Sunday, 24 April 2016

Bohol Highlights Tour: Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Spotting and Loboc River Cruise

After the Manila trip, we went to visit Cebu for 2 reasons. The 1st was to see the Cebu itself, which is said to be older than Manila because the oldest street in the Philippines - Colon Street - is located in Cebu. The 2nd reason was to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chocolate Hills where Cebu provides a good stepping stone.

We joined this day trip to Bohol that took us to several sites/sights that accumulated in Chocolate Hills.

We joined the tour from the Viator website, below is a highlights of the tour. I copy it here just in case that in the future, the tour's details maybe different, or disappeared altogether.


Viator's Bohol day trip
They mention Loboc River cruise twice in their highlights.
I only had the river cruise once. I demand another river cruise!!!
(Click to enlarge)


Map of Cebu and Bohol Island, Philippines
This map shows the relative position between Cebu and Bohol Island. Below is a detailed map of the rectangular area.
(click to enlarge)

Map showing stops of Bohol Highlights Tour: Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Spotting and Loboc River Cruise, Philippines
Blue numbered labels show itinerary stops in our day trip of Bohol Island.
(click to enlarge)
______________________________________


  Tagbilaran Port
Arrival: 11:15.

I don't remember exactly how long the ferry ride from Cebu to Tagbilaran Port, but it's at least half an hour longer than a feature length movie. It started with the showing of what I think the national anthem, followed by San Andreas (2015). This ran for 1 hr 45 mins. So the ferry ride must be about under 2.5 hours.

The ferry ride showed a disaster film, at least they didn't show Titanic (1997) or other sea disaster title like Poseidon (2006). That would be a disastrous choice of movie.

Ferry ticket, TagbilaranPort, Philippines


  Baclayon Church
Arrival: 11:30.

Click here to go to Baclayon Church.

Baclayon Church, Bohol, Philippines


  Tarsier Sanctuary
Arrival: 11:10.

Click here to see Tarsier Sanctuary post.

Tasier monkey, Bohol, Philippines



  Toboc River Cruise
Arrival: 12:00.

Click here to see Toboc River Lunch Cruise.

Toboc River Cruise, Bohol, Philippines



  Simply Butterflies Conservation Center
Arrival: 13:30.

Click here to go to Simply Butterflies Conservation Center.

Simply Butterflies Conservation Center, Bohol, Philippines



  Chocolate Hills
Arrival:  14:10.

Click here to go to Chocolate Hills.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines


Not far away from Chocolate Hills on our way home, we drove past these 2 buildings that caught my eyes. So I shot them as we drove past.

Shiphaus, Bohol, Philippines
Shiphaus (or Ship House)

The Shiphaus is built by capt. Gaudencio Dumapias, who is a local. I think he has turned his house into a tourist attraction. There's a restaurant (sorry, captain, mess hall) if you want to fill your stomach inside the Shiphaus.

We didn't stop there because it wasn't on our itinerary.

Catholic church with Moorish architecture, Bohol, Philippines
Church with Moorish architecture

Not far from the Shiphaus is this - I'm guessing - catholic church with Moorish architecture, which is probably inspired by the architecture from places in Southern Spain like Granada.



  Sandugo Blood Compact Site
Arrival: 15:40.

If you look at the map with our itinerary stops, you would think that this would be the 1st stop, not the last. I suspect that the tour guide left this stop last because if he was running late on time, he could skip this stop altogether, and we wouldn't mind at all. This is because it's a site with a single sculpture.

A blood compact (pacto de sangre) was also quite popular in the Far East (China, Japan, and Korea) as a ritual to seal an agreement. In blood compact, the blood of 2 parties are dropped into a cup and then the bloody concoction is drunk. It should taste like tomato juice. At least, that's what my blood taste like. Maybe my blood has a high Ph level.

This Sandugo Blood Compact sculpture shows the blood compact between Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol in 1565.


Sandugo Blood Compact Sculpture, Bohol, Philippines

Sandugo Blood Compact Sculpture, Bohol, Philippines

Sandugo Blood Compact Sculpture, Bohol, Philippines




  Tagbilaran Port
Arrival:  16:10.


Motor rickshaw, Bohol, Philippines

Motor rickshaw, Bohol, Philippines
Typical public transportation in Bohol


The choice of movies that being played during the ferry ride needs more sensible guidance. If you think that showing a disaster movie during a ferry ride is a disastrous choice, wait until you see the movie they offered during the return trip.

On Our way back, they screened Law Abiding Citizen (2009). Santa Maria! Not a bad crime thriller flick with R rating. It has lots of violent and graphic scenes (like the guy being saw into several pieces and scattered on a workbench like LEGO bricks. I felt a great urge to put him back together like a jigsaw puzzle (shouldn't that be a hacksaw puzzle?). Does this arm goes over here? I wonder what this bit is?). Perhaps, there's not yet a film classification concept in Philippines (as in many other countries). There were plenty of teenager and tweenager on board. By the time they got home, it was nap time, and this was just the perfect movie to give them nightmares (like being chased by a flying head, or strangled by a dismembered hand, or your groin kicked by a disjointed leg).

A nice wholesome nap time lullaby like The Sound of Music (1965) would have been more sound, and put those kids into a better sound sleep when they got home. Sounds good, no?

Overall, a pleasant day trip of Bohol Island. 7.5 / 10.




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