*Originally posted in Multiply on 23 March 2006*
Like early birds, we were up by 6am. Today is the day we go on a tour of the sights in Bohol. Dad, who is usually up by 0430h in Manila, was up the same time. He went to the resort restaurant by 0530h for a cup of brewed coffee and was disappointed to find out it was not ready. He had to settle for instant coffee.
We had our free breakfast, part of the vacation package, at 0630h. It was nice to see that the weather looked good that particular morning. The tide was starting to rise- wish I could take a short dip before we left. 🙂
We prepared for the tour and were ready before 9am. The driver, Edgar, arrived by 0850h and was surprised we were already waiting. He said that most of the time, his passengers were either still asleep or having their breakfast when he arrives. Well…
The first stop was the farthest- Chocolate Hills. We passed, I think, 5 towns and the manmade mahogany forest (reminded me of the Blair Witch Project). When we got to the place, some of the visitors were already there. To get a good view of the hills, one has to go up a flight of stairs, totaling 297 steps. We were worried if Dad could make it as he has a knee problem. Good thing they had a ramp so it was easier for him. For Ness and I, it was an early morning workout. Glad I play regular badminton so it was not that bad. Whew!
The hills were quite green, as the dry season has not yet started. Maybe mint-chocolate hills? We just had a lot of noisy companions up the viewing place: “Take my picture naman. Include all the hills!” How the heck can that be possible, unless you have a really wide lens?! 😀
Our next stop was the hanging bridge at… hmmm, I forgot what town it was. It was on the way back and just a few minutes from Chocolate Hills. The bridge is over the Loboc River and is made up of kawayan. Ness and I thought it was something like the bridge at the second Indiana Jones film, Temple of Doom. That would have been fun! Anyway, this was okay as it was really swinging. Ness got dizzy when she got to the other end.
There wasn’t anything much to see at the other end- more souvenir stalls and… Buko King! He can open coconuts with his bare teeth, whether it be the green or brown version. They say he was featured on TV but we didn’t know that. Dad was amused and gave him money to put up a show. We even debated on what coconut he would open- I said the green one but Dad said the brown was harder. Not!
Anyway, when we said “go!” he just went at it. Wow, he opened the coconut in just under 15 seconds! I looked at his teeth to see if it was synthetic or something and they were real. They were evenly spaced and very white. Hmm, must have been a regular milk drinker when he was a kid. I guess he’s the only reason you cross the bridge, hehehe. We made our way back, stopping in the middle to take some pictures.
Our third stop was my favorite: the tarsier preserve! They now have 15 in captivity. All were asleep, unfortunately, being nocturnal. There was also a flying lemur but he was also asleep. He was hanging from a branch and looked like a big hairy cocoon. Took the usual pictures with Dad in it. We bought souvenirs. I actually found a replacement for the tarsier pouch bag I bought 2 years ago for my celphone. Now I can have it cleaned!
Now, the best part of the tour: a buffet lunch, singers to serenade you and a slow cruise toward the waterfalls on a floating restaurant. Well, it’s more like a big raft with a roof on top of two boats, and propelled by another boat behind it. At this particular time, however, we had to wait for the singers so we finished our lunch before the boat even left. Well, it doesn’t matter- the cruise was really soothing.
When we got back, we were off to Baclayon church and museum. Dad wasn’t much into museums so we just visited the church and prayed. Then, we went to the site where Sikatuna, a warrior, and Legaspi, the Spanish traveler, signed their agreement in blood. Dad has a great picture showing him as “part” of the signing group.
The last stop was the souvenir shop Aproprianas, where you can buy anything to remind you of your stay in Bohol. Whether this be a shirt, bag, ref magnets, calamay or Bohol delicacies, they have it. As usual, I bought food stuff- I really love their cheese bar. It reminded me of the cheese pie we used to eat when we were kids- the thin, hard and tasty type.
We were back at the resort by 4pm. We thanked Edgar and we hope to use his services again the next time we go to Bohol.
We were quite tired from the tour and the heat. I dozed off, Dad and Nessie just lazed around. I wanted to take a dip in the pool but was just too tired.
We had an early dinner at the posh Alona Palm. This being our last night, we treated ourselves to something fancy. The food was great, ambiance was great (dinner under the stars and by the pool), and company was good. Wish we had Mom, Sandy and the kids, Butch and Batch, with us. It would have been one great vacation.
We walked by the shore on the way back to our resort. Ness and I took pictures of the moonlight while Dad was smoking away. We fly back to Manila the next day and we will surely miss this place. Of course, I intend to go back and, hopefully, stay longer than three days and spend it with the entire family.
Well, summer has officially started- thinking of going to a great beach aside from crowded and urbanized Boracay? Then, make it Bohol- you’ll love it!
I wonder where we’ll be off to next… 🙂