I spent my birthday here and had a blast of the best and finest of natural beauty of Bohol. This trip is one milestone I won't forget. It is on my birthday that I decided to celebrate it with my one great passion in life - travel. I want to try a different thing on my special day and decided not to do-away with usual parties or indulging in happy hour. I want to make it memorable and do something that will let experience the best of life. It was my first time to travel on my birthday and it was my first time to visit Bohol. And to add up to this milestone, I rode Philippine Airlines who is also celebrating its birthday on that day! Asia's first airline, PAL soars 70 years on that unforgettable day. That day was a full blast of Bohol experience. I truly enjoy the best of life by doing it with my passion of travel on that day. This is a great way to celebrate life because travel is to have an experience of a lifetime!
|PR175 from Manila at Tagbilaran Airport|
Before we arrive in Tagbilaran, we already had pre-arranged tours with Kuya George Norono (0918-3858084/0920-80221714) whom my mom's last year Bohol visit tour service guide. We have been delay for 15 minutes in the air due to arrival traffic in Tagbilaran airport. Later, I learned that only one plane can disembark arrival passengers at a time as the arrival area of Tagbilaran airport can only accommodate one arrival flight at a time and only two planes can land at the airport at the same time due to limited aircraft space. Tagbilaran Airport is small but there are four commercial planes flying to the airport. Personally, I think it demands a bigger and spacious airport to serve Bohol province. And with the surge of arrival of tourists in the island being one of the main destination in the country, I think a major improvement, spacing or bigger airport facility is needed for Tagbilaran Airport.
|Travel is an experience of lifetime!|
Kuya George fetched us at the airport when we arrived. He was warm and friendly. And helpful in taking pictures! =) And it was also the time to start our countryside tour of Bohol. It was like a field trip where we stop to each point of interests in each municipality of the province via van. For your information, some place of interests has entrance fees. It depends but mostly ranges from 10-15PHP per visitor. Kuya George was also helpful in informing us about the places that we are visiting. He also helped us arranged our island hopping activity for the next day. The trip will end with our check-in at an accommodation in Panglao Island in the afternoon.
|The City of Friendship|
|Sandugo or Blood Compact Monument|
|Scenic coastal view around the Sandugo marker|
After that, we embarked on a 15 minute drive and reach the municipality of Baclayon to see the famous Baclayon Church or the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Baclayon Church is one of the oldest church in the Philippines. It is one of the best preserved Jesuit build churches in the region, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church. A walk inside the church is like stepping into a past history particularly to Spanish colony times of the country. I felt the atmosphere of Spanish times while sightseeing inside the church and its historic relics. The church was completed in 1727 and made of coral stones from the sea cemented by white of million eggs together.
|Baclayon Church also known as Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception|
|The most magazine photographed part of Baclayon Church - its magnificent altar.|
|Outside facade of the century-old Baclayon Chruch.|
|Prony is sleeping|
|The CUTE tarsier!|
|The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta or Carlito syrichta) is endemic in Bohol.|
|The EVIL Tarsier...|
The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta or Carlito syrichta), known locally as the Maumag in Cebuano/Visayan and Mamag in Luzon, is an endangered species of tarsier endemic to the Philippines. Once protected by the humid rainforests and mist-shrouded hills, these mysterious primates struggle to survive as their home is cleared for crop growing and poaching. Corella is the best place in to spot a tarsier in the wild. This is where the Philippine Tarsier Foundation has hectares of sanctuary for the endemic tarsiers and serves as a research center to populate these world's smallest known primates.
|Tarsiers are one of the world's smallest primate.|
|EVIL Tarsier... no, they're eyes are just sleepy that's why it gives an evil-like look. They are nocturnal animals.|
|Sino ang tunay na Tarsier!?|
|The beauty of Loboc River.|
Enroute to Carmen, we passed Bilar and saw the Man-made forest. These stretch of Mahogany trees gives a shade from strong sunlight and promotes cool breeze of air in its surrounding. Running our vehicle through it, is quite dark because of the tall trees shade and it kinda gives you a fantasy and creepy feeling that a dinosaur from Jurrasic Park movie might suddenly appear! Preserving this forests of Bohol is a true testament to being a haven of natural beauty. No wonder Bohol was awarded with International Organization Standard (ISO) 14001 rating for ecology and environment in 2001.
|The most prominent hill in the viewing area.|
|The viewing deck and the dangerous viewing deck below the open railing.|
The hills, which look like giant mole hill, are considered unusual geological formation that consists of at least 1,268 individual mounds that are scattered throughout the municipalities of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. The hills range from 30 to 50 meters high and are covered in green grass, which turns to brown during the dry season, making them look like chocolate mounds. This natural sight is a must-see in Bohol. It is a marvelous work of nature that any visitor will wonder and marvel to its beauty. A natural beauty at its finest! I highly recommend to visit these hills. It is so chocolaty that is melts in your eyes and not in your mouth!
|We love the Chocolate Hills!|
|Another option of viewing the hills is in the municipality of Sagbayan.|
|Dinner by the beach.|
|My dinner birthday at Alona Beach.|
The dream of turning Bohol into a world-renowned destination is no longer so far-fetch with its National Geographic-like encounter of its unspoiled rivers, fantastic geological formation like Chocolate Hills, animal encounters with the endemic tarsiers, period churches, man-made forests in Bilar, majestic marine biodiversity and beautiful beaches like Alona beach. It made the province a complete package of nature and adventure trip in one destination. I also have to commend the friendliness of Boholanos. They are smiling, warmth and engaging. Truly living up to the dubbed "City of Friendship." I do hope Bohol continuous to preserve its natural sights as it lures visitors and fortunes to the province. I had a blast of Bohol in one day! It was total immersion to its natural beauty. A distinct beauty that can only be found in the haven of natural beauty of Bohol. A beauty that will surely allure anyone. Visit this sanctuary of alluring beauty and experience natural beauty like no other.