21
Sep
10

Bohol Island Tour

For the second day of our tour, the island of Bohol itself is our destination.  It doesn’t sound very exciting, until we actually had the tour.  And here’s how our second day of touring transpired:

Does this scene look familiar?

Blood Compact Shrine

The closest historic spot from Tagbilaran City proper is the blood compact shrine.  It is here where the blood compact (sandugo) between the chieftain of Bohol Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legaspi took place 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.  As expected tourists flock the area, both local and foreign, so taking pictures is a bit challenging (but manageable).

Our expanded tour group

The blood compact monument from a different angle

A breath-taking panorama behind the shrine (click to zoom)

Baclayon Church

A few kilometers henceforth is another historic site, the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, or simply, the Baclayon Church.  Aside from being historic, the current structure is massive and quite impressive as it is made of corals, and had been standing since 1727, considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.

Baclayon Church

A closer view of the church’s façade

Some excerpt from the historical marker (translated into English):

The historical marker (click to zoom)

In this spot Jesuit priests Father Juan de Torres and Father Gabriel Sanchez formally established the first Christian mission in Bohol in November 17, 1596.  The original church was made of wood in honor of the Immaculate Conception and became a parish in 1717.  The current church made of corals was erected in 1727.

Inside the church

The altar

Left side of the altar

Visiting Baclayon Church would be incomplete without a visit to the museum, just beside the church.  Taking photos and videos are prohibited, but the visit is quite worth it.  You can see antique statues, documents, and even church relics made of gold and silver.

The church (left) with the attached museum (right)

Entrance to the museum

The massive bell tower

Tarsiers Redux

Our next stop was Loboc which is 24 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City.  While waiting for our lunch at the famous Loboc River Cruise, we stopped over another site where Tarsiers are being taken cared of.  It was a more intimate encounter with these delicate creatures, and I’d agree that they really are cute.

This is how small tarsiers are (about the size of a fist)

Fast fact: The eyes of Tarsiers are fixed in their socket.  To compensate, nature gave them the ability to rotate their heads a full 180 degrees.

Whatcha lookin’ at? 🙂

Loboc River Cruise

Finally it’s lunch time!  I admit I was already famished when we arrived at the area, and the thought of a buffet was really exciting.

Buffet! Woohoo!

Loboc Church

The area where we board these floating restaurants is just across the Loboc Church which is home to the world famous Loboc Children’s Choir.  Unfortunately due to lack of time we weren’t able to visit the church itself, and were only able to view it from across the river.

The Buzzz Café at Loboc

Our pick

Docking station

Even their trash bins are eco-friendly

Boarding…

Travel Tip: Get the lowest numbered table.  Despite being a buffet, the first one to queue for the food are tables 1 to 3.

Food!

Loboc River

The U-turn marker

One of the floating stages en route

Children performing at the floating stage

Tourists eagerly watching the show

Nice view

Cruise almost over 😦

A downpour greeted us as we leave the area

Chocolate Hills

From Loboc we headed straight towards Bohol’s most iconic tourist attraction, the Chocolate Hills.  It was still quite a long drive but watch out as along the way you’ll get to see some amazing sights (the first picture on this post is en route and was featured in running magazines).  Naturally tourists from everywhere flock the site, and even if you don’t have a camera there are plenty of cameramen in the area to take your pictures with the hills.  But you have to deal with the 214 steps towards the top of the observation area.

That’s the observation area up there

214 flights of stairs on my count to get there

View from the top

A marker at the top

Photo-op

More tarsiers at the souvenir shop 🙂

Butterfly Conservation Garden

On our way back to Tagbilaran we still have another spot to visit, the Butterfly Conservation Garden.  I’ll admit I’m a bit queasy about butterflies, insects in general, but this tour gave me a bit of a change of heart.  Our guide was very informative, not to mention entertaining, so I got to appreciate and understand butterflies more.

Butterflies

On rare occassions, a butterfly having the features of both sexes arise

Butterfly eggs

Butterfly larvae

So is this one

And another

The alphabet and numbers from butterfly wings

A buttefly

Travel tip: There are some quite interesting items sold at the Butterfly Conservation Garden, one of which is interesting ice cream flavors.  The dragon fruit flavor is a must try.

Said to be butterflies’ favorite

More flowers

Another one

A unique one

An orchid

And that concludes our second day of touring.  We could’ve packed more but we had to hurry back to Tagbilaran to attend the briefing of the TNF Thrill of the Trail the following day.  We covered a lot of ground today and we had to conclude it early.  We could only manage an in-hotel dinner before calling it a day as the following day, race day, starts very early.  You may have read about my race chronicles, but you haven’t read about Danao, coming up next. 🙂

Next: TNF Thrill of the Trail Bohol + EAT Danao

* * *

The Great Visayan Adventure


3 Responses to “Bohol Island Tour”


  1. 2010 September 23 at 4:22 PM

    I miss Bohol! :(….

    This is super nice post Dhenz! ^-^

  2. 2010 November 15 at 10:04 PM

    Bohol tourism has a lot to offer to visiting person or groups, particularly in the month of May when fiestas abound all over the island. You can take part in these festivities by watching over beauty pageants, Mardi gras, sports events, and more.


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