Busy in Bohol
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My summer getaway started a bit earlier.
Last week, my friend Louie Guarin was here for the first time. As a travel and tourism writer for the past 17 years for Manila Bulletin, Louie had seen and covered most of the places and festivals in the country, not only as journalist but as festival juror. For many years, however, his travel to Bohol hadn't materialized due to some unavoidable circumstances.
Bohol is bursting with adventurous activities
and stunning natural sites, with Panglao
Island as travelers’ favorite for its miles
of powder sand beaches. Leo Udtohan
Louie, who is now with Vanity Magazine, arrived on Monday morning. He stayed at the Dumaluan Beach Resort 2 (For inquiries and reservations at Dumaluan Beach Resort 2, call [+6338] 502 9092) in Panglao where he was enjoying authentic hospitality from the owners (Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan and his wife, Malou, and daughter, Reichyl) and staff.
Panglao is still the traveler’s favorite spot. Here, you'll find miles of white sand and pristine waters — hence it’s called the jewel of Bohol.
“With summer just around the corner, travel buffs need look no further than the gem that is Dumaluan Beach Resort,” said Roldan Cuevas, operation manager of Dumaluan Beach Resort 2.
“We have the finest white-sandy beach! Parents can enjoy a "time-out" together while the kids play, too,” said Anthony Ceniza, the resort’s supervisor who was Cebu’s choreographer extraordinaire who fell in love with Panglao.
|Louie Guarin is enjoying his Bohol trip. Leo Udtohan|
With romantic beaches like Dumaluan Beach Resort, this is a destination where you can swim and sunbathe year-round. Its list of activities range from swimming to jetski, parasailing and sailing on glass-bottom boats.
Roldan said they are preparing for the influx of international travelers this summer.
On Tuesday, Louie had visited the “must see” destinations in Bohol. So much to see, so many places to visit in Bohol. How can you do that in 24 hours? Well, it was arranged by Wow Bohol Travel and Tours (+6338 510-6177; Email: email@example.com; 639954533402/+639081724641/+639287582804).
Even though I’d accompanied Louie in his countryside, I’d love visiting the countryside even if I am doing it for the nth time.
He visited Sandugo Blood Compact monument in Bool district, one of the promoted historic spots in the island. A few minutes from Bool, he visited the Baclayon town where the Immaculate Conception Parish Church. Built in 1595, the Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Unfortunately the church is one of the historical monuments that was badly damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013.
He also visited the Bohol Wildlife Park where he saw some rescued wildlife, including pythons, monkeys and tropical birds. Marimar also showed her sterling performance.
In Loboc town, he enjoyed the buffet lunch at the Loboc floating restaurants for P450. While eating Filipino foods, the hour-long ride takes you along the wooded river, past a small waterfall, and to a station where folk singers regaled the visitors with native songs and a Tinikling Dance. Anybody was welcome to dance. The tour ended watching the picturesque Busay falls.
After Loboc, he felt the cool temperature at the man-made forest. The two-kilometer man-made forest is between the towns of Loboc and Bilar is an amazing sight that offers tranquility.
He also defied gravity at the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, most spectacular footbridge in Sevilla town. The bridge which is about 40 meters long hangs 25 meters (82 feet) above the river made of woven bamboo slats and steel. When you step onto the bridge, you will experience some side to side sway and up and down bounce. Entrance fee is P20.
He had a close encounter with tarsier, the smallest primate in the world. At the Tarsier Conservation Area in Bilar, a P60 (regular) and P50 (senior citizen and student) fees, visitors could get you a quick view of the tarsier.
For the nth time, I looked at it eyeball-to-eyeball and that’s how I noticed lonely its eyes were, so huge that, for a while, I felt that those eyes would kill me with gentleness.
The tarsier (Carlito syrichta), locally known as “mawmag,” has all the basic qualities of cute: enormous eyes which can turn 360 degrees set in a tiny body no bigger than a human fist and tiny knobbly paws with which it grasps onto tree branches.
However, there are some rules when meeting them. Don’t touch them, don’t be noisy, and don’t use flash when taking photos.
|Good life, good food and good company.|
Louie was breathless when he saw the postcard-famous Chocolate Hills. The hills are alive with the whatever sound you can imagine, all those 1,268 mounds (count ‘em!). In summer, when the grasses with which they are covered in turn into a brown color, they look like mounds of Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, hence the name "Chocolate Hills."
48 hours in Bohol is too short. I told Louie that Bohol has list of unexpected places that we never knew we wanted to visit–but now can't wait to explore.
“Definitely, I will come back,” Louie said.
“I love Bohol, I love the Boholanos,” he added.
Speaking of summer, the favorite place is Bohol. Here at VRS, we'd like to celebrate by making a list of your favorite things about Bohol.
Tell us your favorite thing about Bohol. Is it a beautiful province? The best beaches? The highest waterfalls? A particularly delectable dish? A relatively unknown custom? Tell us what it is and why it's
important to you.
We love to travel. Do you have best tips and tricks to smoother, smarter, stress-free journeys? How do you find affordable airfare and hotel rooms? What’s your secret to avoiding flight delays, navigating a crowded airport? How about a tip for getting better service at a hotel or resort?
Submit your best advice -- the more specific, the better -- along with a photo of you on vacation. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then stay tuned to see if your top tip makes the cut on VRS.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at email@example.com, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.