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: Budget and Plan

     Going on a trip is a lot of fun but the process of preparing the trip will never be that easy. The hassle of finding a place to stay and planning where to go maybe cumbersome and time-consuming. For people just like me who are on a tight budget, looking for a cost-effective trip will require some extensive researching, planning and budgeting in order to maximize every resources that we have. Good thing that airline companies nowadays offer seat sale promos which allow travelling to be more possible and tourist destinations to be within reach. In addition, various blogs, reviews and articles about different service tours and accommodations are definitely a big help as they now provide options to better help us with our decisions. Thanks to Google and the Internet, planning a trip is now as easy breezy which can take place even at the convenience of our own home.

English: Chocolate Hills, Bohol Province, Phil...

English: Chocolate Hills, Bohol Province, Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     In a few days, me and my family are off to Bohol for a vacation. Its been a while since we had our last family bonding and outing so we are all definitely looking forward to this trip. It took us some time to prepare for this one as all of our schedules barely match with each other and all of us are working. However, there’s a saying that goes, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Just to give a brief background, we got our ticket since last January so the amount we paid for each person were way lower than the usual rates. It’s a good thing that seat sales are common this time around as these gave us a reason to book for this long-awaited flight. For the accommodations and tours, we just closed it off last week since it took us several months to negotiate for the rates as well as the availability of the service. After several attempts of haggling, we finally got ourselves the trip that we wanted and we were able to find a house that are well  within our budget.

     As seen below, here are our trip’s itinerary as well as the cost that we have incurred for this trip alone. Other expenses such as the foods and pasalubong are still not included here so its better to have extra cash in your pocket. Enjoy! ^_^

RP-C3228

RP-C3228 (Photo credit: airforcefe)

Round Trip Ticket Per Person via Air Philippines (Promo Fare) : Php 916.00  (inclusive of  taxes, fees & charges except terminal fee)

 Note: fare varies depending on seat sale

Vacation Tour Package : 5 pax @ p2,980.00 per person (tour services rate without accommodation)

Contact Person: Kuya Dodong (09292742015)

ITINERARY:

DAY 01 = Check-in Resort Upon arrival

  • 40 minutes grocery shopping is allotted (to buy your provisions at BQ grocery department)

DAY 02 = BOHOL COUNTRYSIDE TOUR (8 hrs – start 9am)

The famous Loboc River

The famous Loboc River (Photo credit: JeneaWhat)

  • Blood Compact Site
  • Baclayon   Church
  • Python Snake/Ostrich
  • Loboc River Cruise and Luncheon
  • Tarsier Watch (smallest primate)
  • Man-made Forest
  • Hanging Bridge
  • Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Chocolate Hills
  • Souvenir shop

DAY 03

  • Activity 01= DOLPHIN WATCHING, ISLAND HOPPING,SNORKELING,SWIMMING 6-8hrs = time flexible
    • On-board Motorized Boat with life-saving gadgets and boat operator/crew assistance.
    • Jump-Off time 5:30-6:00 AM
    • Guests will be the one to pay for:
      • Php100/set of snorkel & face mask.
      • Php 150 per pax payment for swimming guide
      • Php150 per pair of swimming shoes
      • payment food in the island – lunch
  • Activity 02 = New Exciting Firefly Watch at Maribojoc River – 5:30pm

DAY 04 = PANGLAO/DAUIS TOUR 3-4 hrs – start 9am

DAUIS CHURCH, PANGLAO,BOHOL

DAUIS CHURCH, PANGLAO,BOHOL (Photo credit: martindemo)

  • Panglao shell museum
  • Hinagdanan cave
  • Dauis church
  • Bee Farm – guest may have their lunch in the farm-guest expense
  • Bayoyoy the dwarf man
  • To airport after tour

INCLUSIONS:

  • transfers IN/OUT
  • Air con transport for Day Tours
  • Motorized boat for sea tour – including firefly watch
  • Entrance Fees
  • Buffet Lunch at Loboc River on board floating restaurant
  • Fuel
  • Tour driver/guide

House No. 10

ACCOMMODATION: Alonaland Resort

Overnight Rate: Php 2300

  • 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
  • Internet, Billiard 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

I Am Hurt But I Will Be Strong

     These past few days, I realized I have been on shaky ground. Things are getting a lot crazier and complicated and it felt like I just want to STOP everything. I’m on the verge of breaking down and my mind is being clouded by my overwhelming emotions. I need to vent out. I need to let go of this depressing feeling. ‘Coz if not, I’ll be in turmoil and it will really take some time for me to heal.

     I write today not because of something else but rather for myself. I write because I  need to let go of this hatred feeling that is ruling over me.  I need to regain my composure and redeem back my old self again.

     It’s so hard to understand why some people would only take you for granted. I just couldn’t get it when people change so fast without giving you a valid reason. Sometimes, I do feel like life is unfair but I don’t want to indulge myself into that kind of thinking. I’m still hoping that things will be better soon. But how soon? I really don’t know and that is killing me deep inside. How I wish that things can be less complicated so that I won’t have to undergo this kind of emotion. It doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t feel right. All i can say is that I AM NOT HAPPY. How hard can it be for a person to be straight forward and just be honest? Difficult but the effect would be less painful. Is this what they call bitterness? Maybe — I think.

     Right now, I need to teach myself on how to become stronger once more but its easier said than done. If only I have the ability to turn back time and correct the past, I’ll definitely do it. However, that would be next to impossible already. All I can do is just wait and believe that time will heal everything. I’m still hoping that one day, i’ll be able to find the answer that I was looking for.