Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bohol Part 1: A Getaway


Note: This is a repost with revisions of a September 2008 post.


“Why wait for forty when you can be happy now?”
The above line, lifted from Melanie T. Lim’s book Wide Awake (a compilation of articles from her Sunstar column), struck a nerve in me, or at least, it awakened something within me. As soon as I finished reading all the articles, I debated between attempting to awaken my culinary skill (if i have it in me, that is) or going for an unplanned (no-budget) trip to Panglao in Bohol. Superego told me that I could not possibly go for that trip because I just cooked an almost half a kilo (roughly six to eight servings) of humba to be consumed by my lonesome self. Moreover, I just bought some more ingredients for an attempt to cook another dish. I simply could not put off cooking else the ingredients would go to waste. Id, on the other hand, argued that traveling always guarantees me pleasure. There’s nothing more pleasurable than traveling, hopping on a boat and going to another island, whiling away time on a sandy beach and forgetting about life’s worries. To clinched it, Id reasoned that there’s just no pleasure at the prospect of eating all those humba. This turned out to be the winning argument, hehe. Of course, who would want to consume the same dish for more than three consecutive times?

All these arguments and counterarguments happened between ten thirty to twelve Sunday afternoon. At twelve noon, I sent an SMS to my sister in Labangon to ask if she was interested in coming with me to Panglao. I told her that it would only be an overnight trip. See, I need to be back at the city the next day because I have yoga class then, and I didn’t want to miss it.

At around 3:00 p.m., my sister and I were at the Ocean Jet terminal over at Pier 1 on our way to Tagbilaran, Bohol. One-way ticket @ PhP520 (inclusive of terminal fee @PhP20 while two-way ticket costs PhP800).
A look of the inside of the Ocean Jet vessel; a view from Seat 36C Me @ Seat 36C and my sister Che @ 36D (air-conditioned)
The pictures below were taken upon our arrival in Tagbilaran port. The ride was definitely the most bumpy ride I had ever experienced. The boat captain was directing the boast as if we were on an emergency. The weather was actually fine, but the ferry ride gave me a slight headache because the vessel was rocking from left to right. It was truly a heck-of-a-speed to reach Tagbilaran. At it turned out, the same boat we were in was the same boat that would ferry passengers from Tagbilaran to Dumaguete, then on to Siquijor. The captain was apparently trying to catch a tight schedule.
Our arrival in Tagbilaran Port The Welcome to Tagbilaran Sign
We arrived in Tagbilaran around 5:35 p.m. The sun had started to set when we arrived. The travel time was roughly two hours.
Almost sunset Trike-fare schedule posted at the Tagbilaran port
From the Tagbilaran Port, my sister and I headed to Island City Mall, or ICM. ICM is like Tagbilaran’s version of SM, not an SM affiliate though, I think. To get there, we hopped on a trike and was charged fifty pesos as one-way fare from the port to ICM. We headed to ICM to get ourselves some sunblock. However, we ended up buying a few things such as a skirt for my sister, a pedal, a tote bag, t-shirt, and underwear for me, courtesy of the power of plastic. We finished the rush shopping at around 7:00 p.m. and went straight to ICM’s The Prawn Farm Grill and Seafood for dinner.
The restaurant’s interior with my sister facing the mall. Moi @ the restaurant with my back to the mall.
As we were famished, we ordered the restaurant's offering of seafood platter. The whole platter was good for four persons and set us back to PhP595. We also had iced tea and green mango shake. It cost forty pesos and sixty-five pesos, respectively.
Seafood platter Our drinks
We were unable to finish the whole platter; thus, like typical Filipinos that we are, we had half of the platter in a doggie bag. The cheapskate in us had this brilliant idea of buying a one-piece chicken meal and extra rice over at KFC so we’ll have something to eat to go with the leftover seafood platter for breakfast the next day.

After the very filling dinner, we hired a trike to take us over to Bohol Diver’s Resort in Panglao. As it was already 7:30yish p.m., the trike driver pegged the fare at PhP300. Had we arrived earlier, we would have gone the cheapskate route and take the jeepney bound for Tawala. One can find jeepneys over at the Dao Terminal, which is just across ICM. It’s also in this same terminal that you can find buses heading to different towns in Bohol such as Tubigon.

Around quarter to 9:00 p.m, we arrived at the Panglao resort. Bohol Diver's Resort is one of the many resorts found along Alona Beach.
Bohol Diver’s front area (view from the gazebo fronting the reception area) Reception area
This would be my third stay here, and in these three occasions, they’ve never asked for a deposit. They’d only ask you to fill out some forms. Once done, they give you the room key and take you to your chosen room. I find this gesture a very trusting act because a dishonest guest could easily slip out of the resort without paying the next day. That’s because one need not go back to the reception area, but may head straight to the beach and out of the resort through the other side. Thus, I give it to their staff-–their attitude is truly amazing. Hopefully, no guest would take advantage of this.
Bohol Diver’s Resort at night Just us cam-whoring
Okay, enough with the cam-whoring. I just realized that this post has become so long. Thus, let me cut this short, and point you to Part 2 of this post.

Thank you for bearing. I hope to see you at Part 2, featuring Bohol Diver's Resort, and Part 3, featuring Balicasag Island.. Ciao!

UPDATE: February 20, 2018

As of writing, the Prawn Farm restaurant featured here remains in operation. You can find the restaurant at the Ground Floor of Island City Mall (ICM) in Tagbilaran City. From their Facebook page, you can contact them at this number: 0917 304 3879. They are open all days of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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