Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Travel: Bohol and Cebu

I think I'm still too tulala to blog about my vacation. It was actually my first time to travel to the Visayas region on a vacation. I've been to Cebu at least ten times already, but I've never seen any of the historical sites and Bohol was just a far-fetched idea I've been toying around with my high school friends.

Ever the organizer, Marc rounded up the Band of Bloggers for this Bohol-Cebu trip. I was quite hesitant at first because of work. I dread coming back to pages and pages worth of email and missed deadlines (OC ito!). Anyway, I don't regret tagging along.

I don't want to mince any words, so I'm just going to share my experience through photos. You can also see the photos I took in my Picasa web album. And don't forget to listen to the BOBCast Episode 7.

Day 1:

Abe booked us for the last flight to Cebu. I was quite surprised that the Cebu Pacific flight was delayed! I remember that their claim to fame is on-time flights. Wonder what happened.

Rico, Sasha, Chris, me and Gail. Photo taken by Abe Olandres.

Travel tips for the day:
1. Always, and I mean ALWAYS come at least an hour and a half before your flight. Listen to the BOBCast to find out why.
2. If you're booking online, make sure you print-out your ticket and that you use your real name (no nicknames!) and bring government-recognized IDs such as your license, passport or company ID.
3. Pack all your toiletries in your check-in baggage. That way you don't have to stuff everything in at the airport.
4. Better wear slippers/sandals when travelling. Your shoes and slippers go through the inspection machine as well. (Ugh! And to think you can't put alcohol in your bag! Sniff sniff).
5. Pack lightly. (I should do this!).

And, of course, doing an all-nighter is really next to impossible. We had to find a place to sleep at around 3 a.m., either that or wait it out at the Supercat terminal. Special thanks to my college friend, Max, for accommodating our stuff in his pad.

Day 2

Spent the morning at the Supercat terminal (or should I say seaport?) and ferrying to Tagbilaran. Finished our malling and had lunch at a quaint little place called Payag Restaurant. It's grilled, grilled, grilled food anywhere you go in the Visayas or Mindanao region! After lunch we waited for Marc and Sharm to arrive and then we hopped on to the following:

Hinagdanan Caves

Shell Museum

Dinner at Payag Restaurant

Travel Tips for the Day:
1. Know where you want to go even though you have a tour guide/driver who'll be showing you around. Make sure you ask him questions. It's not common knowledge that one of the past Philippine presidents graduated from Bohol University.
2. When you want to buy a shirt, buy it! The branch of Island Souvenirs in Bohol is the best I've seen in the different branches I've been to nationwide.
3. Bring a small bag where you can stuff important basic things such as your wallet, mobile phone, shades, camera and tissue (and an Ipod Nano if you have one).
4. If you want to blog about the food you eat, make sure you take a photo of the serving before you eat it. (Notice, I don't have photos of the food! I forgot! Waaahhh!).
5. Walkie talkies are really helpful when you're in a huge group. That way you can easily order your food when your companions are at Chowking and you're still shopping. Make sure though that you guys know who will do the ordering.

Oh, and make sure you're still pretty when the wake-up call comes. You have to expect that someone would either take your photo or video while you're sleeping or being nudged awake (I'll get you for that Marc!!!).

Day 3

Much more exciting day since we had a good night's sleep. We went to the following:

Blood Compact

Baclayon Church


Tarsiers Sanctuary

Floating River Restaurant

Man-Made Forest

Chocolate Hills

Dumaluan Beach, Teaching Chris Sandberg how to eat balot.

We had dinner at one of the beach resorts. I couldn't understand why in all the restaurants we ate in the service was slow.

Travel Tips for the Day
1. Don't sleep when everybody's awake. Check out the photo of the most documented snore. If you really have to, do a starfish and hide under the covers or pillows.
2. Make sure you bring a hat, sunblock, bottled water and a fan to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. It could get quite hot.
3. Make sure your camera's batteries are fully charged! Mine died on me at the Chocolate Hills. Good thing I managed to take some photos.

Day 4

Woke up at 4:20 a.m. to prepare for the whale/dolphin watching expedition.

Huwhaaaat?!? No dolphins? No whale? All I saw was a snout!

So we just spent the day at the beach and then slept early (it's a vacation silly!).

Travel Tips of the Day
1. Know when to quit. We woke up really early to see dolphins and a whale. I just saw a snout. We got hungry and just went back to the resort to eat.
2. Don't be too scared of what you step on in the beach. Stepping on starfish was quite frightful, but at least I didn't step on any sea urchins!
3. When staying at the beach, don't forget your water and shades and sunblock!

Day 5

Woke up early again to have breakfast (service still sloooooow) at the Dumaluan Beach Resort restaurant and then took the Supercat back to Cebu.

At Cebu we had lunch at Sunburst (the equivalent of Max's Fried Chicken in Cebu) and then bought guitars (prices ranged from Php1,500 to PhP5,000).

Top: Fort San Pedro. Bottom: Magellan's Cross and Basilica de Sto. Nino, Cebu.

Travel Tips for the Day
1. Know what the region offers especially when it comes to food, local delicacies and products their famous for. Since Miguel wanted a new guitar, I made sure I got one for him in Cebu.
2. Don't be complacent about traffic. Waiting it out at the airport is not so bad.
3. Limit your things to just 3 bags and make sure you have space in your bag for pasalubong.

How much did the vacation cost each of us?

Tour (inclusive of 3-day overnight accommodation, breakfast and transfers) - PhP5,500
Plane fare - PhP4,300 + PhP400 terminal fee (Manila and Cebu)
Food (lunch and dinner) - approx. PhP500/day
Pasalubong - PhP700+ (got shirts at Island Souvenirs for PhP280 each and local delicacies
Total Spending: approximately PhP12,500


tulala - dazed
OC ito! - I am obsessive-compulsive.
pasalubong - take home goodies for your family and friends