Bohol

Bohol, Philippines: A happy case of Serendipity

Among the things I am truly grateful I got to do a few years ago was finally make the trip to Bohol, an island in Central Philippines. To the uninformed, Bohol is home to one of the Philippines’ greatest geological monuments—the famed Chocolate Hills, which are (you guessed it) made of the world’s richest chocolates.

I kid.

Bohol Blessedness 2012

They’re actually made of limestone—all 1,200 to 1,700 of them. These dome-shaped hills are covered in grass, which turn brown during the summer, transforming the entire area into a seemingly endless row of chocolate kisses. Hence, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol :D

Anyway, apart from the non-chocolatey Chocolate Hills, there’s plenty to see in this laidback island province in the Visayas.

One can take a cruise along the jade-green waters of the Loboc River…

Bohol Blessedness 2012

Bohol Blessedness 2012

Bohol Blessedness 2012

Spend a day in one of the many luxurious resorts in the island…

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Check out the huge mangroves and sandy beaches of Panglao…

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Bohol Blessedness 2012

Try these local ice cream flavors at the Bohol Bee Farm (a must! a must!)…

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Or even hang out with adorable (yet apparently suicidal) creatures called Tarsiers:

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These nocturnal creatures have a heightened sense of hearing, so when you visit the park, keep the talking to a minimum—you don’t want to be responsible for a mass suicide.

Bohol Blessedness 2012

My lame attempt at humor aside, one reason why I’m really, really grateful I made the trip in 2012 is because a good deal of Bohol’s tourism attractions—its centuries-old historical Churches, in particular—were significantly damaged when the great quake occurred in the latter part of 2013. Now I’m not the most religious person in the world, but seeing these magnificent places of worship—some of them reduced to a pile of bricks—be a shadow of what they once were…it just tugs at the heart.

Bohol Blessedness 2012

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I’ve been meaning to write/rewrite this entry for the longest time, even before the quake, but then the quake happened, and then Haiyan/Yolanda happened, and my original plan of just rehashing my old Bohol entry wouldn’t cut it. Looking at the photos, remembering the really good experiences I had during my brief stay there, hanging out with the Boholanos and knowing that tourism was their main source of livelihood and income…I guess I felt Bohol deserved better than a rehash.

Bohol Blessedness 2012

What I’m really trying to get at here is this simple message of gratitude: Thank you, Bohol, for the warm welcome, for the trip that was the perfect illustration of serendipity, for letting me see some of your historic churches, for the hospitality of your people, for that one incredibly blessed weekend, and for making me believe that magic still exists.

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I am forever changed and grateful. <3

“WHETHER WE NAME DIVINE PRESENCE SYNCHRONICITY, SERENDIPITY, OR GRACED MOMENT MATTERS LITTLE. WHAT MATTERS IS THE REALITY THAT OUR HEARTS HAVE BEEN UNDERSTOOD. NOTHING IS AS REAL AS A HEALTHY DOSE OF MAGIC WHICH RESTORES OUR SPIRITS.”—NANCY LONG

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7 comments

  1. I love the blog. Cheers to more luxurious vacation!!!
    I wanna go back to Bohol and feel its magic again.
    Super blessed… Thanks! :-)

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  2. Bohol is one of the best trips I’ve made. There is just so much awesome things to see. It’s mutual benfeit. It’s great livelihood for the people there, and truly great tourism for the visitors. Did you get to do dolphin-watching, and see Virgin Island in Panglao? Awesome images once again, Tricia.

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    1. Thanks Rommel! :)

      The company who hosted our trip did the itinerary. Unfortunately, dolphin-watching and Virgin Island in Panglao weren’t part of it…Will make sure to go next time I’m in Bohol, hopefully later this year. :)

      Like

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