Day 3: Postcards Come to Life - Updating.........

Bohol Travel Blog

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the resort

Occular Inspection

Our drive back to Bohol Island was more memorable because we're about to leave the paradise that was ours for almost three days. Even the sights that we passed when we first got there were more beautiful, more scenic. I still couldn't believe we're leaving Panglao already, but we're not doing it without visiting the Bohol Beach Club.

We're supposed to stay in that resort for our last night in Panglao, but we decided to just stay in Lost Horizon for another night because BBC's rates are more expensive and we wanted to save money so we could do dolphin-watching etc.
i wish i could take a dip...
But I knew that BBC has a bigger and better beach (based on their website), and their facilities are superb. So, since we wanted to go back someday, I wanted to see if BBC would be worth the money if I stay there next time.

So, we entered the resort proper (we had to lie to the guard that we had a booking hehehe) and parked right in front of the reception area. Without stopping by the reception desk, we passed by a bar/resto and one of the pools within the resort, then went straight to the beach. I was right - the beach was gorgeous! Way bigger and better than Alona Beach! The sands were smoother, finer, and whiter, and the water itself was more blue-ish and serene-looking. Moreover, there were less people and less boats, so it definitely spells relaxation. I made a resolution to stay in BBC next time I go to Bohol (although I've heard that you can spend a day there for a fee without checking in).
waiting for our boat...
After taking very few pics (how surprising), we left BBC and continued on our way.


Cruisin' Loboc


Since it was almost noon, Mang Tony suggested that we do the Loboc River cruise first so we could have our lunch there and make it on time (they only do the cruise up to 2PM). On our way to the town of Loboc, we passed by the Blood Compact Site, but we didn't stop because we're kinda in a hurry and Mang Tony said we'd come back after we're done with our tour outside of Tagbilaran. We also passed by several towns which gave me a glimpse of how life is like in Bohol. Not bad,  I thought then. Not bad at all.

When we arrived in Loboc, we went directly to the place where we can buy our tickets for the cruise.
Loboc River
We paid P280 per head then went to the waiting area besides Loboc River where we had a nice view of the Loboc Church and the mountains behind it. Mang Tony said drivers/guides get a P30 discount, but we didn't know then so we paid for his fare in full (we didn't mind it much). Then, after 10 minutes of waiting, our boat arrived. It wasn't really just a boat, but a floating restaurant as well (the meal was included in the P280 that we've paid). There's a buffet table at the center of the boat and dining table around it.

The whole boat, I've heard, can carry up to 50 people at a time. Well, it looked like we were more than 50 at that time, that's for sure! There were a group of Korean/Japanese/Chinese tourists (couldn't tell for sure because I couldn't understand any of the three languages, and they all look the same to me hehehe).
yummy...
There were also some local and "balikbayan" Pinoys, plus a few whites. The whole boat was abuzz with lively conversations, and we all had to wait til all the food were taken aboard before the boat started moving, and it took more or less 30 minutes! Oh well. At least we got our plates full of yummy Pinoy food :)

The scenery along the river banks were quite pleasant. Don't expect too much from this cruise: there's no majestic waterfalls, exotic animals, towering mountains, or even indigenous tribes to be encountered along the way. Instead, you'd get a nice view of rural life in Bohol. There were some cute "bahay-kubos", and the notorious kids (they were featured on a TV show) who showed their "acrobatic" skills of climbing on top of slim coconut trees along the river and then jumping on the water just when the boat was too close.
the rapids at the end of the cruise
Needless to say, it solicited a lot of shocked gasps and screams from the tourists, who, when the kids climbed on the side of the boat, gave them some coins as "tokens of appreciation" for their effort to entertain them.

The end of the cruise was a small waterfalls (more like rapids). When the barge started turning around for the trip back, it started raining (oh no!). Half-way down the river, our barged was attached to a small shed-like platform where a local choir we passed by earlier sang some local songs, both folk and pop. Some of the Asian tourists sat with them for photo-op and even tried playing the small guitar-like thingy (don't know what they're called lol) along with the choir. Lots of singing, lots of dancing, lots of laughter. I must say I did enjoy the entertainment that they gave us, no matter how simple it was.
we're tired from the climb... need to rest... oh there's a camera! pose! :D


The whole cruise took about an hour (round-trip) but all people on board really enjoyed as was evident in the big smiles on their faces. Then, exactly when we were getting in our car, it stopped raining :)


Chocolates are Green

After Loboc, we went straight to the town of Carmen to see the Choclate Hills. This was one of the highlights of my trip. All my life, I've heard about this cute piece of natural wonder and read about it in school books and stuff. Now, we're about to see the hills for real! On our way to Carmen, we passed by the man-made forest which was also scenic in itself (will talk about the spooky experience we've had here later). As we got closer to our destination and had a glimpse of some of the hills, our anticipation started building up even more.
trying hard not to shake from the height...


