Bohol is known for its chocolate hills, tarsiers, and of course paradise-like beaches but it has more to offer nowadays and beyond. Bohol is just a few hours boat-ride away from Cebu, it’s almost like an extension of Cebu so we decided to take a quick getaway and to visit also my friend’s relatives.
We stayed in Panglao for 2 nights and the first thing we visited was the Baclayon Church.
La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church or also known as Baclayon church because it’s located in the municipality of Baclayon was founded by Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sánchez both Jesuit priests in 1596. The church is a National Historical Landmark and was formerly included for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List of the Philippines since 1993 under the collective group of Jesuit Churches of the Philippines.
We had our sumptuous lunch buffet at Loboc River Cruise where we were entertained by a live band featuring bisaya’s best hits as well as we had a stop-over to witness the dancing and singing Balsa choir and dance troupe (Balsa means water raft).
We passed by the famous road in Bohol where a canopy of tall trees creating shade and provide a cool temperature in the area, the Loboc Man-made forest. The 2-kilometer stretch man-made forest was so quiet because the trees planted here are mahogany and became a death zone according to James LaFrankie, writer of the book “Philippine Native Trees 101: Up Close and Personal”, because the mahogany trees are foreign it cannot offer fertile soil for local fungi, food for mammals, berries for birds and insects, therefore, they are unable to effectively thrive themselves in this area.
The next stop was the Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center in Bilar just 5 minutes away from the man-made forest. We learned a lot on this visit for 20 pesos entrance we were guided by a well-versed and comedic tour-guide. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies, the skippers, and the moth-butterflies.
On the following day, we had our lunch by the beach at the Boracay of Bohol: Anda beach (we settle at Quinale Beach Bar). Here also located the now-known Cabagnow cave pool; I did not go there but only the couple Ace and Merich because my old-soul self kicks-in and I just wanted to relax by watching the waves slowly creep the shore and the people and kids enjoying the sea. Tribya: Here in Anda beach you can see from afar the Camiguin Island’s silhouette.
You never visited Bohol if you won’t visit the famous rolling chocolate hills and purchase some sweet Calamay.
Bohol is now developing flower farms similar here in Cebu and they also have a glowing flower farm like in Lapu-lapu’s 1000 roses, The Jardin Necitas. Whether it’s nighttime or daytime the vibrant colors of the flowers will capture your eyes and you’ll surely can’t resist striking a pose because of its instagramable scenery. The entrance is I think 35 pesos, they have a small canteen inside but the place is kind of far if you are coming from Tagbilaran City.
After all the tours it’s time to relax and enjoy the peaceful beach of Bohol. We took pictures of the sunrise, I jog along the shore, ate breakfast together, and of course dip and enjoy the crystal clear sea of Panglao, Bohol.
We tried also this cafe that we can see in Robinsons Galleria, the Buzz Cafe. Here in Panglao is where their original restaurant/manufacturing site is located and of course, we tried the organic flavors of their ice creams to know if they have the same taste in Robinsons Galleria and the verdict is: the ones in Cebu still offers the authentic ice cream flavors. I think what they (in Cebu) don’t have yet is the flower salad which is weird but the organic eaters will surely love this place. Everything here is organic and I love the location of their restaurant it’s above the cliff and overseeing the beautiful sea.
Bohol will soon become as progressive as Cebu in a few years from now. Major projects (some are proposed and in-progress as of this writing) will soon realize like Bohol Business park similar to Cebu’s IT park or Ayala Business park for BPO and KPO industries, the recently opened Panglao Island International Airport, Cebu-Bohol Power interconnections this 2021, upgrade of Bohol connectivity to the national fiber optic node into fully-protected submarine cables ready for commercial use, accreditation of special economic zone, monorail system stations at the Bohol business park to connect Tagbilaran city to Panglao airport, Cebu-Bohol Friendship Bridge (2026 -2035) though this is still in the feasibility study but this is part of the long-term Visayas spatial development framework: inter-island bridges. Botanical gardens, public parks, golf course, boulevards, water treatment facility, and many more.