It’s day 2 of our Bohol escapade! After a restful night we woke up early since the call time of our tour guide – Kuya JB was 8:00 am. He advised us to start early so we can make the most of our Country Side Tour. Kuya JB Gamolo (09369034159) if you may ask, is also our tour guide during our first time in Bohol but thru a packaged one from the hotel (at higher price of course) , he told us that if ever we go back we can just contact him directly so he can arrange tours for us on his own – and boy, the price had a significant drop. 😜
We had breakfast by the pool area. They offer different kinds of plated brekky such as American, Filipino & Continental ; but ofcourse, being the Pinoys that we are — rice is life, so we go all Filipino (si mom lang ata yung hindi :P) you can choose from coffee, hot chocolate or fruit juices for your drink. The only down side for me is that breakfast is not included in the room-rate so you have to pay for it separately for PHP 260.00 a plate- quite expensive I know, but the serving is fair enough and if you’re lazy to go out and look for food in the morning this will do.
First Stop: Blood Compact Shrine (Free of fees)
The shrine was built to honor an important event in Philippine history between Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. The blood compact between the two is known as the first treaty between the races. It is also known as the “Sandugo“.
The best time to go there is at the morning since the area is quite small and may get cramped by other tourists. It is located just just along the national road and expect alot of souvenir vendors pursuing you to buy from them. We just had our photo taken by Kuya JB and left right after.
Baclayon Church and Museum (entrance fee of PHP50.00 for the museum)
A centuries old Catholic church visited by tourists on a daily basis that also houses a museum of a variety of catholic religious artifacts. Due to the rules imposed, visitors can only explore the museum but are forbidden to take photos. From elegantly designed vestments used years ago to large religious books written in latin. This small spot can take you back in time and show you the legacy of the Spaniards to our homeland.
Aside from the Chocolate Hills there is one other word almost synonymous to Bohol and that is -Tarsier. The world’s smallest primate. People will be doubtful if you really went to Bohol if don’t share a piece of your Tarsier encounter and they will be expecting you to bring home a key chain or a ref magnet with an image of this tiny fuzzy creatures.
The sanctuary has guides stationed to direct you on the tarsiers’ whereabouts. Going around the area allotted for visitors wanting to see these guys in their natural habitat is a bit slippery that time, it drizzled lightly causing the soil to be soft and muddy (felt sorry for the guy who wore his all white stan smiths 🙁), they have a washing area naman – so all is good.
Loboc River Cruise (PHP450.00 fee for cruise and buffet lunch)
This is something you shouldn’t miss if ever you plan to have a DIY country side tour. The cruise will let you experience the charm of this humble river that runs through Loboc, as the boat glides smoothly while you enjoy a buffet of different asian dishes – pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables, local desserts, fruits in season and a glass of soda or iced tea (you can buy addtl drink in can if you wish). There is someone onboard to serenade you the whole time as well.
As the river go further from the wharf you will notice a lusher area of the forest, see local kids jumping from the trees into the inviting water, rowing small boats as they greet tourists with all smiles. There is also a part wherein the boat will stop at a platform and you can watch a set of locals perform as they sing and dance gracefully, they also invite you to perform with them; this is such a treat specially for the foreigners eager to experience a taste of the Filipino culture. The cruise lasted about an hour – to and fro. We stepped out of the boat with our tummies full and satisfied, a PHP 450 well spent – I must say. 🙂
This is Bohol’s most famous attraction. These are over a thousand hills uniformly shaped like Hershey chocolate Kisses; turns green sometimes if it’s covered with grass but often times are chocolate brown in color. Up until this day, it is said that geologists still cannot come to an agreement as to how these hills are formed; but until then let’s just embrace the mystery of mother nature.
Going Up-close and Personal : ATV & Buggy Ride (ATV: PHP 750.00 / Buggy: PHP 1450.00 + PHP 50 for brgy. fees)
Before heading out to the viewing deck, Kuya JB brought us to an ATV & Buggy rental station. This is another way to appreciate the hills and to marvel in its beauty. They have different packages – 30 mins, 1hr, 2hr & 4hr rides. We chose the 1Hr. ride where we will get to visit 3 destinations – 3 sisters’ , 8 sisters’ hill and the mini rice terraces. They will provide helmets and a guide to accompany your group. Expect that your feet and legs may get dirty and muddy since the road is a bit of a rough terrain – which adds to the excitement in it!
The kuya guide is also a hustler in taking photos – making us strike a pose to create trick shots of the hills. (my mom enjoyed this one the most). TIP: Try to haggle on the price as well specially if you’re a big group, they also give discounts to seniors – yey for mom and pops!
Man Made Forrest (Free of fees)
Stretching at 2KM from the town border of Loboc and Bilar this man made forest of dense mahogany trees creates a perfect backdrop for your photos. It’s kinda chilling at first, not just because it’s gives shade from the heat of the sun; but it’s visually chilling – ala Twilight feels. You just have to pick your perfect spot since there are also alot of other tourists stopping in the area. You also have to pose and take photos quickly ’cause it’s actually a road where cars and motorcycles pass by. 🤦🏻♀️
(inserting our 2015 shots to explain why it’s a #BuwisBuhayPhoto 😂)
Butterfly Conservation Center (PHP 45 entrance fee)
This is just your usually butterfly conservation center where they explain the life cyle of the butterflies and some insects. The guide throws funny jokes and explains everything in mastery. We were asked to pose for trick shot using butterfly wings. If you’re a group of adults, you can skip this part of the trip. But since we have Bubear with us, we gave this a visit. Another thing we loved about this place is their ice candy and how damn good it was – it’s sooo creamy. There are alot of natural flavors to choose from. They sell this in a kiosk before you pass by the exit.
Hanging Bridge (PHP 20.00 entrance fee)
A foot bridge made of Bamboo and steels that crosses Loboc River. May be scary for some as the bridge actually sways while you walk, a photographer will ask you to stop at the middle and will take photos of you and your group. It spans up to 40 meters and you will find a small souvenir shop where you can also select your preferred souvenir photo. 2 printed copies for PHP100.00 + if you can work your charm they can give you the soft copy as well.
We ended the Country Side Tour at around 6:30pm, headed straight for dinner and rested as the next day will be more exciting – Dolphin Watching & Balicasag sea tour.
Day 3, 4 and budget on my next blog!