Nov 17, 2017
Ubay in a Nutshell
Location: Ubay (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Ubay is the default jump-off for Southern Leyte - either to Bato or Hilongos (Maasin route is no longer serviced). You could see Leyte from Ubay. They also have boats going to Cebu, but the default jump-off to Cebu is Getafe, about 40kms away. As a port town, it's busy with local commerce. The wet market is adequately supplied with fresh fish although the main viande in eating places is still meat. The grilled staple is still lechon manok - not fish even though Ubay is a coastal town.
There is hardly any tourism here. The popular tourist destinations in Bohol do not include Ubay. The two main draws in Bohol are the Chocolate Hills in Carmen and Alona Beach in Panglao. Thus, the usual tourism places are the ones sandwiched by the 2 - the Tarsiers of Bilar, Baclayon Church and Loboc's river cruise. Destinations east of Carmen (including Ubay) are by-passed. Bohol is simply too big to cover in one day.
I think it's best to develop an alternate East Bohol tour package - something that starts from Getafe (closest Bohol port from Cebu) looping to Carmen's Chocolate Hills, going east towards the beaches and caves of Anda, Can-umantad Falls and Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, etc. Best if they can identify and develop a Tarsier area east of Carmen. Tarsier is another compelling attraction - without the Tarsier component, the East Bohol package wouldn't be too attractive. But again, this loop covers twice the area of the usual West Bohol tour package - the tourist will be spending too much time in transit.
Getting my Bearings
Life in Ubay came off to a slow start. I had to cover my bases first - sourcing a water supplier, identifying wifi areas, frequent walks about town getting familiar where to get what, and getting a bearing on Ubay's culturescape through the locals (mostly vendors).
Verdict so far - 1 pizza place with an affordable 9" pie for P80 (I miss Loboc's wood-fired pizza), 2 good sikwate places, a few bahalina and tuba outlets, lots of bakeries and carinderias, no nearby resort for an afternoon chilled beer. The only a/c hangout place is Jewel's Nook Cafe - looks like a cafe but only serves espresso coffee and the rest are meals...and they don't have wifi. So far, the only place I get wifi is Goddy Goddy Lodge at their main location.
It's still not clear to me what I'll be doing here - except to keep pace with emergent web technologies. The heat is oppressive and if it's not too hot, it's pouring rain. I need a decent afternoon chillout place with wifi - so far, I haven't seen one. Thus I default to walking aimlessly around the market. I haven't met anyone I could hangout with either. As I settle down, I'll begin to explore more. I have 26 remaining days in Ubay and bailing out is not an option.
Next stop: The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt
Ubay, Bohol, Philippines
Ubay Travel Info / Tips
- Jewel's Nook is the only cafe in town - a/c, serving only espresso P50 but NO WIFI
- you can buy Bahalina (aged, decanted and alcoholic coconut sap) at the Public Market for P75/half gallon
- there are 2 stores serving good P10 sikwate (native chocolate drink) and P10 puto-maya at the Public Market...just ask around
- tricycle ride around the city is only P8/pax
- trisikad ride around the city is only P5/pax
- laundry is only P25/kilo, minimum of 3 kilos, for pick-up after 2 days
- Southern Buses at the Public Market leave Ubay for other parts of Bohol
- market day is Monday
- Ubay-ubay Festival is the town fiesta held every January 28-30
Ubay to Cebu City by boat (as of July 2017)
- M/V J&N Carrier - 10am Monday-Saturday, 12am Sunday
- M/V J&N Ferry - 10pm Sunday-Friday, no Saturday trip
Ubay to Leyte by boat (4-5 hours) (as of July 2017)
- Ubay to Bato
- M/V Lady of Smile (or Lady of Charity or Lady of Guadalupe) - 1pm daily
- MBCA Star Sirius (or Mama Mary or San Isidro 9) - 8:30am daily
- MBCA Neriboy Allen Rey (or Mama Mary Irvin or San Isidro 5 or San Isidro 6) - 10am daily
- Ubay to Hilongos - M/V Leopards Sea Runner or Leopards Adventurer 1, 9am daily
Ubay to Pitogo (Bohol) by boat (as of July 2017)
- MBCA Bobong B - 11am daily
- MBCA Bobong A - 4pm daily
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt
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