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How to get there: Cebu to Bohol,Philippines




What to do in Bohol


Bohol is one of the provinces of the Philippines, located in the Central Visayas region. I've always been a big fan of this place — the friendly ambiance, great food and, most especially, the nature trip activities.  We booked our ferry tickets ahead of time so we could get discounts.  At least, we thought so, but it turned out to be fake and just a website promotion.  Therefore my advice is to purchase your tickets at the ferry's main ticketing office before you waste your time with their partner offices.


The ferry terminal is located at Pier 1; a jeepney ride or a taxi can take you there.  It is also just a few minutes away from SM Mall Cebu if you want to grab some food before taking off.  Our ferry ride was delayed so I texted our pick-up transfer to wait for awhile.  It's better to have someone pick you up from Tagbilaran Terminal with a scheduled day tour to start your day right.  Unless you're familiar with the tourist spot in Bohol then you can go commando for your tours.  Let's go!


How to get there: Updated 2019

By Air
For Locals: Book a domestic flight bound for Bohol.  There are direct flights to Bohol from most part of the country.

For foreigners: Some airlines offer direct flight to the province.  If you can't find a flight to Bohol, stopover to Cebu (Mactan-Cebu International Airport) then book your domestic flight to Bohol.


Another alternative if you want to save some money: take a ferry from Cebu to Bohol.

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
You can take a cab going to Pier 1, Cebu Pier Area.  Estimated fare is 250 – 350 PHP, depending on traffic.  

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation. 


If you have some luggage. have your cab enter the ferry terminal for a fee of 10 PHP.  Take note the ticketing office is outside the ferry terminal gates.



By Sea: I personally trust Oceanjet and Supercat ferry operators.  Both have daily trips.

There are two ports: Tagbilaran Port or Tubigon Port.  Save your worries and take the Tagbilaran Port.

Option 1 - Ferry from Cebu Pier to Tagbilaran Port: (Tagbilaran is the capital city of Bohol, by the way)

Boat Fare: 500 - 1,200 PHP
Travel time: 2 - 3 hours

Option 2 - Ferry from Cebu Pier to Tubigon Port:
Boat Fare: 200 - 300 PHP
Travel time: 2 - 3 hours
Then From Tubigon Port to Tagbilaran City by Van: 90 - 120 PHP
Travel time: 1 hour

Terminal Fee: 25 PHP


Prices may have changed.  Please check the ferry operators for more information.

From Tagbilaran Port: Book ahead of time for city tours. 
Van tours: 2,500 - 3,500 PHP

You can pre-arrange a pick-up from your resort/hotel or you can take a tricycle.  Tricycle fare: 30 - 100 PHP


Take a cab or van if you're going straight from Tagbilaran Port to Panglao Island
Cab fare: 300 - 1,000 PHP
Tricycle fare: 250 - 350 PHP
Motorcycle fare: 150 - 250 PHP

Travel time: 20 - 45 minutes


Tips
Power outlets: are commonly type A, with standard voltage 220 V and frequency 60 Hz.  Be sure to bring a universal plug adapter!
Money matters:  We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.
Convenient phone apps:  Grab for transportation.


Suvival Terms
CR is the term for the toilet
Salamat means "thank you"


 


What to do in Bohol



Welcome to Bohol!  Now what?!


1. Mouth-Watering Chocolate Hills

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP

There are around 1,268 perfectly-shaped chocolate hills in the province.  These can be viewed better at Carmen which is at the center.  The chocolate hills are considered a UNESCO World Heritage — more reason to see this spectacular creation of nature.

Before you get to see this magnificent chocolate hills you will need to climb some stairs. As the saying goes, "no pain no gain." Make sure to count your steps up until you reach the last step, then make a wish.  A lot of people do this for fun.  It's a tiring way to reach the top — you might as well enjoy it.  Lucky for me, I went up with my "yes to all" friend and we did it while taking turns counting each step.


Our tour guide, Kuya Eric, was knowledgeable to share with us about the creation of these mysterious hills.  The legend tells of a giant who fell in love with a woman from a certain village.  He kidnapped her and accidentally killed her.  Crying, it was his tears that later dried and formed the Chocolate Hills.


