a nomad in search of...

Back to Loboc Dec 13-17, 2017

Back to Loboc

Location: Fox and the Firefly Cottages, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines

Resort Baby-Sitting
Loboc would have been a 'been there done that' place after my recent 30-day stay. However, the good owners of Fox and the Firefly Cottages needed someone who can look after their resort/staff during their holiday absence. They asked if I could be that guy. I've lived in resorts and hotels the last 8 years of my traveling. I already know what works and what doesn't. I also have my own ideas I'd like to test. I said yes.

Bus Trip
The bus trip from Ubay took 3 hours (P80) but otherwise painless including top-loading my bicycle which they charged P50! Disembarking at the Loboc market, I mounted my bike with all my luggage and rode to Fox.

Fox and the Firefly
It was good to be back at Fox and Firefly. It's one of the few upscale river resorts that keep to certain standards - food, facilities, service, etc. Things were busy as 3 luxury cottages were being rushed to meet the Christmas bookings. It was also good to see the couple, Fred and Joan again. I'm just glad to see Joan before she left the following day.

General Staff Meeting
My arrival was just in time to join a general staff meeting where I was introduced as the supervisor who will oversee the resort during the absence of the owners. I gave a brief talk explaining to the staff that my primary role is to be the owners' eyes and ears, and also to optimize things as I see the need. I also assured the staff that my role is not to police them but also to ensure employee moral is high and everybody is happy. I encouraged them to talk to me if something comes up.

World Peace Travelers
When I was told to stay in a dorm room with other travelers, I was a little unprepared. However, when I found out they were 3 beautiful ladies, I insisted on being in that dorm room and nowhere else! After 30 days in Ubay with practically no interaction, I relished being 'back'. I hung out with them - Charlene, Jade and Marlou. They also tagged me along to meet their colleague in Carmen, Merle, for world peace talk. Their crusade is all about a greener planet and empowerment. Along the way, we stopped to check-out the tarsiers in Bilar. In Carmen, we went deep into the interior to reach Merle's place. We were offered lots of healthy eats. The talk focused on the community development planed for the area.

Back to Loboc
feeling at home in my new digs at Fox and the Firefly

Marie Claude
When the 3 ladies left, another lady from Quebec moved into the dorm room - Marie. Initially, it was just friendly greetings, but ultimately, we found ourselves in long conversation about existential things, career and challenges. We also took a bike ride into town and ate traditional Filipino carinderia food. Like always, just as things were becoming comfortable, she had to leave. As a traveler myself, I've somehow gotten used to that. C'est la vie, as I would French it. Thankfully, there is Facebook.

Resort Issues
On the first 2 days, I already identified a good number of resort issues that could be addressed. I had to write it down at once before they become familiar and unnoticeable. The issues invariably fall in the "not known by the staff because no one complains about them" and "too small to complain about but enough to be annoying for the guest". In short, they are the invisible or hidden issues no one is addressing - eg, the clanging metallic sound of a fan which is not too audible in the daytime, but loud enough at night to deprive sleep to the light sleepers.

HR Trouble-Shooting
I also had my first taste of HR trouble-shooting. It was the most interesting exercise for me. With my open invite for the staff to freely talk to me, one employee confided in me about a sticky issue. I talked to all parties involved and they were all saying different things. Like a lawyer, I had to cross-examine them to find out who was lying, who was telling a half-truth, who was rewriting the events, who was misleading me, who was manipulating the facts, etc. But ultimately, I put together the pieces and identified the liar(s) - who was crafty on being sneaky and evasive. The liar, already cornered, apologized. I warned them not to insult my intelligence again by trying to spin me around. Being the first salvo, I had to put my foot down and tell them point-blank not to manipulate me again. I was stern but not confrontational. All I wanted was to fix things so that employee relationships are harmonious and morale being high. It's difficult enough for the staff just doing their job, let alone dealing with festering internal bickerings. In the end, I think they appreciated the outcome and the role I played. Lesson: you simply cannot make a hasty judgement until you hear all sides and make sense of the conflicting versions.

It's interesting to think that given the small size of the resort, the staff still have their own micro-intramurals perhaps under the radar of the owners. If not addressed, it festers and decreases employee morale - which leads to unproductiveness, factions, absenteeism and alienation. I'm sure this kind of scenario is present in all establishments - the intricacies of the human factor.

I don't think I can be a fulltime HR manager - it will wear me out if I have to deal with human issues and all the baggages that go along with it. I have no patience with liars, abusive people and those who try to defraud a fair system.

Under the Weather
I wish I could be more active but I have been under the weather the past 3 days. My energy is low and I sleep a lot. When my strength returns, I wish to hold a karma yoga class for the guests and staff.

Ending Thoughts
Even though I have long imagined being something of a resort/hotel optimizer, I'm still on new ground as this is the first time I'm doing this. I know I only have about 30 days so everything is all good. I'm learning a lot and I love it.

--- TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

Karen HuerteKaren Huerte
(Dec 16, 2017) Christmas in loboc is everyday from the Dec 25 to Feb 2 we have this so called tradition 'suroy' you will be entertained by kids caroling and musicians good month to come back to Loboc!

