Bohol Countryside Tour
Bohol is one of the places I’ve been to before I started blogging. I just did a day tour then and haven’t explored everything about the place. What I only knew before about Bohol was Chocolate Hills. I even didn’t know Panglao and it’s finest beach exists on this province.
Now Bohol has a lot of things to offer from its classic countryside tour to extreme adventures of Danao and to wonderful experiences in Panglao and Balicasag island.
How to Go to Bohol from Cebu?
Prior to our trip, I asked my friend who lives in Cebu to purchase me tickets in advance so we can save up on buying our tickets. We purchased an open-air accommodation for PHP 400.00 each one way with Libre Pabalik promo (free return). Though our ferry schedule from Cebu to Tagbilaran City was still at 9:30 AM, we woke up early and headed to the ferry terminal to meet our other relatives who’ll join us on our tour to Bohol. Actually, they still came from Metro Manila. Asking why I didn’t book them straight to Tagbilaran city? Because I couldn’t find cheap flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City. Since OceanJet offers a “Libre Pabalik Promo” and airlines have cheaper flights to Cebu City, I book them Manila to Cebu to Manila flights instead with “Libre Pabalik Promo” ocean jet ferry tickets.
Since we were too early for our departure to Tagbilaran City, I accompanied some of my relatives to the few sites which are just nearby the port like Fort San Pedro, Plaza Independencia, Magellan’s Cross and Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.
9:00 AM came and we boarded the ferry. Travel time to Tagbilaran City is from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Touring around Bohol via Van
Prior to this trip I already contacted a van rental company which will take us to Bohol Countryside tour. Having a friend who already been to Bohol, I asked Maricar of Tara! Usap Tayo about on her contacts in Bohol. He gave us RJ (09173245488) who has vehicles for hire. We’re 14 family members in total and good thing having one van fit us all. The van for hire costs PHP 2,500 for a whole day tour including driver and gas.
It was already noontime when we arrived at Tagbilaran City ferry terminal. The driver assigned to us by RJ was Kuya Ondoy (09205317633).
Before we started the tour, I went to Oceanjet ticketing office to book the “Libre Pabalik promo” tickets but they have a new policy that only allows booking of such promo in 4 hours before the departure time. So I just told my companions to arrive early on the date of their departure since I’ll be taking a direct flight from Tagbilaran City to Manila.
We started our tour by going to Loboc River first and skipped Baclayon Church and Blood Compact site since it was already lunchtime. We will just visit these sites later on.
The Loboc River Cruise is one of the things I always look forward to when in Bohol. Why? Because the experience is very country. The feeling of being away from the city.
The river cruise fee is PHP 300.00 including buffet lunch. Then we paid another fee for Maintenance, Safety and Security (MSS) charge for PHP 100.00.
The time we entered the cruise we lined up for food. I eat hurriedly so I can make photos right after. I should not miss capturing the beauty of Loboc river.
Loboc River Cruise experience wouldn’t be completed without watching locals perform native song and dance number.
Guests can join the locals perform. My Aunt Angie tried to do the tinikling dance along with the locals.
I was in awe while watching them perform. Not just because their good performer but I can see how happy they are when performing. It’s really entertaining, I felt goosebumps because I really appreciate this kind of thing. I love watching people doing their thing with passion and happiness.
I love their song too!
After awhile the cruise went back to the terminal and we moved on to our next destination.
Aside from the very entertaining Loboc River Cruise, Bohol is also known to World’s smallest primate, Tarsier. We went to Bohol’s Tarsier Conservation site. A fee of PHP 50.00 should be paid upon entering the conservation center.
The Philippine Tarsier is an endangered species. I think it’s just last year that the local government of Bohol set up a conservation center for Tarsier to protect the species. Its habitat includes tropical rain forest with dense vegetation and trees that offer it protection like tall grasses, bushes and bamboo shoots.
