Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Anda Beach, Bohol

This is yet another birthday celebration, actually, a birthday end-er. I don't know about you, how long do you celebrate birthdays? This year I thought of celebrating it the whole month of March. Why? I don't know. Perhaps to cover those years when I just hid my room.  Let's just say, I am done hiding and I'm way pass the drama-rama about the fear of getting old and of heartbreaks. There's really nothing in my room but four yellow painted walls.  Even the color yellow which represents sunshine and of happy thoughts seemed gloomy. 

I dreamed of peaceful blue sky, cool ocean breeze, pure white sand beach nothing but the sound of the splashing water as it hits the shore.  The kind of silence which is not deafening.  No boundaries only limitless horizon.  Under a warm embrace of a real sunshine.  I contained myself too much when my options were limitless, I thought.

So I asked 2 of my friends to come and celebrate.  We packed our bags and headed to Anda Beach in Bohol.  After our day tour, we arrived at dusk time.  The moon has risen and the sky was covered with purplish-blue-ish blanket.  Sooner, darkness enveloped us.

Stunned by the beauty of the moon, like wolves, we played.

The morning after.  As the ray of light found its way through the thick clouds it uncovered the beauty of this place.

After breakfast, it revealed more how serene the sea was.

To my left...

To my right... a limitless beauty of a long stretch of white sparkling sand.

Just like the picture in my dream.

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.” ― May Sarton

We stayed at Ande de Boracay.  See here for room rates. It was affordable, we paid Php1000 each.  That includes our room, dinner (to think we ordered a lot) and breakfast.  The room was clean. The AC was full blast. The people were friendly and I heard we ended in a local cable channel ad, who would have thought.

Sorry, no details on how to get there.  We were on a private vehicle and luckily a friend volunteered to drive. I heard there are buses/v-hires from Tagbilaran City to Anda.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Bohol Etc

Bohol is a haven for tourists.  As I mentioned in my previous post, in my every visit it always gives me something new.  It's just a few hours away from Cebu City through Ocean Jet for 800 pesos round trip ticket at the newly renovated world class Pier 1. It felt like walking-in in an airport with their facilities and all.

Bohol Etc.

The Afternoon Walk At Alona Beach

Fine white sands

Good friends

Sea Breeze

Artist in the beach

As if the sea breeze is not enough to cool you down with a smashing 33 degrees Celsius temperature: Halohalo  
The Day Tour at Loboc
 We've cruised the Loboc River so we skipped it and because of time constraint too. Instead, we went for a view watching and thought about the zip line.

Lovely view

The Zoocolate Thrills Tour (entrance fee - 60 pesos)

Feels like a kid again.  This is my Patronus.

A Bengal Tiger, Reminds me of a good read Life of Pi.

A coffee cat at its fiercest pose

The Man-Made Forest

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Crazy Things We Do in This Lifetime: Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

Looking for thrills and excitements and loving nature at the same time?

While browsing some pages, I've read "You only live once... live a crazy life."  Another page says "5 Things To A Happy Life: Go Extreme Sports." A news feed in my fb page says " People are not afraid of heights, they are afraid of the fall."

So I thought of celebrating my birthday this year differently.  Perhaps I have enough partying. I mean, it's the same rustic scene and old loud music til 4:00 AM.  I'm not saying no-to-parties but i guess I'm in the place where there's-more-to-that-phase.

So I packed my bag, left the city with 2 of my friends and sailed to Bohol.

At this age, I feel the need to accomplish something and that fear is just in the mind.  I need to push my boundaries to my limits. That feeling of conquering fear somehow will remind me of my daily tasks that I can face all hurdles in life and that I need to go on and quitting is not an option. The joy of a winner.

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is located in Camanayon, Buenos Aires, Carmen, Bohol.  It's more or less and hour from Tagbilaran City non-stop with a private vehicle.

   "It's an eco-park, a green-friendly tourism site."

This is their reception hall, dining area and souvenir shops.  We skipped the monkeys and snakes and paid 500 pesos these rope activities.

Fully geared for safety, the first bridge was an easy walk.

This second bridge was a challenge.  You need to hop or you miss a panel.  You don't want to end up clinging to your harness helplessly when your foot misses the target.  Keep your balance when your friends deliberately sway this hanging bridge to make fun at you.

Luckily I was wearing the right footwear, this is when I started screaming like a pig. It swayed left to right and up and down.  I stopped in the middle for my knees were shaking.  You need to have good knees to cross it.

The only way down was to jump a tree tall through a zip line. It was a quick torture. Yes I'm not scared of heights, I was scared to fall even with a notion that I had a harness.

"The Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) has become some tourists’ alternate destination for viewing the Chocolate Hills, after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol.... It offers another “refreshing panorama” of the famous Chocolate Hills, with a 248-step viewing deck."

