Rey Rapatalo I was on my way out of Candijay to Ubay when I received a text from Kins, "I am fascinated by Mabini but few tourists go there". I got curious and randomly asked a local if he knew anything about Mabini. His name is Rey Rapatalo who happened to hail from Mabini. We got into a more engaging conversation about many things while I was having breakfast at the Rapatalo's Restaurant - yes, he owns it. At some point, he said he wanted to be out of his house anyway and offered to take me to Mabini. It was very generous of him. So we headed out in his sporty SUV!
Mabini, Bohol He did mention that the only attraction in Mabini is the disappearing sandbar, which appears only during low tide. It would however, require a boat ride to experience it. I didn't want to impose on my host and I wasn't that excited to take a boat ride to see a sandbar - I've seen too many already. He took me to his house where I met members of his family. We went to the town port where he pointed out a few areas that were special to him. After a few more turns around town, we headed back.
All the Way to Ubay I asked to be dropped-off the main street to catch the bus to Ubay. To my surprise, Rey said he'll drive me all the way to Ubay! What??? Ubay is a good 30 kms away! What a guy! This gave us an extended conversation. Rey has many interesting stories.
First stopover was the municipality of Alicia for some good 'ol fashioned carinderia yummy eats! Even in Alicia, people recognized him and accorded him a deferential treatment. Who is this guy? Shortly after, we headed straight for Ubay where he dropped me off one of the hotels.
Ending Thoughts It was short and magical - like a lot of my adventures. This reminds me of Pak Chong, Thailand where a complete stranger drove me all the way to the next town! Rey was a complete stranger one moment, then I was inside his SUV for a tour to the other town, after which he drives me all the way to Ubay. And then he was gone. We've become better than just acquainted in that half-day tour. Such generosity is rare, but yes, it still happens. When I travel, I meet the most fascinating, most interesting, most generous people. This trip validates all that. Thank you Rey!
Danao Adventure Park - zip lining, cable car ride, caving, river rides/trekking, off-road buggy ride, root climbing, rappelling and ultra-glide rides
Alona Beach - hub for tourists with hotels, resorts, restos, bars and dive shops
Firefly Tour - evening boat ride into the river to watch fireflies
Fox & The Firefly Cottages - SUP paddle boarding, luxury riverside native cottages, mountain bike tours, SUP yoga
Baranggay Valladolid, Loboc, Bohol
Bohol Tropics Resort - seafront location, manicured surroundings, swimming pool, resto/bar
0133 Graham Avenue, Brgy. Cogon, Tagbilaran, Bohol 6300
Oasis Resort - Alona Beach location, dive center, resto / bar
Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol
Jing Yoga - health & well being through yoga
The Courtyard - Airport Road fronting the church
Bohol Meditation and Yoga Center - 2nd Floor Lim Magtajas Bldg. CPG Avenue
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 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,
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.