I'm not a fan of that tale at all.  Too depressing.  During my high school days I remembered a different story —a happier one — about two giants who fought each other, like a famous snow ball fighting but with soil instead.  They became friends again, but forgot to clean up their mess.  The aftermath was large chunks of Earth; thus the perfectly-shaped chocolate hills.  Those giants already have my heart.


Scientifically, Kuya Eric said it was covered a long time ago with corals. That is why when you walk around the chocolate hills, you will notice shells, corals and even starfish.  They're mixed with earth and grass which makes it unnoticeable.  This combination made it bulge beautifully enormous.  Tadah!  Kuya Eric also said the hills are acidic because of the coral formation, which is why certain types of grass are the only green life that is able to grow.  It's also one of the things that helps distinguish the real chocolate hills from the others.  Moreover, this kind of grass only survives during rainy seasons.  During summer, they wither and the chocolate hills take on their more chocolate-appearance, living up to their nickname as the "Chocolate Kisses of Bohol."



2.The Dreamy Man-Made Forest of Bohol


No entrance fee so feast your eyes freely with its beauty.

The first and only man-made forest in the Philippines stretches two kilometers through the border of Loboc and Bilar Towns.  Composed mainly of mahogany, it's truly beautiful, dreamy and magical in my eyes.  

When I was in Palawan, they have yearly projects of planting trees.  I'm really glad people are giving their attention to the environment.

I'm really fascinated with the forest, as if a character from a book could come alive behind the trees.  If there were no roads painted on it, maybe Little Red Riding Hood might pop-out from nowhere holding on to her dear life as the wolf leaps out from behind.  Or maybe the three bears come barreling out, screaming as they're chasing Goldilocks with chocolate frosting on her mouth.  Or maybe even the three blind mice whistling while passing by as they stumble together and laugh — ahahaa!  There goes my wild imagination working on full throttle again.


3. The smallest primate on Earth




Tarsier Conservation Center 

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP
Student Fee: 35 PHP, so be sure to get bring your school ID with you. 

The center is located at Upper Bonbon in the town of Loboc.  The first time I saw these little creatures was when we had our high school immersion.  It was said that they were discovered  near the Loboc River where the floating restaurant is stationed.


The population of the tarsier has decreased and the government decided to keep them isolated.  Touching them is absolutely forbidden because doing so will will shorten their lifespan.  I'm glad they're being preserved and avoiding extinction.  They are like the size of a small rat with a big belly and eyes of an owl but more glassy and radiant.  They're really adorable that you just want to take care of them and place a rainbow umbrella above it.

Reminder!  Flash Photography is also strictly prohibited. We don't want to disturb these cute fellas.  They're actually nocturnal creatures so don't be confused if they look so sleepy. 


4. Blood Compact / Sandugo Monument

This monument is located in Barangay Bool Tagbilaran East Road, Tagbilaran City.  It's a bronze statue of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, Rajah Sikatuna and several other witnesses for the blood compact.  The first friendly treaty between the Spanish explorers and the tribes of Bohol in 1565. A masterpiece of the Boholano sculptor and National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleon Abueva. 




5. Baclayon Church



La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church (AKA "The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary Parish Church"), commonly known as Baclayon Church.  It is located in Baclayon, six kilometers away from Tagbilaran City.  It is considered the oldest church in Bohol. 


We wanted to go inside the museum; however, as we approached the Baclayon Church there was heavy rain fall and the museum was closed for lunch time.  It saddened me because there was a sign posted: "If you've never visited the museum it's like you've never visited Baclayon Church."  Next time, better be early to get inside the museum and see the old structure of the church.  We were starving and needed to be on time for our lunch buffet at the floating restaurant so we went straight to the next destination. 




6. Loboc River, Bohol, Philippines


Loboc River is located at the town of Loay/Loboc in Bohol.  In order to enjoy the river we booked a river cruise tour.  The river is wide, creepy, and dangerous if you fall.  From where I was sitting, the view was crystal clear — the sky was heavenly blue and the water mirrored what meditation felt like.  Serenity.  Add to it a lunch buffet and everything was truly perfect.

