Travel among the most beautiful islands of Philippines

by - June 01, 2017

When you hear someone say, Bohol, tarsier and Chocolate Hills are what famous. But as opposed to what people know, Bohol has a whole heap of things to offer. I have attested it last summer when I traveled there with couple of friends.

In this blog post, I will be summarizing our two-day trip to Bohol. This only highlights the tourist destinations we have been which were, to be honest, certainly bitin (n. hanging, not enough), and one of the trips that made me say, I shall come back for more.

To summarize our Bohol spree, I have created this blog post for you to be familiar with our Bohol experience. How did we get to Bohol from Cebu? From Cebu, we took a ferry going from Cebu City Pier going to Tagbilaran City.

What we did and where did we go? Apparently, Bohol has a lot of points of interest and each destination has established a memorable experience, even if we have done “a thing” which made us regret of doing throughout our stay in Alona beach, taking everything into account was absolutely thrilling. I will be updating this post later to include the link of each destination.

Alona Beach, Baclayon Church, Blood Compact, Butterfly Garden, Chocolate Hills, Loboc River Cruise, Mag-aso Falls, Man-made forest, Prony, the biggest and longest Python, Tarsier, Danao Adventure Park, Bohol Bee Farm, and Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour in Pamilacan Island.

Chocolate Hills are very unique geological formations located in Bohol, Philippines. It is named the Chocolate Hills and the reason is this: 1176 cone-shaped hills are extended over an area of 50 square kilometers which are covered with green grass that turns brown during the dry season and they look like endless row of chocolate kisses.

These conical and almost symmetrical hills are from 30 to 50 meters high, while the largest one is 120 m high. Dominated by hard grass species, the Chocolate Hills are made by interesting combination: dissolution of lime stones by rainfall, surface water and ground water and their erosion. Considered as an extraordinary example of conical karst topography, the Chocolate Hills are separated by flat plains and include various caves and springs. There are similar hills in limestone regions in Croatia, Slovenia, Puerto Rico and Cuba, but the Chocolate Hills site is indeed outstanding.

Legend says that Hill are made by a tears from a giant who cried when his love died.

If you are in the Philippines and is interested in its culture and history, you must visit 4 of its most important ancient churches. These are the Miag-ao Church, Paoay Church, Santa Maria Church, and Saint Agustin Church.

Visiting all 4 of the Baroque Churches in the Philippines, which were also part of UNESCO Heritage Sites List is one of the things that I am proud of. These four churches were built by the Spanish in the late 16th century and their unique architectural style is of European Baroque, mastered by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen. Three of them are located in Luzon and one is in the Visayas.

Miag-ao Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

The Miag-ao Church was built by the Spanish Augustinian missionaries in Miag-ao, Iloilo in 1786. There are two notable frontages of this church: its two watchtowers and a large coconut tree at the center. The watchtowers were built to defend the town and people against the Muslims who invaded Christianized villages during the early times, while the coconut tree represents St. Christopher carrying Child Jesus on his shoulder referred as “tree of life,” which was according to folklore.

It was said that Miag-ao Church has the most interesting interior design of all 4 Baroque Churches in the Philippines because of its gold-plated retablos. Unfortunately, we were one of those who wasn’t able to see it as it was closed when we visited it.

During 1898, when Filipinos revolt against Spain, the church was destroyed. It was rebuilt; however, it was damaged heavily by fire and earthquake in 1910 and 1948.

Paoay Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte

I could still remember how I felt when I first saw this church during our trip in Ilocos Norte — mesmerized, amazed like I was in the 1600s. Paoay Church is so far the most attractive church I have ever seen.

For some, Ilocos Norte is still underrated making it a top choice for tourists and foreigners to spend their holiday or vacation; however, its church is the most visited tourist spot because of its inscription to the UNESCO Heritage Site List.

Beside the church is its bell tower which was said to be haunted by ghosts. We dared to climb up but we were very careful as the ladder were too steep and fragile. Even the caretakers didn’t guarantee that it’s safe for tourist to climb. It took us 6 to 10 minutes before we reached the top, some of us even backed up because of the height, but I was one of the few who was able to make it. The view from the top was breathtaking overlooking the whole town of Paoay.

Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur

Santa Maria Church is a World Heritage Site. It was built by the Augustinians in 1765. It is located on a hill that can be reached by climbing 85 granite steps. It is a Baroque-inspired structure that was used as a fortress during the 1896 revolution. This church is surrounded by a huge wall to defend against the enemies.

San Agustin Church in Manila

San Agustin Church is the oldest stone church in Philippines that was built in 1589. It lies in the walled city of Intramuros inside the capital city of Manila. This church was constructed thrice and stands tall despite several earthquakes and attacks and looting by enemies. It is also known as the Wedding capital of the Philippines.

An estimated 80% of Filipinos are Roman Catholic. Being predominantly of this religion, these churches not only symbolize devotion, but also the Filipino culture and its Spanish heritage. Don’t forget to light a candle during your first time!

Manila Airport, A Travelers Oasis

The Manila Airport is a travelers Oasis in tropical Asia. Did you ever wonder if travel meant not seeing anything American for ten days to two weeks? How will you be able to cope without your donuts and coffee? Will any donut do, or must it be Krispy Kremes? And what about your favorite Hershey’s Candy Bar? Is it even good to go that long without chocolate? And what about those salt cravings that come in the late night? Are there any potato chips in The Philippines?

As the mind is off and running and worry sets in, let me assure you there is nothing to worry about. The Manila Airport, is an Oasis in the land of rice for the American who needs his sugar high. You will find Krispy Kreme Donuts, fresh out of the oven. Krispy Kreme is a franchise also found throughout Asia. While at the Manila Airport grab a couple of fresh donuts for your coffee in the morning. If you forget? No worries! The Filipinos love their Krispy Kreme Donuts also. Most major airports in The Philippines have at least one Krispy Kreme. In the city of Manila, I found 18 Krispy Kreme complete restaurants. So stock up at the Manila Airport, but if you forget, there is plenty more in the city.

We have found the donuts, but Mom will need her daily chocolate. Are there Hersey Candy Bars in The Philippines? Take heart, you are in excellent hands. You will find the famous Hersey Candy Bar at the Manila Airport. In fact you will find them in most of the Airports of The Philippines. And if you forget? Regalophs in Manila carries everything from Hershey’s Kisses to Hersey’s Dark chocolate. If it is Hersey’s, Regaloph has it.

And what about those mid-night salt cravings? American breakfast cereals, potato chips, other indispensable snacks and Haagen Daz ice cream are available at most chain supermarkets like Rustan’s, Landmark, and Shoemart. When you see a large super market, just stock up for the week. That will guarantee that you have them when you need them.

Now that you know that all your favorite snacks are at the Manila Airport, and throughout the city, let’s book your trip. Grab your passport and pack your bag… is time for a Philippine Adventure!

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