|That's Brandon behind me|
Hello faithful followers! Sorry it's been a while, but life here hasn't been all that exciting lately. However, my travel cronies and I took a trip, and I am compelled to share the adventure with you! It was me, Darina, Mikel and Brandon - who recently arrived here from Minnesota.
This time we flew to an island south of Luzon, called Bohol. It's a very green island and looked gorgeous and untouched when we flew in. It rained most of our first day there.
We had a reservation at the Bohol Beach Club where we could also get different tours of the island. The rate included breakfast each morning, which was nice. I wasn't a fan of the food , but everything else was pretty awesome. There is a bar, a restaurant, a dive shop, tour options, a little store, a few pools... everything you need!
The first night, we checked out the bar and restaurant scene. There was a live band so we listened to that for a while. After that we explored the area - the Beach Club is huge, and there are other adjoining resorts when you walk the beach so we stumbled around the island until pretty late. That was not well thought out, because we scheduled a day-long tour for early the next morning... Haha! Here are a couple of shots of us having fun, and of the resort areas.
|This is really a real place! Stunning|
|Walkway to our rooms|
|Brandon listens to tunes...|
|Darina and I laugh about something :)|
The next morning was sunny and we had a tour that included seeing tarsiers, a place called Chocolate Hills, and a river cruise with lunch. Our tour guide was very informative and pleasant. She told us that tarsiers can be prone to suicidal tendencies when stressed out. You used to be able to handle the tarsiers, but they stopped allowing it. Tarsiers are not social animals like their other primate relatives. Also, they do not have peripheral vision.
Next up is the Chocolate Hills. The Chocolate Hills form a rolling terrain of haycock hills – mounds of a generally conical and almost symmetrical shape. They're so cool, and there are so many! We had to climb a flight of 214 stairs to get to the viewpoint. It is breath taking.
After we went back down the 214 stairs, we were whisked away to the Loboc River, where we were serenaded with music and fed a buffet lunch. The river is brown, but the surroundings are lush and very green. When I closed my eyes, I felt like I was back home in WI on my parent's boat. Only it was humid, and the music is different...
An added treat during the cruise was a stop at a dock where we were entertained by a group of children and adults who put on a song and dance to thank us for visiting the river. I'm told that your Filipino childhood is not complete if you didn't learn the Tinikling dance- a traditional Filipino dance where they do fancy footwork over bamboo sticks. I love it! Check it out:
The last stop was the Blood Compact Monument. The Sandugo was a blood compact, performed in the island of Bohol in the Philippines, between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna the chieftain of Bohol on March 16, 1565, to seal their friendship as part of the tribal tradition. This is considered as the first treaty of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos.
That evening was quiet, and our dinner also included being serenaded with music. They sang a few songs to us in Spanish. I quite enjoyed it!
The next day, we got up early again to go island hopping - boating and snorkeling, some of my favorite activities! The snorkeling here was really cool - but we all got stung by little jellyfishes. No big deal. The water and the islands are so PRETTY. I just can't believe how beautiful this place is, and that I saw it in person. I'm so grateful.
|Our boat. Much larger than we've had before!|
|Couldn't help myself... :)|
|Brandon jumps off|
|Mikel dives off|
|This guy was selling seafood|
The island tour was around $50 per person and included lunch. I don't recall what we paid for the island hopping, but I'm thinking it was somewhere around $25 per person. Food and beverage is extra, but still very cheap. Once you're here in the Philippines, these island getaways are quite inexpensive!
It's more fun in the Philippines!