TheLoneRider
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Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017

Hello Tagbilaran!

Location: Tagbilaran City, Bohol (province), Philippines

With Raisa in Valencia
After 7 days in Panglao, it felt time to move on again. Raisa offered a night's stay at her place in Valencia where I had an engaging talk with her dad. Her place was huge and luxurious, I could be forgiven for thinking I never left my posh Oasis Resort digs in Panglao. Raisa didn't have to, but she drove me all the way to Tagbilaran from Valencia (1 hour!) to drop me off to Tr3ats Guesthouse - the cheapest place in town. Love you girl!

Tagbilaran
Finally, I was in Tagbilaran. First order was to find a cheaper place or a hotel deal for the following night. At P488/night at Tr3ats, I was still hemorrhaging cash.

That's how it is for me - I live in extremes. Either I work out a hotel deal and find myself in a luxurious room otherwise I pay cash in some cheap hole-in-the-wall guesthouse, if there was one available. I have slept on a hammock in Siargao and even spent a night on a waiting shed in Quezon City - all good as that is part of the uncertainty experience I signed-up for. There is hardly a middle ground for me.

Pavement Pounding
I went to just about every hotel, guesthouse and inn for a lodging deal but no decision maker was around. I emailed, but still, nothing - probably ended up as spam. When it rains it pours, but when it doesn't, it usually means drought. I couldn't continue staying at Tr3ats. This means I couldn't stay in Tagbilaran anymore.

Kins and Dang
I asked friends if they knew a cheap room I could rent for a month. I wanted to stay a little longer in Tagbilaran before moving on. I'm still enjoying my stay and I'm already too tired moving out too often, too soon. Luckily, Kins, my Vipa sis, was able to arrange a host for me - Imelda 'Dang' Miner. I was a complete stranger to Dang, but just the same, she offered me a vacant room in her house for the next 4 nights - that was a sigh of relief! I had an extended lease on Tagbilaran.

Academe
With Kins and Dang, both of them working at the University of Bohol, my new scene was the academe. I sat in Dang's class, attended the school general assembly and met some of their colleagues. The whole thing was a flashback to my teaching days in UP Diliman when I taught a web design class to Fine Arts students.

Hello Tagbilaran!
dinner with Dang and Kins

Bonding with Dang
For the most part of the 4 days, I was just hanging out with Dang, tagging along if I am welcome. I really had no set objective in Tagbilaran except to roll with the flow. Mornings, I would normally prepare omelette, crepe or french toast and spend a little time chatting, not unlike the one I have with Jeanne in Cebu City. I can understand her frustration in dealing with a system not as optimized as the US where she spent a great deal of her life at.

Malls
There are 3 malls in Tagbilaran. No, it's not Ayala, Robinsons or SM. They're BQ Mall, Island Center Mall and Alturas Mall. Without the presence of the ubiquitous Big 3, I thought Tagbilaran was sleepy, slow and backward. I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, I have a sense Tagbilaran is better off without any of the Big 3. Why? As a movie buff, it's my frustration not seeing enough movies because they have become unreasonably expensive - P220/movie. That's the standard rate at any of the Big 3. But here in Tagbilaran, the movie houses inside the malls run first rate movies for P120! And these are newly constructed, nicely appointed movie houses in clean and spacious malls! If any of the Big 3 were around, I don't think the movies would be priced that low. I would even suspect the presence of the Big 3 in any town or city jacks up prices across the board.

Movies
With movies becoming affordable, I was watching a movie a day...woohoo! The Mummy (so-so), Wonder Woman (a must), Transformers (mindless waste of time and money), Everything Everything (ok). I actually ran out of movies to see at one point. All 3 malls were screening the same movies. It was like high school all over again when I could watch a movie everyday.

Wonder Woman
With Wonder Woman, I somehow felt for Aries (the bad guy) about his sentiment for human presence. I feel quite strongly that humans are the virus plaguing this planet. We poison the air, we pollute the water, we have created weapons of mass destruction to destroy the Earth several times over! Dogs don't shit in their own backyard, but we do. Earth is better off without us. But Hollywood prevails of course - happy endings rule. I also agree that at the end of the day, it's all about love. However, with the movie, the love-realization wasn't given enough effort and reel-time to develop into a compelling aftermath. My 2-cent movie review.

Raisa and Ging
I continued to spend time with Raisa and Ging in Tagbilaran. I see them as my yogini breathren. We'd spend time and chillout over coffee. I feel their concern about my well-being. I'm touched. I love these guys but I had to ask them not to feel that they have to look after me. I am actually enjoying all this uncertainty and unpredictability notwithstanding I look unsettled.

Theosophical SocietyTheosophical Society
I learned that Tagbilaran had a local Theosophical Society lodge. I asked Kins to take me along their weekly Thursday meetings. Turns out, they haven't met in a year! But learning a guest wanted to attend, they somehow managed an ad hoc gathering. Moderating the meet-up was the gracious Maria Corazon "Cora" Ponteres. The staff of the TS school, Golden Link joined the gathering as well.

It was more of a sharing instead of a discourse on a Helena Blavatsky writing. I shared my story about life on the open road without a home and with very little money. While the "little money" is an integral part of my narrative (because I want to dispel the prerequisite-myth of money), I am cautious that it doesn't come across as a plea for a freebie. I am also aware that such apprehension resides only in my mind as the people I come across with are genuinely generous - as I am to them in my own currency.

The evening extended beyond the meeting. Cora took us all out for late dinner at Metro Hotel where the conversation continued. Later, she dropped me off Dang's place. Thank you Cora and Kins, thank you everyone!

Ending Thoughts
I could sum-up my 5 days in Tagbilaran in 5 words - Ging, Raisa, Kins, Dang and Cora! Somehow, the most wonderful moments I celebrate are almost always, in the company of great women. Women who are equally beautiful inside, as they are outside. How privileged can a man get? I wish I could offer them as much generosity as they have given me. Lve you guys!

Having left Dang's house, it was time to bid Tagbilaran goodbye.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Anda, Bohol



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