Diving of Panglao Island
Bohol Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
I arrived in Tagbilarin and took a taxi to the Alona White Sand Beach resort. The driver was trying to see if I was in the market for buying/investing in some land. He said that they were building an airport on the island and it was going to be the next Boracay. I had no interest in investing as my purpose was to go diving.
The resort was quite empty with only a few guests. I met a guy from Sweden who was in Bohol visiting a filipina he met online about a year ago. It was their first encounter and she seems to be looking for husband number 2. Apparently, husband number 1 (a german) was killed while she was in the car with him - shot to death in front of her and she didn't get harmed at all.
Interesting people....but tomorrow I am going diving and got a camera to take underwater photos. Since this is my first dive in a while I decided to just dive in the shallow area of the reef (less than 20 meters). Also, this will make for better photos since most of the reef life is above 20 meters.
Visiting the Chocolate Hills and other locations
After diving, my driver asked me if I'd like to see more of Bohol. I agreed to have him take me to the Chocolate hills and other attractions for a fixed fee. While driving me off Panglao Island, he showed me a piece of land where they were developing an airport to make Panglao like Boracay Island.
The Chocolate Hills are somewhat of an oddity as there are more than 1200 hills all over the country side in Bohol. The formation of these round hills was due to coral forming underground and pushing up the soil. During the dry season the grass on the hills turns brown, giving the area their name "Chocolate Hills". You see mostly filipinos visiting these tourist spots as most foreign vistors go to either the beaches or the more mainstream attractions. There is a hotel near the chocolate hills where you can stay and make a weekend of the trip - I didn't see much reason to stay more than a few hours.
Our next stop was a animal shelter not far from the Chocolate hills with the main attraction being a python (and the odd trainer). At first the place looked like any road side mini-zoo with birds, mammals and reptile of the Philippines. However, the python was rather large and had it's own "trainer" (or keeper). She was dressed pretty different from what one would expect from an animal trainer - with a tight skirt and make up. Only after we were leaving did my driver tell me that it was a man, not a woman. How does one tell the difference between a man and a woman in these situations? If the "woman" is checking you out, its a man - simple.
For lunch we took a houseboat ride down a local river and had a buffet lunch. For entertainment, there was a singing group who sang songs as we went down the river and ate. This was a great way to see part of the rainforests on Bohol and also visit the people who live along the river. I saw laundry drying on clothelines tied between palm trees and kids swinging off ropes into the river. Everyone we passed smiled and waved at us - almost as if they have never seen tourists (foreigners). We stopped at a Tarsier Sanctuary where they rescued tarsiers - a very small primate, who was the inspiration for ET (I think). The only inhabit the Philippines and some of the surrounding islands and are protected.