Bohol Travel Blog› entry 12 of 15 › view all entries
Together with a friend I took a short vacation and went to the island of Bohol for one week. Bohol is a round island somewhere in the middle of the Philippines and has a very nice selection of wonders.
The journey was incredibly tiring. I went on a 12 hour trip through the night to Manila, waited till night for a plane to Cebu and arrived in Bohol the next morning by ferry. The whole day in Manila I have been living like a zombie, while wandering through the Mall of Asia (largest mall in Asia!). We also visited Sylvan, who is a new student from the Netherlands and roommate-to-be. He stayed in the same hotel I did three months ago. It was a very strange experience for me to visit that place, since a whole lifetime of experiences lies between the two moments in time. I recognised my former self in Sylvan, who was looking all around him with twinkling eyes of expectation and adventure.
We rushed through Cebu, the second city of the Philippines in size and impact with almost 4 million people. Compared to Manila it looked very orderly and calm.
Luckily, Bohol has an excellent remedy for exhaustion: Alona Beach! It’s the kind of beach you find on postcards. A pearly white beach, clear blue sea and sky and palm trees above your beach towel! I could stay in these warm waters forever, floating above the coloured seastars.
In Tagbilaran on Bohol there is a restaurant, Garden Cafe, where all the waitressess are deaf. The menu shows the sign language to use to order your food.
But Bohol is not known for its beaches! For the real sights you have to travel inland. We rented a car with driver/guide for one day. Our first stop:
the Tarsier Visitors Center at Corella.
The Philippine tarsier is a little prosimian, an ape-like creature, and Bohol is its island. It’s cute and cuddly and fits in the palm of your hand, but can also make 5 meter leaps. According to the Lonely Planet it looks like the illegal offspring of an ill-advised one-night stand between a gremlin and ET.
When you get closer, he will open his eyes till they almost pop out of his head, twists his neck a disconcerting 180 degrees and looks at you as if, in the words of Douglas Adams, a portal to another dimension opened just behind your left shoulder.
We go further inland. The Bohol landscape is a sight on its own. There are idyllic valleys with bright green ricefields, set in labyrinths of jungle-clad hills. It is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. At last we came to the Loboc river. A typical romantic jungle river between the mountains with lush vegetation on the sides. Palms and mangroves. We took lunch on a floating restaurant, which slowly ferried us upstream. We passed by pavillions were dancing groups were showing us their local dances and the trip ended at waterfalls.
You can also see tarsiers at Loboc town, but they are kept illegally in cages and are woken up while they should be sleeping. It is a much more friendlier way to visit these animals at the Visitors Center.