Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated

Date of Trip: March 25-27

April 02,2022
Lipa, Batangas

I have been wanting to go to postcard-like places in the Philippines. I am glad that my friends made Bohol trip happen.

Bohol is an island in Visayas, the south-central part of the Philippines and the home of Chocolate Hills, the world’s smallest primate – tarsiers, and heritage sites. Bohol is very rich in history, natural resources, land of adventures, warm locals, appetizing food and one of the best economical gin and tonic I ever tasted.

Bohol was devastated by typhoon Odette last December 2021- the strongest typhoon that hit this beautiful island. But, I did not see any devastation from people’s faces – everyone was all smiles. It’s an incredible resilience from the Boholanos. I was in awe of Bohol. If I’d describe Bohol in a sentence, it would be – I’d definitely go back next weekend! 🙂

Restrictions

Bohol is accepting leisure travelers provided that they follow the standard health protocol. No medical certificates, S-pass, RT-PCR test or vaccination card to be presented to some establishments or checkpoints. But I suggest to always bring your vaccination card and for your protection, have yourself vaccinated.

FLIGHT

We booked our flight to Cebu Pacific from NAIA International Airport in Manila to Panglao International Airport for Php2,700-00 with return flight.

ACCOMMODATION

We booked our hotel at Hennan Resort Alona Beach. It took us 15 minutes to get to Hennan from Panglao International airport. The only reason I stayed here was because of friends, if it were for me I’d go backpacking haha. So, Hennan is a 5-star hotel. It’s a luxury hotel that only costs Php4,000/each for 3 days and 2 nights stay with buffet breakfast everyday. I liked our tranquil stay here especially it’s just 1 minute away from the beach, outdoor pools which offered beach view and pool bar.

BUDGET

My budget for this trip is Php13,000 for 3 days and 2 night inclusive of meals and tours.

Food

Will have separate blog on food

GETTING AROUND

You can rent a motorcycle, car or just ride tricycle as you visit places.

CURRENCY

Philippine peso. There are a lot of ATMs in the area so if you ran out of cash, they are easily accessible.

LANGUAGE

Filipino and Filipino dialects ( Boholano) and English.

Day 1

We left Manila around 10 in the morning. I was with my friends – Mark, Leng and Mark’s parents. As we were early, we just stayed in the airport bought sun glasses and ate at Wendy’s. I was excited to be traveling with my friends!

Our flight departed at 1:20pm and we arrived at Panglao Airport almost 3pm. We were not asked to provide any vaccination card or S-pass (travel pass) upon arriving. I guess you can travel freely in Bohol now.

We rented a van which cost Php500-00/5 people and it took 15 minutes to arrive at Hennan hotel. After we freshen up, we went to Alona beach – it’s a small stretch of white sand beach. Alona beach was named after an actress – Alona Alegre. She was an actress whom locals loved dearly because of her charm and genuine kindness. There were also restaurants near the beach which cater to picturesque views while you dine al fresco.

Alona beach was fine for me, not my favorite island but I like the fact that it’s very laid back and I love the water and the food so I’d still visit this place. After swimming, of course, we drank. I am a fan of the local beer in the Philippines – Pale Pilsen but Bohol has one of the best gin and tonic I ever tasted – I’ll mention this again in my Bohol Flavors soon!


Day 2

We woke up at 7 in the morning to have our coffee and breakfast. The 2nd day was all about exploring the city. We booked our private tour at Wow Bohol Travel and Tours which cost Php2,267 each. Leng did not join us because she already did the tour when she was in Bohol few months back. The tour was inclusive of Sandugo Site/Blood Compact, Baclayon Church, Tarsier Watching, Man made forest, Loboc River Cruise with lunch buffet, ATV and zipline and Chocolate Hills. Our tour guide’s name is Kuya Ronnie. The tour’s duration is about 8 hours.

Sandugo Site/Bohol Blood Compact Site

Located in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City, Bohol. It is 30-35 minutes away from Hennan. This site was made in honor of a very important event in the history of the Philippines between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. It is considered as the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations. It’s friendship based on respect and equality. It was constructed by national Artist, Napoleon Abueva, a Boholano.

Unfortunately, it was closed when we went here but it’s still good to witness Bohol’s important part of history. I took a photo with sea view.

Baclayon Church

The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon construction began in 1717 and is considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is until today with authentic construction materials. It was built by forced labor during Spanish era where the people dragged corals only using bamboo to lift and move the rocks in position.