It was a lovely scene. And now the main event, would you dare?

I did. I somehow manage to paddle the bike a midst my shaking knees as the wind blew stronger that swayed me and vibrates the wire. I was screaming as the ground below was waiting like a vulture.  I could fall. 

But I won and conquered my fear.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Hide and Seek in Bantayan Island

Three invitations in one weekend. How do you choose?

It was the first weekend of March, two birthdays and one big event at the office.  I said yes to all three but as the weekend approaches, how could I be at three places at one time? Birthday beach party in Alcoy, 93-km south of Cebu City, Bantayan island which is 136 km by land and sea, north of Cebu City and a snow-theme party when summer has just started. I wish I could use portals like that of Harry Potter or as rich as Paris Hilton, I could use a chopper. But none of those were reality so I had to choose.

Born Pisces on a full moon, I could get emotional and I mean extremely emotional. Call it lunatic, yes, all I knew I have to control it.  Like a werewolf my skin was tearing with the emotional turmoil I could not even understand where it was coming from. Maybe it was all in my head and running far away was the only solution. At least for a moment. So I let go of the ice party.

Should I run north or south? To run south where the atmosphere were filled with booze and laughter would only hype my emotion. That wasn't just what I needed that time.

I thought I just wanted to be far-far-away, with my book, under the shade of a palm tree in a white sand beach where the only sound I could hear was the splashing of the sea as it hits the shore to neutralize whatever that was in my head before I could get crazy.

So I silently left the city and took the bus up north.

I always seek comfort in this island. Too many heart breaks it healed me. Too many frustrations it calmed me.

Unlimited white sand shore where the blue sky meets the blue ocean. Peaceful, far from the city where time is slow. It gives you the moment to sort your mind, to meditate. It regenerates you and gives power to control your mind your emotions. Then helps you think clearly.

 I spent most of my time here. Dolce far niente. That's how I fight my own battle. My own nightmare. My own craziness. My own fear. Mind over matter and I needed the power to control my mind.

Without doubt I was healed, again,  This place never fails me. I went back to the city ready to fight any obstacles. I found what I was looking for, a little peace of mind.

On a lighter note, I feast on these.

These are the best the island offers. I always come back for these.

Cebu-Hagnaya (Ceres air-conditioned bus per hour interval) - 160 pesos

Hagnaya-Bantayan Island (Boat per hour interval) - 170 pesos

Mayet Beach Resort - good for 3 air-conditioned room - 1,800 pesos


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Hidden Beach of Aloguinsan

On a tight budget and looking for a white sand beach just a few hours from the city this summer?  This maybe the place you are looking for. Hidden Beach, Aloguinsan Cebu.

This fine grain white sand beach is no longer hidden. Aloguinsan is a municipality along the west coast of Cebu.  It is approximately 2 hours from the city.  Ideal for day tour. 

Fifteen years ago in my surveying class, we visited this place to make a topographic map. I would say that this municipality really knew how to keep its secret hidden. I remember walking some distance through a rough terrain, some grass, and some muddy area before we reached this beauty carrying with me some surveying instruments. 

Last May 1, after our Bojo river cruise, since its just 10 minutes from the town proper my friends and I decided to drop by.  This beach is no longer hidden as rough road has been constructed leading to this beach where the water sparkles as the afternoon sun hits it.

11:30 AM after we packed our things we went to the town proper for lunch.  The people from the Bojo River can call a motorbike for you.  It costs 20 pesos.

You can find several eateries at the market.  Lunch cost me 60 pesos and its already enough to fill me for the next few hours.  From the town proper to the beach that's another 10 minutes for 20 pesos motorbike again.

Finally! In a one hot humid afternoon, the cool clear water of the sea is a perfect solution. The entrance fee costs 15 pesos. If you like to rent a table that's 150 pesos and the cottage is 300 pesos. Yes, its very budget friendly.

to our right,

to our left

The powdery white sand.  Amazing how they were able to maintain the place from 15 years ago.  Its still the same beauty I've seen.

I spent the whole afternoon in the water. No jellyfish stings. No annoying seaweeds.

I'm now a certified beach person.  I love this place.  Here's a postcard for you.

Going back to the city. The same motorbike drivers we contacted and agreed for 50 pesos to the next town, Pinamungahan for the Ceres bus terminal.  According to the Ceres bus driver, their permit to have a terminal in Aloguinsan is still on the works. An aircondition bus from Pinamungahan to the city costs 100 pesos.

Going there, you can take the route we took.  click here.

or from Cebu City South Bus Terminal, there's a regular route going to Pinamungahan then from there you can ride a motorbike or jeepney to Aloguinsan.