Oct 29, 2017
Loboc River Cruise on a Stand-Up Paddle
Tour Provider: SUP Tours Philippines
Tour: Half-Day SUP Tour to Busay Falls and back
Inclusion: SUP, guide, drink
Location: SUP Tours Philippines, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
SUP Tours Philippines
Along Loboc River about a kilometer from the town proper is SUP Tours Philippines within the Fox & The Firefly Cottages, owned and managed by a lovely and dynamic couple - Frederic, an SUP dude and Joan, a yogini. It's an idyllic and manicured garden setting with huts made from local materials for that native touch. Craftmanship is at the luxury standard. They also offer yoga classes and mountain bike tours.
Gerry, our guide is a certified SUP instructor who gave us a few pointers on how to manage the board - from customizing paddle length, paddle handling, mounting and stroking. It was enough to give us a sense of bearing on what to do. We were all new to the sport. Initially, standing on an oversized surfboard with a paddle in hand felt tentative given the balancing act, the river current and the actual paddling. But after getting the hang of it, it got more fun as confidence increased. The learning curve wasn't steep.
We had a leisurely pace against the mild current as we passed by the forested banks of the river. The water was calm despite a higher level due to the recent rains. We made a brief stop at Loktob Spring where I took a refreshing dip. We had the river all to ourselves - the floating restaurant hasn't started its service yet. Before we knew it, we were already in Busay Falls - there was no way to go further. The current was already strong. Above us was the zipline and cable car connecting the 2 hills together. We chilled out for a bit. I played around, doing turns and paddling hard. It was a lot of fun against the strong current!
At the downstream end where the water was calmer, I tried a few yoga asanas. It was a mind game - fail and you fall on the river and be swept by the current.
On the way back, we had to deal with the passing floating restaurants. We had to pull over to the side to let it pass. Its wake wasn't as destabilizing as I thought. It was interesting to see the curious tourists on board snapping pictures of us (feeling like we were the tourist attraction!) as we waved back to them.
Floating with the Current
The rest of the way back was a free ride with the current. I could just be lying down on the SUP and I'd still get back to the resort. A fresh coconut was served upon arrival. The other guests had lunch before their afernoon paddling in the other direction. I headed back on my bike feeling stoked at this new adventure.
Aside from our guide, we were all five - two Brits, an American and a Filipina frisbee player, Claudine. It was uncanny that Claudine is the niece of UP Mountaineers, Choi Aquino - the one who helped me and my UPM 2005 batch during our application period. Claudine, like her uncle (who was also a team member of the Pinoy Everest team) is keen on sports and the outdoors. We covered a bit of ground in our passing talk. I hope our paths cross again.
I've done SUP Yoga before at Plantation Bay in Cebu and a bit of beach SUP in Mati, but this is the first time I've done it on a river covering some distance against the current. The longer I stayed on the board, the more fun it got. Gerry's initial orientaion helped a lot - otherwise it could have been a frustrating experience. It's not a hard thing to do even for a first timer.
If you visit Loboc for the more popular floating restaurant, I would recommend staying a day or two and soak it in with SUP river paddling at SUP Tours Philippines - it's worth your while!
Thank you Frederic and Joan, and thank you Gerry!
Reader Comments:Elsbeth Lara Santos
(Nov 2, 2017) Hi, Gigit! Wala pa rin tigil sa travel and exploration, ha? :)
(Nov 1, 2017) spent my younger years surfing, Gigit...that's your next assignment if you haven't already
Jean Melliza Jueco
(Nov 1, 2017) the best to do stand up paddle with SUP Tours Phils.! nice to see you Gigit Sulit doing this with them!!!
(Nov 1, 2017) ...looking forward to do SUP with you sometime
(Nov 1, 2017) Don't forget about me!
(Nov 1, 2017) Glad you enjoyed
(Nov 1, 2017) 4 pack?
Next stop: Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla
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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