The Philippine Tarsier is not a large animal; it measures only about 85 to 160 millimetres (3.35 to 6.30 in) in height, making it one of the smallest primates. The small size makes it difficult to spot. The mass for males is between 80–160 g (2.8–5.6 oz), usually lighter for females, somewhat heavier than other Tarsius such as the Pygmy Tarsier. The average adult is about the size of a human fist and will fit very comfortably in the human hand (see image below). Like all tarsiers, the Philippine Tarsier’s eyes are fixed in its skull; they cannot turn in their sockets. Instead, a special adaptation in the neck allows its round head to be rotated 180 degrees. The eyes are disproportionately large, having the largest eye-to-body size ratio of all mammals. These huge eyes provide this nocturnal animal with excellent night vision. The large membranous ears are mobile, appearing to be almost constantly moving, allowing the tarsier to hear any movement.” – en.wikipedia.org
It’s prohibited to take flash photography at Tarsier. Also avoid noise as they are very sensitive to its habitat. It is said that Tarsiers are very emotional and observed to have suicidal tendencies.
We moved on and went to our next destination, Butterfly Garden. It was my first time to get here.
My Aunts didn’t enter at the area anymore and just waited for us at the entrance area. I was kind of disappointed on the Butterfly Sanctuary in Zamboanga City but Kuya Ondoy told us that we’ll enjoy this one. So I joined my cousins touring around the garden. Entrance fee is PHP 50.00 per person.
A guide ushered us around the garden and discussed us about different types of butterflies, it’s life cycle and everything they have on display.
Butterflies all over the garden. So colorful!
Our next destination was Chocolate Hills.
The Chocolate Hills is a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. These unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the hundreds throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan in Bohol. These hills are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season thus calling it Chocolate Hills.
There’s an entrance fee to get to the Chocolate Hills observation deck which costs PHP 50.00 per person. The observation deck for Chocolate Hills in Carmen is also located on one of the hills.
The sky was shady, wishing it wouldn’t rain.
And here are the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Truly a wonder of Bohol.
After spending time doing so much tricky photos we went down and waited for our van to arrive. We left before it rains in the area and moved on to our next spot.
Our driver asked me if we still wanted to stop at the man-made forest. I would love too since I wasn’t able to do so the first time I get here but seems my companions are all sleeping, feels like they are all tired so we just passed by the man-made forest and headed straight to Hanging Bridge.
Passing by the Man-Made Forest.
Here’s another spot I’ve never been to the first time I visit Bohol, the Hanging Bridge in Loboc River.
There’s an entrance fee of PHP 10.00. There are also stalls here that sell souvenir items. It’s already 6:00 PM and we need to move on as we still have sites to visit.
Since it was already getting dark, I knew we can’t visit the sites we skipped earlier anymore, the Baclayon Church and the Blood Compact site.
Good thing we’re still able to make it to the Bohol’s Python Snake area, Kuya Ondoy told me it closes at around 7:00 PM. It’s a new one and just along the road. There’s an entrance fee of around PHP 10.00 (or PHP 20.00).
Looked like my family enjoyed taking pictures with the fake python. But how about the real one?
Our encounter with the real python snake.
I couldn’t imagine I was that close with a huge snake. I know it’s harmless so I was brave enough to get near but it’s still a snake, an animal. We can’t anticipate their action and behaviour.
Afterwards we went to pasalubong center along the road. We bought a lot of Peanut Kisses to take home! We went back to Tagbilaran City to buy grocery items and food to cook during our stay in Panglao Island. We paid additional fee to our driver because we went back to Tagbilaran City wherein it’s already out of our way.
It’s already late for a day tour and our driver, Kuya Ondoy wasn’t complaining at all.
After getting done with everything we needed, we went to our accommodation in Panglao. We stayed at Cherry’s Home Bolod House. Our next day was spent in Panglao and Balicasag Island.
It took 45 minutes from Tagbilaran City to get to Cherry’s Home Bolod House.
It’s been a tiring day but still enjoyable. Balik sa Bohol, Balik! I would love to go back again, again and again.
- Tourist attractions that we missed that are worth visiting:
- Baclayon Church
- Blood Compact Site
- Man-made Forest
- Take the day tour early so all of the tourist spots can be visited.
- Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration in Bohol to commemorate the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. The Sandugo Festival is held every July.