Ben MeerhaegheBen Meerhaeghe
(Dec 16, 2017) Might pass by soon

Alexander BangcayaAlexander Bangcaya
(Dec 16, 2017) Yan ang mga gusto ko bro

Roselyn MerlinRoselyn Merlin
(Dec 16, 2017) Wow... wish to visit this place soon..

Angelo A. VillanuevaAngelo Villanueva
(Dec 16, 2017) My haven babes

Next stop:

Google Map Loboc, Bohol, Philippines

tourist attractions in Bohol tourist attractions hotels in Bohol hotel
Fox & The Firefly Cottages Fox & The Firefly Cottages - SUP paddle boarding, luxury riverside native cottages, mountain bike tours, SUP yoga
    Brgy. Valladolid, Loboc, Bohol
restaurant in Loboc restaurant
Villagio's Pizza Villagio's Pizza - wood burning oven, hand-tossed pizza
    Loboc Town Plaza, Loboc, Bohol

Bohol FYI / Tips

Tagbilaran Port to Panglao

You can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
  1. 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)
  2. 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
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
    P 500.00
    +63 32 233 7000

Things to do, Places to go in Bohol

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


  1. Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
  2. Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
  3. Exploring Anda, Bohol June 25-30, 2017

  4. Dauis
  5. Freediving at Molave Point, Dauis Nov 6, 2017
  6. The Return to Hinagdanan Cave Nov 5, 2017
  7. Exploring Hinagdanan Cave Oct 24, 2017

  8. Candijay
  9. Roadtrip from Candijay to Ubay July 1, 2017
  10. Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  11. Freediving Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  12. Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017

  13. Carlos P. Garcia Island
  14. Exploring Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) Island by Bike Dec 1, 2017

  15. Corella
  16. Cycling to the Tarsiers of Corella Oct 26, 2017

  17. Loay
  18. The Ride to Morning Hill Oct 22, 2017
  19. The Ride to the Old Spanish Tower Oct 21, 2017

  20. Loboc
  21. Firefly Tour on a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Dec 19, 2017
  22. Playing Mountain Bike Tour Optimizer Dec 18, 2017
  23. Back to Loboc Dec 13, 2017
  24. 37 Days in Loboc - Thank You and Goodbye Oct 8-Nov 14, 2017
  25. Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring...on Foot Nov 11, 2017
  26. Stand-Up Paddle Yoga with Joan Christine Nov 3, 2017
  27. Loboc River Cruise on a Stand-Up Paddle Oct 29, 2017
  28. Exploring Guimba and Sog-ong Caves of Loboc Oct 22, 2017
  29. Ziplining and Cable Car Ride at Eco-Tourism Adventure Park Oct 22, 2017
  30. Savouring Villagio Pizza Oct 19, 2017
  31. Wet and Wild Bonbon-Alegria Downhill Ride Oct 18, 2017
  32. River Cruise on Loboc River Oct 17, 2017
  33. Back Road Ride from Loboc to Loay Oct 17, 2017
  34. Leisurely Ride to Loktob Spring Oct 14, 2017
  35. Sweet Ride to Busay Falls Oct 13, 2017
  36. Bike Climb to the Virgen de Guadalupe Oct 12, 2017
  37. The Ride to Cruz Daku (Big Cross) Oct 11, 2017
  38. Exploring Loboc, Bohol Oct 8, 2017

  39. Panglao
  40. Coastal Cleanup with Plastic Free Bohol Sept 16, 2017
  41. Exploring Panglao June 12-18, 2017
  42. Yoga with Ging and Rai at Oasis Resort June 18, 2017
  43. Freediving with Ben Meerhaeghe at SeaQuest Dive Center June 16, 2017
  44. Scuba Diving Balicasag Island with SeaQuest Dive Center June 15, 2017
  45. Bohol Revisited June 12, 2017
  46. Exploring Bohol Nov 28-30, 2015

  47. San Miguel
  48. Visiting Bayongan Lake Nov 22, 2017

  49. Sevilla
  50. Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla Oct 30, 2017

  51. Sikatuna
  52. Solo Ride to the Sikatuna Tree Park Nov 2, 2017

  53. Tagbilaran
  54. 30 days in Tagbilaran, Thank You! Oct 8, 2017
  55. Breakfast Talk with Tagbilaran's Finest Oct 8, 2017
  56. Exploring the Cafe Scene of Tagbilaran Oct 7, 2017
  57. Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
  58. Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House October 2, 2017
  59. Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 12-Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
  60. Celebrating the International Day of Peace Sep 23, 2017
  61. Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
  62. Fitness Workout with Chie at Bohol Tropics Resort Sept 13, 2017
  63. Modified Ashtanga Primary Series by Jing Yoga, Tagbilaran Sept 12, 2017
  64. Tagbilaran Revisited Sep 7-12, 2017
  65. Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017

  66. Ubay
  67. Goodbye and Thank You, Ubay Nov 14-Dec 13, 2017
  68. Visiting the Ubay Stock Farm Dec 8, 2017
  69. Exploring Cambugsay Healing Hills with Lars Jensen Nov 22, 2017
  70. Visiting Ubay Green Park Nov 18, 2017
  71. The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt Nov 18, 2017
  72. Ubay in a Nutshell Nov 17, 2017
  73. In Search of the Next Destination Nov 14, 2017
  74. 2 Days in Ubay July 1-3, 2017
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