Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Going around Bohol (part 1)

As mentioned in my previous post, Patrick O. have arranged for a driver that will drive us around in mainland Bohol province for PHP2000. We were fetched in Panglao island and left for our day trip by 8:00AM.

Patrick O., who served as our coordinator and travel agent during this trip have pre-arranged the itinerary and places we will be going to throughout the day with his contact. First in our agenda is to visit the the Hinagdanan Cave, located nearby our resort and still in Panglao island.

To get inside, one has to take a flight of stairs going down. The cave is naturally lighted inside through holes bored by nature that allows sunlight to pass during daylight.

Inside the cave is a lagoon surrounded by a number of stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can take a dip and swim here but we were not ready for it so we just stared and got amazed on its wonderous beauty.

We then drove all the way to mainland Bohol, back to Tagbilaran City, to visit a monument in Barangay Bohol commemorating the blood compact between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish explorer and Rajah Sikatuna, the head of tribe, back in 1565. Blood compact is an old ritual in the Philippines where men would cut their wrist, pour the blood into a cup, and drink it as sign of sealing a friendship.

jojo, patrick o., me and patrick m.

A few minutes away from Tagbilaran City is the town of Baclayon, famous for its Baclayon Church. The church is one of the oldest stone churches built and still existing throughout the Philippines.

front facade of the church

We wanted to explore the antiquity inside the church but there was an on-going military memorial so we didn't go further.

Across the street from the church is a small park and from there you can view a jetty where boats are parked and what seemed to be a lighthouse from afar.

Travelling further, we also went to Albuquerque, Bohol to see what is said to be the world's largest reticulated python in captivity.

The female python, Prony, a 200-kilo reptile (and growing), is one of the pride of this town. She was found in a cemetery in 1996 and have grown abnormally to its massive size that experts say she is currently as big as a 40-year old python. Unfortunately he was sleeping during our visit.

There were also birds in that park where the python is, and one is right inside his cage. I hope they were not feeding these beautiful birds to the monster!

a staff explaining the history of the python and showing a clothing made of snake skin

Honestly we weren't so interested with it, moreso because it was inanimate during our visit. We went there because of our driver's suggestion and to kill time but we didn't stay that long. In a few minutes we found ourselves stopping by a small house-like garden by the road to see tarsiers.

A tarsier is a small animal but with very huge set of eyes.

kiss me!


sleepy one

Previously visitors were allowed to hold a tarsier, but today local laws prevent tourists from getting too close and touch them. Flash photography is also prohibited when tarsiers are around because it is known to scare them. Philippine tarsiers are said to be suicidal when stressed and a number of reported incidents claim that they do the deed by banging their soft heads against objects.

We then proceeded to Loboc to experience a cruise lunch over a river, there were a number of companies offering the cruise but we chose Riverwatch Floating Restaurant based on the recommendation of our driver. The lunch and cruise costs PHP300 per person.

platform to the Riverwatch Floating Restaurant

It was a buffet-style lunch. Food is okay, but I was forewarned not to expect so much from for they have nothing out of the ordinary. Shrimps, barbecue, pansit, pork and other common Filipino food were served and a few deserts on the side.

The raft is pushed by a smaller boat behind it and cruises along Loboc river while diners enjoy their lunch.

The cruise goes around Loboc river for about half an hour outwards and and will turn back to bring the guests back to where the cruise started. One should enjoy the view while the boat is cruising slowly and comfortably over the river especially on a hot sunny day.

during the cruise

Before we got back, the boat stopped in one of the rafts where entertainers sing and danced to the boat passengers' delight.

view during the cruise

The boat brought us back to the platform exactly an hour after we boarded and although it was a nice and filling experience, I find the whole thing to be quite quick and hastened.


Grace said...

My friend and I, and a female American friend have been to Bohol and was very happy about it.
But after reading your post, I realized how much we missed some of the nice place to go. Now I have decided to get back there once I got a chance to visit my country.
Thanks for sharing this to us. :)

Jasper said...

@grace - hey grace, thanks for visiting my blog. yes! so much to do around Bohol. i didn't expect there are lots of things there and even me I haven't covered even half of it yet! thanks for dropping by and i do hope you come to bohol when you're in the country! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Looks like a really nice and relaxing holiday. Lots of fresh air and the sun :)