Street but Sweet


Monday, July 24, 2006

WOW Philippines 2006: Bohol

It wasn't what I expected, but it was exactly what I needed.

Months ago, H and I got those P1 (or was it P99? Can't remember!) tickets to Bohol from a local airline. Amazingly, my parents were actually OK with the two of us going on a trip by ourselves. (Matanda na raw kami. Haha). All the stress from work and my general everyday boredom had me totally looking forward to the trip.

After days and days of rain and gloomy weather, I woke up to sunny skies last Friday. Woohoo! We were off. The flight was delayed though (so was our return much for the airline's 95% on-time track record. They were 0-2 on our trip! Blame the weather for that). We landed in Tagbilaran and, while it was a bit cloudy, at least there wasn't any rain.

Headed to Bohol Divers Resort on Alona Beach. Based on my internet research, it was the only place within our price range which actually had cable TV, so we had a winner! We paid P3,000 a night for a large room with a king-size bed, a reading nook, and enough free space to practice a dance routine! The bathroom was huge. It even had a tub.

(Top photo) Home sweet home: the facade of our digs at Bohol Divers. (Bottom) H at the reading corner.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the beach to check out the other resorts and places to eat. It wasn't as nice as I expected it to be. I was told it was like Boracay, but the shoreline wasn't quite as expansive as, say, Station 1's. The sand was a powdery off-white, but, due to the strong winds, it was littered with leaves. I'm also beginning to think I was spoiled by Sumilon because the water didn't look that enticing. Maybe it was the seaweed. Or because the weather just wasn't fit for swimming. Still, it was pretty enough.

Alona Beach on less-than-sunny days.

Right beside our resort was a nice-looking one called Isis Bungalows which I didn't come across while researching. Darn. Oh well, no regrets. Pictures of the resort available on its website.

We spent our first evening at Cafe Vida (I don't know if I'm inventing this--we can't remember the exact name), where we feasted on tuna sashimi, pork barbecue, and chicken barbecue. And thus began our food trip! At the outset, I wanted the trip to have loads of good food squeezed in--we already skimped on the airfare and accommodations (kind of, considering their are resorts with rooms at twice the price we got), so I was ready to blow my money on food! I've decided to make it one of my Rules of Travel: No matter what the budget, always have at least one memorable meal. It could be delicious, unusual, interesting, even icky--but this is case to case! Read more about our Bohol food adventure in my food blog.

The next day, we decided to do the whole touristy thing. We went to see the Chocolate Hills, which were actually some of the weirdest things I've ever laid eyes on! But it was a good kind of weird. Weird in the sense that you can't help wondering and being amazed at how they got there.


Next, we wanted to see the tarsiers! Poor creatures--aren't they supposed to be asleep during the day? There's a sign that says not to use flash photography, but we kept seeing flashes going off and people going, "Ay!" or "Bawal nga flash eh!" (Guilty! We had a hard time figuring out how to work such a high-tech camera so we had an accidental flash. I'm used to my good ol' EasyShare!)

High five! Didn't realize they were so small!

The tarsiers are right beside the Loboc River, which reminded me of the last part of Love in the Time of Cholera. Er, sans the floating corpses! I just felt like the river was so connected to the past somehow, like it belonged in a bygone era. I could imagine characters from Noli washing clothes on the banks. Maybe it's because when I think of present-day rivers, I associate them with pollution. And this one looked virtually untouched.

H wasn't sold on the idea of cruising down the river on a boat and having
a buffet lunch while some musicians serenaded us, so we just stayed
on dry land and took pictures from there.

We made a quick stop at the Sandugo monument. (It was actually the Sandugo Festival when we were in Bohol, but the festivities were in Tagbilaran, some 25 minutes away from Alona.) It commemorates the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. They each made a cut on the left arm, collected their dripping blood, and mixed it with wine. The two leaders drank the mixture. According to the Bohol Sandugo website, "The Blood Compact sealed the ties of friendship between two people once different in religion, nationality, culture and civilization." And gave a whole new meaning to the word "dinuguan."


Afterwards, we headed to a place I read about on the net: the Bohol Bee Farm. They have a restaurant that serves organic vegetables and stuff laced with honey, and a store selling interesting things like honey-cheese spreads and corn-flavored coffee (yes, really). More about that in my food blog.

(Top) If you look closely at the sign, you'll see the bee is actually doing our
happy dance. Haha. (Bottom) A comy seating area at the resto.

For P20, you get a short tour of the farm. Technically, this wasn't the actual bee farm; it's pretty much just for tour purposes. The actual bee farm--where there are loads and loads of bees--is somewhere up north. Our guide pointed out their organically grown herbs and vegetables (including my least fave, arugula. Blech!), and showed us a pseudo-bee colony (it didn't have a queen). But it was cool seeing those bees up close.

(Top) The farm boy in his element. Haha. For some reason, I really like this photo.
(Middle and bottom) Bees bees bees!

Some things I learned about bees:
  • Each bee produces only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime.
  • 80% of all pollination is done by bees.
  • The queen is about twice the size of the average bee. Her job is simply to lay eggs.
  • The female bees are the ones that do all the work--they're the ones who gather nectar. As our guide said, they're sorta like servant girls!
  • The drones don't work at all. All they do is have sex with the queen. But after mating with the queen, they die. Ahh, justice.

We headed back to Alona and hung out on the beach for a bit. Decided to take a dip just so we could say that we experienced Bohol water! We were in there for a grand total of two minutes. Spent the rest of the afternoon reading and watching TV. I fell asleep and didn't get to see NU beat FEU for the first time in years.

It's somewhat distorted, taken at a weird angle, but strangely, it's another photo I like.

Later on, we had dinner at one of the ihaw-ihaw places. There were a bunch of dogs there, and one which had a neat trick--it sat beside Hamil and tapped him with its paw! Most dogs just sit there and stare. This one just kept trying to get his attention. Tap. Tap. Tap. When it realized it wasn't going to get any food, it just moved on to the next table. Later on, we went back to Cafe Vida for a few drinks...and more food! We were out for probably five hours that night and didn't run out of things to talk about or laugh about.

Next day was the sunniest since we got there, but we decided to sleep late--it was the weekend after all--before packing and heading back to the airport. While waiting for a delayed plane, we listened to this group of blind musicians--one of them had an awesome raspy voice, and he totally nailed "Love Hurts." The waiting crowd generally just treated 'em as pleasant background music but this little ditty had everyone applauding.

Our last meal. Sigh.

Then it was back to reality. We left the beach and the hills behind, I didn't get the tan I was hoping for (I'm back to being my pale self), but I came home recharged. I guess even if I didn't get the beach getaway I was hoping for, I was still invigorated by the new experiences, and just by being with H. It actually amazed me how we didn't get on each other's nerves the entire trip. Haha. We just really enjoyed being with each other. And it just made me even more excited about spending the rest of my life with him. (Cheesy! But true.)


  • At 7:37 AM , Blogger Dondi said...

    looks like good times! Ü

  • At 6:08 AM , Blogger Cathy said...

    Aaw.. I swear bagay talaga kayo :)

    Ang cute ng tarsier noh? Super small!! I never realized it was that small till i saw it in person.. :)

    Glad you enjoyed bohol! Hehe.. taga-bohol kasi dad ko, so in a way boholana rin ako ;p


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