Where life is a box of Chocolate Hills — and more!
Bohol is more than just the world-famous Chocolate Hills. But, yes, the hills are a must in your bucket list — if you want to imbibe how the world is truly filled with the grandeur of the One up there.
Then there are the tarsiers, those teeny-weeny, cutesy primates you can cuddle in the palm of your hand.
That’s very Bohol: paradise in the palm of your hand.
The 10th largest of the Philippines’s 7,200 islands, Bohol is an island-province with one city, 47 towns and 75 component islands strewn about it. That’s one too many incredibly amazing treats in a single travel package.
Pristine white beaches. Dive sites teeming with marine life. Jungle adventures. A bee farm eats-capade. Colonial stone churches. And people whose happiness are expressed memorably in their music, dances, visual arts and theater.
The inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport at the end of 2018 signaled the presence of Bohol in the global travel routes.
Bohol is also accessible by seafaring fast crafts from nearby Cebu City and Dumaguete City, which have daily sailing schedules. There are also slow boats from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao.
Once in Bohol, you can hop on jeepneys, tricycles, for-hire vans and taxis. If you wish to go local, why don’t you try the motor taxis called habal-habal, where you get to ride at the back seat of a motorbike? Or better yet, hire a motorbike and have it all to yourself — and your partner.
Make sure you carry enough Philippine pesos.
Succumb to the magic of night kayaking in Maribojoc town and let the fireflies enchant you as they twinkle up your path.
Take the whale-and-dolphin watching tour at Pamilacan Island, which includes swimming and snorkeling, aside from a picnic stop.
Savor the teeming underwater world by scuba diving around such exquisite islands as Panglao, Pamilacan, Cabilao and Balicasag.
Indulge in paddle boarding at the Loboc River. If you are more adventurous, you may wish to go upstream, where a waterfall awaits.
Of course, the Chocolate Hills! These 1,776 geologic limestone mounds look like chocolate kisses during the dry season, when the grass withers.
At the Tarsier Conservation Center, meet the cuddly primates whose bulging eyes are as big as — or in some cases, are bigger than — their brains. Note their frog-like feet. They are a thrilling part of our evolution story.
Visit the awe-inspiring stone-block Spanish-era churches, such as the Baclayon Church. It has a museum, too.
Join the Loboc River Cruise, and enjoy a hearty Boholano lunch aboard a bamboo raft while a rondalla serenades you.
Spend a beach-all-you-can weekend at Panglao Island, just a bridge away from the main island.
For the unafraid, take a 45-minute outrigger-motorboat ride to Balicasag Island. The reward? An out-of-this-world scuba diving bonanza.
Calamay, the ultimate treat from Bohol, is ground sticky rice cooked in coconut cream and raw brown sugar, sealed tight in a coconut shell
Peanut kisses: Once you start munching handfuls of the crunchy peanut-based confection shaped like the Chocolate Hills, who knows when you’ll ever stop….
Broas, or ladyfingers, especially from Baclayon
Homemade ube (purple yam) jam
At The Bee Farm, take your pick of healthy and organic eats and preserved goodies, which you can bring back home with you, too
HOW TO GET HERE
Fly from the US (Nonstop from LAX, SFO, HNL, GUM, SPN) to Manila (MNL)
Fly from Canada (Nonstop from YVR and YYZ) to Manila (MNL)
Roundtrip fares from LAX starting at $1022
Roundtrip fares from SFO starting at $982
Roundtrip fares from JFK starting at $903
Subject to space and availability. Fare Rules apply