Bohol: A Paradise Found

Nestled near the heart of the Philippine archipelago, Bohol is undeniably one of the most fascinating island to visit amongst the country's 1,107 islands. Surrounded with shimmering crystal blue-green water, one couldn't help but simply be mesmerized by its splendor.

Experience wise, I somehow have a love-hate relationship with this island. Years back, a very enticing job opportunity led my feet to Bohol. It was a fleeting work experience, though, as I couldn't swallow how my bosses, who were foreigners at that, were milking without shame the gullible employees, whom I was supervising at that time.

But I digress, within the span of my stay, I never got the chance to explore the depth of Bohol's beautiful landscape and spellbinding sceneries as my work would always get in the way. And so when a good friend prompted an invitation, or was it I who masterminded such visit, I jumped right at the opportunity.

At the early break of dawn with eyes still half-closed, we dragged our sleepyheads to the port to catch the first trip to Tagbilaran City, the main town of Bohol. And as it is adjacent to mainland Cebu, we effortlessly reached it after a two-hour-breezy-ferry ride. As soon as we embarked, we wasted no time and started off with our countryside sightseeing.

Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills. The 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills are one of its greatest treasures. During dry season, they actually turned brown and that's how the name was derived. Getting a good view of these wonderful formations was truly riveting.

Aside from the Chocolate Hills, it's impossible to discount Bohol's countless inland attractions.

We never passed the chance to get a good glimpse of Bohol's tarsier, the world's smallest primate. Weighing less than 150 grams, it's smaller than a grown-up's average palm. Tarsier is actually a nocturnal animal. If left in its natural habitat, it can live up to twenty years. This tiny creature is notable for its owl-like eyes which are bigger than its brain.

Another equally interesting experience while touring Bohol was the Loboc River Cruise. After nearly half a day of site hopping, what better way to enjoy our sumptuous lunch than to board a floating restaurant. With the scent of fresh air and non-stop rendition of heart-warming melodies while we cruised along the quaint Loboc River, dining had never been so surreal.

And to make our trip somewhat adventure-like, we dropped by Sevilla's Hanging Bridge, paid "Prony", a 26 feet python, a visit, and had a little exploration in one of the many caves in Bohol, Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis.

I must admit getting near the humongous snake almost gave me a heart attack. I'm never fond of snakes, neither big nor small. They totally give me the creeps. But for a sucker of anything adrenaline-inducing thrills, I gathered all my guts and got as close as I could to Prony.

And as if our day tour wasn't enough, the view of the sandy white beach and crystal blue-green water that seem to glisten under the sun's rays in Panglao rendered me speechless. No wonder locals and foreigners alike crowd this beautiful paradise come rain or shine. I couldn't blame them as I myself was captivated by the sound of melodious waves and felt refreshed as the sea breeze lightly brushed against my skin. While taking a stroll along the powdery white beach, I was utterly appreciative how beautiful the world is on that side of the planet.

As a country girl at heart and a nature lover, I wouldn't mind settling in an island as marvelous as Bohol. Just imagine waking up with a mountain view, blanketed with the most exquisite greens, at the back of your house and from afar, while relaxing in your veranda, you can get a good glimpse of the glittering aquamarine water. Wouldn't it be perfect?

by nash 2009/12/10
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