Good Afternoon Everyone! I’m Queensy del Corro, your tour guide for this 2-Day and 1 night Bohol Countryside Package tour. You can call me queen, queens or just “Q”, whatever that suits you.
And now, We are on our way to our first stop The St. Joseph Cathedral. St. Joseph the Worker is the patron saint of the city. The original church was built by the Jesuits through forced labour of the local people. But on December 23, 1798 the church was demolished to the ground. The cross-shaped church was reconstructed in 1839 to 1855. Less than two decades later, the two-storey convent was added, followed by the bell tower. As you can see the cathedral has a neo-Romanesque look, with corbelled arches underneath the cornice. Built from the usual materials found in other old churches built by the Spanish colonizers, the church retains the classic look at the front facade.
In the inside. The church is both simple and majestic. Simple because the decorations are not as ornate as those we would see in Baclayon Church. Which you will be able to see tomorrow on our 2nd day. Or that of the Sto. Nino Basilica in Cebu. Majestic because it inspires awe when you look up at the display of saints behind the altar. Weddings are grandest at the cathedral which would explain why it is not easy to get a reservation for the wedding schedules. If you really want to, give yourself a year to reserve in order to be sure. So now, you can look around, take pictures and I’ll give you just enough time to admire the sacred place. And please do minimize your voices for there is a lot of church goers who prays and visits this place every now and then.
And for our next destination, We are now here at The Sandugo or Blood Compact Shrine monument in Bo-ol district of Tagbilaran City. Does anyone here have an idea what the word “Sandugo” means? “Sandugo” is a Visayan word which means “one blood” or in tagalog “Iisang-dugo” . It was a blood compact, performed between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol on that time. It became one of a landmark site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. It happened on March 16, 1565, to seal their friendship as part of the tribal tradition. The monument, with the bronze statues of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, Rajah Sikatuna and several other witnesses, was a masterpiece of the Boholano sculptor and National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleon Abueva. Take time to have your pictures taken, and you may also enjoy the over-looking view of the Bohol Sea at the back, just be careful.
I know you’re a bit hungry at the moment but don’t worry ‘cause we are now here at Bohol Bee Farm. You’ll be able to enjoy their healthy and organic food without feeling guilty after consuming a plate or two. But not only that, you’ll also enjoy to get near the cages or synthetic bee hives where the bees produce honey to pastries with traces of grated vegetables. A guide will assist you there so don’t worry. They also offer accommodation services such as, spas, massage areas and alike. So I’ll give you enough time to enjoy the food and most especially the place. Have and fun and I’ll see you after an hour and a half.
And now, we are here at Panglao Shell Museum also known as The Nova Shell Museum, It features an enchanting collection of sea shells, especially those endemic to the waters of Panglao and Bohol. The museum is owned and operated by Mr. Quirino Hora who has practically devoted half his life in the collecting, studying and archiving of these underwater creatures. His hobby soon developed into a source of income for his family and provided employment opportunities to the local folks. At present, the Shell Museum showcases one of the biggest shell collections in the world. For enthusiasts of the beautiful sea life, the place is definitely on the top of the list. Fun fact, two shells are already named after him, the Busa Quirihoria and the Primovula Horai. The former was discovered in 1987 and the latter in 1994, along the pristine shores of Panglao Island. A tourist guide on standby can provide us information about the shells displayed inside the museum. Let’s now hear it from him.
I know you are all feeling tired from the almost half a day of travelling on the way here in Bohol. And the some short stops we did along the way, that’s why I’m ending our first day early leaving you here in the Paradise of Bellevue Resort. Reservations are already made so you don’t have to worry about anything. Free breakfast is included for tomorrow. Enjoy, Relax and have fun! The Bellevue Resort is everything you would imagine having in the best night of your tour. Experience a life of luxury with The Bellevue’s five star appointments. The customer service desk is open for any inquires you may need. Call time tomorrow would be at 7:30 here at the exact area where we are now. See you! We’ll be leaving exactly at 8am. Bring your swim wear just in case!
Good Morning Everyone! So how was your sleep? Did you enjoy your Bellevue experience last night? I hope you did. Have everyone here had their breakfast? ‘cause we have a long day ahead of us.
Our first destination for this day is the Hinagdanan Cave here in Bingag, Dauis still in the Island of Panglao, Bohol. In the area, you’ve seen numerous souvenir shops that sell a wide variety of souvenir items like keychain, T- shirts, hats and the likes. I highly recommend to buy your “pasalubongs” here, for their shops have cheaper prices than of the other you’ll see on our way. But you can do it later, don’t worry I’ll give you time for that. Upon entering, the cave’s interior is quite dark, that’s why you need to adjust your cameras for proper lighting when you take pictures. If you don’t know the proper camera setting, I’ll be glad to assist you how to do so. I can also take your picture if you want to. Inside the cave you can see a big, clean, and deep lagoon where you can bathe. So anyone who brought their swim wears with them? You may now go dipping!
Next stop-over would be here at Dauis Church. The church is named Our Lady of Assumption. It is located in the heart of Dauis town. The big area outside serves as the playground for kids and picnic area for families during afternoons. Inside the church, you will see the “Miraculous well” as they say. Because according to some people, the water from the well can cure illnesses and sometimes helps you acquire things that you’ve been wishing for a long time. At the back of the church, near the exit door you can see a small kiosk like structure where they sell bottled water from the “miraculous well”. You can buy it for 20 pesos. Take time to look over the place and don’t think twice to ask me help you take your pictures.
