Hills of Chocolate and Tiny Tarsiers in Bohol

In the middle of the Visayas region of the Philippines sits Bohol, a little island packed with a ton of fun and unusual things to see. In the Bohol province you will find quintessential beach resorts with swimmers and sun bathers galore,  geological wonders like Chocolate Hills,  and a culturally enriching experience cruising along the Loboc River.  You can even pay a visit to the tiniest (and cutest) primate in the world: The Tarsier.

We stayed in the renowned Alona Beach area in Panglao. It’s what you would expect from a popular beach resort:  beautiful white sand, warm water, a plethora of food and drink choices, and lots of people! Definitely a place many travelers  choose as a base for vacationing in Bohol Province.

phillippines2 109

Our adventures in Bohol began with a little sight -seeing before sun bathing. Our first stop was the Sandugo (Blood Compact) shrine found in the Bo-ol district of Tagbilaran City.  This monument commemorates the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. Sandugo is the Visayan word for “One Blood” and was a tribal ritual performed to seal bonds of friendship. Do you think the Spaniards understood what they were getting themselves into?

Sandugo Monument in Bohol.
Our blood is served…Salud ?

 

Our next stop had sort of a misleading name: Chocolate Hills. Sounds yummy huh? I am a huge fan of chocolate! I’m on a strict “Yes to Chocolate” diet. So when I heard we were going to view the Chocolate Hills,  I naturally was beside myself with excitement. Imagine my surprise when after all that walking the only hills I saw were limestone mounds covering the landscape as far as the eye could see.

phillippines2 032
Hey! Those aren’t chocolate!

I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be frolicking along huge mounds of chocolate and eating all I could eat but this view definitely made up for it. They were so named because in the dry season they turn brown and look like mounds of Hershey’s Kisses. Plus, legend has it that the Chocolate Hills formed when a Giant fell in love with a human. Knowing that they could never be together, the giant wept and the the tears formed the Chocolate Hills.  I’m always a fan of a great legend!

phillippines2 033

 

After a pit stop to buy a bag of chocolate (hey what can I say? I’m a slave to my cravings..don’t judge! ), our last stop of the day was to see the tiny Tarsier. I have to admit: I was a little apprehensive because I have this weird thing about tails and big eyes. It freaks me out a little. But these guys were too cute for words, and so shy.

Look at those little hands!
Smile!
So tiny!
So tiny!

 

We started off with some unique sights the next day. First: A test of courage across a bamboo bridge!

phillippines2 012
Oh that looks safe!

phillippines 094

 

Then, a mini trek into the Bilar Manmade Forest. This was an interesting sight to say the least. I had a strange feeling here that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Was it the fact that it was a bright and sunny day on a bright and sunny tropical island and as soon as we stepped into the forest it turned cool and dark?  Or, was it the fact that the non- native tree species which make up this forest seemed a bit out of place and very imposing? Maybe both…

Bit eerie if you ask me.
Eerie

We also saw some rice fields! Real rice fields. That’s not something I see back home everyday!

phillippines 080

After an adventure filled morning,  it was time to sit back and cruise along the Loboc River complete with a buffet lunch , music, and scenery.

All aboard!
All aboard!

phillippines2 057

phillippines2 043

 

phillippines2 056

 

Along the way, there are floating rafts were the locals perform cultural song and dance. This was my favorite part. I love listening to local music and dance anywhere I travel.

phillippines2 075

Bohol is truly a gem of an island that anyone would enjoy. In two and a half days I saw a few things I’d never dreamed I’d ever see.

On our last morning we got up with the sunrise to sit back and take in our last moments in Bohol (and to catch an early morning flight back to Manila. Ugh WHY so early??!?!). Bohol offered us so many interesting and unique things to experience but it was nice to just sit back and see the island just as she was waking up to greet everyone. It was so serene.

phillippines2 111

 

Advertisements

Posted by

Jamie is a writer with a passion for adventure, history, and more. When she’s not out exploring the world, Jamie is at home in sunny San Diego, CA chasing sunsets and carne asada fries, preoccupied with research, or invested in a good book and a cup of tea.

9 thoughts on “Hills of Chocolate and Tiny Tarsiers in Bohol

  1. Tarsier, chocolate hills, bamboo bridge and the beautiful dawning of a new day – so exotic yet so calming to the soul. I am so glad you share this experience because travel magazines do not cover much about the beauty of the Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s