Bohol: A Sanctuary

Philippines is a wonderful country - blessed with 7,107 islands and with a strategic location in Southeast Asia and in the world. A year of travel here in the Philippines won't be complete without Bohol. This popular tourist destination offers a variety of exciting and historical places. Discover Bohol from its crystal clear beaches and glistening white sands up to its renowned Chocolate Hills.

Bohol: A Sanctuary
This tropical lush island of Bohol is a destination for local and international tourists, alike. Situated in Central Visayas in the Philippine Archipelago, this 4,117 square km. island is a haven of all travelers who seek serenity and tranquility.
My visit in this island was actually unplanned. It was a conventional way to unwind and get out from the city's bustling noise, polluted air and intermittent pressures from my workplace.

Getting There and Away
Our group set forth in this luxuriant island via a fastcraft that took us about 2 hours from Pier 3, Cebu City to the wharf of Tubigon, Bohol. Eventhough the weather was rainy at that time; our determination and excitement mixed in one were the very spirit that never thinned down until we reached our destination.
At the wharf, we were immediately met by the pre-arranged van drivers that would take us to different tourist’s attractions of the island. It was a good day in Bohol because the weather was totally different. A smiling and sunny sunshine met us even though the sun rays were hot and penetrating in our very skin. At least, we would be looking for a day tour that's worth the travel and all.

Sagbayan Peak
The first site we visited was the Sagbayan Peak located at the northern part of Tagbilaran. This is a recreation center. From the main entrance, we had a long walk at the top of the hill but somehow, we savored the fresh air and appreciated the beauty of the surroundings.
Just as we were inside the place, we could see an array of cartoon characters and the like. As far as I could remember one of my colleagues innocently shouted in awe with these words: "WOW! Look at the dragon!"
I looked at her with a smile and replied, "Uhm...its a T-rex!"
Also from the peak, we can see the breath-taking views and Boholanos' pride, Chocolate Hills.

Bilar Man-Made Forest
From the winding road after the visit in Sagbayan Peak, we dropped by in Bilar Man-Made Forest. This vast 2-kilometer land occupied with mahogany trees is a relaxing site. The stretch of land was densely covered. This is located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. A query might be asked about the origin of the term, "man-made forest". It was because on 1960 during the term of the late Pres. Diosdado Macapagal, he declared a nationwide reforestation. As the governor of this island at that time, he spearheaded the planting the seedlings. The ambiance was really cool and serene plus in this place. The greeneries made me feel that I am in place inhabited with mystique beings. The area is a superb example how people could live along with nature.

Big Eyes with Minute Body
We also went to see one of the smallest primates in the world - the Philippine Tarsiers. These palm-like creatures were very sensitive of people's touches and camera flashes. So, everybody adjusted their cameras when we took photos of these cute and tiny creatures. Tarsiers could actually rotate their head into 180 degree to see what lie behind them. They have distinct sense of sight. These creatures are really awesome!

Conquering Acrophobia
Our next stop was the Sipatan Hanging Bridge across Loboc River. These bridges were made up of bamboo-splits flooring with steel-wire cable that connects each side of the upper Loboc River. This is utilized by the locals as their means of access to the other end of the river.
Crossing the hanging bridge didn't scare me, instead, it excited me. There was a sudden rush of blood in my veins and arteries while crossing the bridge. The activity, itself, helped me forget my acrophobic nature. I stepped on the bridge with only one thought in my mind - to walk across the bridge and back.

Kisses for My Sweet
Our third stop was the breath-taking Chocolates Hills. These droplets of kisses are very tempting to eat because they really look like real chocolates. Be it in summer season or in the rainy season, this natural wonder is indeed something a "must-see" destination.
Bohol, Philippines was really a sanctuary for me. My travel in this place made me think that life is after all beautiful. It has brought a new meaning in my life and onwards!
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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