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January 17, 2012

❆❆❆ Christmas in Bohol ❆❆❆

After the tiring and stressful bazaar last month, our family spent Christmas in Bohol and Cebu.

We first headed to Bohol via Super Cat's Cebu-Tagbiliran trip and rented a shuttle to take us to Panglao Island.

The shuttle we rented was good for 10 pax but our group of 11 managed to fit in. Shuttle rentals from the terminal to Panglao usually cost around P800 but we managed to haggle and eventually settled for P700.

We stayed at Panglao Regents Park near Alona Beach which I learned was a great location for water sports. I suggested and booked the place since according to online sources, it's just a few minutes walk from the beachfront of Alona Beach.

Here are some photos of the place:
Entrance
Bar and Dining Area
Poolside Rooms
Poolside
View from the Second Floor
Second Level Rooms

After checking in, we decided to have a late lunch or early dinner as it was around 5:00pm already. We asked some people and they would always recommend the restaurants along Alona Beach.

And so, off we went to Alona Beach. It was quite far compared to how it was described online but we still managed to arrive with our hungry and rumbling stomachs.

We passed by the various restaurants just along the beach front. There were even vendors selling native necklaces with different kinds of shell pendants. There was also a Tattoo station where you can have yourself a Henna.




The beach was great but the water was not that clear as I expected it to be. The sands were fine and white though. There were many foreigners on the area that time, mostly Europeans enjoying the warmth of the sun as it touches their skin for that perfect tan.



A guy we approached recommended Roderick and Vivien where we could have some fresh seafood selections.





There was indeed a variety of fresh seafood choices but we decided to check the other restaurants first.

We ended up eating in this bar & restaurant called Alona Vida. It was located at the far end part of the beach.

(review on a different post)


After our sumptuous meal, we headed back to the resort to rest. It was a tiring day since we started to travel  at 6:00 in the morning going to the airport. From the plane to the ferry, to the shuttle rides and the walking we did. It was really a tiring day already even if we haven't done anything yet.

Then we decided to go for a swim later in the evening. The pool was quite big and we were lucky to have the pool for ourselves that night.

At around 10:00 pm, we went hungry and so we bought a whole roasted chicken just along the street near our place. We also ate some chips, bread, fruits and some leftover food we had during our late lunch in Alona Vida.

Second Day

Woke up early today since Kuya Fronie- the van driver we hired would pick us up at 8:00 in the morning. Our agenda for today was a city tour of Bohol.

But first, we took our breakfast in the hotel's restaurant.


I got the Classic Regents Breakfast (P245)-  Two eggs sunny side up, bratwurst sausage, ham served with toasted bread with jam and butter.

The meal also includes 2 kinds of drink- coffee or tea, and orange juice or iced tea.



Nothing special about their breakfast. The heavy breakfast meal was just perfect to fill our tummies before the  day tour starts.

Our first stop, The Hinagdanan Cave.


Our tour guide was very funny and kind. He explained some facts about the cave very well and added some humor about it.

I must also commend his skill on photography. I guess they were trained to learn these kind of things in the nature of their work.

He was really good! And to show how good he was, I would like to show the pictures I took and his for comparison.

Here are some of my shots of the cave:





And here are his shots:




Although some photos were blurry due to the movements of the subject, his shots highlighted the beauty of the cave and captured the wonderful colors of what Hinagdanan Cave has to offer.

Beware of some bird droppings as there were a lot of them inside. You could also tell from the number of droppings on the floor and on the waters too.

The cave was just a small area and it was really hot inside. The moment we went outside, it was like a breath of fresh air. Some of us even went to buy for some shirts from the souvenir shops just outside the cave to change their sweat-filled shirts.




It was a great experience but I think the tour guide was the major factor why we enjoyed this tour. He made us laugh all the time and his photography skills wowed us big time.

Our second stop, Dauis Church.


