Bohol surely packs a punch. Its mind-boggling mix of adventures, landscapes, tropical beaches and heritage sites beckons repeat visits. And this is why I made time to return early this year, to experience the activities I missed. But I’ll tell you a secret. I have not tried the iconic Bohol River Cruise on my first visit, which many tourists finds unforgivable. This is understandable, because it is one of the top things
to do when visiting this island province.
A cruise boat winds its way through the palm-fringed Loboc River.
Like a painting that comes to life, Bohol’s countryside is vivid, fringed with forest-clad hills and vast pastoral lands. And the Loboc River Cruise is a pleasant way to observe the local way of life.
Together with a group of foreign tourists, I hopped on the cruise boat made of two adjoining boats with a mini restaurant brilliantly attached to a platform. The floating
vessel is propelled by a smaller boat. Like the rest, I was given a number where I need to sit. Chairs and tables were neatly arranged, and a long table at the back offered a sampling of local Filipino food. As you might have surmised, the food and drinks were included in the river cruise package. Plus a free entertainment came with it – on board singers and guitarists serenaded the tourists.
Locals satisfied with their catch for the day!
The Loboc River Cruise wound its way through shamrock green
river for about an hour. The placid water is fringed by towering coconut trees and
punctuated by unassuming nipa houses. Occasionally, we saw see locals going
about their everyday lives – doing their laundry, trawling for fish and children frolicking in the placid water.
Boholanos showcase Tinikling to visitors, a traditional Filipino dance accompanied with rondalla music..
At one point, the boat paused at a floating stage where local dancers clad in native costumes genially performed a series of traditional Filipino dance. The Loboc River Cruise is undoubtedly praiseworthy and reasonably priced, so I highly recommend donating a few bucks to the performers. It is one way of helping the community get back on its feet, which suffered from the wrath of unforgiving typhoons and earthquake the previous years.
Foreign tourist savoring the cable car ride over the Loboc River.
Our boat turned back at the mini waterfall and made its way back to the heavily damaged Loboc Church. I thought the treat ends there, until our guide took us to another awesome place.
At the Loboc Ecotourism AdventurePark, adventurous visitors can zip
through a distance of 520 meters and a height of 120 meters with a breath-snatching view of the Loboc River below. Aside from the exhilirating zipline priced at Php 350 per person, you can sit and admire the view on a cable car for Php 250 per person. If you wish to try both, opt for the combo ride (one-way zipline & one-way cable car)offered for Php 350 per person.
How to get to Bohol
From Manila, several airline flies daily to Tagbilaran.
Where to stay in Bohol
Ester A. Lim Drive,
Barangay Tawala, Alona
Beach Panglao Island, Bohol
Momo Beach House
Address: Barangay Bil-isan, Momo Beach, Panglao