We went up to Carmen Peak where they built an observation deck. Before we drove up the hill, we paid the conservation fee of P30 each (drivers are exempted). There's an area dedicated to parking, and there's a store/resto and comfort rooms as well. After getting out of the car, we climbed up to the deck to see the view and take pics. It was amazing! From a 360 degree angle, we saw hundreds of hills scattered all around and covering several towns. Almost all of them have the same size and shape. The experience was indescribable, almost surreal, like I was looking at a painting instead of an actual scenery. I used to look at these giant 'ant-hills' through books and postcards, and now I'm seeing them with my own eyes! Some can't help wondering how in hell were these hills formed by mother nature to look the way they do, and what their actual significance is.
welcome to Bohol!
Well, for me, they're just there to make me happy hehehe.

Now, why are they called Chocolate Hills? Well, during the 'dry' season (April/May), the grasses and shrubs dry up leaving the brown soil bare, so they appear like hundreds of chocolate mounds. In fact, during those times, they start to taste like chocolates too, and greedy, chocolate-hungry people started getting big chunks off the hills resulting in the deterioration of some of them, so the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had to step in and protect the hills from destruction. Now, no one can eat them anymore, and only Koko Krunch is allowed to get a few chunks and keep the legend alive =D

Before going down, we made a silly wish in the wishing well. Next came the probably 100 plus steps to our car and out of the peak.
it's stifling in here...
We still couldn't believe that we've just seen the Chocolate Hills and actually stood in one. It was a nice feeling, one that we'll never forget...


The Spooky Forest


We were driving really fast because it was already past 4PM, and we still have to see the tarsiers before the center closes. Our drive went well and smoothly until we got to the part where the road leads into the man-made forest.

This forest of tall mahogany trees were made by members of the Boys Scouts of the Philippines decades ago. Part of the road passes through the forest itself, and I must say that it was quite a scenic drive. The trees on both sides of the road form a canopy, making you feel like you're entering a tunnel. It was considerably darker within the 'tunnel' except for a few patches of sunlight filtered through the trees, creating a somewhat magical atmosphere all around.
on the road...
It was truly amazing to drive through such a place that was not made by nature, and the winding road leading through the forest adds up to the whole 'mysterious' mood.

Since there were very few cars passing by, we decided to pull over and take a few pics (although a video would've been better to capture the beauty of the forest). While Ross and I were busy taking pics of the forest and each other (hehehe), Mang Tony took a cig and poured some water on the car to cool it down. A few cars passed us by, plus the ever-present full bus with passengers and luggages on the roof. After a few minutes, we decided that it's time to go. So we got in the car, Mang Tony started the engine, then... nothing happened.

Wait a minute. Only a few minutes ago, we were driving smoothly on the road, and now it doesn't want to start? Uh oh.
the hexed car and the driver...
.. Mang Tony got out and checked (and re-checked) the car but still couldn't figure out what's going on. We're still calm during that time, but after 20 minutes and we're still inside the forest, I started to worry. Movies I've seen flashed through my mind: The Blair Witch Project, Turistas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, and embarassingly, some local 'horror' films that used to scare me when I was a child. Okay, too much horror movies, but hey, it was starting to get dark.

Somehow, we were able to 'slide' our way out of the forest and into the open. When we saw a few houses down the road (there were very few of them), Mang Tony decided to get help. So a man who 'knows' some things about cars came to the rescue. Since I didn't know anything about cars, I just sat inside and didn't have any idea what they're doing.
where are the people!?
Images of the movies still keep flashing in my head. I was dreading staying longer and possibly staying the night in that place. I wanted to ask Mang Tony to call someone to pick us up if the possibility of fixing the car is slim, and even contemplated suici... i mean, hitching. But there was no cellphone signal, dammit! Ironically, Ross was calm and even gave suggestions on what to do with the car. Apparently, she knows more about cars than I do, which is nothing at all hehehe. 5PM came, and we're still stuck...

