Sunday, July 10

The Kasalang Batagueño-Ilocana Suppliers Rating (Our Tour Guide in Bohol)

This would be our contribution to the group. As much as possible, we won’t be using the word OC (since it has been overused here already) and we would detail our rating so it could serve you as a guide. Our verdict is based on how we coordinated with them (from start to finish) and it shouldn’t be a sole basis whether you book this certain supplier or not (different strokes for different folks). Here is how we would be rating our wedding team. 

Pictures here were taken by me and my camera which has auto focusing problems back then. 

5 and Up: Oh Yeah! Swabeng-Swabeh!!! (Book them while still available)
4 - 4.99: Swabeng-Swabeh!!! (Very Good)
3 – 3.99: Swabeh!!! (Quite Ok)
2 – 2.99: Swabeh Lang!!! (Needs Improvement)
0 – 1.99: Hindi Swabeh!!! (Now you know)

Honeymoon Tour: Bohol Countryside Tour c/o Daboy Pabatao
Address: Tagbilaran & Panglao in Bohol
Contact: Mr. Daboy Pabatao
Cost: 2500 pesos for the Countryside tour and 1000 pesos for the transfer Tagbilaran Airport to Alona Kew to Tagbilaran Port (2009 rate)
Inclusions: Countryside day tour with transfers to and from the resort.
Verdict: Oh Yeah! Swabeng-Swabeh!!!

Wedding Kwento: After we landed at Tagbilaran Airport, we were looking for a someone who would take us to Alona Kew and then to Tagbilaran Port after our stay. There are several guys who offered us to take us there. But Daboy Pabatao got to offer us his service first hence we got him to take care of our ride. 

Once we got him, we ask him to take us to the nearest shopping center so we could buy some food for us to take to the resort. While my wife was buying food, I got to talk to Mang Daboy and he told me he used to live in Sampaloc before moving to Bohol with his wife and raise a family there.

After that he took us to St Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Tagbilaran Bohol for free (we only paid for the transfer from the airport to the resort).

 Fronting the Church

 Inside the Church

On our way to the resort, my wife and I agreed that Mang Daboy will be our official tour guide during our stay in Bohol. All she had to do was a little haggling with him before he agreed with the cost of our countryside tour the next day as well as the transfer arrangements the day after. 

The next day, we received a text message that he is already at the resort waiting for us. He got earlier than expected as he probably knew how eager my wife and I wanted to see Bohol's beauty. 

At the start of the tour, We went to the blood compact monument to see the statue of the event known as Sandugo. 

  The Blood Compact Monument

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.

Our next destination was the famous Baclayon Church. The Baclayon Church is the oldest Catholic stone church building in the Philippines. It was constructed during the Spanish occupation and the first Spanish missionaries (called doctrineros) settled in the area in the late 15th century. Today you can still see the original stone structure of the Baclayon Church in the City of Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines.

Fronting Baclayon Church

The reason why we light candles

There were preparations for a wedding that time. I wanted to take pictures of the wedding but we don't have the luxury of time so I just took more pictures. Before we left, we had to go to the Baclayon Museum to see some old church artifacts but picture taking was not allowed inside the museum.

Inside Baclayon Church

Our stay at Baclyon Church ate much time that we had to rush to Chocolate Hills. But before we got there, we stopped by The Butterfly Sanctuary in Bilar Bohol.

The butterfly seems to enjoy her nose XD.

We learned a lot from these butterflies. We were even informed that there were homosexual butterflies XD.

Then we got to Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol.

One of the hills

Getting a glimpse of these hills took us probably a hundred steps or more but going up and see the entire view was really worth it.

A hundred steps more

To witness this magnificent view

Then after our tour in Chocolate Hills, we were in a rush going to Loboc River for the cruise. Since we passed the man-made forest in Bilar prior to going to Chocolate Hills, we stopped by the man-made forest.

Feel like you're in the US XD.

The Bohol Forest is a man-made mahogany forest stretching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Before and after this man-made forest are the naturally grown forests of Loboc and Bilar which are thick with a kaleidoscope of green foliage, different species of trees and giant ferns lining the road.

The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Seedlings abound around the older trees. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves.

After our quick stop to see the man-made forest, we proceed to Loboc River to catch their cruise for lunch.

There were other boats that went ahead of us since its already lunch time. Were lucky that we were able to catch the last one for lunch.

Taken from our boat

The Loboc River is now one of the major destinations of tourists, local and foreigners alike. Located in the Municipality of Loboc, a mere 24 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, the winding river plays host to cruisers on board small bancas or floating restaurants. Visitors are treated to a vista of lush tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes.

Next time, I'll be back with a better gear XD

After our hefty lunch, we proceed to meet the tarsiers in Loboc XD. 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.

Sorry for the shot. It was really raining hard that time plus its very dark.

We were not allowed to use flash when taking their pictures so I had to maximize what I can do that time.

Then we visited the actual location of the blood compact site where it all began. Mang Daboy told us that the one in Tagbilaran was not the actual site but the one in Loay, Bohol.

See what the sign says? XD

Then we went on to Alburquerque in Bohol to visit Prony the Python. The town's short name is "Albur". Alburquerque is reputed to have one of the longest (23 feet or 7 meters as of 2005) and heaviest (300 kg or 660 lbs) python in captivity. The python named Prony is Albur's star and has known to.

I hope the little turtle was okay XD.

After visiting Prony, we bought some pasalubong for our folks back in Manila and made sure we bought a lot. We passed by 2 more churches to take a look and appreciate them even if its not included in the Itinerary of Mang Daboy. And when I ran out of battery for my camera, it means that Its time to go back to the resort.

Our experience with Mang Daboy was really fun and we learned something from the Boholano culture.

Realization: Its better to book a countryside/city tour separately rather than getting it from a package since it would be less expensive given that city/country tours would cost you per person in hotels instead of per van/car

Recommended for: Couples who will be going to Bohol and enjoy the countryside

Other Suppliers Considered (Given the same amount of time for preparations): None. We were highly satisfied with his skills as a driver and as a tour guide.

If we started our preparations last Dec 2007, we could have gotten: None. We were highly satisfied with his skills as a driver and as a tour guide.

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