Panglao Island on Bohol

The price for a tour of Bohol was 1850 pesos, not a lot but there were a lot of places on the tour list that we we’re interested in.  You’ve seen one church, you’ve seen them all.  We weren’t excited about the shell museum as well.  We deliberated and decided to do the tour the way we wanted to by jeepney and tricycle.

100 pesos rented us a tricycle to Hinagdanan cave which is on the east side of the island near the ocean.   The driver delivered us and took off quickly.  The locals laughed a bit because we now had to walk about a kilometer out to the main road to catch another one.  No big deal though, the weather was pleasantly cool.  15 pesos buys your entry fee…

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Watch the steps, slippery, steep, and short.   Almost all the concrete seems slippery to me and I’m now very cautious so as to prevent falls.   Hinagdanan is a typical tidal cave, with the tide raising and lowering during the day.

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The cave was about 40 feet in diameter, warm and humid.  We walked around and looked and shot some pictures.

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Me up higher in the cave.  I then turned my attention to the inhabitants…

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There are scores of swiftlets nesting on the ceiling.  I’m not sure if these are related to the type that “bird nest soup” is concocted and I wasn’t going to try that “delicacy” in any case.  I see seven of them in this picture.  There is an area at the top fenced off so they can access their cave and nests.  When I checked these out, I found the cave operator had covered the cave openings.

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The little birds were forced to use the human entrance.  I think that was done so the people would be amused by the birds zooming by their heads at high speed.  It was interesting all right, they zip right by your head faster than a person can blink.  But I didn’t like it.  I think the birds should be left in peace.  Whatever.

We finished up and took the 15 minute walk to the main road.  After a 20 minute wait, a jeepney showed up and we took off for the market area on the south end of the island.  20 pesos for that.  Arriving there, we found nothing interesting.  It was time to move, and after some haggling over the price (settling on 80 pesos) we were off to the famous Alona Beach area on the southeast side of the island.

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It is a beautiful white sand beach and the area is kept quite clean.  There were a lot of foreigners here, and hardly any Filipinos excepting for those that were working.  Europeans seemed to be the main visitors, some with Philippine wives but most couples were Caucasian.  First time I’d seen that.

Time for a swim, we paid 40 pesos for changing clothes and showering afterward.  Not too bad.  The sun was out and the beach was very warm.  We finished our swim and found a restaurant.  The food wasn’t the greatest except for the mango and pineapple shakes that we ordered.

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Praxy always seems to order mango, but I switched up and tried the pineapple.  After lunch, we walked the tourist area from one end to the other.   There were a bunch of resorts just behind the bunch of restaurants and dive shops that crowded the beach.   We walked back to the main road and waited for 45 minutes for a jeepney.  It was going south and we wanted to go north, but we grabbed it anyway as it was labeled Tagbilaran.  80 pesos for the 1 hour trip back to town, then 20 more for a tricycle back to the motel.  Total was 280 for the transportation, a lot better than the 1850.

I was desperate for a hamburger that evening, so we took off for the only genuine beef hamburger place in town, MacDonalds.  There are probably others, but there is really no way to know.  Most hamburgers in the Philippines are definitely HAMburgers, ground pork.  And, most of the restaurants serving these burgers really scrimp on the meat, leaving a person with lots of mayo and bread, not much else.   MacDonalds is consistent, and it was a welcome taste after weeks of ginger, sugar, rice, and vinegar in my meals.  Real french fries, YAY!

Last morning in Tagbilaran.  Praxy took off as I ate some donuts and came back with this little bit of whimsy.

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Bread made up to look like a pig and baked perfectly.  She couldn’t resist buying it, who could?  It tasted like bread, though.  We enjoyed it.

We caught a tricycle and said goodbye to the workers at the “El Portal Inn”.  It was a nice place to stay and if we ever return we will probably start out there.

We got to the pier and found a new scam, the porter scam.  This one really pissed both of us off and I’m writing a letter and posting some warnings on the internet.  The took our luggage from us and charges us an exorbitant price because I was a foreigner.  There was no way to argue, they are in cahoots with the port.  I’m still angry 12 hours later.  We could have easily taken care of our own luggage.  Next time this happens, I’m going to raise a ruckus.

But our boat arrived on time and we left the jerks to rip off the next people.

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Here is the picture of a Fastcat.  The twin hull design makes then fast and stable, it’s a two hour trip from Tagbilaran to Cebu.  We were in some 5 foot seas and the boat hardly shook.  Nice for someone (like me) that gets seasick.  They are quite a bit more spendy than the regular ferries, about double.  Worth it.

So into Cebu, found a cab, and we are in the Apple Tree Suites in downtown Cebu.  This motel is a short block from the parade route and not too far from the sports complex.  There are groups of competitors around the area practicing their dance routines for the big day, which is Sunday, the day after tomorrow.

There are also a bunch of vendors and beggars hanging around the area hassling everyone, selling viagra, sunglasses, tangerines, and cigarettes.  It’s rather annoying to walk down the street.  I’m not fond of big cities, and riff raff is getting on my nerves.   Oh well, two more days.

It might sound like I’m ready to go home.  I am.  It has been a great trip, but we are tired.  Still, I’m excited to see the Sinulog and I know that both Praxy and I will enjoy it.

No plans yet for Saturday.  We’ll think of something tomorrow.  I’m hoping to visit Martin.  I want to see how my friend is doing after the loss of his wife in December.

1/13/2012   815pm

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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