I was lucky that I was able to visit Bohol before the devastating 7.2 earthquake last October 15, 2013. I was there a week before the sad event took place with my family.
Bohol is one of the popular destination in the Philippines. It is famous for its religious history. Catholicism has a very powerful influence in Bohol, particularly in Tagbilaran, where in a city ordinance was passed requiring tricycles to have a bible passage posted in their sidecar. Sounds crazy to me but not surprising not surprising since it is one of the places where Catholicism started in the Philippines.
Bohol’s tourism is a mix of nature and history. Here you will find old architectures as well as unique work of nature. Unfortunately, some of these were destroyed by the earthquake.
Getting to Bohol
If coming from Manila, plane is the easiest mode of transportation that will get you to this historic province. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia Zest, and Philippine Airlines has a daily flights to/from Bohol. Travel time is around one hour. Get updated with Airlines Promo and you can get there as low as Php600!
Several ferries travel to/from Bohol ports. More popular port is the Tagbilaran Port which has several ferry schedule to/from Cebu. Ferry takes two hours ride and will cost you Php500 for a two way trip.
What to See
Bohol’s tourism is organized wherein tours are being offered by licensed travel agencies. You should try the day tour wherein you will see different tourist attraction while on your way to see the famous Chocolate Hills. Below are the destinations you will see:
1. Baclayon Church
Bohol has numerous old churches. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is believed to be the second oldest stone church in the Philippines next to Church of San Agustin. It was built 1596 by the Jesuits. It is famous to tourist due to some image in its wall which is believed to be Father Pio.
2. Blood Compact Monument
This lifesize representation was made in honor of an important event in the Philippine history done between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. It was made by National Artist, Napoleon Abueva. It portrays five men gathered around a table on a blood compact which seals brotherhood and friendship.
3. Butterfly Sanctuary
This is one of the stopover of the tour. Here you will learn things about butterfly. They have a nursery wherein they breed different kinds of butterfly. Entrance is Php 35.
There are now several places that offers you to see a tarsier. I honestly against this idea because here you will see stressed tarsier that are being kept for the purpose of profit. This speeds up their extinction. Anyhow, entrance ranges from Php60.
5. Loboc River Cruise
This is one of the must try experience here. This will be your lunch stopover. In there, you will be having a river cruise for 45-60 minutes accompanied by a buffet lunch and live music. Along the river, performers are waiting to showcase the ethnic music and dance of the province. This experience will cost you Php400.
6. Man Made Forest
Before reaching the Chocolate hills, you will pass the man-made forest. What you will see is a 2 km stretched of giant mahogany trees. It is the result of a nationwide program by the government during the 1960’s during the years of President Diosdado Macapagal. This will cost you nothing.
7. Chocolate Hills
The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. The viewdeck is located on top of a hill wherein you will need to pay Php 100+ for several fees. In here you will have a great view of this amazing work of nature. You will be awed on how beautiful the scenery is. It comprises around 1200+ hills. Make sure you still have free camera storage and battery when you reach this place.
You may contact our tour guide Roger at 09771938106.