An opportunity occurs and it gets knocked out of spark, when my Chinese student visit Cebu again for the second time. With this fortuitous event we will be able to travel Bohol together. I use to teach my friend Co-Co English in my previous job. This was such a pleasant circumstance, considering the last time Co-Co and went to Bohol. I knew she was heading back to China. Hence this would be my last trip to Bohol this year.
When Co-Co asks me to make plans an organize the itinerary for their Bohol trip, I was ecstatic. I love sharing beautiful places with my friends especially Bohol. I made a power point presentation too. The reason was I needed to break down the costing and explain that some of the itinerary is not flexible when it comes to pricing, all so specific venues only open at set times. So, it’s very important to be punctual and on time. That is if your going to be successful in getting tickets because the line up for these attractions are very lengthy. In my power point I used all my own photos. My reasoning is I needed to make them understand that I have been there and done this all before. So, they are able to trust in me to give them an awesome outing
Coco, my old student agreed to almost all venue’s that I’ve suggested. Their top 3 are, Chocolate Hills, Man-made forest and Virgin Island. To make this happen we went to a ticketing branch to buy our tickets ahead of time to make sure that we can manage our time properly. As I have spoken about before in my travels, that this is imperative to do if you will get the ticket you want and the right time as well. Tickets fly out of the ticket counter very fast and I am sure you do not want to be disappointed waiting for a boat 5 hours later. Screwing up all your hard work planning the trip. Our group had to alter its tickets. This will cost a fee of 50 PHP if the boat is still there. If it gone you will pay 100 PHP per ticket just like we did. We altered our time because someone was running late. We took Ocean Jet and it cost 500 PHP for tourist tickets, 100 PHP for altering our time.
It was a gloomy afternoon when we arrived, we had to manage our time properly because we did some changes due to unexpected circumstances for this trip. Our private vehicle was already waiting in the port, our rental van cost P3200 for the half day including drop off in Panglao for our accommodation. We ask to change the price for our private vehicle even though we change time because they waited for us the whole day. For my personal experience, P3200 is already a reasonable price. A countryside tour in Bohol cost P4000-4500. We were lucky because I’m already an established bona-fide client of theirs.
Well we hit all our goals this day. The Chocolate-Hills first because this destination requires the most travel time. However we all so enjoyed the other sites, such as the man-made forest. A point of interest, if you own a drone and you wish to fly it and take videos or photos you need to be there before 8am at the Chocolate-Hills.
WHOAH! What a sunset. We got to Panda House where we will stay for a night, we were so lucky that we were able to view the amazing sun set this evening.
There is a bridge connecting Bohol and the small neighbor island which is Panglao. The bridge is a marvelous place to take photos. It’s so photogenic.
When we reach Panglao we had a quick dinner and took a nap because we plan to head out to Alona beach and spend a short time to celebrate Coco’s birthday in advance. It was most definitely a nice birthday celebration I had with foreign friends when we celebrate Coco’s birthday. We bought some snacks, beer and a mango cream cake. We stayed somewhere on the shoreline along with the people having fun with their friends. If you visit Alona beach, you will find variety of restaurants and resto bar to stay. Some resto has their own band that can sing your requested songs or if you like to join the singer you can do so.
It made Coco emotional, she was very happy that night. we went to a specific restaurant to let Coco sing along with her brother and they offered her the stage. Most of the diners had fun; a group of Caucasians gave Coco a kiss on her cheek. To her happiness she shared her cake to them and was jumping with glee.
People on the beach gave their best wishes to Coco for a Happy Birthday. Since we all had hangovers the following day. The drinking caught up with us all and we paid for it by losing time. Yep we slept in and missed seeing the dolphins that next morning.
After we all got firing on all 8 cylinders, we started and went directly to Balicasag Island for snorkeling. The island’s sanctuary was full of wonderful creatures; I consider this island as my favorite to go snorkeling. I remember my guide before was very nervous when I chase turtles and I got lost in the moment of discovery.
Coco’s friends and staff did enjoy snorkeling. We took some videos during our time in the island as part of their promotion. You won’t regret spending 200 PHP for snorkeling in this island. If you don’t have a snorkel you can rent just for approximately 100 PHP.
After Balicasag Island. You can reach Virgin Island in 30 minutes. If its high tides you won’t be able to see the long stretch white sand bar. The tide was not that high when we arrived, we were able to fly our drone and have fun in the beach with my colleague with our bikinis. Coco’s staff had a great time with the grilled seafood they’ve bought. You will understand and expect that the variety of seafood on Virgin Island is costly because of the location. But mind you the seafood is fresh and tastes good. Since I knew the boat owner he was able to get us hooked up with the fried banana seller which was nice.
Our group were exhausted when we arrived in Panda house. It was way too hot. Our group needed to take a shower.
We started to prepare our things because our afternoon trip going back to Cebu was 2pm. Coco looked for a cheaper van transfer that can take us to the port. It was Sunday it did take a lot of waisted. Haggling prices is hard when you’re on a timer. To get a ride back to the port is 800 PHP to Panglao to Tagbilaran port. We got there in the nick of time too. Big hint people be early. Sundays can be bad lineup, for you. This way you can get onboard and your ticket punched and not miss the boat.
To sum it up, this trip was fun and gave good lessons to everyone. I did educate Coco about the establish fees that we can’t just haggle. It is already mandated by law. Bohol’s main income is tourism.
Budget well and happy travels.