TheLoneRider
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Exploring Panglao June 12-18, 2017

Exploring Panglao

Location: Panglao (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines

Oasis Resort
My stay in Alona Beach and visits to other places in Panglao would not have been as pleasurable without Oasis Resort as my base and SeaQuest as my dive go-to. I knew that at the end of the day, I would be resting my weary body on a very comfortable bed in a well-appointed room in this luxury resort.

Alona Beach
Alona Beach is a 1.5km stretch of fine white sand beach in Panglao, lined-up by restos, bars, dive shops and resort hotels - think Boracay but smaller and less grandiose. Touts and hawkers offer tours, dives and transport rides. This is a very commercial area. A coldie on a beach bar watching people promenade before sunset is Alona's most catchy moment.

TRIVIA - it is only now that I learned Alona Beach was named after a very popular 70s actress, Alona Alegre, who made a film here when there was still no name to the beach. I was delighted when I learned about this. I know Alona personally back in the day. I was seeing her younger sister Tess and I would chillout at Alona's digs in Forbes Park. She and Tess were living the high life. She would be driving her Jaguar while Tess (and I) would follow in her 450SL Mercedes Benz convertible. She likes hanging-out at Stargazer and lavishly down Champagne bottles. She would spend for everyone in her dozen-strong entourage (Tess and I would be a part of that entourage). Good old days. They were good people. Now, I begin to wonder where they are.

Tourist Prices
Alona Beach prices perhaps equal that of Boracay. It is expensive! Cheapest lodging starts at P300/night on a hammock but it goes up steeply to US$ 4,275/night (Eskaya Beach Resort And Spa). An average viande would be in the P250 range. Beer is about P70 but you get it for P50 on happy hour in some bars. Shakes? P100!

Bohol is safe!
With the current siege in Marawi City plus the recent attack by extremists in April 2017, business is slow marked by booking cancellations. Some establishments have cut down on operating hours while some have closed shop. The lingering thought of the news-reading public is that Bohol is not safe.

I'd been in Bohol now for a week and I can safely say the place is far removed from all that turmoil. It's fun here with security measures well in place.

Bohol Coco FarmBohol Coco Farm
My Tagbilaran hostess, Dang, took me over to Bohol Coco Farm in Panglao to visit her friends, Julia and EJ, who own and run the place. Coco Farm resonates. Lodging price of P350 with Filipino breakfast is competitive. It's my kind of environment - backpacker crowd, natural food, organic farm, nature all around, wifi, hammocks, wellness-thinking, etc. Its energy also attracts like-minded people - the forward-thinking type who wants to make a difference. This overall vibe is exemplified by the family who runs the place.

Exploring Panglao
hammock time at Bohol Coco Farm

Bohol Bee FarmBohol Bee Farm
Raisa and Geraldine took me here at the main Dauis location. It is a 3-acre seaside property with elevation for a scenic view of the waters and the surrounding islands - great spot for good eats. Within the grounds is a hotel, boutique shop and resto. Their honey bahalina is a must! With their free-tasting station, we could be forgiven for throwing our own party-shots - to the concerned look of the staff! They have branches across Bohol, whether it's the Buzz Cafe or just the ice cream parlor.

Meditation Sit
I invited my Tagbilaran-based Vipassana sis, Kins, to visit me at the resort. Vipa-Theosophical Society member,Ludwig, came with her and together, we did our 1-hour meditation sit. We were joined by Raisa who was new to the practice. We helped ourselves to daku-bananaQ and tuba after. Later, we settled at Shaka resto for healthy eats.

Ending Thoughts
I have really just scratched the surface of Panglao. There is a rich culture underneath all that commercialism but it takes trust by the locals for an outsider like me to experience it. I am simply thankful to have met great people, privileged to have stayed in a plush resort and have all that wonderful experience. Panglao has many layered dimension to it that needs further discovery, but I've reached the end of the line. Next time should be exciting.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Tagbilaran



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Google Map Bohol, Philippines

tourist attractions in Bohol tourist attractions
  • Danao Adventure Park in Bohol 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 in Bohol Alona Beach - hub for tourists with hotels, resorts, restos, bars and dive shops
  • Chocolate Hills in Bohol Chocolate Hills - hills side-by-side shaped like giant Kisses chocolate
  • Tarsier in Bohol Tarsier - pocket-sized marsupia looking like a monkey
  • Balicasag Island in Bohol Balicasag Island - one of the best dive spots in the Philippines
  • Loboc River in Bohol Loboc River - river cruise on a boat
  • Anda Beach in Bohol Anda Beach - fine white sand beach with resorts, restos and cottages, 3 hours by bus from Tagbilaran
  • Cabagnow Cave Pool in Anda, Bohol Cabagnow Cave Pool - brackish water pool about 5ft deep inside a limestone opening on the ground, 8 feet deep, P50
  • Lamanok Island in Anda, Bohol Lamanok Island - walk on a 100m bamboo bridge on stilts to a resto area to take a boat tour to caves and nearly attractions, P300
  • Combento Cave Pool in Bohol Combento Cave Pool - cave pool with underwater cave system, P20
  • Can-umantad Falls in Candijay, Bohol Can-umantad Falls - long narrow drop until it hits a bulbous mound spreading it into a a curtain-like water canopy and down into a splash pool
  • Canawa Cold Spring in Candijay, Bohol Canawa Cold Spring - deep refreshing cold spring with developed pool area
  • Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol Firefly Tour - evening boat ride into the river to watch fireflies
hotels in Bohol hotel
  • Bohol Tropics Resort 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
yoga in Bohol yoga
  • Jing Yoga - health & well being through yoga
    Jing Yoga The Courtyard - Airport Road fronting the church
    Jing Yoga Bohol Meditation and Yoga Center - 2nd Floor Lim Magtajas Bldg. CPG Avenue

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.

Bohol

    Anda
  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. Corella
  14. Cycling to the Tarsiers of Corella Oct 26, 2017

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

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

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

  42. Sevilla
  43. Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla Oct 30, 2017

  44. Sikatuna
  45. Solo Ride to the Sikatuna Tree Park Nov 2, 2017

  46. Tagbilaran
  47. 30 days in Tagbilaran, Thank You! Oct 8, 2017
  48. Breakfast Talk with Tagbilaran's Finest Oct 8, 2017
  49. Exploring the Cafe Scene of Tagbilaran Oct 7, 2017
  50. Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
  51. Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House October 2, 2017
  52. Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 12-Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
  53. Celebrating the International Day of Peace Sep 23, 2017
  54. Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
  55. Fitness Workout with Chie at Bohol Tropics Resort Sept 13, 2017
  56. Modified Ashtanga Primary Series by Jing Yoga, Tagbilaran Sept 12, 2017
  57. Tagbilaran Revisited Sep 7-12, 2017
  58. Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017

  59. Ubay
  60. Visiting Ubay Green Park Nov 18, 2017
  61. The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt Nov 18, 2017
  62. Ubay in a Nutshell Nov 17, 2017
  63. In Search of the Next Destination Nov 14, 2017
  64. 2 Days in Ubay July 1-3, 2017
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