Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bohol's Simplicity (Part 3): Seeing the town's Nature and History

You might be wondering about the title. I am hoping that you get an idea behind as this entry progresses.

As discussed with Mr. RJ (Intano) , our pick-up and drop-off point would be at Cherry's @Home Too Inland Resort (our home for 3 days and 2 nights) We started our countryside tour around 8:30 AM. Our driving tour guide was Kuya Allan.

First Stop: Tarsier Conservation Area

Upon entry, we were reminded to always remain silent as we go around. Any form of noise could disturb the sleeping Tarsiers.

Tarsiers were said to be the smallest primate in the world which came from the family of marsupials but that was criticized (source: Mr. Raymond Vagell of The Prancing Papio). According to Wikipedia, Tarsiers were Haplorrhini or the 'Dry-Nosed' primates that came from the family of Tarsiidae. Previously, the Tarsiers' welfare had also been a concern for the Conservationists. According to them, tourists might post a threat to the Tarsiers as they could possibly be stressed. 

We were only allowed to see the tiny primates.

Say Hi to "Enteng"! 

 Second Stop: Chocolate Hills Complex

The travel time from Loboc to the town of Carmen might take around 30 minutes.

Be prepared to climb 214 steps in order for you to have a great view of more than a thousand hills scattered to the towns of Carmen, Sagbayan and Batuan. These hills turn chocolate brown during dry season.

I remember, when I was in elementary. My Hekasi teacher would ask us to make a compilation entitled Ang Mga Magagandang Tanawin sa Pilipinas. I would always include Chocolate Hills as it was and it would always be Bohol's most famous landmark.

Third Stop: Simply Butterflies Conservation Center 

Located at Bilar, Bohol
A tour guide (Kuya Marlon) welcomed us upon entering the butterfly garden.

Aside from seeing some preserved and alive butterflies, the open ground could also serve as a picnic or events area.

 The huts gave us a 'Bali -feel'  (Indonesia) 

Fourth Stop: Man Made Forest 

According to Bohol-Philippines.com:

The Bohol Forest is a man-made mahogany forest stretching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Before and after this man-made forest are the naturally grown forests of Loboc and Bilar which are thick with a kaleidoscope of green foliage, different species of trees and giant ferns lining the road.
The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Seedlings abound around the older trees. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves.

 Fifth Stop: Hanging Bridge 

My friend didn't come with me at the Hanging Bridge. She just stayed near where we parked. It was Kuya Allan (our driving tour guide ) who went with me to take photos. Akala ko di ako kakabahan, medyo nakakakaba rin pala kapag nandon ka na at naglalakad. Everytime someone walks at the bridge I felt like I was on a trampoline. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who's afraid of heights although hindi naman sobrang taas, still, kung may takot ka, wag mo ng ituloy or don't ever look down. 

There were two bridges, isang for entry and the other one na solely for exit

Sixth Stop: Lunch!! Lunch at Loboc

Buffet over there!
My lunch:

My comment: just average. Nothing too much. All-Filipino. In fairness, wala akong reklamo sa lasa ah. Napaisip lang ako kung baka sumakit yung tiyan ko kapag maraming manga yung kinain ko since I didn't eat rice :P

The view while we're cruising (akala mo naman sa Ocean haha)

May stop over din for a short cultural number:

Seventh Stop: Baclayon Church 

According to Kuya Allan, Baclayon Church, also known as Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church (built in 1595)  was the second oldest church in the Philippines, the first was the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. 

Native slaves were behind the construction of Baclayon Church.

Inside, you could easily feel the solemnity of the church. I love visiting different churches because it made me reflect more and  I feel more blessed whenever I do that.

We've seen two miraculous image outside the church:

Napansin nyo ba?  According to Kuya Allan, that was the image of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

This easier to notice at first glance  - the image of Madonna and Child

My tip: Do not wear shorts or mini skirts. Dress code still applies even if there was no on-going mass.

Eight Stop: Appronia Souvenir Shop

Okay! Oras na para paganahin ang powers sa addition at subtraction. 
 Aminado ako, mabagal ako pagdating sa mga bilihan ng pasalubong :P Hindi naman kami inorasan ni Kuya Allan. 

I must say, there were a lot of products/items that you could choose from but I find some of them quite pricey. The delicacies were worth of your money (opinyon ko lang naman) at masasarap. Pansin ko puro peanut ang delicacies sa Bohol. 

I was able to buy a shirt on sale which was priced at 130.00, not bad, but not really cheap compared to Boracay where you could buy two shirts for 170 to 180.00 (85 to 90 each).

If you're on a hunt for tarsier keychains, spare your money until you reach the Blood Compact Monument. The vendors there sell 6 (bigger) Tarsier keychains for 100, while at Appronia, the smallest Tarsier keychain was priced at 20.00.

Ninth (and last) Stop: Blood Compact Shrine/Monument 

The monument tells the story of the Sandugo (Visayan term for One blood)  or the blood compact that happened between (on March 1565),  the Spanish Conquistador (Miguel Lopez de Legazpi ) and the Chieftain of Bohol (Datu Sikatuna).

 Our tour ended around 4:00 PM. Just in time for  a walk at the beach before having our dinner. Saying that 'we enjoyed a lot' might be an understatement but that's what we really felt and that was exactly the same thing we told ourselves at the end of the tour. 

Indeed, seeing a certain place's landmarks was my favorite part of the trip. 



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