Bohol Island had been in my bucketlist since I was very young. Not a single book in elementary social studies missed a photo or two of the Chocolate Hills or the Loboc River that can be found on the island. It is also home to the cute, solitary animal which is endemic to Southeast Asia — the tarsier. This year, amidst the travel advisories against traveling to Central Philippines, Carl & I embarked on a 7-night stay in Panglao, Bohol, visiting every famous attraction, and eventually, celebrating my birthday in a rather surprising way!
Day 1. We decided to fly with Philippine Airlines, hoping that there wouldn’t be as much delay as it is flying with Cebu Pacific. But HINT! All the domestic flights we took with Philippine Airlines were, kind of, epic. *insert sarcasm here* Don’t get me wrong though. I’d like to think that their reasons were all due to inevitable circumstances.
Our scheduled flight to Tagbilaran was at 1:55PM, but because of the one-plane policy in Bohol, we had to sit on the plane for one hour before we finally took off. They gave us food as compensation – yogurt, juice/water, and hot sandwiches. Or maybe that was part of what we paid for for premium economy.
Nevertheless, it was a very smooth 1 hour 10 minute- flight. Tagbilaran airport was probably the smallest airport we had been to! You get off the plane, walk around 100 meters to the arrival area, wait for your luggage around the smallest baggage belt I had ever seen! We could literally just pick up our luggage from the transport cart outside. LOL.
Most of the establishments on the island are still cash-based. After withdrawing some money from the airport, we headed towards the parking space, where our pick-up service was waiting patiently (thanks to the mega-delayed flight). We booked all our tours in Bohol, including airport and seaport service, with WOW Bohol Travel and Tours. I contacted three tour agencies, but they were, I guess, the easiest to communicate with and the one offering the best priced packages. 😉
As for accommodation, almost all the good hotels were fully booked during our visit, as it was already mid-summer. Luckily, we found a gem, an isolated resort owned by a foreigner but staffed with excellent Filipinos! From the reception to the waiters to the housekeepers to the amazing chef, we were absolutely impressed!
Scent of Green Papaya Resort offers 8 Deluxe Rooms — and I guarantee that the rooms are super spacious! Our room had one king-sized bed and one single-bed, a nice flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, a safe, a wardrobe, desk and wonderful big bathroom with free toiletries. We didn’t use the safe, though, as it wasn’t attached to the wall and could easily be carried away by robbers! That wasn’t a worry, btw, as the staff of the resort were very polite, honest and trustworthy. (Book the resort here.)
In addition, we had our own side stairs and a balcony facing the smaller of the two pools. 😉 The resort also offers a free shuttle service to Alona Beach, which is about 600 meters away. Because the resort was “new” and secluded, Kuya Lando, our pick up, had a bit of a tough time locating it. We tried to offer help by showing him the directions on our phones, but he prefered to talk with his colleagues on the phone. 😛 After about 30 minutes of driving from the airport, we managed to reach the resort.
As it was already near dinner time, we just settled our stuff and headed towards the in-house restaurant. I highly recommend the food in the resort! They offer satisfying complementary breakfast, too! I actually miss their fresh fruit shakes just about now. 😦
Here are some photos from the dining table:
By the way, BEWARE of mosquitoes especially at dusk and dawn! The nasty pests feasted on us on our first dinner. The waiters put a mosquitoe repeller under the table, but still! Good thing, we also had mosquito repellant on us. 😉 We just relaxed the rest of the first night, and tried to have a really good sleep, as tomorrow was a big day! We were scheduled to do the Countryside Tour! 😉 More about that on the next entry…….
Overview of our Bohol itinerary:
- Day 1 – Arrival
- Day 2 – Countryside Tour
- Day 3 – Medical Center, allergy-problems
- Day 4 – Island Hopping
- Day 5 – Alona Beach
- Day 6 – Panglao Tour, Birthday celebration
- Day 7 – Swimming at the resort
- Day 8 – Tagbilaran port