“Balik sa Bohol, balik!”
The guy with the guitar sang on. The words were in the Visayan dialect which translated to “Come back to Bohol, come back”. And like a very good girl, I came back to Bohol for another weekend getaway. This was my second time in the island. But I still fell in love with it, much like I was the first time I saw it.
From Cebu’s Pier 1, we took a 2-hour boat ride to reach Tagbilaran. When we reached the port, we quickly found the driver of our chartered van. He was holding a flimsy cardboard with our names written on it. He was very chatty, which was great because he spoke in Visayan, the same dialect that I speak. Some of them speak Tagalog, which I was never really good at, despite all the mandatory years of studying it.
Our chatty driver told us stories of what happened during the 2013 earthquake in Bohol. And he pointed out the cracks and other damages caused by the quake. It was heartbreaking to see the ruins of once great landmarks, but I was glad to see the resilience of the Boholanons to continue on and start anew. Especially with their tourism business.
It was almost lunchtime when we arrived. So of course, our first stop was at a restaurant. Or better yet, a floating restaurant!♥
We ate a hearty buffet lunch while cruising through the Loay-Loboc river.
However, with all my lazy hours spent watching Gordon Ramsay, I wasn’t blown away by the food. But I would still say that this tour is worth adding to your itinerary because you get to see the natural beauty of the river and some mini performances from locals doing the traditional dance or singing folk songs. And.. you get to see the people of the Ati Tribe.
They are an ethnic group closely related to the original inhabitants of the Philippine islands. They are few in number now, but there are other groups scattered in other islands as well.
After that, we were off to see the tarsiers. They are creatures that look like miniature monkeys with big glass-like eyes and knobbly hands, just like Dobby the house elf. They are nocturnal creatures, which meant they are pretty much boring during daytime because they just do nothing but sleep. But still, you need to check them out. Because you’ve never really been to Bohol if you haven’t seen the tarsiers.
The next stop was the Butterfly Sanctuary where a local guide showed us the biological details of butterflies. I kept my distance during the caterpillar-session because I hate worms, and all worm-like creatures. So I can’t tell you much about it. But then the guide led us to a small garden filled with countless full-grown butterflies. It was an amazing sight, to see such fragile and angelic beings fluttering their tiny wings.
They allow you to touch the butterflies, put em in your hair and have your picture taken. I don’t know if this is okay for the butterflies, because you know, they’re so fragile, but I had my picture taken anyway.
Heavy rain clouds started to darken the sky. And sounds of distant thunder warned us of an impending downpour. We were on our way to see the famous Chocolate Hills. But unfortunately, the rain got there before us. Only a single mound of perfectly-shaped earth covered by a thick sheet of white was barely visible.
We stopped there to wait out the rain, it wasn’t safe to be driving on the slippery road with only a few feet of visibility. When the rain finally slowed down, we moved out towards the resort where we will be staying for the night.
The Bellevue Resort. It was this uber grand paradise situated in Panglao island. Staying there turned out to be the highlight of this entire trip. ♥ The resort had great amenities, great staff, great everything! You can check out their website at this link: www.thebellevue.com/bohol.
I crave to have another vacation just by looking back at my photos. Sigh.
You don’t have to hit the beach only during the summer. Because here in Bohol, almost everyday is summer! ♥