Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bohol in my Mind - My memorable trips to Bohol

Bohol - Sign
Bohol is probably one of my favorite islands in the world. For me, the island experience is a complete package. It does not only have pristine white sand beaches and torquoise water, it has centuries old landmarks and natural wonders. 

 This blog is dedicated to the beautiful island of Bohol.

It was in 2006 when Mijo and I first visited the island of Bohol. Here is the postage stamp from the Bohol postcard I sent myself. That postcard is my treasured souvenir from Bohol.

It is easy to romanticize Bohol. The first impression I had of the island is tranquility and idyllic. If I had money and time, I'd like a summer home in the middle of this rice field. 
Bohol - countryside

The airport is located in the main city in the island called Tagbilaran City. It is bustling and colorful. The first thing I noticed was the sweet sound of the Visayan language being spoken around me. It is as if I flew from Manila to a foreign place. Eventhough it was my father's mother tongue, I never learned how to speak Visayan.
Bohol - Tagbilaran

The famous Chocolate Hills are located in the heart of Bohol island. From the viewing deck, I could see similarly shaped green and brown hills as far as the eye could see. The viewing deck is quite a hike from the parking lot. I recommend pacing yourself when you hike up the stairs. I was told that the hills used to be underwater coral reefs millions of years ago. Mijo thinks the hills may be man-made and may have been used as tombs of chieftains and powerful men. Of course, there is no truth to that.
Bohol - Chocolate Hills viewing deck

One of the things in my list to-see is the tarsier. They're so cute. I've seen them in pictures before but seeing them in person in their natural habitat was absolutely unforgettable. They are nocturnal animals and smaller than my iphone. You have to look carefully under the leaves and branches to find one.
Bohol - Tarsier

Mijo and I took a guided tour of Bohol island. One of the older churches is the Baclayon church. We went inside the church and also checked out the outer wing on the right side of the church.
Bohol - Baclayon church

Bohol - Baclayon church inside

This is the statue of the Blood Compact.

Bohol - Blood Compact statue

Another tranquil experience is a boat ride through the Loboc river. 
Bohol - Loboc River

If you are feeling adventurous, try crossing these hanging bridges. I had summoned the courage to cross because I was curious what lies on the other side of the river. I suggest truly hold on tight and watch where you step.
Bohol - Hanging Bridge

I was just in Bohol in August with my mom, my siblings and their families. We all stayed at Amorita Resort which is a good hotel in a great location with an amazing view of Alona Beach.
Bohol - Alone Beach morning bw

Bohol - Alona Beach at dusk

The breakfast was good too. For someone who misses Filipino cuisine, I only selected the exotic ones that are hard to find in the States like these small dried fish localled called danggit.
Bohol - Breakfast dried fish

My all time favorite Filipino style congee or locally called Arroz Caldo.
Bohol - Filipino Congee

I noticed these small but charming decor at the hotel's lobby. They may be leaning on religious but they are intricate enough to be a decor. I wonder if I can find one of these in Bohol's market in the city?
Bohol - Hotel decor

Alona Beach is a jewel in Bohol. The sand is fine powdery white sand and the water is crystal clear. The beach is shallow so it is perfect for wading and soaking.
Bohol - Alona Beach stroll

This calm and quiet scene transform into a fun evening when the restaurants and bars put tables and chairs.
Bohol - Alona Beach white sand

For those who are avoiding the damaging effects of bathing in the sun, there is an area near Amorita Resort where the cliff casts a shade on the beach.
Bohol - Beach scene

Or under the trees.
Bohol - Alona beach

Here is the view of Alona Beach taken from near the cliff.
Bohol - Alona Beach water

On my first visit to Bohol a few years ago, Mijo and I stayed on the northern part of Panglao Island in a resort called PINR or Panglao Island Nature Resort.
Bohol - Panglao Island Nature Resort sign

It is a gated hotel and it has a private beach. The views are breath taking as well. The islet is a bonus.
Bohol - Panglao Island islet high tide

I woke up early the next day and I was greeted by this scene. Amazing that the beach exposed more of its pristine powdery white sands when the water recedes during low tide.
Bohol - Panglao Island islet low tide

The water came back slowly in the afternoon.
Bohol - Panglao Island islet

Since theirs is a private beach, I was alone most of the time on the beach. I think most guests preferred to stay at the pool at that time.
Bohol - Panglao Island beach

There is also a cave within PINR's premises. A hotel guide toured us around the cave which is also known locally as Hinagdanan cave.
Bohol - Hinagdanan Cave

My sis-in-law and Manila blogger took us to Bohol Bee farm for her belated birthday treat a couple of months ago.
Bohol - Bohol Bee Farm

Here's the view of the sea of Bohol from the restaurants dining hall. Our lunch sampling local specialties was super delicious. Thanks Kaye!
[read Kaye's Timeless Confection blog here] 
Bohol - Restaurant

A local tasty and crunchy snack called cab-cab paired with sauces and dips.
Bohol - Cabcab

After lunch, we strolled around the Bohol Bee Farm complex and found this ice cream store selling ice cream with local flavors.
Bohol - Ice cream store

Bohol - Ice Cream flavors

I sampled their ginger ice cream (yellow) and their malunggay flavor (green). The ginger was delicous and had a complex and spicy finish. Something I haven't tasted before. The malunggay ice cream is delicious as well and tastes very similar to green tea ice cream.
Bohol - Malunggay Ice Cream

Thank you Bohol for all the great memories. 

I will continue to include the entire province my prayers and silent moments for a quick recovery from the recent earthquake disaster.



I was deeply saddened by the recent unfortunate events in that area. First was the earthquake that hit the island of Bohol and now the terrible aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  

If you feel so moved and financially able to donate, please consider donating monetarily via the Philippine Red Cross or other charitable institutions you are familiar with.   Let's continue to remember the families and communities affected by these natural calamities in your silent moments, meditations or prayers.

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