Discovering Bohol: Tarsier Conservation Area

Another famous tourist destination in Bohol is the  Tarsier Conservation Area located in Loboc town. It is considered as a safe haven of captive tarsiers which were once considered as the smallest primate in the world.  Entrance fee to the site is 60 pesos but a 10-pesos discount will be provided for students.

Here are some trivial facts about tarsiers:

  • Their eyes are fixed in their skulls.
  • They can rotate their neck for about 180 degrees.
  • They are nocturnal animals (asleep during the day, active by night)
  • They are very territorial
  • They tend to be suicidal when stressed
  • They are carnivorous and will feed on insects, lizards and small birds

Tarsiers are small and cute animals. Their size and appearance makes you want to cuddle them. However, since they are considered as one of the “World’s Most Endagered Primates”, special care and attention are provided to them.  Please take note of the following rules being observed in the site:

  • Camera flash is strictly prohibited
  • Silence is strictly observed upon entering the tarsier premises
  • Touching the tarsiers or shaking their homes (trees) are not allowed
  • Littering, eating and smoking are not allowed
  • No crossing beyond the perimeter fence
  • Throwing garbage on the proper disposal bin is highly encouraged

For those who are planning to visit Bohol and see this wonderful creature in person, visiting the Tarsier Conservation Area is the place to be. Enjoy :)

 

Discovering Bohol: Loboc River Cruise

   Popularly known as the most famous river in Bohol, the Loboc River is considered to be one of the major tourist destinations in the island. With such beauty, tourism took its place by promoting the river through various cruises while still preserving the river’s natural habitat and cleanliness.

   After our service tour driver paid for our entrance, each one of us were handed out with our own gate pass to the floating restaurant. The gate pass itself is also a post card which you can keep as a souvenir.

   It took us a while to go inside the boat as the crews were still refilling the food from the buffet table. As we wait, I can’t help myself and asked my brother to have my picture be taken looking as grumpy and hungry as ever while waiting for our turn to  jump into the floating restaurant and eat.

   Since we still have time, I took the opportunity to chill out with the boys.

   As soon as the crews gave us the go signal, we hurriedly climb aboard and from there, we were all welcomed by a  solo guitarist who was entertaining the crowd with its country musics.

   Since its noon time already and we’re all hungry, its time for us to grab something to eat. Here’s me munching my way towards the floating restaurant’s lunch buffet— burp! ^_^ ….

   As the boat traversed its way towards the long river, we came to a halt on a rondalla house wherein we were welcomed by the Loboc River Choir  with a song and dance number. What I liked the most was seeing foreigners enjoying themselves and having the time of their life while dancing along with the locals.

   I’m not really sure how long this cruise was but I guess it’s around 30-45 mins. Several tiny waterfalls marked the end of our river cruise before the boat turned its way back to the port.

   As we were almost near to our final destination, we saw some daring kids climbing their way into a coconut tree while some of them were jumping towards the river through a rope tied into the tree .

   Before docking, I grabbed my camera and took a shot of the long river cruise port.

   Just outside the port’s exit, several souvenir shops and stores lined up.

   Before leaving, we tried out the famous ice cream made by the Bohol Bee Farm — malunggay flavored ice cream on a camote cone. Simply delicious! yum yum yum…^_^

Discovering Bohol: Flying Colors Butterfly Garden

   Just like any other butterfly gardens, the Flying Colors showcases butterflies from its various life cycle up to a display of preserved butterflies with its majestic full grown wings.

Interesting Facts I have learned from our tour:

  • Male butterfly’s wings are more colorful than the female.
  • Female butterfly’s wings are bigger than the male.
  • Gay butterflies exist. These are butterflies whose wings are irregular (mixed shapes and colors).

image courtesy of Kirsclair

  • If caterpillar is to butterfly, hairy caterpillar is to moth.
  • Butterflies are indicators of clean air.

Here’s a closer look of a home-grown resident caterpillar…

…a visual representation of a butterflies’ timeline…

…a glass display of preserved butterflies…

…a full-grown hippy butterfly ^_^ …

Look mama. I have wings!

… a good way of attracting tourists is by giving them wings…

butterfly fly away

…the link to the butterfly sanctuary…

…meet and greet with nature’s best…

up close and personal

Things You Need To Know:

  • Entrance fee is Php 50.
  • Picture taking with the butterflies (preserved or alive) are free.

