We just got back from our trip to Bohol, and we had a BLAST! It was so much fun and a much needed vacation away from vacation. :P
So, for those of you who don't know, Bohol (pronounced Ba-hole) is a province in the Philippines. It is most known for its chocolate hills and tarsiers. I will explain those things later! :) It is about an hour plane ride from Manila, and it is located in the region of Visayas. (The Philippines has 3 regions: North-Luzon (loo-zone), Central-Visayas (vi-sigh-uhs), and South-Mindanao(men-da-now).)
The airports here are very different. You don't really have terminals or even gates. You basically walk out onto the runway and climb into your plane. It was kind of scary whenever you are used to super expensive looking airports where everything is really difficult to find.
Just a selfie before we board the plane.
Up close and personal.
Once we arrived in Tagbilaran City (tag-be-lar-ahn), we took a tour of some of the interesting and historical places in the area.
First stop was the Blood Compact Shrine. It is a shrine to commemorate the pact between the Spanish and the natives of Bohol. It is a treaty of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos.
The second stop was at the Baclayon Church. It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines! Spanish Jesuits built the church in the 1700's.
A few pictures in front of the tower of the church.
I thought the nun was cute. :)
Next stop was the Bohol Python and Wildlife Park. The longest and biggest python held in captivity is here!!
Some birds. The picture on the right is of some geese and turkey. It is really unusual for those birds to be here. I thought it was funny because I see them all the time! It is crazy to see the differences here.
A cute monkey on a bar.
He was just playing away.
This is Prony! You can even go in the cage with it. I definitely did NOT want to get in the cage with it!
Ahahahahahaha. Pretending to be a tarsier. You will see real ones later!
Every time I see this picture, I cannot help but laugh! Perfect tarsier face. hahaha
Next stop was the Loboc (Luh-buck) River tour and lunch.
Eyen before boarding the boat.
Our buffet lunch.
Happy to eat!
My plate. :)
Our view from the boat.
A nice picture of the water and scenery.
Once the boat was all boarded, it took off down the river!
It was VERY beautiful!
The view was like nothing I have seen before.
Some little waterfalls that feed into the river. You can actually hike up to the main waterfall if you have a guide, but it is very dangerous, so we didn't do that.
This little cottage is built on the side of the river where all these people waited for us to float by...
We were able to get off the boat and sing with them! I got to sit in the middle and sing with them! They were welcoming us to Loboc! :)
It was fun! They were all singing and dancing!
This is a traditional Filipino dance called tinikling. (ti-neek-ling) It is very difficult to do! The 2 women on the bottom are banging the wood on the ground and then shutting the two pole together. Meanwhile, the 2 girls dancing are putting their feet in between the poles as their apart. One wrong move, and you will wind up with a swollen or broken ankle!
They were really good at it!
They tried to get me to do it, and I was like "UH, NO THANKS!" hahaha I am too clumsy for that!
Some of the other boats on the river. The tour part of the trip was fun, but the food really wasn't that enjoyable. There are different food places you can eat, and the one we chose actually made Eyen VERY sick later on!
This is my favorite part of the whole trip! The whole reason I wanted to visit Bohol was to see the tarsiers! (tar-sheer) The tarsier is the smallest PRIMATE, even though it looks more like a rat. (As Lola would say hehe)
The tarsier is actually an endangered species. They are very strict with their regulations when it comes to the tarsiers. No touching, no flash, no disturbing, etc.
I was excited!
It is a little hard to see here.. But still so cute! Look how little it is.
Tarsiers are nocturnal, so they are only active at night. He is sleeping!!! AW!
I can't believe I was able to experience this in my lifetime! Tarsiers are only located in the Philippines.
The name tarsier was taken from its really long tarsus bone. Its back legs are twice as long as its body!
The photo on the left he is sleeping.. The one on the right he woke up and noticed us! HAHA look at his BIG eyes!!!
The tarsier can rotate its head 180 degrees, like an owl, because they can't move their eyeballs!
The tarsier has the slowest fetal growth rate of any mammal taking 6 months to reach a birth weight of 23 grams. This is why it is endangered now.
I just loved looking at them and taking pictures of them!
One cool thing about tarsiers are that scientists differentiate them through their song! Tarsiers sing in high pitches voices!
Look at the little cutie!
I just want to grab it and hold it forever!...
