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Panglao, Bohol — An Adventure I Didn't Expect

July 5, 2018

If you're looking to have an amazing time in the Philippines, I would say that Bohol should be one of the first to come into your mind. I went to this beautiful island in Visayas without much expectations. Oh man, was I in for a treat! Little did I know that I would have a pocketful of stories to carry with me. Not only did I see the adorable tarsiers and the numerous Chocolate Hills, but I also got to experience having lunch while cruising along Loboc River as well as exploring the wonderful islands filled with pawikans (sea turtles) and breathtaking coral reefs. These are just some of the cool things I got to do and if you want to know more, continue reading.




I stayed in Bohol for a total of 6 days and this gave me enough time to do some exploring. I'm also quite lucky because I got to explore Bohol during our company's outing. Meaning, I didn't really spend much except for when I extended for around 2 days because everything was pre-arranged. With that being said, I'm sorry if this write-up is not as detailed as my usual articles in terms of how to get around the different areas as well as the entrance fees and commute fares. However, I will still try my best to give you a glimpse of what to expect from Bohol. Thanks in advance for your consideration! ✌️


1. Tarsier Conservation Area

My Rating: ★★★★★  [ 5 ]


I think I've mentioned this in many other write-ups but if you know me, you know that I love tiny and adorable animals. Moreover, I love seeing RARE animals. Bohol is home to one of the rarest and the smallest primate in the world, the Tarsier. This tiny creature was once abundant in Bohol. I remember that when I first went to Bohol when I was younger, we were still allowed to hold them. Now, these endangered creatures have become quite suicidal. When they get stressed around humans, they purposely do not eat or they bang their heads on hard objects.

Bohol is determined to conserve the Tarsiers and so they no longer allow touching or carrying of the animals. However, you can still take photos of these cute creatures (just make sure there is no flash).

Tarsiers also mate only once a year and it lasts for only 3 seconds. Lol, no wonder they are suicidal. Kidding aside, the Tarsiers are really valuable creatures and I loved the fact that I got to learn more about them at the Tarsier Conservation Area.


2. Chocolate Hills

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 4.5 ]


The Chocolate Hills is the most popular tourist attraction in Bohol. These hills have been compared to so many things — mole hills, women's breasts, the poop emoji and so many more. However, the real reason why we call it the Chocolate Hills is because it resembles the tiny Hershey's Kisses. The hills are covered with grass and during the end of the dry season, the hills turn chocolate brown! Whenever people see it, they can't believe it's not man made. It's that beautiful.

 Cue: ♫ The hiiiiiills are aliiiive with the sound of muuuuusic ♫

To get a great view of the Chocolate Hills, one would have to endure 215+ steps to see all the hills that are closely positioned around one another. Not to worry, it's worth the climb.


3. Man-made Mahogany Forest of Bilar and Loboc

My Rating: ★★★  [ 3 ]


If you've been to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Japan and enjoyed it, you'll definitely like the Man-made Mahogany Forest of Bilar and Loboc. This forest filled with uniform trees have an eerie yet beautiful ambiance. The temperature inside the forest also changes as you get deeper inside. Under the trees, the breeze is quite cool. It's filled with endless greens and different species. 

Turns out you don't need to go to Japan after all!

Disclaimer: photo above not mine


4. Loboc River Cruise Floating Restaurant

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 5 ]


The Loboc River Lunch Cruise was probably one of my favorite activities in Bohol. I love food and I love eating food with a nice view. Thus, it was a win-win situation for me. My officemates and I rode the boat / floating restaurant and enjoyed a yummy buffet. I wouldn't say that they have the best food out there but in terms of quality, it was pretty good. The tour is around an hour long so it gives you the chance to enjoy the cool weather while cruising around Loboc River as you savor the company of the people around you. 

 The surroundings are beautiful because of all the blue green hues.

Lunch was nothing short of relaxing and filling!

 Funny how there's also a tiny waterfall that we were able to pass by.

At the near end of the tour, the locals also have a performance lined up for you. They sing songs and perform ethnic Filipino dances like the Tinikling. In addition to that, if you're feeling courageous, you can also try the dance for yourself! It was a great end to a lovely afternoon lunch.


5. Balicasag Island

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 4.5 ]


Balicasag Island is one of the places I went to during the days I extended in Bohol. In Balicasag Island, I really didn't know what to expect. I thought that this place would be a normal island hopping experience for me but I was wrong and thank God I was! 

Here, I got the chance to see my spirit creature — the pawikans (sea turtles)! If you've read my Dumaguete write-up, you'd know that the sea turtle has become my absolute favorite sea creature ever since I first saw them in Apo Island. Of course, there were more pawikans in Apo Island but being able to see them again in Bohol just made me feel so giddy.

