July 1-3, 2017
2 Days in Ubay
Location: Ubay (municipality), Bohol (province) Philippines
When Rey dropped me off in Ubay, I had no clue where to stay. The 2 hotels I went to were too pricey for me. I couldn't make a web deal as the decision makers were nowhere. I started asking locals where the cheapest places are. Luckily, I found one still walking distance to the town center - EVD Lodge at P150 for a clean room with ventilation and fan. When I asked for the room key, they gave me a spoon. They lost the key so the room had to be opened by prying the door lock with a spoon. It's more fun in the Philippines!
Main Street Ubay
Having settled on a place to stay, I explored on foot. Ubay is the biggest center in the east end of Bohol, but not quite as big as Tagbilaran. It has no movie house but it offers a jumbotron on the main center where town folks can watch the local program, specially the scheduled Pacquiao fight vs Horn. It has a main bus terminal for all destinations in Bohol and a port with trips to Cebu City and Leyte. With only 2 days before I take the boat for Cebu, I simply roamed about town and met common folks together with the town's influential few.
I got fake Bahalina in Tagbilaran, but in Ubay's market, I found a vendor selling Bahalina coming from its renowned source - Leyte. I tasted a cup and it was good! Shortly before taking the boat for Cebu, I bought a full gallon with me. With the 375ml of Pito-Pito herbal drink I got with me, I combined both to come up with my own cocktail!
Sikwate and Puto Maya
By the market place, I chanced on a painitan selling sikwate (native hot cocoa drink) and puto maya (sticky rice). Whoa! I love these dynamic duo and I go out of my way in any destination to savor these. I became friends with the owner and staff as I would frequent that place. They also gave me helpful tips about Ubay.
I met Dani, a Spanish backpacker, in Anda but somehow, our paths crossed again here in Ubay. He also stayed at EVD Lodge and we'd hang-out for the most part, exchanging insights and sharing travel narratives. I invited him to come along to the grand opening of Pacheco Inn. He left for Leyte as I left for Cebu.
I stumbled upon a newly completed hotel in Ubay - Pacheco Inn. It is by far, the most ambitious hotel in town. It's not too big but it has a modern architecture and amenities at par with big-city hotels. It wasn't open yet, but I met Pachec himself who invited me to attend the grand opening night the following day.
I tagged-along Dani for the event. Ubay's who's who was there - the mayor himself, high ranking Ubal officials and members of Ubay's most prestigious families. I would say it was Oscar Night in Ubay as its stars were all there for the festivity.
I was introduced to the mayor and I explained to him the many things I can do for the city to increase its internet profile. He liked the idea and gave me a standing offer to see him next time I visit Ubay.
I was lavished by flowing wine, lechon, sumptuous food and even karaoke performance by Pachec's dad! It was a memorable fun-filled evening of merry making.
Pacquiao vs Horn
I was also in Ubay for the historic defeat of Manny Pacquiao in the hands of the underdog, Jeff Horn. I saw a lot of illegal headlocking and headbutting by Horn which left Pacquiao bleeding. Although Horn's victory was controversial, I also felt that if Pacquiao had won, it would not be convincing. Why is it that on the 3 live fights I saw of Pacquiao, he always lost - in Gen San against Marquez, in Cebu against Bradley and now here in Ubay against Horn! Next time he fights, I won't watch it live - maybe he'll win!
My 2 days in Ubay was full of surprises. I came there not knowing anyone but I ended up having a conversation with the mayor and touched-off on promising things I can eventually do for the town. I also met Pachec and his family who are one of the town's prominent figures. I also reconnected with Dani, a Spanish traveler who I met in Anda. I wasn't part of any guest list in Ubay, but I ended up attending a lavish hotel opening complete with lechon, wine and karaoke! I got to take with me to Cebu, a full gallon of Bahalina and caught a last-hurrah for the sikwate. Knowing I'll be seeing Jeanne in Cebu, I was able to source kalamay from Jagna for her. All is well in Ubay. For but now, my boat for Cebu awaits. Another adventure beckons.
Reader Comments:Dion Ty
(July 5, 2017) I'm the smiling tindero that served you the cheap yet delicious puto and sikwate... I just looked at your blog and it really amazes me. You've done a great and happy moments with your life. You inspire me to value life and need not to worry because as you wrote, "the universe provides".
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.
- Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
- Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
- Exploring Anda, Bohol June 25-30, 2017
- Roadtrip from Candijay to Ubay July 1, 2017
- Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
- Freediving Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
- Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
- Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
- Fitness Workout with Chie at Bohol Tropics Resort Sept 13, 2017
- Modified Ashtanga Primary Series by Jing Yoga, Tagbilaran Sept 12, 2017
- Tagbilaran Revisited Sep 7-12, 2017
- Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017
- 2 Days in Ubay July 1-3, 2017
- Coastal Cleanup with Plastic Free Bohol Sept 16, 2017
- Exploring Panglao June 12-18, 2017
- Yoga with Ging and Rai at Oasis Resort June 18, 2017
- Freediving with Ben Meerhaeghe at SeaQuest Dive Center June 16, 2017
- Scuba Diving Balicasag Island with SeaQuest Dive Center June 15, 2017
- Bohol Revisited June 12, 2017
- Exploring Bohol Nov 28-30, 2015
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