My First Visit to Bohol in 2016

I am a frequent visitor to Bohol province in the Central Visayas Region of the Philippines. In a year, I visit the island province at least three times. My first visit to Bohol in 2016 happened between 29th February to 1st March. Joining me on this trip were 9 bloggers from the Cebu Blogging Community (CBC). This trip happened through the generosity of a vacation home, a resort, a sports and leisure organization, a transport services provider, and a number of restaurants and food-related businesses. One of the objectives of this trip was to help promote the Seas The Day Bohol Tour package.

Empty Nest Vacation Home in Bohol

During our stay, we made our bed at the Empty Nest Vacation Home at 0042 E.K. Inting Street, Mansasa District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol. It is a 3-bedroom bungalow available for rent in a residential area which is right in the middle of the way from Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Empty Nest Vacation Home
(Photo courtesy of Emjae Argallon)

Food Tripping in Bohol

Our recent trip was largely a food trip, eating out at several restaurants around Metro Tagbilaran. For breakfast on 29 February, we munched on some bread and pastries at Estrella Bakery, had our lunch at Sun Café, a post-lunch snack and river cruise at Loboc River aboard one of the boats of the Rio Verde Floating Restaurant in Loay town, and capped the day with a Filipino dinner at Gustus Restaurant. Before we left for Cebu on 1 March we were treated to breakfast and some pasalubong at Jojie's Painitang Bol-anon.

Estrella Bakery

Breakfast on the 29th of February saw us munching on breads and pastries at Estrella Bakery at the heart of Tagbilaran City. We were served some pan au chocolat, scones, blueberry muffins, chicken sandwich, tuna sandwich, crepés, and croissants. Estrella Café is also the only place in Bohol that serves Illy Coffee.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Estrella Bakery

Sun Café 

After visiting a couple of heritage places, we headed to Sun Café for our lunch. Tuna garden salad was served for appetizers. For the entree, we were either served Texas Pork Ribs or Chicken Cordon Bleu. Mango Pandan dessert completed our meal.

Sun Cafe in Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines

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Rio Verde Floating Restaurant 

After lunch, we made a trip to Loay for the Loboc river cruise aboard one of the boats of the Rio Verde Floating Restaurant. We were lucky enough to catch the last cruise for the day. Guests during that cruise barely ate during the upriver cruise enjoying mostly the riverscape and the brief stop at the Ati village.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Rio Verde Floating Restaurant

Gustus Restaurant 

It was a Filipino dinner that capped our long day at Gustus Restaurant. Bloggers enjoyed Pork Adobo Rice, Bagoong Rice, Buffalo Wings and Fries, Asian Cajun Wings and Fries, Pork Crispy Pata, Sizzling Bulalo, and Cajun Shrimps in a Bag. The Watermelon Basil Juice and the Lemon Mint Juice was also a highlight.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Sizzling bulalo at Gustus

Jojie's Painitang Bol-anon

Before our return trip back to Cebu on 1 March, we had a filling breakfast at Jojie's Painitang Bol-anon. The meal featured Chinorizo, Kosahos Baka, Kosahos Baboy, Vegetable Lumpia, and Inun-unang Piniritong Tulingan. For dessert, we had Biko Dukot, Cassava Cake, Puto Balanghoy, and Dinumugan.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Kakanin at Jojie's Painitang Bol-anon

Heritage Site Visits

In between breakfast and lunch on 29 February, the CBC bloggers visited the National Museum-Bohol Branch and the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Ancestral House. These two (2) heritage sites are not usually part of the common tour itineraries that are offered to tourists visiting Bohol.

National Museum-Bohol Branch

I have long wanted to visit the Bohol branch of the National Museum at the heart of Tagbilaran City. I finally got the chance this time. The museum details the geological history of the island and how it's rock and soil cover developed through the years. Also displayed in the museum are ancient burial jars, a skeleton of a 500-year old Boholana, prehistoric pottery items, old farming and fishing implements, and paintings that depict Bohol's history.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
National Museum Bohol branch

Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Ancestral House

Popularly known as the White House among locals, the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia House is another heritage site we visited in Tagbilaran City. The house which is now turned into a museum displays some old memorabilia belonging to the first Visayan president of the 4th republic and his family. When we visited the place, there were some local students on tour. We were also shown video clips about ex-president Garcia and the work done in Bohol after the 2013 earthquake.

Seas the Day Bohol Tour Philippines
Carlos P. Garcia Ancestral House

Leisure Activities

One of the trip highlights for the bloggers was the kayaking activity at the original Dumaluan Beach Resort in Bolod, Panglao, Bohol. Our guides for the kayaking clinic and activity were from the Bohol Paddlers' Association Inc.

Dumaluan Beach Resort 

I have mentioned before that my favorite beach spot in Panglao Island is the White Beach in Baranay Bolod. Panglao town, Panglao Island, Bohol. In the past, I have stayed at the newer Dumaluan Beach Resort. This time, I was able to visit the original Dumaluan Beach Resort. Bloggers were treated to an interview with Lola Mayang, the original owner of the place and matriarch of the Dumaluan clan. Entrance fee to the resort is only PhP 25 and cottage rentals start for as low as PhP 350. They have also recently completed construction of bigger rooms that can cater to families who wish to enjoy the resort.

Bohol Paddlers' Association Inc.

The highlight of the Seas The Day Bohol Tour are the activities offered by the Bohol Paddlers' Association: stand up paddling (SUP) or sea kayaking. The original plan for the trip was to do an SUP tour that will take us from Dumaluan Beach Resort to Alona Beach and back. But with bigger waves, we decided to just kayak within the vicinity of the resort. A short kayaking clinic was conducted by a guide from the Bohol Paddlers' Association before the bloggers took to the water on their sea kayaks. It was funny at first as most of us got thrown off the kayaks numerous times. A few got the hang of it after some time. 
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