Oct 18, 2017
Wet and Wild Bonbon-Alegria Downhill Ride
Location: Bonbon, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Mountain Bike Guide: Jeffrey Huerte
The soon-to-be-completed diversion road from Bonbon-Alegria in Loboc was a promising downhill ride. To get there, we loaded up the bikes on a truck for the 7km uphill ride. From there, we simply bomb down all the way home. But it was raining hard. Fast downhill ride in the pouring rain? Crazy! Juan, who drove the truck and an mtb rider as well, pleaded to Jeffrey to cancel the ride. I was game either way. Jeffrey said we ride. That put a smile on my face. Rock and roll sa ulan! We left our phone cameras on the truck and had to rely solely on Jeffrey's Go Pro water-proof video-cam.
For the most part, the entire road was newly paved while some parts were still rough with graded coral rocks. The initial ride was on rolling hills with smooth ups and downs. When we reached the newly paved road, the serious downhill began reprieved only by a few flat sections before a succession of more downhills.
The unrelenting rain was an X-factor. It added excitement, unpredictability and challenge. Hard raindrops were hitting my eyes on the fast descent, it became hard to see. I was closely following Jeffrey to be on the frame of his back-facing Go Pro video but water kicked-up by his tires got into my eyes as well. All of these were happening at high speed. Since the road was newly paved, there wasn't moss or algae build-up so it wasn't too slippery.
One Tree Hill
We stopped on a section to climb a hill on foot, leaving our bikes by a house on the road. The hill is commonly called 1-Tree Hill because there is one tree that stood out within a clearing. From the top, the view was panoramic of Loboc. I didn't realize we were already close to home. I could see the town center, the cemetary, Loboc River, Cruz Daku, Guadalupe Virgin and even the far-off Balay Silangan! It seemed like the map of Loboc was blueprinted in front of me. It was a perfect place for a sunset chill over cold beer. After getting back to our bikes, it was a short ride back to the house.
It was a wet and wild ride! What a rush. Yes, it was crazy - Juan and the locals who saw us certainly thought so, but it wasn't reckless. We still knew when to feather the brakes when it got too dicey. Come to think of it, Jeffrey and I practically covered a lot of ride scenarios - brutal climbs, fast downhills, scenic rides, epic rides and now this - ride in the driving rain. Whoa!
Thank you Jeffrey and thank you Juan for taking us to the sweet spot.
Next stop: Villagio Pizza
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
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.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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