Dec 19, 2017
Firefly Tour on a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP)
Location: Fox and the Firefly Cottages, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
SUP in Loboc
I've done a few firefly tours on a pumpboat, but doing it on a paddle board at night along a river where our light source only comes from houses along the river bank? Trippy!!! It was something I had to try.
When it comes to being on an SUP in Loboc, I default to Fox and the Firefly. They offer SUP River Cruise tours and even SUP Yoga while drifting on a river!
We were a group of 3 Koreans, a Finnish couple and 2 tour guides. The Fins were capable paddlers but the Koreans were newbies. It wasn't a problem - we were going with the current and the river was so placid, you could see a perfect reflection of the trees on the river
Going with the Current
True enough, it was daunting being on the river bank at night. The river was wide and dark - I couldn't even see the face of the guy in front of me. Assured by the tour guides that it's safe, we all took turns mounting our SUP and paddled to the middle of the river. It was easy to acclimatize. After a few minutes, the dark became part of the ambience that only complemented the experience. Our paddling was more for steering direction rather than propulsion. The gentle current was just right. It was an ideal night for firefly watching - no rain, calm river, quiet evening and the stars were out!
The biggest difference to me about this tour is that you feel the stillness of the night with a paddle board. Usually on firefly tour, a pumpboat with its loud motor is used. This NEVER worked! In this tour, it was just me, my paddle board, the fireflies and all the stars above me - there was no noise jarring my senses. I couldn't ask for more.
Finally, we came upon THE tree. It was one of many trees lined-up on the bank, but it was the only tree flocked upon by fireflies, it looked like a Christmas tree! It was mesmerizing to have that ringside seat and be a part of such visual magnificence. There was no wind but because the fireflies were flying and flickering at the same time, it gave the sensory illusion that the tree was swaying..almost like craddling you into a relaxing lullaby. Priceless!
Moving on, we continued our drift and disembarked at the pick-up point. The tour took about 75 minutes. The pick-up ride that was supposed to be there waiting for us wasn't there. It took a little waiting until it showed-up and took us all back to the resort.
As an optimizer for the resort, I looked at what caused that delay in the pick-up and discussed it with the owner, together with my suggestion to prevent it from happening again.
Altogether, this has been a wonderful experience. I don't think any kind of firefly tour on a pumpboat will excite me ever again. Firefly watching on a paddle board simply brings together seamlessly, the stillness of the night and the visual poetry of the fireflies. If you get lucky enough, the stars will also be out and the river so calm, you'll clearly see your reflection on the water.
If you'd been to Loboc just for the boat cruise, here's another reason to come back.
- Firefly Tour on a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Dec 19, 2017
- Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
Reader Comments:Grant Lawless
(Dec 20, 2017) Looks magical
(Dec 20, 2017) I've never been to Bohol, even tho it's so near. Now I'm very much enticed to go for this! :)
(Dec 20, 2017) Very nice sir Gigit
(Dec 20, 2017) omg Gigit :(
Next stop: Breezy - Movie Review
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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