Tales of Manila #16 – Boholiday

 

It’s Saturday 9:15 pm, the Sisig is tasting fantastic and the San Miguel is flowing. Just 1 hour ago, my good friend and Dublin flatmate arrived in Manila. We dropped off the bags in the apartment and went straight to dinner to strengthen ourselves for our trip to Bohol next morning. As good as it sounded in our heads, this plan was too ambitious.

We should have gone back to the apartment after dinner, but after exchanging some texts with friends, we were drawn into Manila nightlife. “We are young, to hell with it!”, we thought as the night became endless. Finally, at 4:00 am we took the first Uber out and ventured to Jollibee’s (Filipino Fast-food). This time though, the plan was to strengthen ourselves for real. Although, there is no word to describe the unappetizing look of the food, we finished it and grabbed our bags from the apartment to continue to the domestic airport.

Checking in at the airport after a night out and multiple drinks can be quite entertaining. Besides good conversations, your inner salesman is fully alive – 5 minutes later we scored ourselves upgraded seats. (The one & only for the entire trip) We bounced through some energy obstacles, and fully knocked ourselves out in the flight. Next time we opened our eyes, we were approaching Tagbilaran, the largest city in Bohol. It was time for the #Boholiday.

As the rest alcohol was sweated and slept out, we used a tricycle to the motorcycle rental place. It’s the beauty of Asia to arrive at the airport, negotiate tricycle rates out of the blue, and get a ride to a rental place 5km away.  After 30 min in total, we had negotiated our actual motorcycle rates, delivered all the paperwork (1 signature), and were on the way. This is the point were I slacked off a bit though, instead of applying enough sunscreen, I only applied a bit and was punished with some sunburns after the 2 1/2 hour ride to Anda. We checked-in and severely crashed by the beach to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Next day, we left early to see the Can-umantad Falls, a 60 feet high waterfall near Candijay. While the waterfall was the destination for the day, the journey became the actual destination. Going through main and dirt roads, through jungle and civilization, and through sun and rain, we saw everything we could ask for. In nearly all villages, many children ran out their houses to wave at us or give us high fives. Those, who didn’t have motorcycles to commute, used bulls to move forward. Somehow, the world was in total piece everywhere we went. Even poverty did not seem to be that evident. Yes, of course many live in self constructed housing, but all necessities were given at first sight. Unlike other countries in Asia, no one ever asked for money and even after purchasing water, the cashier insisted we take our change. Oh yeah before I forget, we also made it to the falls, went swimming and returned home.

 

Over the next couple of days, we had two missions left: 1) Chocolate Hills & 2) Tarsiers. Both were to be found in nearly the same location. Thus, we made our way to Sagbayan and set sail for the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. If you have no idea what I mean by Chocolate Hills, refer to this Filipino legend:

Once upon a time, there were two giants who began to throw stones and sand against each other. Their fight lasted for several days. Finally, when they grew tired, they decided to become friends and leave the island where they fought.

Still no clue? It is a unique and unusual landscape composed of thousands of small hills. It can only be found in Bohol and supposedly nowhere else in the world. Interesting enough, the formation of the hills is still a mystery today. No theory or belief has been proven to be correct for the moment being. Hence, let’s just stick to the legend.

We entered an empty amusement park in Sagbayan and made our way to the platform overlooking the hills. The sight was beautiful, yet a bit empty. I expected some more hills. After-all, there are 1200+, but I guess we also went a bit off track. Prior leaving the park, we had the opportunity to visit two Tarsier’s. This, on the other hand, was truly fantastic. We were given all the time in the world to look at these crazy eyed creatures. Once endangered by extinction, they were saved in Bohol by providing them with a reservoir and we were right in the middle.

 

After a couple minutes, we left the Tarsier’s and gave them back their deserved space. We returned to Anda to chill one more day before flying to Palawan …

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