For today’s travel post, I’m going to introduce to you the newest travel series that I will be featuring here in Blushing Geek starting today, the JaVaMay travel series! It came from: Ja from Janine, Va from Vanessa and ofcourse May for May. Our trio name started when we were in College (can also be shorten to JVM) and we still love use it ’til now. Aside from programming, our common interest is traveling. We had our personal blog before which caters our travels but because of the hectic schedule and most of us were lazy, we weren’t able to keep the blog updated. And since I’m the only one who still blogs, the writing was somewhat passed to me, aside ofcourse for being the group’s photographer lol.
For 2017, we all decided to go to my hometown, Bohol. Our first plan was actually to go to Ilocos but because we failed to secure promo plane tickets, they decided to come with me in Bohol instead. Since it’s my hometown, the planning task was given to me, luckily I have an aunt who have a lot of connections.
There’s two ways to go to Bohol; the first one is to ride a fast ferry which will take you to Tubigon with the travel time of 1 hour, and the second way is to ride a boat or a cargo boat which is bound to Tagbilaran. For boats going to Tagbilaran, you can ride either a fast boat or a cargo boat. For a fast boat, which I recommend Oceanjet, the travel time is 2 hours, but if you go for a cargo boat, the travel time is doubled. For cost wise, the best option would be the cargo boat bound to Tagbilaran. But if you’re in a hurry, I suggest the fast ferry bound to Tubigon. Here’s my breakdown for the expenses:
For our trip, we decided to take the Cargo boat since we took the night schedule which is 10pm. Atleast the waiting is bearable because we can sleep. We booked our tickets 1 week in advance (it was possible because we have a friend working there, haha) But unfortunately, the boat that is scheduled for that night was changed and since our ticket was 1 week in advance, ours weren’t able to be updated. So yep, we waited until there’s some available seats or beds for us to occupy. Fortunately for us, one of the boat’s crew was able to spot some free beds for us so it wasn’t really a total disaster.
Tip: You can book 2 days in advance for the Cargo Boat (Liteshipping) and make sure to bring your ID because they don’t issue tickets without one. I’ve included their office’s address map below:
If the map still confuses you, the landmark is the old NSO office, across that old NSO office you’ll see the ticketing office of Lite Shipping.
Btw, if you don’t know yet, Tagbilaran is the capital City of Bohol while Tubigon is located far away from the city. Here’s a map below:
The start off point for our Bohol tour is in Panglao Island and as you can see at the map above, if we go for Tubigon, it’s going to be a very long and tiring travel that’s why we opted for the Cargo Boat which is bound to Tagbilaran.
For Day 1 of our tour, we went for the Country side tour which we agreed to get a joiners tour instead. I’ve breakdown the places we’ve been for this tour:
Entrace fee: Php 50 each
The famous Chocolate Hills are a group of unusually shaped hills in Bohol. The landscape is absolutely amazing if you climb the 214-step hill for its viewing deck. See some of the photos we’ve taken there below:
And yep, as you can see the mist in the pictures, it’s raining when we went there. Actually, we only taken some few shots above because of the rain.
Tip: If you’re planning to visit Bohol particularly in Chocolate Hills, it is really advisable to go there during summer so you could enjoy racing with your friend with ATV, their bike zipline and many more.
LOBOC TARSIER CONSERVATION AREA
Entrance Fee – Php 60
Aside from the Chocolate Hills, Bohol is also known because of Tarsiers, a very peculiar small animal. They’re considered as one of the smallest known primates, no larger than an adult men’s hand.
Entrance Fee – Free
I’ve been to almost all tourist spots in Bohol so you’ve got to say that I’m almost used to all of them, but when it comes to Man-Made Forest, I’m always a sucker. I love the cold breeze of air when you enter the forest and the serene feeling plus it’s got that perfect backdrop. See for yourself.
Our man-made forest tour wouldn’t be complete without our group jump shot ofcourse hah!
SIPATAN TWIN HANGING BRIDGE
Entrance: Php 20 each
This is actually an adventure tour for me. Looking at the photos of the bridge, you might be asking what’s the fuss is all about. But deym! Try walking through them and you’ll know what it is. And as usual, being the photographer of the group, I don’t have my own photo taken while crossing the bridge, I would have loved that lol.
