I recently had the absolute pleasure of going to one of my favourite places in the Philippines with two of my favourite people. I remember the first time I got to go to Bohol as a kid and thought “it’s just too pretty, it must be enchanted.” I’ve always wanted to go back but just never got the chance– till now that is. And what’s even better is that Mother’s Day was coming up and so was Lancer’s birthday. I think we were all in “celebrative” moods!
We booked roundtrip AirAsia flights to Tagbilaran and a room at the Bellevue Bohol.
The Bellevue Hotel sent a car to pick us up at the airport. They sometimes send one of the rental services that tour you around the island when they’re out of hotel vans.. which was great cause that’s how we met Kaye, a lady driver-slash-tourguide who’s number we got right away. She helped us out whenever there was something we needed to buy, somewhere we needed to go, or something we needed to know. Even “Kaye, may kilala kang masahista?”
She took us to Panglao, about 30 minutes away, where our resort was.
We arrived at the hotel at around 10am-ish (way before check-in time) so we left our bags at the baggage keep and went straight to the restaurant for breakfast. The hotel offered the use of another room in case we wanted to freshen up or change (such awesome service) but we just ended up ordering beer and playing billiards for an hour.. that’s right. beer in the morning. vacay party mode: on.
At around noon when our room was ready, we went up to unpack and change into our swimsuits.
We just got their regular deluxe room which I think is their simplest one, but their rooms are modern, comfortable and spacious.. even the bathrooms are spacious with the shower being separate from the bathtub… and here’s the view from our balcony. Gorge.
Our entire first day we just spent at the resort. On the beach, you can really see that the Bellevue makes an effort to really keep the beachfront clean and pretty. The water in Bohol is ridiculously clear, the sand is white and powdery, the water deepens very gradually which i think makes it a very kid-friendly beach. If you’re really itching to cannon-ball into water though, they’ve got a great infinity pool right in front of the beach, still with a lot of sun.
In Bohol, you have the option to go to the chocolate hills, see tarsiers, have lunch on a floating river restaurant, visit the churches, see Hinagdanan cave, go through the man-made forrest and many more. I even saw an advertisement at the airport for this bike that goes on a tightrope over a forrest. If theres anything I can advise you, no matter what you choose, wear a swimsuit under your clothes. There are random little bodies of water on these tours that you gonna wanna jump into.
We decided to take the sea tour. We booked a bangka for P2500. They do have cheaper ones but we wanted a big one to ourselves. Our guides were very helpful and would run little errands for us like finding restrooms, and buying stuff at the islands for us. Once you park the bangka at Balikasag 45 minutes away, you have to rent a small row boat to the snorkelling/scuba area (P250 per person). They’re not allowed to cast their anchors down because it’s a coral sanctuary.
Here are our big and small boats! For another P200 per person, they’ll bring you to where all the sea turtles swim. This was mildly disappointing cause it was so close to shore, you really don’t need a row boat. But I guess it’s still always better to have a local with you, they’re really strong swimmers! Y’know..just in case. and they’ll always tell you.. “If you don’t see a sea turtle, no charge.” Click [here] for one of the turtles we saw
I don’t know about you, but I always want a cooler of drinks on board a bangka. If you’re the same, definitely think about that before leaving. Once you get to Balikasag, beer is P80 per can and not very cold.
Another common place to go is Virgin Island. It’s pretty much a sandbar where you can chill, and buy and eat fresh Uni (sea urchin). Bring some bluetooth speakers. You’re gonna want some music while relaxing here. =)
If you’re planning to take a trip to Bohol, leave your questions in the comment box!
also, visit www.thebellevueresort.com for bookings and prices
Bohol photos by Lancer Salva