Wednesday, March 04, 2009

a different bohol experience

...because this time it's mostly for pleasure.

my previous visits in bohol have always been work-related and what made it even more different is that we shunned away from land tours and focused mainly on relaxing and enjoying the beach.

we arrived at tagbilaran at past 6pm because well, er, we had to work. we went directly to Loboc where the children's choir waited to sing for us. yup, we had a sort of VIP treatment because it so happens that their trainor/directress is a recipient of our award.

we had tiresome days and a long, bumpy trip but going there was all worth it. the angelic voices of the children just took all our weariness away. we couldn't help but shed tears when they sang some of the most melodious songs we've ever heard.

after the performance we could not help but have pics with them like some starstruck fans. we really hope we could see more of them soon.

from loboc we headed to panglao and checked in at Dumaluan Beach Resort. there's 4 of us in this huge room and just requested for additional mattresses and beddings.

we were tired but we had some energy left to party and dance with their resident band. good enough, the show ended promptly at 10pm thus we had to turn in earlier for the night.

at 6am the following morning, our bangka, Destiny, was waiting for us at the beach to take us on a sea tour to Balicasag and the Virgin Is.

it was a good 30 mins. or so ride but we were all jolted from sleepiness when we saw dolphins frolicking nearby! it was fleeting but we saw two sightings and they were all gone. i wasn't able to take pics because they were gone in a heartbeat tsk, tsk.

the we docked to Balicasag where the marine reserve is and where we could go snorkeling to our hearts content.

but okay, here's my major rant, everything here in Balicasag is such a rip-off! we had to pay PhP150 per head for the tour guide. they are supposed to lead us to the snorkeling area with their small boats because our boat could no longer go to the protected marine reserve. but, WTF, 150 per head is just too much especially when there's 8 of us in the group. what we did was persisted and decided we did not want any guide. then we got more offers for scuba shoes to protect our feet from the sea urchins for another Php100, snorkellng gear for another Php100, etc. etc.

even their food prices were exorbitant. fish was at Php350 pero kilo plus another 150 for the cooking fee. rice was at Php15 per cup. a small chippy costs 20. yay, we ended up really hungry when we decided we'll just have lunch back at our resort hehe.

oh, entrance into the Balicasag Resort is another Php100. we need to pay Php20 if we need to pee. well, we rested at the sandy area just outside the resort border for free. while we were frolicking and having fun taking pictures a guy approached and offered to be our guide for Php100. i bargained for 50 to which he agreed hehehe. so we were able to go to the snorkeling area for 50 each but had to pay another 50 for the shoes. we should have worn sandals then to protect our feet. but the experience was all worth it. there were just too many colorful fishes and corals, and starfishes and sea urchins too.

i just could not understand why they had to charge us too much. one guy even retorted, "sa siyudad din naman may bayad lahat", when i asked them why they had to charge us with every step that we have to make. hmpf! maybe they are just too proud with what they have. but please, these beautiful corals and fishes are abundant everywhere around the little islands in the country so i hope they will stop thinking as if it is only in Balicasag where we could see them that we have to spend too much. hmpf!

after the quick snorkeling activities we left the island and headed to another Virgin Island. this must be the nth Virgin Island i've been to in the country but yes, oh yes, beautiful it is indeed!

the waters were just so clear and the sand so white and powdery. beautiful, beautiful indeed!

at past 12 noon we headed back to our resort for our much anticipated lunch. we spent the rest of the day lounging and resting, and sleeping and swimming. we had our massages from the bulags who were also recipients of our award. kaya home service na, discounted pa.

we partied some more that night and woke up to a beautiful sunrise the following morning.

but we had to prepare again because we had to leave just right after breakfast to catch our 10am flight to manila. before heading to the airport though, we had the chance to drop by the Blood Compact site along the highway.

bye, bye Bohol. we had such a great time!

but please let me thank the following for our smooth and truly enjoyable trip:

John Araneta for picking us up at the port, brought us to Loboc and brought us to our resort in Dumaluan. Cel no. 0920 4809050.

Jesskath/Tatsky for our sea tour. (09108112091)

Dumaluan Beach Resort, where we stayed.

and to our bayanis in the area, Mr. and Mrs. Hidolito Taldo and the Bohol Federation for Disabled Persons. Mabuhay kayo!

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