Jan 29, 2018
Farm Tour with Mr. Raymond Cal
Location: Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
In a promising acquaintance with Mr. Raymond Cal following the cacao roasting episode, I was invited to join him to his weekly farm visit within Loboc about 12 kms beyond Cruz Daku.
The road was mostly going up on dirt road about 500 MASL (meters above sea level) just north of Tayong Peak. It was a rough and long ride that put his Pajero to the test. Within his 240-hectare land, the surrounding scenery was more on cacao, coconuts and other fruit bearing trees. The last 6 kms of trail road from the main government road to his veggie farm was built by Mr. Raymond. That in itself was already some work.
Given the expanse of the private farm land, the veggie farm itself seemed modest at barely the size of 4 basketball courts on a flat land cupped by surrounding hills. Trellis were lined-up for various vegetables - chayote, squash, upo, watermelon, purple squash, etc. It is interesting that even though all crops were common in the Philippines, not all these crops thrive on his land. After a few experimentations and failed harvests, they were drawn to conclude that squash was the most thriving of them all. Different crops for different soil...even within the same region. And it seems the only way to find out which, is to start planting.
There were a few farm hands who have already anticipated his coming and harvested squash and chayote for pick-up and transport back to Loboc. They later prepared a vegetable soup dish fresh from the harvest...whoa!
At 240 hectares, we were driving for kilometers on end and we were still on the family land. I was overwhelmed. How could you manage full productivity from such an expanse? And that was just one of the family farms! I am on the other side of this spectrum - no property and no burden of ownership. To each, his own.
I suspect the small veggie farm was more of a getaway to a peaceful place where no karaoke sound or motorized vehicle disturb the soundscape. Time can stand still before you head-out and make the road trip back.
Thank you for the tour, Mr. Raymond.
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Next stop: Ride to the Landslide with Jeffrey
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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