I’m finally back! I told myself after landing safely in Tagbilaran Airport.
I’ve been planning to go to Bohol to document and revisit some of the destroyed tourism landmarks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the island in October 2013. I was already thinking of booking my ticket to Bohol when I got an invite from PHILTOA for a BOHOL Famtour. After reading the email invite, I immediately cleared my schedule and confirmed my participation.
Arroz Caldo for Breakfast
As one of the major proponents of local tourism, PHILTOA decided to revisit BOHOL including several of the places that withstood the tragedy in order to help the province in strengthen its tourism activities. PHILTOA is conducting series of FamTour in preparation for the upcoming Philippine Travel Mart 2014.
Boholano Breakfast at Astoria de Bohol
As Tour Operators, the best way we knew how to help is to promote Bohol to our clients. While Bohol’s tourism is well on its way to recovery, bringing more tourists to the island province will help Boholanos to recover faster. There’s a lot to discover in Bohol — “The vibrant lifestyle and interesting finds in its countryside, the Bohol Adventure Park, the sights in Anda, Alburquerque, and Corella, and of course, the beaches in Panglao.” says PHILTOA President Mr. Cesar Cruz.
Beach front of Astoria de Bohol
Upon Arriving in Bohol, we proceeded to Astoria de Bohol for breakfast where we enjoyed arros caldo, fried rice, native longganisa, scrambled eggs, daing na bangus, tocino and selection of soft bread with choices of fruit jams and butter. After engulfing the sumptuous breakfast we were given a short property tour to checkout the rooms, facilities and amenities of the resort.
PHILTOA Members and Travel Bloggers at Astoria de Bohol
Located in the town of Baclayon, Astoria de Bohol is one of the newest resort property in the province. Each of the 8 rooms in the resort has an old world charm with modern Filipino and Boholano detailing. Apart from its elegantly appointed rooms with lavish interiors, the resort has a beautiful infinity pool facing a breathtaking view of a white sand beach.
Inside Albuquerque Church
After the resort inspection, we headed to Albuquerque Church – one of the two important cultural properties that was not affected by the 2013 earthquake. Also known as Albur Parish, the 19th century parish church of Santa Monica in Albuquerque remained intact and is still being used for regularly celebrated mass.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
PHILTOA Members inside Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
From Albuquerque Church, we visited Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in the town of Corella. Unfortunately, we were not able to capture clear photos of the world’s smallest primate since most of them were hiding in huge trees around the enclosed sanctuary.
Ms Emy Malate with PHILTOA Members
Our next stop was at Loboc River Resort. Located along the famous Loboc River, this resort offers a nice native but elegantly designed rooms with a refreshing view of Loboc River. With beautiful rooms, affodable tour packages, nice swimming pool, beautiful riverside restaurant and a chance to see fireflies at night, this resort is one of my top choices for a relaxing stay in Loboc.
Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
After visiting Loboc River Resort, we proceeded to Chocolate Hills Adventure Park for Lunch. For an affordable rate, their in-house restaurant offers a budget friendly buffet lunch that includes pork, chicken and seafoods cooked the Boholano way. For dessert, they served local rice cakes (kakanin) and fresh fruits like pineapple, watermelon and ripe mangoes.
Lunch at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
The entire adventure park is covered by huge trees, beautifully landscaped gardens, natural fish ponds and international standard adventure facilities. Our group was divided into two to maximize our time in the park. After the safety orientation, we started walking uphill braving 228 steps to reach the newest Chocolate Hills View deck, I was panting like a dog and we hadn’t reached the top yet. To top it all off we were given a chance to experience the Bike Zip Line. The Bike Zip is 275 meters long and this activity will give you an exhilarating bike ride in the sky with the inspiring view of the Chocolate Hills as our back drop.
Bike Zipline at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park
At the lower level of the park is a pathway that will lead you to their mini serpentarium – an area where you can find various snakes and animals. Theres also a 9-course adventure trail which includes the Hanging Bridge, Islands in the Sky, Burma Loops, Burma Planks, Earthquake, Vine Walk, Jacob’s Walk, Tyrolean and the Zipline.
Our Room at Bohol Beach Club
After enjoying adventure packed activities at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park, we proceeded to Bohol Beach Club to check in and freshen up and prepare for dinner. Before dinner we were also given a short property tour and a surprise mini cocktail party hosted by Bohol Beach Club.
Hallway at South Palms Beach Resort
Our mini cocktail party was followed by a convenient 10 minute walk to South Palms Beach Resort for dinner. The restaurant was full when we arrived because the resort was currently hosting an ASEAN convention. For dinner, they prepared Halal food in honor of the guests from our neighboring countries.
Joey Ayala performing at South Palms Beach Resort
I liked everything they served especially the grilled lamb, shrimps and vegetable kebab. While having dinner, we also enjoyed watching Joey Ayala who was also there to entertain the ASEAN delegation.
Beach Bar at South Palms Beach Resort
We headed back to Bohol Beach Club after dinner to simmer down from the excitement of the day and to get some sleep for our early morning departure.
Up Next: Discovering the Municipality of Anda Bohol