My visit to the province of Bohol was compacted to only two short days because aside from the famous chocolate hills, the other tourist spots are just few kilometers away from downtown Tagbilaran City. In fact, it can be done by one whole day except if you wanna visit Danao Adventure Park for some thrill and be mesmerize in the white beaches of Panglao Island.
My travel started from Cebu where I rode an Oceanjet Ferry for two hours going to Bohol (Fare: PHP800.00 round-trip). That two hours of travel helped me re-energize myself from my hike a day before in Osmena Peak and actually changed my whole plan in Bohol – one of the things I like about travelling solo because you can change whatever your plan is whenever you wanted. While on our way to Tagbilaran City, I was reading some travel blogs about Bohol when I came across a blog sharing her experience about The Plunge in Danao Adventure Park. I suddenly remember the time when a friend of mine did a bungee jump there that made me wanted to visit the place. So I put Danao as my first stop.
From the pier of Tagbilaran City, I rode a trike going to Dao Bus Terminal in front of Island City Mall (Fare: PHP50.00). Then I rode an SMTC bus with a 9AM trip going to Danao. This is a 3-hour long travel which already includes a lot of stopovers of the bus (Fare: PHP100.00). According to some locals, it’s better to ride a Van instead because it will only take an hour and half to reach the place. However, the long travel is enough to pass by a lot of chocolate hills. In fact, I could already afford not to visit the overlooking view in Carmen because I’ve got enough.
The 3-hour long travel traveled my mind farther. As I was observing the people inside the bus, I feel like I was the only one stranger because they talked to each other and having a good laugh. Seems like it’s the only bus to drive to Danao and their only vehicle to connect to the city. In fact, we were the only vehicle passing by that road at that time. That road is rough on almost half of the way. Perhaps, if you are impatient, you’ll get hot-headed just as how we are impatient with our own lives by complaining so many things we couldn’t get our way or things we haven’t seen in the first place. But just like any other amusement park, the wait will be over to experience the things we didn’t expect to be better.
When I arrived in Danao Adventure Park, the two sweet receptionists informed me that ‘The Plunge’ (Bungee Jump) has been closed since the magnitude 7.2 earthquake destroyed its foundation last 2013. But they offered me a more thrilling experience through Sky Rappelling. According to them, it’s the highest in the Philippines. So without any doubt, I booked one for PHP800.00. The video below sums it up.
When I reached the ground, aside from an overwhelming feeling of making it, I couldn’t help but be amazed with the rock formations in the river along Dagohoy Hill (It’s where Francisco Dagohoy and the longest revolt in the Philipppines took place). But according to the locals, the presence of huge rocks were also due to the quake.
PS: The staffs of Danao Adventure Park is what customer service all about!
I only stayed there for three hours but I feel like I have already experienced the whole Bohol. I got back to Tagbilaran City at around 7PM already (Fare: PHP85.00 non-aircon bus) and stayed in San Jose Pension House for a night stay of PHP800.00. (This made me think why there are more cheaper rooms in Manila and Davao than Bohol. Hmmm)
My first stop the next day is Carmen and see a view of the Chocolate Hills. I rode a non-aircon bus in Dao Terminal at around six in the morning (Fare: PHP65.00). Along the way, I passed by the historic Loboc Church ruined also by the quake. I haven’t brought out my camera because I was struck looking at it. It made me think how rich Bohol is in terms of heritage, culture and Catholicism. Spain’s influence was still present seeing a church, plaza, school and market all in the same place (called pueblo). Also, I saw the mesmerizing Loboc River with a blue-green clear water.
Not too far from Loboc, we passed by the famous man-made forest which is worth taking pictures while in the center of the roadway. But since I commuted and cannot have the time to drop off for a little time, I only captured it through a video.
After almost two hours of transit, I arrived in Municipality of Carmen. I hired a habal-habal for PHP50.00 to bring me up to the top of a hill. When I was younger, I always wonder if the Chocolate Hills are man-made because it’s kinda too good to be true to have all that hill in one place. The habal driver told me that the myth behind it was that all those hills were simply the teardrops from a giant living in there a long time ago. If those were teardrops, those are the most beautiful ones.
I went back to Tagbilaran City before 12noon and contracted a habal driver for PHP200.00 to get me to Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella, Baclayon Church and Sikatuna blood-compact with Legaspi. The price is okay already because Corella is like 15-20 kilometers aways from Dao Terminal and Baclayon is also farther from Corella. I took few photos only because I was already starving.
Afterwards, I visited the white Alona Beach of Panglao Island (Fare: PHP25.00 from across Island City Mall). This white beach is really a must-visit. The place is mesmerizing and the view is just heaven on earth (minus the tourist). I’ve heard that for those who wanted to feel the place more, visit Dimaluan Beach just few minutes away from Alona because the later is really crowded with a lot of foreigners. There’s no entrance fee to pay so feel free to wade into the crystal clear water.
I was so happen to be lucky that night because I got a free dinner from Ricardo and Vivian RestoBar with grilled big prawns and large red fish (Forgot the name). The food were seriously seriously great so I highly recommend trying this restobar. It’s truly worth your money!
It’s just great to end a travel in a beach. While it relaxes your body, it gives you time to think about how the days had gone so fast and how well you did to accomplish and bring back another set of time in your life.