Next in line is meeting Prony! The Python in Captivity. Prony is a self-developed and trained Python. It is owned by Sofronio (“Fronio”), where the name “Prony” came from. This is the biggest and longest Phyton in captivity is in the Island. Prony was captured last October 21, 1996 which only weighs 5 kilos and is 5 feet long during that time . Animal and snake experts says that the growth of Prony is abnormal as Pythons who live in the wild with the same sizes are already 50 years old comparing to Prony who is only 9 years old. The owner says that Prony’s growth abnormality is due to the fact that they treated the Python with outmost care.
They fed Prony live chickens before but due to her large consumption and the cost of chickens, they now fed her with pig or goat every month. Prony has an amazing ability to sense unsuitable food such as sick pigs and goats. Prony doesn’t like dark, spotted and dirty pigs. She chooses clean white pigs that weigh over 40 kilos. The Python is given a bath 4 times a day and celebrates her own birthday annually. Now, you can take pictures with Prony. And if you like, they also have photographers to take your picture and give you a printed one right after with a reasonable price.
As what I’ve said yesterday, we’ll be visiting the Baclayon Church – The Baclayon Church regarded as the second-oldest church in the Philippines; next to San Agustin Church in Intramuros. Symbolizing Catholicism’s influence in the island, the Baclayon Church was built from corals bound together by mortar mixed from eggwhite. Inside the church, you can see the dark interior of Baclayon Church, the gilded retablo behind the altar will definitely catch your attention, it is a baroque confection bedecked with backlit icons.
Let’s walk to the back of the church and you’ll see carroza, or carriages for religious processions; some walls and part of the floors are engraved with the names of devotees presumably buried under the tiles. We’ll now be entering the Baclayon parish museum, please keep your cameras for picture-taking inside is not allowed. You’ll find the relics of ivory icons of Jesus and Mary; relics of Jesuit saints; church music written on sheepskin; priestly vestments; and religious artwork. Notes at the bottom part of the relics are provided, take time to read while the local guide tours you around the museum.
For the awaited lunch buffet, we are now here at the Loboc River Cruise. This is not something optional if you don’t want to miss a superb experience in your Bohol country side tour. Enjoy a buffet lunch in a festival themed floating restaurant while enjoying the cool breeze blowing inside it as it traverses Loboc’s clean river which is surrounded by lush green plants. Loboc River Cruise also offer a night cruise which is perfect for a romantic dinner. Along the cruise you’ll see several lanterns in the trees which surely look great at night. Enjoy your lunch while listening to the local bands ready to serenade you throughout the cruise. And don’t be surprised if they do some short stop-overs to let you see and admire the local children dancing and singing folk songs.
On our way to Chocolate Hills, let’s take this opportunity to stop-over in Bohol’s Man-made Forest. The 2-kilometer expanse of verdant vegetation mostly of Mahogany trees, added with ferns, some wild bushes and flowers. The Mahogany Forest was part of the nationwide reforestation program that was launched in the 1960s during the reign of Diosdado Macapagal. The 857.4 hectares of bare land was gradually planted with young Mahogany trees by volunteers. You can also now take the opportunity of taking memorable pictures of another grand spectacle of Mother Nature and at the same time, also a product of human ingenuity.
For our last but not the least destination. The Famous Chocolate Hills. The world-renowned cone-shaped Chocolate Hills is Nature’s expression of beauty, mystery and romance. Chocolate Hills is also cited as a Geological Movement of the country and is also known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It consists of approximately 1,268 hay cock hills with heights ranging from 40 to 120 meters. Formed centuries ago by tidal movements, the hills are considered as a National Geologic Movement. During the summers, the dome-shaped grass covered limestone hills dry up and turn brown, transforming the area into seemingly endless rows of chocolate “kisses”. Two of the highest hills have been now developed and provided with facilities such as a restaurant, hostel and a view deck. Now go ahead and explore Bohol’s Pride! Goodluck on climbing the 214 steps before reaching the view deck. Take Care!!
Myth Story telling: On our way to Chocalate Hills
Legend has it that when giants live with mortals, a gentle giant fell in love with a beautiful village girl. Agoro, the giant was handsome and though a favorite among female giants, was also a loner. When everything and everybody sleeps, Arogo would sit by his favorite spot near the river to ponder or just watch the night pass by. One night while Arogo was by his spot, he noticed a beautiful native girl with hair as black as the night by the river bank. He instantly fell in love with Aluya. After that night. Arogo would always wait by his place to take a glimpse at his beloved Aluya. A rumor reached Arogo that Aluya would soon marry a man her parents chose for her.
The night before Aluya’s wedding, Agoro kidnapped Aluya. Seeing a giant, Aluya screamed, kicked and cried, but to no avail. Arogo was successful in abducting Aluya. In the giant’s cave, Arogo tried to give Aluya food and water but the girl kept on crying. Her sadness reached her heart that she died with tears in her eyes. Arogo buried her and kept his vigil. He cried for days and months. Giant tears fell to the ground. He cried a thousand years for the loss of his love. After sometime, Arogo’s tears hardened and became what we know today as Chocolate hills. The Hills were witnesses of an unrequited love of the years go by. There are at least 1,776 uniform hills that leave visitors no wonder how they came to be.
And that would end our tour 2 day 1 night Bohol Countryside Tour. I hope you had fun even just for a brief period of time. I enjoyed your company and I’ll be expecting to see you here again! Thank you so much! And it’s me, Queensy del Corro again, signing off as your tour guide.