Bohol Countryside: Chocolate Hills & Tarsiers
January 1, 1970
If you are planning to visit the Philippines, Bohol will surely be one of your top picks. It is considered as one of the top tourist destinations in the country. It’s natural attractions are definitely must-see! In this post, I will be sharing with you my experience when my family visited the enchanting and wonderful province of Bohol. This was one of the most memorable trips that we had in the Philippines.
From Cebu, we took a 2-hour ferry ride going to Tagbilaran. Same feels I got when we were in Hong Kong and we took a ferry going to Macau. Fun! Kind of scary too, especially because I do not know how to swim. Yikes! The ferry is well-maintained, the crew are approachable and there are life vests under our seats so I believe everything is going to be fine.
The ride was a bit long that’s why most of the passengers were asleep.
After 2 hours of battling with the waves, finally we reached our destination! We got our luggages and waited for our tour representative to pick us up at the port and transfer us to our accommodation. We stayed at a pension inn named Villa Alzhun. One thing I love about pension inn is its ambiance makes me feel like I’m home. The staff served a perfect dinner. Mushroom soup, grilled porkchop, ensalada, grilled fish and shrimp.
Everything was going well.
Our next day is dedicated for the highlight of our trip.
Our Bohol Countryside Tour will be all about visiting the following: The Blood Compact Site, Tarsier Conservation Area, Bilar Man-Made Forest, The Chocolate Hills and The Loboc River Cruise.
The Blood Compact Site
These life-sized statues of men having a toast historically symbolizes the friendship made between the Spanish Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Raja Sikatuna of Bohol – The Blood Compact or “Sandugo” as it is commonly known.
The Blood Compact Site is easy to visit because it is located along the national road in Tagbilaran.
After we visited the Blood Compact Site, we proceeded to our next itinerary which is the Tarsier Conservation Area. Since I was a kid, I have always wondered how small a tarsier is, and how big its eyes are. Finally, this is the time to see those cute little tarsiers! Yay!
We had a 10-minute trail going up to where the tarsiers are found. Thank God for the good weather!
As we arrived the area, we are told to keep quiet and take a look at the trees where the tarsiers are sleeping. Yes, they are sleeping. Tarsiers are nocturnal animals, just like bats. They are wide-awake at night-time. So here is how a tarsier looks like. Luckily, I captured one with its eyes open. I had to zoom my camera lens because they’re too small and they hide behind those branches.
Bohol is blessed for having endangered species just like the tarsiers. Cheers for taking care of them, Boholeños!
Bilar Man-Made Forest
After our encounter with the tarsiers, we went on our way to Bilar man-made forest. Upon entering the place, I felt like I was in the location of the Walking Dead series, and walkers are hiding in the 2km long stretch of this magical forest.
We felt like we are the only ones in the place. Here are some of our pictures:
I truly admire Bohol and its people for setting up this man-made forest. I believe that these huge mahogany trees are planted with the aim of taking good care of the environment and Mother Earth. Kudos!
The Chocolate Hills
When we hear the word Bohol, the first thing that will come to mind is the famous Chocolate Hills. Ever wondered why it’s called chocolate hills? It’s because the green grass covering the hills turns to brown as the end of the dry season comes. When we went there, the hills are green. 🙂 Upon reaching the top of the view area, I was too amazed that I forgot to take selfies! Honestly speaking, one of my dreams is to see the chocolate hills in person. I just find it very unique and natural. Truly proud of my country’s one hidden treasure!
Loboc River Cruise
The last itinerary of our countryside tour is the Loboc River Cruise. It is a 1-hour ride inside a banca with a floating restaurant. This experience is very unique and traditional. As we are cruising, we get to see the green environment – very peaceful and relaxing. We are served with local dishes while serenaded by a local singer. It really is a famous attraction for both Filipinos and foreigners.
Then as we reached the end of the tour, we stopped by a place where locals wearing traditional Filipino costumes are waiting for us. They performed using their ukeleles – some are dancing, some are singing. Very entertaining indeed!
This Bohol countryside tour allowed me to see the other side of the Philippines – away from the busy streets of Manila. If you want to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city, plan your vacation now and don’t forget to put Bohol on your list!