. We stayed at Paragayo resort 3 minutes walking distance from Alona Beach. Aside from their budget friendly room rate, we also availed from them a Countryside tour which includes Chocolate Hills, Baclayon Church, Tarsier, Manmade forest, Hanging Bridge, Butterfly sanctuary and Loboc River. It cost us 2500php for the whole day trip (van service) and an additional 400php for buffet lunch while on board a floating restaurant cruising the Loboc River. It was definitely a worthy trip as we got to see the historical and interesting destinations in Bohol.

Some points of destination in the lovely province of Bohol which is known to be Countryside tour are as follows:

1. Blood Compact
Our Countryside tour started as early as 7 in the morning since we have a jam-packed schedule for the whole day. Our first stop was the historical Blood Compact Shrine also known as "Sanduguan" that means “Isang Dugo” or “One Blood.” It depicts the first treaty of friendship between the Spanish and the Filipinos happened among Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna on March 16, 1565. Just behind the silver monument of Blood Compact Site is a majestic view of the sea.

Cheers! Blood Compact Site Bohol 

Blood Compact Site o Sanduguan Bohol

Beautiful view Blood compact site Bohol

2.       Chocolate Hills
Our second stop was the famous Chocolate Hills. According to locals these hills’ total count is 1, 268 and it was described as Chocolate just like the Hershey Kisses because during dry season the grass covering the hills turns brown. Furthermore, you need to climb hundreds of steps to see the 360 view of the hills and once on the viewing deck, you will get awed by its magnificent beauty. 

Kisses - like Chocolate Hills 

Beautiful Chocolate Hills

Bohol's famous Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills, Bohol province

Beautiful Sky - Chocolate Hills 

3.       Simply Butterflies Conservation Center
The third stop on our Countryside tour was the Simply Butterflies Conservatory Center. It is the first butterfly livelihood breeding center in Bohol. We were welcomed by a tarsier mascot that I thought was not moving and surprised me hahaha. We really enjoyed the tour because of our very informative and funny tour guide, Jomar. He discussed the life cycle of a butterfly and assisted us on taking a butterfly picture effects. Photo enthusiast will surely enjoy this place as butterflies are everywhere and you will also get a chance to hold a butterfly. 

Cutesy Butterfly on rest Simply Butterflies Conservation Center

Trick Shot - Simply Butterflies Conservatory Center

4.     Manmade Forest
Our 4th “quick” stop was the Bohol Man-made forest. Since it’s along the way, our tour guide/driver pulled over for a moment to this stunning place full of tall mangroves. The forest really stands out as it was arranged beautifully of the same height since they were planted and grew at the same time reaching up the sky. You will also notice shifting of temperature once you enter the manmade forest feeling the refreshing cool breeze made by the canopy of overhanging trees. It’s really beautiful in here especially when you go closer with the trees where it feels like you’re living in Forks with Bella & Edward.

Bohol's manmade forest

high trees - manmade forest Bohol

Enchanting Manmade Forest Bohol

Manmade forest Bohol province

5.     Tarsier Conservation Center
The 5th stop we made was in Tarsier Conservation Area where we’ve got the chance to have a close encounter with the Philippines pride as one of the smallest primate in the world, the Tarsier. Arriving here, we were greeted by a local tour guide that discussed to us some friendly reminders. Tarsier is a nocturnal animal which is highly sensitive to light that’s why flash photography is not allowed. You must also observe silence while touring since all of them were sleeping at daytime. It’s an unforgettable experience for us since we only see tarsiers on books and internet. They are all adorable most especially Tarsier moms bringing their little ones. We can’t take our eyes staring at them while grasping the branches of small trees and winking their large eyes.

Hide n Seek Tarsier

tight grip on a tree - Bohol's tarsier

So small yet so cute - Tarsier

6.       Hanging Bridge
Our 6th destination was the Sipatan Hanging Bridge made up of bamboo. Honey teased me while crossing the bridge since it’s swaying while I’m grasping my balance on every step I make and I’m so afraid with the thought that the bridge may fall down hahaha.  At the end of the bridge there are several souvenir stalls where you can find cheaper goodies (pasalubong) that you can bring home to your family and friends.

Bohol's Hanging Bridge

Bohol's Hanging bridge

7.       Loboc River
During lunch time, our driver dropped us off to a selection of restaurants where you will be cruising along the Loboc river. An eat-all-you-can buffet costs us 400 pesos per head with a jetty stopover in a raft-like stage where locals entertained us by folk dance and serenaded us by local songs. It was really a great experience eating sumptuous lunch while cruising along Loboc River with beautiful view of lush greeneries coordinated with acoustic singers.

sumptuous meal Loboc River

Loboc River Cruisin'

Beautiful view while cruising aboard a floating restaurant Loboc River

Loboc River

Loboc River

Loboc River Bohol

Stop over Loboc River cruise Bohol

8.       Bohol Python & Wildlife Park
T   This fun place is more of a mini zoo where you will get a chance to hold and have a close encounter with photo op to different animals, birds, reptiles and the largest snake in captivity.

Python... so scary!

     9.    Baclayon Church
Our last stop to complete our Countryside tour was the famous Baclayon church, one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. Adjacent to the church was a museum where you can find some old artifacts.

Baclayon Church

Baclayon Church Altar

In General, our trip to Bohol was really a great and wonderful experience. You will definitely fall in love with this province as it offers not only historical places but beautiful mountain views, stunning white beaches, cute creatures like Tarsier and the reflection on how locals give importance to their ecosystem. 

We will surely go back to Bohol! =)

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