Then, miraculously, the car started! Wooopeee! Mang Tony and the other man therefore concluded that we were 'cursed' in the forest by some mysterious beings for 'disturbing the peace' in their 'territory'. Now, Pinoys are generally superstitious, and they believe that there are un-earthly creatures living in isolated places un-touched by man, and that wandering to their turf could result in curses and bad luck on the unwary humans.
the Philippine tarsier
I don't believe in such things, but the 2 people with me wondered how in hell did that thing happened when the car was in very good condition. Oh well, so much for rationality...

We did make a few stops to prevent the car from overheating, but other than that, the rest of the trip was okay. We're supposed to go to a hanging bridge for some taste of 'adventure', but we decided to forego it since it's almost 6Pm already, and just go straight to the tarsier center to take our chances and hopefully get there before it closes.


When Yoda and Gizmo Got Together...

...they sired the tarsiers!!! Yes, people, their decendants are in the Philippines!!! :)

We arrived at one of the places along Loboc River where tarsiers are on display. It was already past 6PM, so the place was closed.
meet Yo-Gizmo
However, we still got the chance to glimpse a few of those cute creatures in a cage. Well, according to some people, the tarsiers along Loboc are in bad condition and should not be disturbed during the day like most tourists do because they're nocturnal animals (meaning they are active at night).

Of course, I didn't know about this during that time. I thought that place was where they take care of the critters and raise awareness among the people. Had I known... Oh well. Long story short, we tried to take some pics, hang out a bit, then went on our way. I would've wanted to stay longer, and wished we've gone there earlier that day before doing the river cruise, but unfortunately, we didn't, and the spooky forest slowed us down. Geez, can't believe I just said that. I think all the superstition going on has started rubbing on me.
meet Yo-Gizmo
..

So went out of the gate and voila! Our car doesn't want to start. Again. Oh boy. Another 15 minutes before we finally started rolling on our way...










ms_travelr says:
enjoyed the blog, Thanks !
Posted on: Jun 21, 2008
hummingbird50 says:
You'll be done before you know it....Have a good day!!!!! what the heck is two more sub-chapters...it's nothing...and we all want to see:):):)
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
JeAr says:
oh Bev, i can't drag my lazy ass to finish this entry! seriously, there's still like, 2 more sub-chapters to it lol... anyway, thanks for dropping by! :)
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
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the resort
the resort
i wish i could take a dip...
i wish i could take a dip...
waiting for our boat...
waiting for our boat...
Loboc River
Loboc River
yummy...
yummy...
the rapids at the end of the cruise
the rapids at the end of the cruise
were tired from the climb... need…
we're tired from the climb... nee…
trying hard not to shake from the …
trying hard not to shake from the…
welcome to Bohol!
welcome to Bohol!
its stifling in here...
it's stifling in here...
on the road...
on the road...
the hexed car and the driver...
the hexed car and the driver...
where are the people!?
where are the people!?
the Philippine tarsier
the Philippine tarsier
meet Yo-Gizmo
meet Yo-Gizmo
meet Yo-Gizmo
meet Yo-Gizmo
endless sea and sky...
endless sea and sky...
where are the topless sunbathers? …
where are the topless sunbathers?…
Kuya Jegs dream classroom...
Kuya Jegs' dream classroom...
the pathwalk to the reception
the pathwalk to the reception
Ross
Ross
Loboc Church
Loboc Church
see the cross above the hills?
see the cross above the hills?
we took everything we could lol...
we took everything we could lol...
bahay-kubo...
bahay-kubo...
passing under the kinda-bridge bu…
passing under the 'kinda-bridge b…
me blocking the view...
me blocking the view...
house on a hill...
house on a hill...
other cruisers heading back...
other cruisers heading back...
Ross and I
Ross and I
the choir...
the choir...
shake it, girls! ;)
shake it, girls! ;)
the cruisers
the cruisers
nice house...
nice house...
oh yeah!!!
oh yeah!!!
some rice fields (?)
some rice fields (?)
again, viewing my kingdom...
again, viewing my kingdom...
the hills have eyes!!! kidding :D
the hills have eyes!!! kidding :D
im the king of the world!!! i mea…
i'm the king of the world!!! i me…
look, i can touch it!
look, i can touch it!
quite a handful, those hills!
quite a handful, those hills!
chuck you, farlie! :P
chuck you, farlie! :P
going back down...
going back down...
the road less traveled...
the road less traveled...
before we left the forest, or trie…
before we left the forest, or tri…
Bohol
photo by: ted332