It was once proposed for UNESCO World Heritage list but a 7.2 magnitude earthquake left the church collapsed in 2013. It took more than 4 years to restore this beautiful church but upon seeing it now, it’s still warm and inviting. It’s such a beauty.

Loboc Eco Adventure Park

After we went to the Sandugo site and Baclayon church, we headed over to Loboc Eco Adventure Park to try the zip line. It’s 15 minutes away from Sandugo and Baclayon. I have done zipline a couple of times and it always excites me to try it again. I love this fun filled adventure because I think I am a thrill seeker and I like any types of adrenaline rush activities in moderation. We paid 500php for this activity. It was the best! The ride brought us to serene river and lush greens view of Bohol. It’s so beautiful! We rode the zipline in tandem because Mark was so afraid to try it alone! haha


Loboc River Cruise

Loboc River Cruise offers a calming view of the crystal jade river. It is a river cruise in a motorized banca with Boholanos serenading you with their local and international songs while you enjoy the sumptuous buffet lunch. I was so in love with the experience. The beauty of the river was so magical and breathtaking, it’s like I was transported to Jurassic Park era without the dinosaurs haha. “I love Bohol” is really an understatement!

Man-made forest

After enjoying the cruise, we headed over to a 2km stretch of mahogany trees. It is also commonly known as Bilar forest, located between the towns of Bilar and Loboc. I really enjoyed here, it’s relaxing. And of course, thanks to my friend who took cool photos of me with nature and the road! haha

Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

We went to Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Bohol. It is a place dedicated to repopulate and save the lives of tarsier.

Bohol is famous to various animal species and one of the most popular would be the tarsier – one of the smallest primates on the planet. It has unique appearance – big eyes, long fingers and toes gripped in branches of trees. A fully-grown Tarsier is roughly 100 millimeters in height which can leap up to 5 meters. They are considered endangered species and very sensitive to light and sound.  

We also saw some butterflies in the sanctuary.

Chocolate Hills

Finally, the magnificent Chocolate Hills – dubbed the Eight wonder of the world. I have been wanting to see these hills, I just used to study this when I was in high school and breathtaking is not enough to describe it’s beauty. The photos cannot justify the beauty of the hills. It’s a stunning cone-shaped hills stretched over 50 square kilometers of land. When we got here, majority of the hills were blanketed with lush in appearance. The hills have unique formation and rich vegetation that turns the hills chocolate brown in hue during the dry months, hence the name Chocolate Hills.

To see the entire expanse of hills, we climbed more than 200 steps to a viewing deck that provides a 360 degree panoramic view of the cones of the hills.

Another way to enjoy the magnificent view is by embarking on an ATV Adventure. Of course, we did both and indeed the hills were more alive in the ATV adventure!

The ATV rent cost Php1,000 for a thrilling 1 hour ride with guide. It’s rough road and we had to hike up a 3 story bamboo stairs to see the panoramic view of the cones rising from the plateau. It’s one of the best views!


It was a Day 2 well spent! We arrived at the hotel at 6pm and had dinner and drink again. This is the best city tour I ever had!

Day 3

I was drunk from last night but not hangover. Disclaimer: I’m not a heavy drinker – I only get drunk easily. haha! And I had to make most of my Bohol trip. We just wanted to relax on our last day to this beautiful island and enjoyed the amenities of the hotel. Right after our breakfast, we headed over to the cave Leng was highly recommending.

We rented a motorcycle that cost Php250-00 per ride for 3 persons. The entrance is 50php and if you swim you will add another Php75 for a total of Php125-00/person.

Hinagdangan Cave

Hinagdangan cave meant laddered in Cebuano. It lies 2.5 kilometers from the center of Dauis town – 15 minutes away from Panglao. This cave was accidentally discovered by a farmer while clearing his land and found holes. He then dropped a stone and heard a splash, out of curiosity, he built a ladder (hagdan) and found a beauty and access to the cave hence the name Hinagdangan.

Stepping down the stairs felt like a creepy wormhole but emerging in a different world. Inside the cave hangs stalagmite pinnacles and turquoise clear deep fresh water. The water is 3-4 meters deep. I enjoyed our swimming experience here.

We headed back to the hotel after an hour in the cave and enjoyed the hotel’s amenities and ate more before our flight at 4pm. Our flight was delayed for 1 hour. I was glad I was with my friends, it made the waiting bearable. We arrived in Manila by 7pm.

Bohol is fun with family, friends, someone special or even solo. I will definitely go back and try dolphin watching and island hopping. 3 days were not enough because there are too many beautiful things to explore in Bohol – a magnificent view.

Love,
Maria, sometimes Niskie