Dedicated to our Lady of the Assumption, Dauis Church is famous for its miraculous well inside the church. It was said that even if the church is located near a body of salt water, the water inside the well was fresh and potable. The water was said to be miraculous, healing the sickness and ailments of some devotees. When the water was checked and underwent various testing, it tested negative for heavy metal contamination. We were even given free bottles of the water upon going out.


There's a wide area at the back of the church with green grass and tall trees. The scenery creates a relaxing and fresh ambiance that truly takes all your stress away. :)


A huge Acacia Tree is also situated in the middle of a small park where tourists and even residents could sit down and take a rest for a while.


After the church visit, we went straight to our third destination.

The Blood Compact Shrine or Sandugo Monument

The Blood Compact Shrine is also one of the popular tourist attractions in Bohol. The shrine was made by Napoleon Abueva in honor of the blood compact treaty of friendship made by Miguel Lopez de Laegaspi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol.


And then our fourth stop was at Loboc River where we had our lunch buffet. It was a river cruise buffet where tourist would have their lunch in a floating restaurant.

Upon arriving, our driver led us to the Loboc Riverwatch Floating Resto stand which I think was the most popular choice among tourists.




We purchased our tickets for the cruise and lunch buffet which was around P400+ per person. Tourists and visitors would also be asked if they would like to treat their drivers for lunch too. In our case, we did since he was very kind and accommodating to us.





The Food:














Nothing really special about the food. I just feasted on the shrimps and crabs so I guess I made their rates worth it! :)

At first I thought that we will be eating our lunch during the boat trip but since they are still waiting for some other walk in tourists, we had our lunch while the boat was still on dock. 

Once the river tour started, we were already done with our lunch. It was also a great thing that we ate early since we were able to appreciate the place and ambiance more. 




We stopped at a small kubo before going back and we were welcomed by some residents wearing blue. They were singing and playing the ukulele at the same time. We were allowed to go down and join them for some photo souvenirs.



We were even taught how to dance to the tinikling. :) My dad and uncle had so much fun and were really game to learn the classic folk dance.



And we're back to the dock.



It was really one enjoying activity. The Loboc River Cruise is definitely one activity you shouldn't miss in Bohol.

Next, our fifth stop- The Hanging Bridge of Bohol

Just a few minutes away from our previous destination, the hanging bridge is another famous spot for tourists in Bohol. 

It is a suspension bridge with bamboo flooring and cables on each end for a stronger hold and security.

A P10.00 entrance fee is collected from those who wish to cross the bridge. 
If you come in a group, you may ask for a free head charge just like what we did. There were 11 of us and they agreed to give a 10+1 promo :) 


Since the bridge has a narrow pathway, they made 2 hanging bridges with a one-way direction  One will be for going to the other side, while the other is for going back to where you started.

Upon reaching the other side, there is a small shop where you can buy some souvenirs like keychains, ref magnets, mugs, hairbands, hats and even food delicacies.



Crossing the bridge will be scary for those who are afraid of heights. The bridge sways and moves as other people cross it. Luckily, there were only few tourists that time making the bridge less shaky and wobbly.

Next on the list is the Tarsier Conservation Area which is also found in Loboc.

I was looking forward to this because I was excited to finally see a tarsier and be able to hold it too.

Sadly, during the orientation before the tour, the guide told us that we can no longer touch or hold them. :( It was one way to prevent disturbing the tarsier especially during daytime when they are asleep.

We were only allowed to take some photos of them as long as we don't use flash. It was hard to spot the tarsiers since most of them are above the trees if not sleeping. Luckily, we spotted on him :)


Our group posing outside the conservation area

Our last and final stop for the day- what Bohol is truly known for- The Chocolate Hills
On the way, we passed by the Man-Made Mahogany Trees located at the border of Loboc and Bilar.


Finally, we have reached our final destination.

There is an entry point before going up the hill where you have to pay for the entrance fee. After the payment, we started to drive up the curvy zigzag road to the parking area.

Only a few of us decided to go up the viewing deck for a clearer and wider view of the chocolate hills.