Discovering Bohol: Xzootic Animal Park

   Xzootic Animal Park is a small but well-maintained zoo located at  Agape, Loay. Aside from the usual animals that we see, this park also houses several exotic animals. The place is well-known by its main attraction, the 200 kg Burmese python “Norio” which is a 9 yr old snake. Just beside its cage, another 6-yr old Burmese python by the name of “Nelia” is being displayed as well.

   Before entering Norio’s cage to have my picture be taken, I asked the zookeeper if the snake had already eaten as I don’t want to be bitten by it. Even if it says tamed on the tarpaulin, safety was still my utmost priority at that time. I learned that the snake had just eaten 2 whole chicken — talk about appetite.

Norio and Me

If real, live snakes are not your type, you may opt for this one. ^_^

I must say that my favorite activity here at the zoo was the picture-taking with the iguana. It was my first time to actually experience a live and scaly creature be put on top of my head so the excitement that I felt at that time was really kicking up.

aye aye, sir

Here are some of the animals that you may find here at the park.

On the contrary, I was really surprised to see Barney here. I just couldn’t see how Barney would fit in here and what is its actual relation to the zoo. I can’t seem to find the connection. Nevertheless, my mom did enjoy taking picture with it. ^_^

Say Cheese!

Just a thought on the side, I wonder if the name “Xzootic” came from the combined words of exotic and zoo since both words really describe this place? I don’t know the answer to this as I never did ask any zookeepers about it but it makes sense if it did.

Things You Need To Know:

  1. Entrance fee is Php 20 / person.
  2. Donation boxes can be seen from outside the cages of various animals. Giving money is not mandatory but for those who have extras, feel free to give some. According to one of the zookeepers, they use the money to buy foods for the animal.
  3. Picture taking with the snakes are free. Just bring your own camera. However, donations are very much welcome here.
  4. Picture taking with the iguanas are not free. It costs Php 10 for every 3 shots. Personal cameras will be used.
  5. If in any case you don’t have any camera with you, there are photographers within the area who can help you out with that. However, each picture costs Php 100 and if you want it to be framed, they will charge you for another Php 50.
  6. If you are planning to buy Peanut Kisses as your pasalubong, the best place to buy is here. It will only cost you Php 140 (6 pieces of Peanut Kisses per pack).

Discovering Bohol: Blood Compact

   Considered as one of the most famous historical event in the Philippines, the Blood Compact Shrine is a life-size bronze monument that depicts the Sandugo (Isang Dugo or One Blood) event that happened between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna. This event symbolizes the Treaty of Friendship formed between the two parties dated March 16, 1565. As part of a tribal tradition to their friendship,

   Each of the two leaders made a small cut in his arm, drew a few drops of blood from the incision, mixed it with wine, and drank the goblet containing the blood of the other. Thus was the first bond of friendship between Filipinos and Spaniards.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandugo

   The monument itself is located at Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City. However, the event didn’t happen at this area. Just a few meters away from the shrine is the actual location of the Sandugo that took place in the island of Bohol.

image courtesy of stoicpassion.com

Just behind the shrine, one can already find a majestic view of the sea.

 a backdrop view of the serene sea

Good thing for us, the weather was really good at that time and only a handful of tourists were in the area. I can say we were in a great timing as we were able to take several souvenir photos together with the statues.

smile and kampay!

Just outside the shrine is a souvenir shop. Lots of great items you can find in this place from wallets, key chains, bags, shirts and so much more. However, it’s too much early for us to buy pasalubongs at this period as this was only our first stop. If in case you’re planning to buy souvenir items with Tarsier motifs, there are street vendors just outside the shrine which sells these items for a much cheaper price as compared to those being sold out in a store. Please keep in mind though that the choices are limited only and the items being sold here are selected.

souvenir shop
trying out the hat

 

Discovering Bohol: Baclayon Church

     The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion or more popularly known as the “Baclayon Church” is considered to be one of the oldest stone church in the Philippines. Constructed during the Spanish occupation and completed in 1727, this massive structure itself is rich in history and of the arts.

Interesting Facts I have learned from our tour:

  • It took 10 years to complete the building of the church.
  • Its walls and foundations were made out of coral stones  which they took from the sea, cut into square blocks, and piled on to each other.
  • Around 200 native laborers were forced to do the work.
  • Bamboos were used to move and lift the stones.
  • The binding component used in building the church is a mixture of powdered lime stones and egg whites — an old version of what is now called “cement”.
  • The Baclayon Pipe Organ, which was made in 1824, is still in use today to grace all masses held at the church.  It was restored only in 2008 after being dormant for more than half a century.
  • The organ is the third oldest pipe organ in the Philippines.
  • The “green” color of the walls are not paint but rather moss– a proof that the stones are alive ( quoted from Elmer, our tour guide)

  • Outside the church, an image of Padre Pio’s face can be seen from one of its posts.