The Floating Restaurant is located at the municipality of Loay/ Loboc and a short distance at Tagbilaran City.  The tour offers a relaxing cruise along the river, a gateway with tall mangroves, a buffet, and a visit to the Ati Tribe.


7. River Cruise w/ Buffet Lunch and "Harana" (means to serenade with music)


Entrance: 50 PHP
Dinner Buffet: 350 PHP

The food wasn't really that delicious; maybe I expected too much.  It’s supposed to at least be satisfactory because we paid enough money for it.  Aside from that, it's a popular tourist destination in Bohol.  I just want to say that the pork barbeque saved us all.  Without it, maybe we could have gone to the nearest restaurant to appease our taste buds.



At the ticketing booth, don't forget to drop by and say hello to this cute fella. I really don't get it why people have turtles tied up, even when I was in Omagieca Mangrove Garden at Bantayan Island in Cebu.  Both places have mangroves, a river and a bridge.  Is it for good luck?  In Omagieca, a caretaker reasoned that they found the turtle lost and decided to take care of it.  How did they even figure out that the turtle was really lost?  I believed that turtle never talked to them.  It's irritating what people do for a show.

Good thing the scenery was relaxing and all my worries drifted away as we sailed through the river.  Next stop is the ATi Tribe . 


8. The ATi TRiBE of Loboc River



The settlers welcomed us with smiles and cheers.  It's funny how they have this sign posted in front to remind people that tips or donations is much appreciated but once you're inside you'll feel it's required to give something.  As we walked along I was surprised to see a little girl holding on to a small reptile — an iguana by her arm.  The mouth was taped to avoid any harm obviously but to see this kid with the animal was beautiful.  I took some shots of the iguana.  She wore this lovely smile and during the shot she just snapped out of it and pound her can hanging on a tree.  She clearly stated "Tip! Tip! Tip!”  We burst out laughing as it totally surprised me with her range.  This was the word of our trip all day and night long.  Anytime one of us got a chance to say it, we all just laughed like crazy. Mind you, it never stopped even after we left Bohol.  The little girl made our trip such a wonderful experience.  There are costumes you can try on and weapons to adore your outfit for pictorial purposes.


I saw this little guy holding on to a rope.  When he saw me with my camera, he suddenly did the Tarzan swinging and landed with big splashes in the water.  He was wild and free; I just hope nothing gigantic or monstrous lurked beneath the waters of Loboc River.  I'm so glad I was the last one to step back on the floating restaurant because I was able to take a picture of this little man.


9. Butterfly Conservation Center 


I'm a butterfly fan and always believe that they bring messages and omens.  For other people, butterflies are bad omens.  I have a friend who is really scared of them and would run and scream whenever she saw one.  As for me, they're adorable, fragile and mysterious.  I've always thought they only got to live a week; then our guide told us that some of them live up to 21 days.  Still, it's a short span to say goodbye to life.



These little creatures go through a lot of changes from a caterpillar, locked up as a pupa, then the art of nature comes to life.  A beautiful butterfly spreads its wings and makes me wonder how they immediately learn to fly.


10. Dumaluan Beach Resort

Lastly, to end this trip with a blast we went to Panglao Island and stayed at Dumaluan Beach Resort to relax.


Bohol Tourist spots and Entrance Fees:


• Chocolate Hills, Carmen, Entrance Fee: 50 PHP
• Man-Made Forest, Bilar, Entrance Fee: Free
• Tarsier Encounter, Entrance Fee:50 PHP
• Butterfly Conservation Center, Entrance Fee: 50 PHP
• River Cruise w/ Buffet Lunch and Harana, Entrance Fee: 50 + 350 (buffet) = 400 PHP
- Ati Tribe Entrance Fee: Free, but they'll appreciate tips/donations
• Baclayon Church & Museum, Baclayon, Entrance Fee: 25 PHP (for museum)
• Blood Compact Site, Tagbilaran City, Entrance Fee: Free
• Python Sanctuary, Albur, Entrance Fee: 10 PHP
• Sagbyan Peak


Have fun and be safe ^__^

 


Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity. Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking. Better early than late. Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares! So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Panglao Island and have a relaxing weekend by the beach.

Where am I going next?

My next adventure is to the Land of Smiles and that's no other than the Amazing Thailand.


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