It was a long and tiring trip going up the stairs. But once you reach the top, the exhaustion immediately goes away. The climb was definitely worth it!




It was a long tiring day that most of us were asleep on the way back to the resort. But before going back, we dropped by Island City Mall to buy some food for our Noche Buena. Our driver was really nice to drive us over there even if it was past his schedule already. It was past 8pm when we reached our hotel and the day tour should have ended around 5pm.

These are the list of places included in the tour but we did not go to those highlighted in green since others did not want to already. Aside from that, time constraint and location was also a factor.Just the same, we still enjoyed the whole tour of Bohol. :)


  • Chocolate Hills 
  • Manmade Forest 
  • Hanging Bridge 
  • Lunch at Loboc River 
  • Tarsier Sanctuary 
  • butterfly garden
  • Biggest Python in Captivity
  • Baclayon Church 
  • Blood Compact Shrine 
  • Dauis Church 
  • Hinagdanan Cave 
  • Bohol Bee Farm
Our Bohol experience was truly a memorable one. But I don't think we will be visiting again soon since some of the people in our group did not enjoyed Bohol so much.

I could only say that visiting Bohol once in your life is definitely a must! We must learn to appreciate what our country has to offer and start to explore our country's beautiful treasures. #It'sMoreFunInThePhilippines :)

21 comments:

  1. wow your trip looks great! i've always wanted to go to Bohol, i hope i get the chance this year!

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    1. I've always wanted to visit bohol too..finally the long wait was over :)

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  2. I've never been to Bohol, but I'll definitely try to visit it within the year.. :D Would love to see the Chocolate Hills too and try crossing the Hanging Bridge.. :)

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    1. Go! :) I'm sure you'll have fun too :)

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  3. we went there before Xmas too!! Place and food is so nice. Too bad you missed Bohol Bee Farm, food was AWESOME :)

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    1. really? aww.. sad :( well, gives me a reason to go back right? haha! :)

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    2. Haha!! true! don't miss their ice cream (gotta be the best), halo-halo and squash bread with pesto bread! :)

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    3. Thanks! Will remember to try that on my next visit! :)

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  4. It's good that you were able to compile all your Bohol-tripping in one post. Until now I still haven't posted some of mine which was still last Nov. Hahaha! Remembering our trip there, I would gladly shout, indeed, "it's more fun in the Philippines.
    Nice that you had a great time. Lovely pictures, btw.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Actually this post was drafted for 2 weeks already. It's was really hard to compile everything. Thank goodness I was able to finally finish after 2 weeks in the making haha!

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  5. WOW thank you for the very detailed tour. Always wanted to go their pero no funds eh.

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    1. It will save you a lot of money if you come in groups. Also try checking out airfare promos. Cebu Pac has a piso fare right now :)

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  6. Bohol is included in my places to visit this year, and reading your post excites me all the more :)

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    1. Also try their water adventure tour. Wasn't able to do some water sports due to time constraint :(

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  7. This post makes me excited for our Bohol trip on February 22. ^__^ Panglao Regents look really nice. How about the rooms? Actually, that was one of our choices but we decided to book in Bohol Bee Farm instead. Maybe next time we will try there. Thanks for sharing. I'll make sure to wear comfy clothes on the countryside tour since we will also be going to Hinagdanan Cave.:)

    Take care! :)

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  8. These pictures of Bohol are truly unforgettable. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. wow! I haven't been in Bohol! Envy much... Thanks for sharing :)

    http://www.gelaikuting.com/

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  10. Is there a corkage fee for bringing food inside Panglao Regents Park Resort?

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  11. Hi Hi @d3c0bf1dcaaef56de3f9faf0af1080b2:disqus , as far as i could remember, we were able to bring some snacks, water and other food inside.. they were not too strict naman :) , as far as i could remember, we were able to bring some snacks, water and other food inside.. they were not too strict naman :)

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  12. Ericka SalladorDecember 18, 2014

    Wow! Hope I could visit Bohol next year! :)

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