Family picture with Padre Pio at the back

  • No nails were used to build the altar and to connect the heavy beams.
  • The altar’s design was based on Baroque style.

full view of the church’s altar

  • The colored panes are limited only to the basic quatrefoil “florentine” patterns and color choices would be amber, green and blue only.
  •  Inside the church was a dungeon where they used to the punish natives who violated the rule of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Museo de Loboc was originally a priest’s rectory which was then converted later to a museum that showcases a handful of religious relics, artifacts and other antiquities left by the Spaniards dating back to the 16th century.

Old Rectory House converted into a museum

  • The tabernacle is the oldest item in the museum.
  • All statues around the Immaculate Concepcion have significant relation in her life.

close up view of the statues

Things You Need To Know:

  1. Entrance fee to the museum is Php 50 / person.
  2. No picture-taking is allowed in the museum but is acceptable inside and outside the church.
  3. Dress codes are strictly implemented at the church.

Entrance to the church and museum

A salute to the church’s bell tower

hand painted walls and ceilings

checkered floor tiles

green moss on the walls

Discovering Bohol: The Accommodation

Here are the details of our accommodation. This is where we have stayed for 4d/3n during our trip in Bohol. The place was recommended by our service tour since we’ve mentioned that we would like to get a place wherein we can cook our own food. The resort is small but for me, its already near perfect. The house that we got is spacious and enough to accommodate the five of us. I think that only 6 out of the 22 houses were being occupied at that time and given that each one of us have our own itineraries, we had days wherein we have the place all by ourselves. The good thing about it too was that you can actually relax on the place because of its quiet and serene surroundings.

ACCOMMODATION: Alonaland Resort

Overnight Rate: Php 2300 (discounted rate from Php 2500)

  • good for 6 persons
  • 2 Sleeping Rooms (1 King size bed and 2 Double beds)
  • 2 Split Type Airconditioner
  • Warm Water Shower
  • Living room with Cable TV
  • Electronic Safe
  • Kitchenette with Refrigerator and Gas stove
  • InternetBilliard Table and BBQ places are free to use
  • just a 10 minute walk to the Alona Beach Center or a 3 minute travel with the resort’s free beach shuttle (8am-11pm)

Source: http://www.alonalandresort.com

Owner: Rolf

Contact Details:

Mobile: +63 (0) 9 173 040 211

E-mail: info@alonaland.ch or info@alonalandresort.com

LIKES:

  1. Well-maintained facilities
  2. Daily cleaning of the house (with consent from us of course ^_^)
  3. House-like structure with Kitchenette & Refrigerator (no more hassle of bringing/buying kitchen utensils)
  4. Airconditions are really working
  5. Clean Pools
  6. Friendly and Honest Staffs
  7. Free wi-fi
  8. Free shuttle service to the beach
  9. Cable TV

DISLIKES:

  1. Missing duplicate room keys
    • I’m pretty sure that this is only an isolated case. What happened was that the previous customer who rented this place forgot to surrender the keys. However, it would be better if the resort’s staff already worked on having the keys be duplicated as soon as they found out as we had one incident wherein one of our rooms was accidentally locked and it took them a while to have it unlocked.
  2. No free drinking water (costs 70 pesos for a 4 gallon of water)
  3. The facade of the resort
    • It looked disappointing at first since it looked like it has been left out or maybe that part is still a work in progress. However, its a different story once you get inside as the place is well maintained.
  4. A long walk to the beach
    • The resort is located at the back of two bigger resorts so going to the beachfront will take about 10-20 mins as you need to walk around in order to reach Alona Beach. However, the resort offers a free shuttle to take you there.

Rating:

Highly recommendable especially for travelers with tight budget.

House No. 10

Living Room

Bedroom # 1

Bedroom # 2

The Kitchenette

The Kitchenette (Left Side)

The Kitchenette: Gas and Stove

The Kitchenette: Utensils

The Kitchenette (Right Side)

Dining Area/Terrace

Comfort Room

Shower Area

The Cradle

The Pool (Front View)

The Pool (Back View)

The Pool (Side View)

The Pool (Side View)

Pool Guidelines

The Billiard Table

Other Amenities

Other Accommodations