Saturday, 2 November 2013

Memories of Bucolic Bohol

View of the Chocolate Hills from the 240-step Carmen viewpoint

A trip made several years ago, Bohol was a revelation. I have known it to be one of the best dive spots in the country, but never thought its rural beauty can be disarming, too.

 I treated my Dad to a short trip to Cebu to catch up with his big brother, our late Uncle Sisoy, my cousins, and a day trip for us to Bohol. With Gia in tow, we went for a whole day trip around the island of bucolic Bohol. The rain that the storm brought did not stop us.

Little did we know, we witnessed one of God's miracles--- when we did start our trip, we were blessed by a cool breeze and a scorching sun, up to the time we boarded the ferry back to Cebu. Amazing!!!Perfect weather amidst a supposed storm in the Visayas.

Tubigon was our ferry stop. A sleepy town, less popular than well-known Tagbilaran, but a mere 20 minutes to the first stop---Sagbayan Viewpoint. The place has tarsiers and chocolate hills but without the gruelling 240 steps climb to the viewing deck. Here you will find a rolling pathway (less strenuous) to the viewing deck. The mounds where not chocolate brown but a rich green. It turns brown around March-May, or summertime.
Pathway to Sagbayan Viewpoint (photo from internet)

View from the Sagbayan Viewpoint
View from Sagbayan Viewpoint

We then proceeded to Carmen for the original Chocolate Hills viewpoint. Along the way, you will notice the popular mounds of earth scattered everywhere. A great natural wonder.

Our proud 75-year-old Dad at the top of Carmen's 240-step viewpoint

240 steps! up and down. Whew! Dad was so proud he was able to climb it. To him it was like summiting "Mt. Everest". The view was just spectacular -- rows upon rows of green mounds as far as the eyes can see. An amazing wonder of nature!

On our way to Loboc, we passed by the 2-km stretch of man-made mahogany forest at the border of Bilar and Loboc towns.  It is a 2-km cool respite from the scorching sun especially around summer.
Bilar man-made forest
Next stop was the bamboo hanging bridge in Sevilla town. Crossing the Sipatan River, one can buy souvenirs and meet the "Buko King" -- he can strip open a buko (coconut) using his teeth. Unfortunately, we did not see him during our visit.

At Loboc, we again encountered the smallest primate---the Tarsier,  saw the Loboc River which was made famous by Cesar Montano's movie---Panaghoy sa Suba, and the Loboc Church where the internationally known "Loboc Choir" regularly sings.

Meeting the smallest primate

Bancas (motorized boats) for the Loboc River cruise
Loboc Church (photo from
Then, off we went to the Baclayon Church---the 2nd oldest church in the country---where we experienced something supernatural (or a technical error). We can not get a decent photo inside the church (even after so many tries! and we we were using a point and shoot camera with auto function). So did the other visitors. Strange yes? But I managed to take the shot of the supposed image of Padre Pio at the church wall.

Padre Pio's image on the wall of Baclayon Church
Last stop was the Blood Compact Site, before we head back to Tubigon Pier for our ferry ride back to Cebu.

Blood Compact Site
It was a great weekend trip. Touching base with relatives and enjoying one of God's greatest gifts, together.


Editor's note: This post has been sitting on my draft box for about a year. Posted several blogs after this, but this one remained a draft. It is as if I was waiting for the right time to post it.

In memory of the beauty of Bohol that we saw and appreciated. Bangon Bohol!

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