The list of things I'm grateful for this year seems to be never ending. One of them is having the opportunity to revisit places that I've already been to last year. Bohol was the very first island my college friends and I visited right after graduation. Though we had a bit of a "super tight" budget then since we were still unemployed fresh grads, it was nothing short of fun. If our first visit was adrenaline pumping, our second time was the complete opposite. We shelled out a little on our accommodation and had a laid back weekend.
Two of my college friends and I went during the last weekend of June. We boarded a plane straight to Tagbilaran City, then we rode a tricycle from the airport to our hotel in Panglao Island. The ride was a bit of a hassle because of the bumpy road, super small tricycle and the long travel time. I think it's a good option for travelers who are on a tight budget. But if you can spend more, have your transportation arranged by your hotel.
We stayed at Twin Tides Panglao for three days and two nights. We were a few of the lucky ones who were able to score great rooms for almost half their regular price. Honestly, the entire place is so posh! It's a hotel that I never thought I'd actually stay in even if I have the money (lol what a cheap ass). The sky blue color theme, exposed concrete walls, and quirky furniture with splashes of bright colors — they were all eye candies. I'll leave all the "visual explaining" to Twin Tides' website.
During our first night on the island, we had dinner at Pyramid in Alona Beach. We ordered their pork and chicken barbecue meal, and their seafood pizza that was filled with spicy shrimp. Good lawd, it was divine! Just recalling it now makes me crave it so bad.
Most of our time was spent enjoying the last bit of the summer sun. We made the most out of the hotel's small pool and we also went island hopping. During our second day, we went out to the neighboring islands which are the Balicasag Island and the Virgin Island.
If last year we weren't able to go snorkeling, this year, however, we made sure that we ticked that off our must-do list. Seeing different kinds of fishes in different sizes and colors was so much fun! Their fish sanctuary boasts such a rich marine life. I was so blown away by the fact that I was seeing so many fishes for the first time. That experience is forever etched in my mind.
After a morning spent in the neighboring islands, we went back to Panglao and relaxed by the beach. We also had Bohol's famous organic ice cream by the Bohol Bee Farm. I think it's a must for everyone, especially for first-timers.
In the late afternoon, we went to Shaka Bohol. I already tried their famous smoothie bowls in Siargao (it was soooo good!) so this time, I tried their vegan burger. My friends tried Bom Dia and Cloud 9 Kook while I ordered their "Wak Wak" burger. It was my first time to eat a vegan burger and honestly, I didn't quite like it. Not because it wasn't tasty but because it was so new to me. Maybe if I didn't think too much of the fact that I was eating a vegan burger, I would've liked it more because when I took my first bite, the patty tasted so much like meat. Hopefully, in my next try, I'll convert into being a vegan haha!
Right after checking out from our hotel during our last day, we had a last minute trip to some tourist spots on the countryside. We went to the Man Made Forest in Bilar and the Tarsier Sanctuary. It was a quick tour because we had to catch our flight back to Cagayan de Oro that afternoon. But here's the funny thing: we actually missed that flight #tourpamore
We arrived at the airport around 1:50 PM and our flight were at 2:15 PM. Confident that we can still board that flight, we stopped at a nearby carinderia and had our late lunch. By the time we were lining up outside the airport for security checks, our names were called through the loudspeaker. So we rushed through security and tried to pay our terminal fee when the woman at the counter told us that they don't allow screenshot boarding passes. It was so odd because they only need to write down our flight number and booking number on their log book. So we went to our airline's counter, told them about it and asked if we can have a printed copy of our boarding pass.
When we told them the flight that we were supposed to be on, they didn't allow us to board the plane anymore even though we literally heard the last call while rushing through security. It was only in the terminal fee counter that we got stuck. They couldn't do anything to help us anymore except offer us the next flight that was scheduled on Sunday (it was a Friday and we were supposed to be home that afternoon). Of course, we turned it down because we couldn't afford to extend our stay in Bohol for two more days. We rushed to the TransAsia ticketing office and bought ourselves a ticket back home. Luckily there was a trip that evening.
So lesson learned: don't take last minute tours, especially when you have a plane to catch haha!
All in all, our weekend in Panglao was the break we all deserved. Work and our hectic schedules were draining all of us so it was just right that we had to have at least that one weekend to take the load off and recharge. I was so busy relishing every moment that I wasn't able to snap tons of photos. These photos are actually taken with my Fujica Auto-7 film camera with a fresh roll of Fujiclor C200. I'm still new to film photography and I know that some of my shots could have been better, but I'm proud of the progress I'm making hehe. I definitely need to practice more.
Bohol will always be an unforgettable place for me. Not only because for the two times I've been there, my trip back home is always met with funny twists, but also because of its beauty. I can't compare it to any other island I've been to in the Philippines because it's different and beautiful on its own. It will always be my go-to holiday destination 🌴
If you're thinking of spending a weekend in Bohol too, my travel guide might help you!