Oct 8, 2017
30 days in Tagbilaran, Thank You!
Location: Tagbilaran (city), Bohol (province), Philippines
Bohol Tropics Resort
My 30 days at Bohol Tropics was living the life in the Garden of Eden - plush room, Tagbilaran Bay view from my balcony, breakfast for two, wifi, cable tv, etc. Coming home at the end of the day to the comfort of my room made all the difference. Sometimes, I get this lucky - sometimes I struggle where I sleep for the night. Thank you Bohol Tropics for that slice of paradise.
University of Bohol (UB)
University of Bohol was the pleasant surprise on this visit. With UB faculty Kins and Mehul, I got to judge a student debate, talk about spirituality / philosophy and even conduct a yoga class to mostly 11th-graders. This setup works for me - I still get involved in the academe without having to check tons of test papers or be embroiled in school politics and bureaucracy. This episode gave me a look back at a previous life when I was still faculty at the University of the Philippines. Sharing and teaching are both integral to my landscape.
Website for Bohol Tropics Resort
With the mandate of developing a completely new website for Bohol Tropics compliant to the latest standards - W3C standards, responsive resolution, search-engine-optimization, Google Analytics encoding, wide format design, I rolled-up my sleeve for some research and hard-coding. I could have gone ahead with what I already know. But I wanted to improve my skills while being up-to-date. I had to kick myself out of my rutted design habits and learn what's trending, both in design and functionality.
Bootstrap Web Development
On the cutting-edge of design are open and dynamic compositions, asymmetrical layouts and overlapping elements for a sense of chaos. Although stunning, it felt too experimental, too unfamiliar and too alien - not for the demographics of Bohol Tropics' mostly local clientele. For something trendy yet familiar, I tried using the Bootstrap templates as a jumping board afterwhich I do my own modification. I love it, learning something new.
I met people and got a few invites to take part in their thing - coastal clean-up with Plastic Free Bohol, Ludwig's cookout at Alona Hammocks, bar nights, dinner with Gloria at the Balili Heritage House, peace talks at the International Day of Peace, etc. Otherwise, I do my cafe rounds.
When I have to spend for food, I move out of Bohol Tropics and default to Cogon Market for my cheap and yummy staples - P25 Kinilaw, P10 tuba drink, P15 sikwate and P10 budbud pilit. I'm in my elements with carinderia food. At night, I indulge in pizza - 4J's Pizzahan. At P75 for a small, I satiate my pizza craving without hemorrhaging cash. Best pizza I've tried is still Al Fresco - but a little too pricey for everyday consumption.
With traveling, the biggest cost is really lodging. With that looked after by Bohol Tropics, everything else can be economized.
My reason for coming to Tagbilaran was cheap movies. Unfortunately, the entire time I was there, the movies were crappy or borderline ok - Renegades, Blade Runner, Flatliner and Kingsman. All three movie houses show the same movies. I wish they devote one of their theaters to show a different movie...even if an older one.
Despite the bliss, Tagbilaran was unraveling at the seams. It didn't make sense. The initial energy I was feeding on was dissipating. With increasing restlessness, I couldn't hold it together - my cue to pack up. It's strange that despite floating offers to stay in Panglao or at the Balili Heritage House, I still felt compelled to move on. Up until I checked-out of Bohol Tropics, I had no idea where to go. I left my big pack and bicycle at Bohol Tropics and took a bus heading northeast to scout what's out there. Unsettling, but it's what I've signed-up for.
Leaving Tagbilaran seemed like putting a mini-life on hold - emergent friendships, UB opportunities, more web design contracts, etc. Maybe I come back. It still feels like unfinished business.
For all the abundance and bliss, thank you Tagbilaran!
Next stop: Loboc, Bohol
Reader Comments:Valerie Sharpe
(Oct 11, 2017) Where to next?
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
»» next Traveling story: Exploring Loboc, Bohol
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