Bohol, Philippines

Century old churches, little green hills, white sand beaches, countryside feels: these are rather some of the many reasons why visiting Bohol should be on your travel checklist. Few places in the country have important impact culturally and historically than that what we could witness in this limestone island.

Going to Bohol is easy as the island’s lone city, Tagbiliran, is now serviced by an airport. However, if you’d like to traverse the cheaper yet challenging path, take a ferry from Cebu (and perhaps, pay a visit on the island as well). Gutsy as we are, we took the second option; and option which we’ll probably not forget for a while. The waves gave us a  two-hour pseudo-roller coaster ride.

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Port of Tagbilaran. You’re supposed to arrive here.

Now that you’re stepping on the island, you can jumpstart your trip and go on for an exploration.

First stop: the renowned Chocolate hills. The hills were named as such because of the way it changes its color depending on the weather. During dry season, the hills dry up and turns brown, much like giant “chocolate kisses!”

To relish the most of the hills, take the 200-plus steps up a viewdeck; or if you prefer an up-close experience, ride the ATV.

 

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Close encounter with the hills – on an ATV.

Next on your destination are the aged churches which dates way way way back to the 16th century when the Catholicism is first introduced by the Spaniards to the once pagan island. These religious structures are made up of limestone which makes them visually different from the normal, cement made churches.

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Dauis Church in Dauis, Bohol
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Baclayon Church – one of the most recognizable churches in Bohol

It’s near lunchtime and perhaps you’re hungry. Then a lunch on a river cruise isn’t the baddest of idea, is it? The Loboc River Cruise and Floating Restaurant will take you to a lunch-ing experience like no other. From the indie fame of “Panaghoy sa Suba,” the Loboc River is a testament to the Bol-anons extra care to their home and the environment.

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Loboc River
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Clean waters and healthy green trees, the Loboc River is a testement to the environment-friendliness of the Bol-anons.

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Culture as preserved and then showcased.

The hills are mesmerizing, the churches calming and the river cruise thriling. It’s about time we release the energy for some skinny-dipping!

Okay, just dipping.

Bohol also boasts its white sand beaches that could rival the likes of Cebu, Palawan or even Phuket, Thailand. The most notable are the beaches in Panglao.

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Panglao is minimally untouched I can’t help but take a pic with it.
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Couple relaxing on the fine sand.
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Despite the influx of tourists, locales are endeavouring to maintain the beauty of Panglao.
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Panglao at night.

There are lot of places to go and things to to enjoy in Bohol. It makes me kinda sad that our island hopping was cancelled last minute due to weather conditions and that our personal encounter with the famous Tarsier was limited to few minutes due to time constraints.

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But come to think of it, I have reasons to come back to Bohol (as if the places I’ve been are not enough reasons to go back). Until, then I can’t wait and see you again, Bohol!

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