I organized this trip and therefore stressed over this trip from the day I booked the flight in March until before the plane landed safely back in Manila on Monday. (But then, who am I kidding? I stress over everything. Just ask J.)
This is my third time in Bohol, my second with J, and my first time with my siblings. Now I only want to travel during the rainy season: less people, less expensive hotel rooms due to the off-peak season, no painful sun rays to ruin your skin, no time limit at the beach, and no need to take three showers a day just to feel like a human being! Downside (or upside?) is you’ll leave a home in Manila, submerged and alone to defend itself. Another downside is the possibility of getting your flight cancelled.
So I stressed over cancelled flights, planes overshooting the runway, and sudden thunderstorms, but things turned out well.
Flights were with Cebu Pacific. Before the flight, my brothers and I stayed at J’s place. Here we are at the airport. CebuPac now has a web check-in service. Hallelujah. It helps save time at the counters. Another help is the fact that the terminal fee is already incorporated into the plane tickets.
My resort of choice is once again Dumaluan Beach Resort. (They call it Dumaluan 2, “the one with the pool.”) They offer tours, but of course the packages are expensive. I poked around in the interwebs and found a highly recommended tour guide named Tatsky.
Jesser “Tatsky” Cubero:
- Globe – 0915-7945556
- Sun – 0922-3671051
- Smart – 0912-7472737
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I texted his Globe number (better to text – he’s usually out on the field most days) and was glad when he replied quickly. The tour fee is 2,300 for the five of us. Though he tours visitors himself, he handles 20 or so tour guides, so he referred us to Jojo for the Saturday tour. Kuya Jojo was on time at the airport, and very polite throughout the trip. Two thumbs’ up!
Recommended start time, by the way, is 8AM. We got to Bohol at nearly 10AM, so we just did the best we can with the day.
The last time J and I were here was in 2010. A lot has changed since then. Baclayon Church (third oldest church in the country, following the San Agustin Church and Paoay Church) looks brighter inside.
Tarsiers, which used to be housed nearly side by side in open huts, are now in their natural habitats. Entrance fee is now PhP 60 (as opposed to a PhP 20 peso donation three years ago), and you had to climb up steep steps to see the primates in the trees. Better for the tarsiers, though the local government should really consider just giving night tours so the tarsiers can sleep during the day.
The Loboc River Cruise is now PhP 450, but you know what, the cruise redeemed itself for me this year. Tatsky’s group recommends Riverwatch, and it is so worth it. The food was so good.
By the way, Loboc now has a waiting area for those going on the cruise. It’s airconditioned, with cable TV and computer terminals with free Internet connection.
The fee includes a buffet lunch and a ride down the river.
The Chocolate Hills has a new attraction: navigating the hills via ATV. I am not interested, but my siblings gave it a go.
While they’re enjoying the terrain, J and I had mango-flavored carabao milk!
Now off to the viewing deck for us:
Another attraction is traveling via zip line or cable car over the Loboc River. Nope. Nope. No can do. I’m sitting this one out. Fee is PhP 350 for zip line, 250 for cable car, and 350 for combo (zip line one way, cable car for return). I would have tried the cable car with J, but the counters were already closing when we got there, and a cable car ride takes 7 minutes.
My kind of adventure is sitting indoors with a book. You know how it is.
After buying pasalubong, Kuya Jojo drove us to Dumaluan, which is located on Panglao Island and shares the same white beach shoreline as the more expensive Bohol Beach Club.
I reserved an Executive Family room.
Executive Family – 4,500 Php Per Night – good for 4 persons
Fully air conditioned room, with solar powered water heater, refrigerator,
cable T.V. and breakfast for two persons.
Extra person is Php 400.00 per night inclusive of mattress and breakfast.
Okay. There was no water heater, so I don’t know what happened there. There is a refrigerator and cable TV though. And there’s a tree in the washroom!
We liked the room. It’s homey.
Here’s the view of the room from outside.
Washroom in the morning.
We woke up early to visit the beach at low tide.
What say you of my sleepwear/beach attire?
We had breakfast and enjoyed the beach. We also saw this film on cable and were so enamored we nearly skipped lunch.
We moved to the pool, where I FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO FLOAT. Take that monsoon rains! I’m ready for you, flood!
Actually no, I’m not.
My sister, who woke up late, finally decided to join us.
Failed jump shot.
Evidence that I finally learned how to float after ten years. (Literally; I’ve been trying to learn since high school.)
The secret is to relax, and as mentioned, I don’t relax. You can’t float while making to-do lists in your head, I guess?
Last night in Bohol.
Morning before the flight back.
Till next time!