LOBOC RIVER CRUISE
Entrance Fee – Php 450 each
After almost collapsing because of hunger, I have to say that this is one of my favorite part of the tour, haha. The buffet lunch was yummy, plus the idea of eating while cruising the Loboc River is just enchanting. Btw, the foods are unlimited but only cold ice tea is served for free. If you want to drink water or some beers, you need to pay for them.
BUTTERFLY AND BONSAI SANCTUARY
Entrance Fee – Php 45 each
They have a collection of preserved butterflies and some live ones. But unlike Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, what they have are only limited. What I love is their garden of bonsai plants with some beautiful butterflies flying around.
Entrance Fee – Php 10
The three of us are really really tired, so after visiting the butterfly and bonsai garden, we are fast asleep. So when the driver/tourguide asked us if we would like to see it, we just said nah. Of all the people from the joiners tour, only 1 went inside. Way back when I was in high school, I already saw the biggest python of Bohol which they named Prony so I said there’s nothing I should missed out. Prony died last 2013 so I’m not really sure what to see there and how much is the entrance fee if ever there is. But I heard that they can see her preserved body there.
Btw, as a history, prony is a female python and she was aged 19 years old when she died. It was said that the lifespan of Philippine python is only about 15 years while in captivity but they can survive up to 40 years in the wild.
It was said that prony has been like the family to the owner that despite her death, the family are still accepting visitors for they are also maintaining two pythons, a male and a female.
BACLAYON CHURCH AND MUSEUM
Entrance Fee – Php 25
Baclayon Church is one of the known tourist spot of Bohol because the church itself is the oldest church in the island. But unfortunately, because of the magnitude 7.2 that hit in Bohol, Baclayon Church was one of the heavily damaged church in Bohol. As of now, the church is still in construction.
BLOOD COMPACT SHRINE
Entrance Fee – Free
The blood compact or also known as Sandugo shrine in Bohol was made in honor of an important event in the Philippine History. If Cebuanos have Sinulog festival, Boholanos have Sandugo.
And that ends our Country-side tour.
After taking our dinner, we decided to see the beach and because it just rains, the air is so cold than usual.
Because of the Holidays, we only have limited budget for this tour. Instead of going for a sea tour after the land tour we had yesterday, we went to Isola di Francisco or was previously known as the Virgin Island. The Isola management have their own service of pump boats that starts to take passengers at 9:00 AM till 2:00 PM going to the island and 3:00 PM going back to Panglao port everyday. They are only accepting donations for the pump boats and their foods, even their amenities.
This was actually my second time visiting the place, the first one was with my sister as our year-ender travel last 2016. And yep, I was so late posting that one, too bad. But since Isola is one of my favorite island in Bohol, I’ll definitely be posting an article dedicated for this island soon 😉
Unlike my first visit, they are now regulating the visitors going to the island. They are now giving priority numbers to make the transportation via their pump boats in order. Lucky for us because we’re the first to arrive hah! Btw, if you’re planning to go to Isola, you need to wait for the pump boats in Panglao port.
Make sure to ask for some new priority number from their canteen when you are ready to head back.
And that’s it. This ends our Bohol Adventure, hopefully soon when we have enough budget we can finally go for the island hoping. I am really so excited to visit the Balicasag Island again.
Btw, you can see more of our photos here.
ITINERARY (zoom in the images below to read better)
Snacks and souvenirs wasn’t included in the computation since it’s just optional, as well as our meals. For the country-side tour, I only computed those destination that we visited.
1 Day and 1 Night – FREE! (My aunt is the owner of the Inn we stayed so they let us stay for free, yay!)
GRAND TOTAL = Php 1,856
When we went there in Bohol, it was raining heavily because of Habagat and there were a lot of stranded passengers because only big boats were allowed to sail. That being said, we could have save a bit for the boat fare if the economy seats were not sold out and the fast ferries were allowed to sail.
Tip: For tour packages, I would really suggest going for a joiners tour if you have limited budget. But if you’re a group of more than 12 members, I suggest you take private tour packages because some only offers Php 900 per pax (entrance fees and buffet lunch included). It would take a lot of your time to contact travel agencies for your land or sea tour, fortunately the place we stayed, the Alona Grove Tourist Inn, can arrange the tour for you.
If you have questions, please feel free to leave some comments below.