Tagbilaran in a Day
20 years ago, a rumor circulated that my long lost brother had been found and as proof that he was well and living, they showed me a photo of this funny looking creature with huge bulging eyes.
Soon I learned from my school teachers that the photo they showed me was actually a primate, just like me. Only he is endangered and has much bigger eyes. As the taunting of my classmates lessened over the years, my endearment for the Tarsier grew deeper and deeper and I even vowed that someday I will meet him face to face.
Legazpi was welcomed by hostile natives who thought they were Portuguese who slaughtered and enslaved some 1000 Boholanos in 1563. With the help of his pilot, he explained to the 2 chiefs of Bohol Datu Sikatuna Bool and Datu Sigla of Loboc that they were Spanish and not Portuguese, he also convinced the Datus to end their hostility and enter a pact of friendship with them.
Blood Compact Site:
Located in Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran, it is said that the location of the monument is exactly where the ritual took place.
Best known in the Philippines as “sandugo,” the blood compact ritual took place in 1565 where Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna draw a drop or two of their blood into a cup, mixed it with wine and equally drank it (a bit vampire-ish if you ask me).Our next stop was Baclayon Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines.
The Baclayon church offers a small museum where it houses old religious artifacts and relics some dating back to the 16th century.
First constructed during the Spanish occupation in the 15th century, the church itself (the one that stands now) was constructed in 1717 and completed in 1727. The area where the church stands today was once home to Jesuit missionaries.
After a few photos and now with a grumbling stomach, it was time for lunch.
The Loboc River is just 24 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, and has become one of the major tourist destinations in Bohol as it gives you a certain relaxing and calming feeling as you cruise its winding river and tropical scenery aboard the floating restaurants. As the boat takes you further down the river, you will be able to get a whiff of local life as you see them in their bahay- kubo’s, their little canoes with children swimming and playing in the river banks.
Before the cruise ends, the vessel stops at a floating cottage where guests are treated with a Rondalla (Spanish word for serenade) by a local group where they are very much welcome to join in the singing and dancing.
TIP: There are a lot of floating restaurants at the River, so be sure to check all of them as they offer different menus. Prices usually start at 8USD per person.
With my taste buds dutifully satisfied, we took a ride to the most famous attraction of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills.
Spread over the municipalities of Carmen, Sagbayang and Batuan, it is estimated to consist of 1,776 green-grassed- coned-shaped hills that turns into chocolate brown during the summers. The hills are featured in the provincial flag representing the abundance of natural attractions in the province and have been declared as the country’s 3rd National Geographical Monument.
|Kim Ignacio and MJ Maranion are two Filipinas whose pathological need to travel has taken them to different corners of the Philippines: from the quaint villages and rice terraces of Banaue up north, to the sandy beaches and ancestral towns of Sarangani down south. You can read more about their adventures at: