We have gone away for a break to an island called Bohol. It is a good hours flight from Manila and easily reachable with either Philippine Airways or with Cebu Pacific. Bohol is the home of the Tarsier, the smallest primate in the world and has a national park with the “Chocolate” Mountains.
I checked the net a bit about information of Bohol and found a lot. I can see that most people stay for just a short while and do one huge day trip, writing proudly that they have seen 14 sights in one day.......where is the holiday feeling?
We stayed for two nights at the Bohol Bee Farm. It is close to Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol. The accommodation is simple but nice, there is a lovely restaurant and everything is organic and grown on the farm. There is free wireless, if anybody is interested and needs to check on Face Book or can’t get away from the busy everyday life. Our flight left at 5 AM in the Morning, so we were awake the whole night, luckily we could check in a 8 AM already and actually just slept and relaxed the first day.
We had room service and just organized the tour for the next day, at 8 AM as we thought we rather go earlier than later. We had only 6 sights for the day, we really had no intention to rush from site to site.
So we were ready at 8, but there was no driver and we were told that the tour only leaves at 9 AM, shame, could have had another hour sleep. But then shortly after 9 we went off on the tour. First we would drive to Chocolate Mountains as it was the furthest away, about 1 and a half hours drive. During the drive we would pass all the other sights, all of them lovely but the highlight is the chocolate mountains, just the shape is already incredible. As we had nice time we could stay for long and just enjoy the view. It is an amazing site to see.
Then we went to the river cruise with lunch, traditional Philippine fare wit loads of prawns, which means here that they are generous, prawns are expensive. There is nothing European on the buffet, so one needs to like the local fare which I do. There is live music and cool drinks are included. It is not a booze cruise, but a very relaxing time sailing up the river till one comes to a small waterfall, there the ship turns around. The river is beautiful and it is definitely something one should do while on Bohol.
Then the third highlight is the Tarsier, the smallest Primate on the world. Unfortunately it is just a small place, tourist attraction; make a photo of the Tarsier, then buy a souvenir and good bye. Compared to the butterfly sanctuary it was not great, but it is just nice to see the Tarsier even when captured. As I have mentioned the Butterfly sanctuary is really great, very informative and one has plenty of opportunities to see beautiful examples.
Back in the hotel we just relaxed a bit, had a lovely dinner, of course as everything, there is honey on all the food, lol, even the dip for the French Fries.
The next morning we could check out late as the flight only went in the afternoon. I have to say that they were extremely accommodating here on Bohol Bee Farm and I can only recommend them. I have put a link to their website if anybody is interested.
Yes Bohol is worth a trip and don’t do too much on one day, relax, have 2 days of exploring, hire a bike and travel around, enjoy the beautiful beaches and take it easy. Life is still normal here, not like in the big tourist centres, and so are the prices. There is accommodation for any budget from the simple room to the fancy resort, anything one is looking for, you find in on Bohol. There are plenty of flights and the flights in Philippines are very reasonably priced.
450 g (1lb) boney pork
3-4 medium tomatoes – sliced
1 big onion – sliced
1 Tbsp sea salt
1-2 green chilis – pointed ends cut off [optional]
6-8 cups water
souring agent (tamarind puree, lemon and/or lime)
1 aubergine (eggplant) – sliced 1 inch thick and quartered
1 bunch long string beans – cut into 2 inch pieces
2 taro roots (gabi) – peeled and quartered
spinach leaves or kangkong – washed and plucked from stems
• Combine tomatoes, onion, and sea salt in a big pot. Mix and mash them a little bit with your fingers. Add chilis and pork.
• Pour just enough water to cover them and bring to boil. Cook for about 3 minutes. Mash the tomatoes with a cooking spoon.
• Pour in the rest of the water, bring to boil and simmer until pork is tender (about 1 1/4 hours). Add taro, aubergine and sitaw. Bring to boil and simmer until taro is almost cooked (about 5 minutes).
• Add the souring agent and spinach (for tamarind puree I use about 1/2 cup of it plus a squeeze of lemon/lime). Cook for 1-2 minutes. Taste soup and adjust seasonings accordingly.
There is ready mix Sinigang available in specialty shops, one can use that instead of Tamarind