Saturday, July 4, 2015

Philippines - Cebu - Day 1

To do:
Bohol Day Tour

Upon our arrival at 4 am, our friend picked us up from the airport to drop us off cruise centre for our boat ride to Bohol island. Its an hour boat ride and we are really tired from our overnight flight. Fortunately for us, we are booked on the VIP seats and the seating is huge and comfy, allowing us to catch the much needed fifty winks. Most importantly, the upper deck VIP seats have security assigned considering that we have all our luggage in tow.

Our assigned driver is at the harbour to pick us for our day tour around the island. While the person is familiar with the areas, his car rim is uneven which creates a lot of noise while we are on the road. Fortunately, it doesn't make our road trip any bumpier. Communication is slightly difficult to our dismay as the driver/guide knows only a smattering of English. So we just pass our list of sights to him and he drove us around.

I am a little unhappy with him since he said he bring us around according to the list but at the end of the day, he told us the last location is too far out to visit. From what i understand, the sights we intend to visit has actually been communicated to him prior to our arrival through our contact and we are charged additional for that location. Though we did not make a fuss with this arrangement, we spend the rest of the afternoon lazing around the resort.

Blood compact site: This place has a historical significance but there is literally nothing except for the statue there to mark the Sikatuna-Legaspi blood compact (First treaty of friendship between 2 different reaces, religion and culture.)

Balcayon Church: Its a old delipidated church is a state of neglect. It is a pretty sad sight to behold as it used to be so grand with the nice wood frescos. Now parts of the church is falling apart with the painting peeling. I am not even certain if it is structurally sound. Nevertheless, do include this place should be in your must visit list.
Baclayon Church

Interior of Baclayon Church

Visit to Tarsier. I initially thought that this animal is slow loris. After further research, this seems to be unique to area. This creature is nocturnal so it is likely that when you visit it in the day, it will be asleep. There is only a few of this creature when we visited. Some are resting but some is just lazing there. The movements are very slow and it rarely blinks its eyes. Most amazingly is it can turn its head 180 degrees.

"The Philippine tarsier (Carlito syrichta), known locally as mawmag is a species of tarsier endemic to the Philippines. It is found in the southeastern part of the archipelago, particularly on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao." From wikipedia.

The cute little Tasier

Chocolate Hills:  The highlight of Bohol. You need to walk a hundred steps to for the amazing view.
Though at the time of visit, chocolate hills is a brilliant green nothing that reminds you of chocolate. During summer, this area will turn brown looking like bars of chocolate, hence, its name.

It is unknown how many chocolate hills there are. It is known that at the bare minimum there are 1268 hills but some estimates put this number as high as 1776.

Geologists have differing views about how these hills were formed. One plausible theory is that they are weathered formations of a marine limestone lying on top of an impenetrable clay base. Whatever their origin, being in their presence is a surreal experience, and as landscapes go, one of the most bizarre you can encounter.

Greeny chocolate hills

To Eat:

Jollibee - Budget 3 stars

Our first stop even before tour starts as we are immensely hungry. I like the fried chicken which is coated with a sweet sauce. But the rice that goes with it doesn't really suit. Moreover, the quality of the rice is much inferior to Thai fragrant rice that Singaporeans are use to.

Counter at Jollibee

Breakfast - fried wings

Rio Verde Loboc River Cruise -Budget 3 stars
*Must always get the receipt from the payment counter. I encountered an incident here Though we paid for the entrance fees but were not issued the food vouchers. When we boarded the cruise, we are requested to provide the vouchers and the person who took our money insist that it has been passed to our driver. And the cruise operator has no choice but let us eat the food but keep asking for the voucher now and then. The person collecting the entrance fee feign non-nonchalance throughout. So we are in quite an awkward position.

There is 2 korean tour groups with us so food served is a little inadequate though there is refill but still minimal. The little downside of not traveling in a group. Food is not too bad but i didnt' get to eat to my heart's content. For the price of 500 PHP is not too bad.

Food on board

This Luboc cruise has a lesser crowd then the first one we stopped. The queue for the original luboc cruise is at least an hour long. We requested our driver to drive us elsewhere or skip this itinerary entirely.

The boat cruise has a stopover at an island. Photo opportunity with the kids and villagers on the island is by money donation.
Island photo opportunity
I like the singing performance towards the end of our journey when we are cruising our way back to the pier.

Bohol Beach Club- Mid range - 4 stars

Dinner is at the Beach Club as there is no other places to dine. Fortunately, the food is very yummy and nice. My hubby love the super light tasting San Miguel, philippines beer. The following days he went around looking for this beer everywhere he goes.

We also tried the fried pork knuckle (Crispy pata) and give it raving reviews. The dip is a spicy soy-vinegar dip. Salad is also cripsy. I didn't like my mains - Chicken Portuguese i ordered as the chicken is too dry. But it still platable.

To Stay:

Bohol Beach Club
Bo. Boloh, Island of Panglao, Bohol, Philippines 6340

Pathways leading to the various rooms
This is a very comfortable local hotel. Nice environment outdoors to enjoy yourself. It felt like a million bucks and the best decision made despite my tired body screaming for sleep.
Enjoying our non alcoholic welcome drink
Enjoying the view of the deep blue sea
Bohol Beach Club room

The sea view is an added bonus. Sections of the beach is covered with gravel like sand making it difficult to go for a romantic walk. But i like the outdoor area to relax and chill with the lounge chairs and hammock. This beach is private making it inaccessible to the public.

The surprise fireworks at night is also an added bonus.

The room itself is spacious with lots of room to boogie. The bed is a little firm but does ensure a comfortable night sleep.

Travel tip: if you wish to go on snorkeling tour, be sure to arrive at 6 am as the tour usually departs early morning and return after lunch. Price at time of travel is 5,500 pesos which 95% guarantee of seeing dolphins.