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What comes into your mind when you hear the word “Bohol”? Do you wonder what is it? Do you imagine something beautiful? Do you want to go there? I bet you’ll love to go this place.
Before going through, let’s know Bohol first.
Bohol is a first provincial income class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran. With a land area of 4,821 km2 (1,861 sq mi) and a coastline 261 km (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is Mindanao.
The province of Bohol is a first-class province divided into three congressional districts, comprising one component city and 47 municipalities. It has 1,109 barangays.
The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills numerous mounds of brown-colored limestone formations, are the most popular attraction. The formations can be seen by land (climbing the highest point) or by air via ultralight air tours. Panglao Island is located just southwest of Tagbilaran, is famous for its diving locations and is routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world. Numerous tourist resorts and dive centers dot the southern beaches. The Philippine tarsier, amongst the world’s smallest primates, is indigenous to the island.
A strait separates Bohol from Cebu, and both island provinces share a common language, but the Boholanos retain a conscious distinction from the Cebuanos. Bohol’s climate is generally dry, with maximum rainfall between the months of June and October. The interior is cooler than the coast.
It was the home province of Carlos P. Garcia, the eighth president of the Republic of the Philippines (1957–1961) who was born in Talibon, Bohol.
On 15 October 2013, Bohol was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Sagbayan town. The earthquake, which also hit southern Cebu, claimed 156 lives altogether and injured 374 people. It also destroyed or damaged a number of Bohol’s heritage churches.
In 2017, the provincial government began initiating the nomination of the entire province to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
Now, let’s tour around Bohol. Here are some of the must-go destinations.
Panglao Island is located southwest of Bohol and east of Cebu. Panglao Island is divided into 2 municipalities: Dauis and Panglao. This island has gained a reputation as one of the most choice destinations in the Philippines. Renowned and celebrated for its stunning coral reefs, dive spots and a manifold of islets fitting for sun worshippers. The serene ambiance of the island as well as its proximity to world famous sites -the Chocolate Hills, Loboc River, Tarsier Sanctuary and the myriad of falls, springs and caves make this unblemished island an impeccable must-see tourist spot.
The Panglao Island Nature Resort Bohol is a lovely beach resort situated near a powdery white sand beach in Panglao Island. The resort is a little bit elevated and you have to walk a few steps down to the beach which is private and not shared with other resorts. It is too shallow for swimming even at high tide.
Upon entering the lobby, you will see the infinity pool and have a great view of the beach and beyond, a small islet. You can walk to the islet without getting wet at low tide. The water is deep past the islet and is best for snorkeling.
The resort boasts of 39 rooms in huts built near the cliff and gardens. They are typical nipa huts with very stiff grass-thatched roofs made from local materials. All huts have lanais and have a beautiful view of the sea. Some have an outdoor whirlpool and a private garden shower.
Delicious food is served in the resorts’ restaurants and in the pool bar. Buffet is served during breakfast and dinner and lunch is served upon orders. Other facilities like the tropical garden whirlpool, swimming pool, games room, fitness gym, sauna, spa and Jacuzzi are also provided.
The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are not only two but more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills – a very strange geological formation that has baffled a lot of geologists. The hills are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height.
The Chocolate Hills appear to be seemingly endless when viewed atop the hill in Carmen town. The viewing deck there gives you a 360° view of the hills “as far as the eyes can see”. It is more majestic when viewed from a plane – them appearing to be thousands of mole hills dotting out from verdant surroundings.
What’s unique with these limestone chocolate hills is that they are only covered in grass and the cone shape is more or less common to all although differing in size. The hills look chocolaty only during dry season when the grass withers and turns into brown and looks like giant chocolate kisses.
Grass species found to thrive on the hills are Imperata cylindrical and Saccharum spontaneum and several Compositae and ferns. Trees grow on the base of the hills and are lush and verdant rings around the almost bare cone-shaped hills resulting in its awesome natural beauty.
Life thrives in Bohol Sea, one of the richest waters in marine biodiversity in the country and home to many species of turtles, dolphins, and even the blue whale. The islands dotting it are some of the best destinations to see them in the wild! One of them, Balicasag Island, where snorkeling could already introduce you to a wide array of life forms in its coral gardens. Tourists should experience snorkeling here!
Balicasag Philippines is a small island off the coast of Panglao Island, Bohol. It is a marine sanctuary with white sand beach and beautiful corals in shallow and deep waters. Balicasag island is a haven for snorkelers and divers and also for those who simply love to swim and go island hopping. It is 600 meters in diameter and may be explored within 45 minutes.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary was built to protect the endangered tarsier, the world’s smallest primates. The tarsier sanctuary is located exactly 4 kilometers from the town center of Corella and a mere 20 minutes drive from Tagbilaran City. The Corella Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary is maintained by a non-profit organization called Philippine Tarsier Foundation.
Bohol tarsier measures 4 to 5 inches and is considered as the world’s smallest primate. Its size is no longer than an adult man’s hand and weigh only about 113 to 142 grams or four to five ounces. With its tail longer than its body, it has large brown eyes, hairless ears and long finger-like claws. It has gray fur and a nearly naked tail that is more often than not about 232 mm in length. Tarsiers have large mesmerizing eyes whose bony eye sockets are larger than that of its brain case as well as of its stomach. The eye sockets have post-orbital closure which keeps the eyeballs from being pressed against by the powerful temporal muscles to their sides. Much like the owl, the tarsier can rotate its head 180 degrees in each direction. It has a joint between its skull base and spine to allow this particular head movement.
Bilar Man-Made Forest
It is a man-made mahogany forest stretching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Seedlings abound around the older trees. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves.
Simply Butterflies Conservation Center
Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding and conservation program in Bohol. Its main goal is to protect and strengthen the natural environment of the butterflies through plant research, breeding and releasing.
Hinagdanan Cave is a naturally lighted cavern with a deep lagoon and many large stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is lit by sunlight which filters through holes in the ceiling. The underground lake is a popular swimming spot.
Loboc River Cruise
When visiting the town of Loboc you can experience cruising along the river on board small a bancas or floating restaurant.
The Loboc River Dinner Cruise starts by the Loay Bridge which is located in the neighboring town of Loay or at the Loboc town proper where you can choose from a variety of river cruising vessels. The Loboc River cruise usually runs for an hour or so back and forth.
Danao Adventure Park
It is an adventure park with caving, a zip-line, rappelling, kayaking & other high-adrenaline activities.
Come and visit Bohol. You’ll not regret any moment of staying in this amazing and spectacular paradise. Join your family members, friends, relatives, and loved ones and explore Bohol! It is worth it!
Christine is originally from Bohol. Her interests are on action movies, political issues, environmental issues, weird facts, history, as well as basketball (especially NBA). She's also into writing short poems. At some times, she's introvert but you can actually talk to her.