I have been in this beautiful peninsula way back May 2013 when my colleague invited me and my friends for a barrio fiesta. Yes, the Philippines is all about fiestas! It was splendid, pure and natural. October 2013 came when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 shook the island. The churches, most of all, aside from the houses were the ones greatly damaged.
May 2017, I decided to visit again this archipelago. I was at the same stance as my previous trip; in awe with the natural beauty of Bohol. They have been recovering greatly after 4 years of a rough memory.
Today, I will dedicate this article to all the people of Bohol. I am in love with your habitat, you have stood strong despite of the calamities that were thrown to you. I, as a fellow Filipino citizen, want to share the world how magical your island is. Let me, for the sake of my countrymen, spread the good memories I had and the memories these people will have in the years to come.
So yeah, let’s start the ball rolling. Here is my list.
1. The Chocolate Hills
Who doesn’t want chocolates in the first place? I mean, c’mon, it’s chocs! Sweet, semi-sweet, white, dark, name it! Only this time, it’s not edible. It’s pure soil. These hills are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name.
The origin? Well, there are abundant tales. Even the driver who was with us during the tour kept on telling jokes of how the hills originated. To make the debate at bay, here is what is written on the plaque in Carmen, where the highest peak of the chocolate hills has the best view. It says:
The unique land form known as the Chocolate Hills of Bohol was formed ages ago by the uplift of coral deposits and the action of rain water and erosion.
Done. Debate done.
2. The Man-made Forest
This is a 2-km stretch of Mahogany trees planted during the Marcos regime (as what our driver/tourist guide told us) and is eye-catching to visitors due to the uniformity of heights, the distance and spread of the branches, the thickness and design of the leaves, and the breeze of air under the cool shade.
This is the only man-made forest in the Philippines, and needless to say, it’s quite a view! The locals are preserving the natural state of the forest thus logging is strictly deemed illegal here.
3. The Tarsiers
These primates are only found in Indonesia, Borneo and in the Philippines. These are small, arboreal, nocturnal animals having a long thin tail, very large immobile eyes, and prominent pads on the fingers and toes. Immobile eyes because their eyes are latched directly to their skulls, yet their heads allow them to rotate at a 180 degree angle for them to be able to view. Not a bird’s eye view though, but a tarsier’s eye view. Lol.
Visitors were not encouraged to touch them, take photos with flash, scare them, feed them with anything since they get stressed easily and die. The locals are trying to preserve these creatures so that they could breed and multiply.
4. The Caves
Bohol has a lot to offer, from forests to rivers, (they have the Loboc River where you can eat and have a tour of the locality via the river), to historical sites, there is basically a lot. One experience I had during my 2013 visit was when we went to Danao Adventure Park, where we went caving for two hours!
Caving was not something I had in mind. I was always thinking about snakes following my trail and bats and monitor lizards. But since YOLO (you only live once), we went for it and tried. It was not bad after all. The experience was exhilarating. I just can’t type it all. Just take a look at our photo below.
5. The Wildlife
Sooo talking about snakes, they have a lot of it here. Small, large ones, colored, but all of them are tamed. They have been in the part of the Bohol tourism and is considered as tourist attractions even if snakes are not kinda attractive to me, you know what I mean.
Aside from the slithery creatures, they also have butterfly gardens here! I was able to learn again the metamorphosis of a butterfly. And it’s amazing. B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-Y, butterfly! I used to sing this during primary school. 😀
In general, Bohol is catchy if you are a nature lover. After touring the island, you can select where you can stay to some of their top beaches. They offer a wide array of resorts with utmost sophistication. Bohol is really the place to be.
Below is a link of the resort where we stayed and be the judge.
Churches; there are still churches and I was not able to cover since most of the old parishes were damaged by the catastrophe.
I hope you will enjoy Bohol as much as I did. I could not cover all, actually it’s not just 5 reasons, it’s way more than that. You know the drill, if you want to know more, vacate your schedule and head to Bohol. Until then. 😉
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