The FUNTEEM Bohol Escapade: Stranded backpackers be like

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Travel to Bohol, Philippines

Once upon a time, I made the most mischievous decision of all mischief I had. *drum roll*
I went on a Bohol Escapade a day ahead of an approaching storm. Sounds challenging? Yeah, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is I went there on the last week of December which means New Year is just around the corner and I got stranded in an island, away from my family, and with no cash at hand! Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to me. I thought I’m gonna spend my new year stranded in an island. Well of course, things got better later on. I could just laugh at this experience now.

Port

Waiting for us to board the craft
Waiting for the time to board the craft

When we arrived in Tagbilaran there was already a tourist van waiting for us to start this Bohol Escapade. This was included in the package that we signed up for. And so our day officially began. We were all excited to get toured around the locality and get some interesting facts from our driver/tourist guide. But unfortunately, seems like our “Manong Driver” doesn’t like to chit-chat with us along the course of our trip. *pouts*

Our first stop was the Blood Compact or Sandugo in Tagbilaran East Road.

This Sikatuna-Legaspi blood compact is considered as the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations. It was a treaty of friendship based on respect and equality. This event is commonly known as “Sandugo”.
(c) http://www.bohol-philippines.com/blood-compact-site.html

Group photo with Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna.
Group photo with Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna.
We can't get enough of the view behind us.
We can’t get enough of the view behind us.

Then here comes the Baclayon Church

The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest in the Philippines. Construction began in 1717 where some 200 native forced laborers (obras pias) cut and dragged coral blocks from the sea, using only bamboos in moving and lifting the stones in position.
(c) http://www.bohol-philippines.com/baclayon-church.html

We just had a couple of shots outside because an additional fee is required to get inside the church. We already enjoyed the outdoor though.
We just had a couple of shots outside because an additional fee is required to get inside the church. We already enjoyed the outdoor though.
Instant models because the lighting and the view is perfect.
Instant models because the lighting and the view is perfect.

We then crossed paths with the Bohol Python. We met Prony, the celebrity python, which I’ve heard a couple of times in the news. He’s already dead and the sanctuary is just preserving it because a lot of tourists are still delighted to see him. Dead or alive, he still scares the shit out of me. (I haven’t had my real dilemma then).

My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun.
My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hun.
I tried to refuse being included in this picture but the caretaker won't consider.
I tried to refuse being included in this picture but the caretaker won’t consider.

Loboc, Bohol River Cruise (Rayver Cruz??)

Cruisers are on board this small banca/ floating restaurant.
Cruisers are on board this small banca/ floating restaurant.
We had a sumptuous lunch after the nerve-wrecking python visit. An entertainer was also on board, singing lively tunes while we fill our tummy.
We had a sumptuous lunch after the nerve-wrecking python visit. An entertainer was also on board, singing lively tunes while we fill our tummy.
The banca also managed a stop over where these kids are waiting for tourists to be entertained.
The banca also managed a stop over where these kids are waiting for tourists to be entertained.
Group picture. Tummies are full.
Group picture. Tummies are full.
Nope, that's not a real tarsier.
Nope, that’s not a real tarsier.

Tarsier Encounter

Bohol Tarsiers (Tarsius Syrichta) measures 4 to 5 inches and is considered as the world’s smallest primate. Its size is no longer than an adult man’s hand and weigh only about 113 to 142 grams or four to five ounces. The primate belongs to the more primitive sub-order Prosimii or prosimian that dates back 45 million years.
(c) http://www.bohol-philippines.com/tarsiers.html

I was excited to see the tarsiers in this Bohol escapade. My friends have been teasing me that I’m finally getting a reunion with my relatives. They are so mean for teasing me with my big eyes. They say it resembles that of the tarsier. *sobs* But I love my friends. We were first oriented before entering the tarsier sanctuary. We were told of many dos and don’ts. First and foremost, we should never ever disturb the tarsiers. Picture-taking with flash and noises are strictly prohibited. We haven’t seen much during our visit. The tarsiers seem to be hiding from us. We managed to see some of them but we don’t have any decent pictures of them.

Again, that is NOT a tarsier.
Again, that is NOT a tarsier.

Chocolate Hills and the Man-made forest
On our way to Chocolate Hills, we passed by the man-made forest and took the all-time-group-favorite, “the jump shot”.

Behind us is the man-made forest.
Behind us is the man-made forest.
I almost cannot believe my eyes. This is too much for a day with my friends. The Chocolate Hills right behind us.
I almost cannot believe my eyes. This is too much for a day with my friends. The Chocolate Hills right behind us.
It was an awesome day with an awesome view.
It was an awesome day with an awesome view.

And lastly, before we end this Bohol escapade, we went to the Butterfly Sanctuary in Poblacion, Bilar. The butterflies were really pretty, as usual, but I have to admit that the crew who attended us and toured us around the sanctuary really made our day. He was very witty and we all just had a good laugh all throughout the visit. He also took pictures of the group.

Group photo again.
Group photo again.
They say fly like a butterfly but sting like a bee. Or did I get that right?
They say fly like a butterfly but sting like a bee. Or did I get that right?

Our tour ended well. Our “Manong Driver” dropped us off in our rooms. We had the afternoon, the rest of the night and tomorrow morning to enjoy ourselves in the beach before we head home.

beach-1
beach-2

Dilemma

di·lem·ma
diˈlemə,
noun
a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones.

And yes, when I found out our trip is canceled, I almost couldn’t decide whether to commit suicide or to end my life. Being the cry baby as I am, I cried in the port with strangers all over the place and my friends comforting me.

Our view from the Inn after having our trip cancelled due to the typhoon.
Our view from the Inn after having our trip canceled due to the typhoon.

Then our nightmare didn’t end on the first night we got stranded. And because the typhoon was crossing the area at a slow pace, trips are still canceled which means that we are going to extend another day. I almost cannot believe this is happening to me. I thought I’ll be spending my new year far away from my family. Praise Jesus! He let us home safe and sound a day before New Year’s Eve.

The entire team heading home with the casualties that the typhoon left behind us. *happy dance*
The entire team heading home with the casualties that the typhoon left behind us. *happy dance*

It was one hell of an adventure. Or shall I say one hell of a misadventure? Mismeeting adventures at its finest. Will I do that again?

Credits to the following for the photos: Kevin Pepito, Jerald Barbas and Jonahlyn Basadre.

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