Tarsier, Loboc river, old churches, sweet calamay, and the chocolate hills: all these and more only in Bohol, God's little paradise.
After I met the dragon during my first visit in Cebu City, my trail continued.
I explored for the first time the trails of Bohol.
That was 2007 when I first visited the little paradise of Bohol, the 10th largest island of the Philippines. It took me one hour and a half from Cebu city to Bohol via ocean jet. The ride was fun and upon my arrival, I was impressed with the cleanliness of the Tagbilaran Port, now called as the Tagbilaran Tourist Pier.
Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. The capital city is the Tagbilaran City. The locals are popularly called as Boholanos.
When I was a kid, I can only see the chocolate hills in the post cards that I submitted as my project in Araling Panlipunan. But the beauty of this creation is jaw-dropping when you see it in your very eyes. Plus the cool breeze that will welcome you like a free spirit.
I saw a lot of hills and they say that there are at least 1,260 hills but there maybe as much as 1,776 hills spread over an area more than 50 square kilometers. The hills are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season. But when I got there, those were green chocolates, so peaceful, so lovely.
Reaching the viewing deck in Carmen was a challenge, breath-taking, that is. But the works of your leg muscles will be be rewarded with an astonishing and overwhelming masterpiece, crafted by the hands of God. The chocolate hills trail was kinda tiresome, so we headed to the famous Loboc River Cruise for lunch.
The river was not that extra ordinary. But the Boholanos are very artistic enough to plant some hidden thrills along the cruise. That time, the buffet lunch costed Php 350.00 with a country band during the feast while cruising. Then, the natural fun came in. I was surprised by some 'lil kids diving into the river from the coconut trees. Then I was amazed by the carolers and the dancers situated in a floating house. I was invited to dance with them, and I really felt like a hardcore tourist. I had some captures of the Loboc river so enjoy the video.
We all know that Bohol is known for being the habitat of tarsiers: the small animals with enormous eyes. Its eyeball is as large as its entire brain. Tarsiers lack a light-reflecting area of the eye but they are capable of hearing high frequencies. They usually catch insects by jumping at them. And they have a "special smell" hahaha! I finally met them in Bohol.
And I bought myself with this very cute souvenir. But thank God, this stuff does not carry such "special smell" that is quite oozing. Really. But according to them, they use the smell to attract their partners, part of their reproduction process, that is.
I visited also some old churches in Bohol. The Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It's made of corals. I was amazed of the structure and its strong foundation that it lasted for how many years, and many more years to come. Kudos to Boholanos for preserving their heritage.
A post card is a souvenir for the travelers who visited a tourist destination. But for me, the Bohol post card that I submitted as a school project when I was an elementary pupil served as my inspiration to dream and see the chocolate hills for real. I was able to reflect that an ordinary place can turn into a surprising trail if the local tourism board will just use there creativity and think on how to twist their resources to make it an eye candy for the tourist. Hence, local tourism will flourish for the benefit of the community, and that's the magic of the tourism industry.
What about you? Have you been to Bohol? How was your chocolate hills and Loboc river experience? Share your trails by dropping your comments below.