Exploring Bohol – a Taste of Filipino Hospitality

Nung dumami ang turista sa Bohol, umuwi ako galing Maynila. Bumili ako ng tricycle. Yung ang ginamit ko para makapag-aral ang mga anak ko. Nakatapos na ang anak kong panganay bilang teacher. Yung pangalawa naman college na. Ang mga turismo ng Bohol ang dahilan kung bakit may trabaho kami ang nabubuhay namin ang aming pamilya. Kaya mahal na mahal namin ang mga turista.

Manong driver was very pleasant and warm during our 40 minutes trip to our hotel. This is just a glimpse of our trip exploring Bohol.

I just want to share with you the experience I had in our recent trip to Bohol.

Our flight to Tagbilaran was at 6AM. That’s the usual time I pick whenever I book a flight because I want to make the most out of the first day of our travels. Unfortunately due to bad weather in Bohol our plane couldn’t land in Tagbilaran airport although the pilot tried twice. On the third try the pilot decided to re-route and land in Mactan Airport instead (two cities in an hour LOL).

During our way to Mactan, the pilot announced that they will coordinate and arrange with their Cebu Pac Manila office and request to try to go back in Tagbilaran and try again. In the instance that we are still unsuccessful, our plane will go back to Manila. Imagine my frustration. I was worried about my non-refundable hotel accommodation.

How are they going to compensate us and are they going to rebook our flight and when. Paano na lang ang vacay huhuhu.

We landed in Mactan and waited for the aircraft’s clearance to go back in Tagbilaran. The thing was, Tagbilaran airport can only accommodate one aircraft at a time so we had to wait for our plane to be squeezed in the air traffic schedule.

We waited in Mactan airport for more than two hours just sitting inside the airplane. Most of the people inside were Boholanons. To my surprise even although we waited in the airplane for 3 hours I never heard anyone of them complain or call the attention of the flight attendants. They were just relaxed and patiently waiting until we get to fly again.

At that moment, they made an impression on me that the Boholanons are kind by nature. Noobody compained. And I was impressed by their patience and kindness. Because I was really so pissed of during the time. We left Mactan at 12:30PM (yes imagine the time wasted) and on the fourth try, thank God we successfully landed in Bohol!

On our way to our hotel. Manong tricycle driver served as our tourist guide and I realized how much they love Bohol. He went out of his way to welcome the tourist. Manong gave us a few background about Bohol – that out of 47 municipalities, there’s only one city which is Tagbilaran. They have 3 Congressmen and 1 Governor.

Their population is small and he even showed us a map of the whole province. He also offered us a ride if we want to see the tourist spots. We had a little chat with Manong and according to him he used to work in Manila as a security guard.

He said he couldn’t go home that time because air fare was too pricey for him. The money he’s supposed to use to buy airplane ticket, he would just sent it back home for his family to use, until his wife died in 2002. He went home in Bohol and tried to find another job and took care of his kids.

The Boholanons are really kind by nature (how many times have I mentioned that?). The people even in grocery stores were always smiling and very helpful. Everyone you come across with were always and willing to help.

Tourist Spots

The tourist attractions in Bohol are quite far away from each other but we still managed to see most of them. Thanks to the motor for hire. Nag ala riding in tandem kami ni hubby LOL. The good thing though was that you will pass by these tourist spots on your the way to the famous Chocolate Hills, the farthest and the last stop.

The Tarsier sanctuary has about 100+ tarsiers they take care of and breed.

We were not able to see the butterfly farm though because we didn’t know where it was but we went to Baclayon Church and Museum and others. Along the way, you will see a few churches still under renovation from the damage of the earthquake that recently shook the province.

It was a great experience exploring Bohol. Alona beach in Panglao has fine white sand too just like that of Boracay. There’s not too much night life but there are nice bars you can chill and relax at. Their life is very simple.

By the way, there were also many Koreans there like in Bora haha! There were also Russians and Chinese. It was indeed a haven for tourists.

The thing I enjoyed the most was the zipline! It was nerve wracking but totally worth it. We only got to know about the zipline during our lunch at the floating restaurant. While we were cruising the river, we suddenly heard screams and that’s how we found about it.

Bring Cash

We had quite a hard time looking for an ATM after we ate when we ran out of cash. Good thing there was a rural bank where you can withdraw over the counter so we were able to try zipline. The exploration took us the whole day because Chocolate Hills was 75 kilometers from Alona beach and you had to make stops along the way to see the other tourist attractions.

You can also rent a car for P2500 but we decided to just rent a Mio (motorcycle) because it’s cheaper and we can manage our own time. No driver to put a time limit on us plus we can go anywhere we want anytime.

Hotel accommodations range from P1000/night to as much as P8k/night (and even higher).

Food depends on your preference. You may go low cost or spend a little bit more on a good resto.

Coming out of this experience I realized how interconnected we are to each other. We Filipinos help each other in one way or another. And it doesn’t hurt to be a little more patient. True enough our patience and attitude define us. Most of all, always be kind.

To my friends who haven’t explored the Philippines yet, it’s time you do so. Bohol is a must see.

Next stop… in God’s will… Coron.

Work Hard. Save. Travel. Repeat.

If you have any question about this article please be sure to send Gracie a message.