September 04, 2008

48 hours in Bohol

AS a tourist destination, no doubt Bohol’s numbers still compare poorly with, say, Boracay, Cebu or even Baguio. All that was known really of Bohol for the longest time were the Chocolate Hills, and, lately, those cute tarsiers endemic to the island.

But there are subtle signs that foreigners and locals alike are discovering the pleasures that can be offered by Bohol. From only one or two major hotels or resorts a decade ago, the island, which is the 10th largest in the Philippines, now plays host to more than 20 tourist establishments. Some of these are even partly owned by foreigners who have fallen in love not only with island beauties but with the beauty of the island as well. The hotels are located not only in Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol, but in Panglao Island, Pamilican Island, Alona Beach, etc.

Aside from swimming at the beach, scuba diving at Balicasag Island and eco-tourism by way of dolphin-watching at Pamilican Island have become main attractions of Bohol.

For someone like me who’s traveled to most of the major tourist spots in the country, and who once considered Boracay a second home, Bohol is really a gem. There are no noisy, party-hardy drunken tourists falling all over the beach, no crowded accommodations with poorly-prepared food, and no dirty beaches due to careless and irresponsible tourists. (Click here for the rest. Thanks to Robby Sibal for the photos.)
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I'd like to add, the Chocolate Hills are also on the list of nominees for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. To vote, pls. click on New 7 Wonders. Philippine Airlines (, Air Philippines (, and Cebu Pacific ( all fly to Tagbilaran daily. For inquiries or reservations, check out Panglao Island Nature Resort.

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