But, you aren't even allowed to touch them. (I'm not even close to the tarsier in this picture lol) By touching a tarsier, you shorten its lifespan, and that brings the tarsier one step closer to extinction. It is sad because some places you can bribe people to let you hold them and play with them. I don't want to be that person that is able to say "Yeah I held a tarsier." I want to be that person that says "I experienced tarsiers in their natural habit and helped PREVENT their extinction."
One of the natives told us a story about a man and a tarsier. A foreign man visiting the Philippines noticed a boy carrying a tarsier. The tarsier was hurt very badly. The man purchased the tarsier from the boy with the intention of healing the tarsier and releasing it back into the wild. The police found out about it, and they arrested the man. Even though he was trying to help the tarsier, they couldn't be sure of his real intentions with the tarsier. It is a very serious crime to disturb them!
I <3 tariers! :)
This is the man made Mahogany forest. It is different than other forests here because the branches are thicker and stretch out over the top.
It is actually a really big tourist spot.
Eyen in the forest!
After the forest, we visited the butterfly sanctuary. These are the male and female butterfly.
These are the male and female moth.
Eyen with a caterpillar.
I was too scared to hold this thing. It looks scary!
The sanctuary was actually really cool! There were a lot of butterflies, and the guides were very informative and humorous.
You have to hold butterflies by the body, not the wings.
A stick with some butterflies.
You can't even see them because of Eyen's shirt. lol
I have wings!
I'm a butterfly!
The biggest tourist attraction of Bohol are the chocolate hills. They aren't literally hills of chocolate. (Some might think that. It crossed my mind. haha) They are called chocolate hills because during the dry season they are colored brown and look like hershey kisses!
The chocolate hills are a geological formation that you can find in Bohol. There are over 1,000 hills!
You can see the hills for miles! I had to hike up over 200 steps to get to the top to see it. <_<
Eyen with the thumbs up.
They are actually made out of limestone.
There are several legends about how the chocolate hills were formed and all include giants of some sort. Most also include the giants leaving behind little presents, if you know what I mean...
The perfect picture the Eyen took.
Oh you know, just flying through.
After our tour, we went to our hotel. It is 2 hours away from Tagbilaran City, and it is literally in the middle of no where! It is in a place called Anda. It is an extremely small town. It was a beach resort, and it was actually very beautiful where we stayed!
Once we got to the hotel, we decided to ride the bikes into the town to go to the market.
That obviously didn't turn out well. Haha. The town was too far, so we came back. lol
Our bed in the room. It was a nice room!
Our view outside of the room! It was beautiful!
Where we had dinner every night.
A view of the place. It was really small (Only 3 rooms for rent), and at one point we were the only guests there!
The hotel staff was amazing! There is only 2 people on staff, but they made sure our stay was awesome!
There literally isn't anything to do in Anda except go to the beach. It is a white sand beach. This is a view from where we had dinner.
For dinner I had the pasta.
For breakfast we had ham with egg and rice.
Breakfast with a view!
Just laying around the hotel. <3
The water was beautiful!
Beach time! Once the tide went down, it looks even more beautiful!
Eyen's picture she captured.
We attempted to do a "jump shot", but it just looks like I'm stretching.
Forget it. YAY!
She wouldn't swim with me, so I sat alone. </3 lol
A different beach inside of the town we went to.
Just posing with a hut thing. lol
Eyen in the shade.
The staff cut down fresh buko for us. :) Buko is coconut.
Just chillin, beach side!
Beautiful pictures i captured! No edit!
Getting ready to gear up and go snorkeling! :D
I was excited. :)
It was so hard to walk in those things!
I almost fell several times! hahaha.
Yay I made it! lol
This is my birthday breakfast. :) So sweet!
This cute thingy they made for me. lol
For dinner, Eyen planned out this whole surprise for me! It was so sweet! I'm surprised she pulled it off with it being such a small place! Well, obviously I figured it out before it happened because I'm the daughter of Momma Monk, but it was still super sweet!
The beautiful setup!
Us for dinner.
Another us pic.
She surprised me with a birthday cake! There is only one person in the whole town who can bake a cake, and they had her bake me one!
Shrimp tempura and chop suey.
I couldn't wait.
Our dinner and wine. :D
It was a perfect birthday surprise!
The middle of nowhere in paradise for my bday! Love it!
As you can see, we had an awesome time! We were able to explore the city of Bohol and relax in a paradise! We just got back to Manila today, and we are leaving for HONG KONG tomorrow! No time to rest! It will be Lola's first time out of the country! I plan to take LOTS of pictures since its our first time in China! Can't wait! Stay tuned!