 Balicasag Island probably has one of the most beautiful coral reefs I've ever seen. And if you've had previous experience doing skin diving, I suggest you swim to the bottom and get a good view of all the fishes. 


6. Virgin Island

My Rating: ★★★☆  [ 3.5 ]


Virgin Island is a spot where you can sit back and chill. This place has a sandbar where you can hang out, relax and soak up the warm sun.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to spend much time here because we were in a hurry for our next set of activities. Nonetheless, if you do have enough time, you and your friends can enjoy lunch and drinks at this place.

Disclaimer: Photo above not mine


7. Firefly Watching Cruise at Loay River

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 5 ]


There are some moments in life that you really have to experience for yourself to appreciate. These are the moments that can't be captured by a camera or a smart phone, only by your memories. The Firefly Watching at Loay River was exactly that kind of moment for me. It was my first time to see so many fireflies while quietly cruising down the river. 

This experience was quite magical for me because I also learned so many things about this bioluminescent creature. I learned that fireflies are actually carnivorous and that their light shows are actually mating acts. 

Disclaimer: Photo above not mine

Moreover, the whole experience was just absolutely romantic. I definitely would love to go back again with a significant other.

Disclaimer: Photo above not mine


8. Ingkumhan Falls, Dimiao

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 5 ]


Our trip to Ingkumhan Falls was probably my favorite part about our Bohol adventure. Since we went there on a weekday, we had the whole place literally to ourselves. No other tourists were there, just me and my friends making so much noise! It felt surreal.

L-R: Rona, Kim, Charm & I

It was an uphill drive and then a lengthy downhills trek before you finally reach the refreshing stream of water. That day, the water was at a perfect temperature — not too cold and not too warm. 

If you're feeling risky, there is also a rope swing where you can launch yourself into the water. 

 The falls wasn't huge but it certainly still looked beautiful.


9. Hinagdanan Cave

My Rating: ★★★☆  [ 3 ]


The travel to Hinagdanan Cave involved a long car drive for me and my friends. However, it didn't go to waste because this cave is probably one of the most beautiful I've seen. It was big and well lit that's why you won't see any bats hanging around. 

 The cave also has flowing water inside where some tourists swim and refresh themselves.

For me, my favorite part about going to the cave did not really revolve around the cave but around the funny tourists guides. They were volunteer guides that made you laugh and actually have a knack for photography. No wonder my friends and I had so many great photos.


10. Night Life & Food Trip at Alona Beach Strip

My Rating: ★★★★☆  [ 4 ]


The last, but certainly not the least MUST DO in Bohol is to take a visit at Alona Beach; or rather, the establishments along this beach. My friends and I went there for 2 straight nights to dine, to check out the interesting pasalubong centers and to munch at the food stalls. Here, I was able to buy some Bohol honey and peanut kisses for my family back home.

An example of one of the restaurants where we liked eating and staying at is The Lost Horizon. They have many options of meat and fresh fish that they can grill for you!

Disclaimer: Photo above not mine





1. South Palms Beach Resort, Panglao

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 5 ]


South Palms is one of the known beach resorts in Bohol. As soon as you arrive at Tagbilaran, Bohol airport, you will already see ads on the wall showcasing this beautiful place. Though, without a doubt, it truly is a nice resort. That is why I'm not surprised that they decided to book this place for our company outing.


South Palms is known to have one of the best beaches in Bohol. The have fine white sand and a lot of areas where you can lounge around. 

The entire place has a positive and light energy that makes every corner feel relaxing.

We also had the opportunity to grill our own food at South Palms. Here's a preview of what we cooked up for our team building activities!

If you stay at this resort, don't forget to take a nap at the many hammocks or beach swings around the area. 



2. Airbnb, Panglao

My Rating: ★★★★  [ 5 ]


If you want to save on expenses, you can also opt to book your accommodations at the many airbnbs around Panglao. My friends and I were lucky enough to find a friendly host with a lovely home. We rested comfortably in this place during the time we extended from our company outing. Here's a link to the airbnb we stayed at: Panglao Airbnb.


This is a photo of the front of our lovely airbnb!

They had a spacious sala where you can sit and chill with your friends.

 They also had clean rooms with comfortable beds and several cabinets / charging ports.



All in all, my trip to Bohol was amazing. I would definitely like to come back here again and bring more people with me.

I'm sure I'll have more stories to tell the next time around.



Time to make your own memories! Happy Travels!

♡,  Pat


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