I just want to share with you the experience I had in my recent trip in Bohol.
Our flight to Tagbilaran was at 6AM. That’s the usual time I pick whenever I book a flight because I want to make the most out of the first day of our travels. Unfortunately due to bad weather in Bohol our plane couldn’t land in Tagbilaran airport although the pilot did try twice. On the third try the pilot decided to re-route and land in Mactan Airport instead (two cities in an hour LOL). During our way to Mactan, the pilot announced that they will coordinate and arrange with their Cebu Pac Manila office and request to try to go back in Tagbilaran and try again. In the instance that we are still unsuccessful, our aircraft will go back to Manila. Imagine my frustration. I was worried about my non-refundable hotel accommodation. ‘How are they going to compensate us and are they going to rebook our flight and when.’ Paano na lang ang vacay huhubels. We landed in Mactan and waited for the aircraft’s clearance to go back in Tagbilaran. The thing is, Tagbilaran airport can only accommodate one aircraft at a time so we had to wait na maisingit ulit yung flight namin sa schedule. We waited in Mactan airport for more than two hours just sitting inside the airplane. Most of the people inside were Boholanons. To my surprise even though 3 hours na kami nag hihintay sa loob ng airplane I never heard anyone of them complain or call the attention of the flight attendants. They were just relaxed and patiently waiting until we get to fly again.
At that moment, they made an impression on me that the Boholanons are kind by nature. Wala talaga kahit isa na nagrereklamo. And I was impressed, bilib na bilib talaga ko haha ang bait nila. Kasi ako bwiset na bwiset na ko LOL. We left Mactan at 12:30PM (yes imagine the time wasted huhu) and thank God we successfully landed in Bohol.
On our way to our hotel. Manong tricycle driver served as our tourist guide and I realized how much they love Bohol, so much that they went out of their way to welcome the tourist. Manong gave us a few background about Bohol – that out of 47 municipalities, there’s only one city which is Tagbilaran. They have 3 Congressmen and 1 Governor. Their population is small and he even showed us a map of the whole province. He also offered us a ride if we want to see the tourist spots. We had a little chat with Manong and according to him he used to work in Manila as a security guard. Di raw sya nakakauwi noon kasi mahal ang pamasahe. The money he’s supposed to use pauwi, pinapadala na lang nya sa pamilya nya, until his wife died in 2002. He went home in Bohol and tried to find another job and took care of his kids. When Bohol found its way to attract tourists, it created jobs for the Boholanons. Manong bought a tricycle at yun daw yung ginamit nya para mapag-aral ang mga anak nya. Most of the tricycle drivers pick up tourists at the airport and take them to their hotels. According to Manong, his daughter recently graduated as Teacher and his son is on his 3rd year in college. Manong was very pleasant and warm during our 40 minutes trip to our hotel. He said nung gumanda ang turismo ng Bohol marami talaga sa kanila ang nag ka trabaho at nabuhay ang kanilang mga pamilya. Kaya mahal na mahal nila ang mga turista.
The Boholanons are napakabait by nature. The people even in grocery stores are always smiling and very helpful. Everyone you come accross with are always willing to help. The tourist attractions in Bohol are quite far away from each other but we still managed to see most of them, thanks to the motor for hire. Nag ala riding in tandem kami ni hubby LOL. The good thing though is that these tourist spots are all along the way to Chocolate Hills, the farthest and the last stop. The Tarsier sanctuary has about 100+ tarsiers they take care of and breed. We were not able to see the butterfly farm though because we didn’t know where it was but we went to Baclayon Church and Museum and others. Along the way, you will see a few churches still under renovation from the damage of the earthquake that recently shook the province. It was a great experience exploring Bohol. Alona beach in Panglao has fine white sand too just like that of Boracay. There’s not too much night life but there are nice bars you can chill and relax at. Their life is very simple. By the way, marami pa rin Koreans like in Bora haha! Pero hindi mag papahuli ang Russians and Chinese. Isang bus ng chekwa yung kasabay namin sa Tarsier sanctuary haha. The thing I enjoyed the most was the zipline. It was nerve wracking but totally worth it. We only got to know about the zipline during our lunch at the floating restaurant. Kasi while we were cruising the river bigla na lang may sumigaw sa taas haha. May dumaan nag zipline LOL. So we decided to try it. Just a tip wala silang atm mashado sa Panglao so bring cash hehe. We had quite a hard time looking for an ATM after we ate kasi we ran out of cash na. Good thing there was a rural bank where you can withdraw over the counter so napakapag zipline kami hehe. The exploration took us the whole day because Chocolate Hills is 75 kilometers from Alona beach and you have to make stops along the way to see the other tourist attractions so hindi naman sya nakapagod. You can also rent a car for P2500 but we decided to just rent a Mio because it’s cheaper and we can handle our own time. No driver to put a time limit on us but we can go anywhere we want at anytime and stop anywhere we want. Hotel accommodations range from P1000/night to as much as P8k/night (and higher). Food depends on your preference. You may go low cost or spend a little bit more on a good resto.
Coming out of this experience I realized how interconnected we are to each other. We Filipinos help each other in one way or another. And it doesn’t hurt to be a little more patient. True enough our patience and attitude define us. Most of all, always be kind.
To my friends who haven’t explored the Philippines yet, it’s time you do so. Bohol is a must see. Next stop… in God’s will… Coron.
Work Hard. Save. Travel. Repeat.