The Isla Life: Seeing Bohol’s Beaches and Night Life

Thursday, April 21, 2016 Panglao Island, Philippines

Let me warn you: this post is definitely loaded with tons of photos, and these are already my “chosen ones”. I could have shared a whole lot more but it would take another post to do it. Before you check all of them out, I hope you’ll read this until the end. 

Lol I’m kidding. Breeze through it if you like. More photos can be seen under the cut! :)

If anyone would ask me which part of the trip was my favorite, I’d easily say it was the entire second day. Everyone had a nice sleep despite the heat (yes even at night it was still pretty hot). After the long and tiring countryside tour we had, we were recharged and ready for the new day. I definitely had more than enough sleep compared to the one I had in the ship during our travel from CGY to Jagna. 

We woke up early for the 6AM dolphin watching and island hopping tour. It was Kuya Naldix again who arranged the entire thing for us. He was the only one I searched in the internet who was offering a no-down payment tour. After prepping for the long morning, we grabbed some breakfast and met our assigned boatman. Then we were off to the great blue! 

A part of Panglao Island as seen from our boat

A lot of tourists in different boats were also on the look out for dolphins. Just like the whale sharks in Oslob, those dolphins appear only in the earlier part of the morning. But unlike the whale sharks, they are not being lured with food by boatmen. They swim freely, and tourists observe them about a few meters away. If you get lucky (just like us lol), they will swim near your boat. 

We waited for a long time and went to a lot of different parts of the ocean just to catch a glimpse of those elusive mammals. The other boats proceeded to the first island on the tour, but we still searched almost everywhere. We reached a part where we could see the silhouette of Siquijor Island already. One of our boatmen even said, “Maam wala ma’y dolphins. Adto nalang ta sa first island” (Maam, there are no dolphins. Let’s go to our first island instead). Those words broke our little hearts. 

But then....

They appeared!
We chased them like crazy because they were swimming away from us. I think it was because of the boat’s noise. We were lucky enough to spot not just one pod of dolphins but about two or three. 

There were so many you guiseee!

Some even swam near our boat. They were like two meters away from where we were. Our tour guide said that it was that time of the day when a lot of fishes appear so the dolphins were chasing them around. Seeing them swimming freely made us swoon. They looked so cute! I didn’t even had the chance to take a video because I was too lost in the moment. Good thing a friend of mine recorded one so it’ll be included in the episode 4 of Local Wandering :) 
I think this is a better way to see them instead of large aquariums. Though we didn’t get to take a selfie with them or something, at least they looked happy swimming freely (well that’s what I think). I just wished the boat turned off its engine to stop scaring them. I’m pretty sure they were freaked out by the noise since their hearing is very sensitive.
After the dolphin watching activity, we proceeded to Balicasag Island. It’s a small island located a few minutes away from Panglao. I read that it’s a marine sanctuary — perfect for snorkeling. Our tour guide told us to try it but since we already had several experiences of snorkeling (especially in Oslob and Alcoy in Cebu province), we decided to pass. The said activity cost 250 but others offer it for 150. No matter how low they dragged the prices, we still shook our heads on their offer. We wanted to just take photos of ourselves in the island. 
The white beach wasn’t too exciting because there are broken bits of corals mixed with the white sand. It was kind’a like the one in Duka Bay. Walking barefoot would be a bad idea. Instead of snorkeling or fish feeding, we took our time basking under the summer sun and swimming in the cool waters with our life vests on. After that, we went straight to the Virgin Island

A private island located near the famous Virgin Island. You can literally walk to this island through the sand bar if the sea water isn’t too high yet. Only invited guests of the owner are allowed to go there though.

 In Virgin Island, all my dreams of experiencing powdery white sand came true. It feels so good to sink your feet in warm white sand, and swim in crystal clear waters. Though there aren’t any tall trees to hide away from the intense heat, this place is still a freakin’ gem! What makes it even better is there are people selling sea food and fresh coconut under makeshift stalls. Some are selling water, cold beer, and sodas in can. 
The buko and banana cue vendor that I talked to told me that their business in the island is booming during this season because of the influx of tourists. Their products are, of course, a lot more expensive because they transport it through their boats. Their tables and chairs are only being tied to the wooden poles (which also holds their makeshift roof) when the sea water rises.

All my life, I’ve freakin’ feared sea urchins because I’ve heard so many stories about how painful it is to step on or touch their spines. Their spines have this weird toxin that hurts a person like hell. It takes several days before you fully recover from it. But in the island, I ate its inside like I don’t fear it at all. The taste was definitely as weird as how the sea urchin looks. It was an orange-colored sour and slimy goop. I don’t hate it but I don’t like it either haha
The next sea food that we tried was this rubber-y thing that has a shell. I forgot what it was called but it was pretty popular in the island. The vendor cooked it in a way a ceviche is cooked but with a lot of scallions. It tasted a bit like a mushroom, and I honestly enjoyed it more than the sea urchin.  
After taking tons of selfies, group photos, and taking in the island’s beauty, we were headed back to Panglao. The dolphin watching and island hopping tour cost the group 1,600 which was then divided into four. So the tour costs us 400 each.
When we got back to our pad, we freshened up and prepared for our last night in the beautiful Alona Beach. 

The place is pretty in the morning, but it’s even more captivating when the sun sets. Everything becomes livelier. The place is buzzing with more energy. People are chilling in beach chairs or just sitting down on the warm white sand. Some are taking a dip in the cool turquoise water. Some are enjoying their cold drinks, exchanging stories with their friends. Others are busy snapping away tons of photos. Upbeat songs are playing in the background and everyone is just having a good time.
It’s definitely one of the kind of places I dream up whenever I have a bad day. 

We hung out in Henann Resort’s beach front and watched the sky do its daily color play. One of the staff actually approached us (he probably rehearsed his line in his head), but he was cool enough to let us stay and sit on one of their beach chairs to hang out and take photos. When the sun had finally set, the place came alive like magic! It was one of those rare moments in life that can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My friends and I have seen so many sunsets in our lives, but nothing compares to that magnificent light show we witnessed. It. Was. The. Best. Yet.
When our time was up, we walked through different restaurants and bars located along the beach. Alona Beach is like a mini version of Boracay, at least that’s what I’ve read since I’ve never been to the latter yet.
You’ll see a lot of restaurants with this kind of set-up. Meat and seafood are being displayed outside so people can choose which ones they want cooked.

SO. MANY. TIGER. PRAWNS. EVERYWHERE! It was heaven for someone who loves prawns like me. Ooooh and there’s so many fresh fish too!

We walked around in the area for several minutes and then settled with one of the barbecue places for dinner. After that, we took a dip in Villa Kasadya, a resort located a few steps away from where we were staying. Swimming there costs us 250 each because we weren’t guests of the resort. 
Also, we were supposed to end around 9PM, but one of the resort staff agreed to extend it to 10PM. We told him that it was our last night in the island, and that we were going back to Cagayan de Oro the next day. I’m not sure if he had a crush on either one of us or if he was freaked out a bit about the fact that we were from Mindanao lol. 

Day two is easily my favorite part of the trip because’ve seen it all and you know why. Maybe it’s also because I get more excited and happy about beaches than anything else. 
This post is the end of the “recap” of the Bohol trip. My friends and I didn’t do much during the third day. We spent more time in the city because we had to be ready for our evening trip back home. I guess the only exciting thing that we went to during our third day is The Buzz Cafe by the popular Bohol Bee Farm, which will be blogged soon. 
Also, I hope you subscribed to my friend’s Youtube account to stay tuned for the recap of this trip in a video format. More travel videos will be published there soon :)

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