The “web’ makes it easy for us to plan our trips. With one simple click, you can set up everything easy peasy, although it also has its own risks. Unfortunately we experienced situations like cancellation and rescheduling of ferry trips, which, like a domino effect, meant we had to change a lot of our plans on the spot (good thing The Marketing Arrows is great at problem solving eh? *wink *wink). But whatever challenges we faced, we didn’t let them stop us from enjoying the beauty of Bohol, and Cebu, Especially Panglao Island.
After strolling through the clouds for what felt like forever because of Tagbilaran Airport’s one aircraft at a time policy, which meant we couldn’t land until the aircraft on the ground departs, we finally were able to land (Note: Panglao island now has its own international airport, which can accommodate almost a dozen plane at a time, and just a couple of kilometers away from the beach! yipee!). We travelled by land for about 40 minutes from Tagbilaran Airport to Alona Beach, Panglao island, sometimes through rocky unpaved roads. The smell of the ocean breeze welcomed us. It felt like all the stress and toxins from our bodies were washed away. It was paradise, truly a perfect place to unwind and clear your mind, an escape from the busy city life.
Arriving in Panglao Island
The vibe of the island is very serene, highly recommended for people who are looking to relax. It’s not uncommon to see people doing yoga and having body massage by the beach.
Our first meal on the island, on our first night were some tasty grilled seafood.
After the meal, we were able to have a late evening swim! The water was not too cold, and the resort has lights pointed at the beach, so you can feel safe swimming at night, which is probably the best time to do so, because, from morning till afternoon, the tide is very low.
The next morning, the team was up early to wait for sunrise, the pink sky was mesmerizing plus the morning seabreeze was relaxing. Aaah! Paradise.
Breakfast by the beach is one of the most relaxing part of the trip. The team was already dreaming of retiring there.
We took another dip on the clear water, then prepared to leave. A long day of travel ahead!
Farm-to-table Restaurant perched on a hillside
After leaving the beach resort, The team had lunch at the bee farm where the food is fresh organic, with the ingredients taken from the restaurant’s own farm. Of course the view is yet another breathtaking scene. The restaurant is overlooking the ocean. What a great sight while enjoying your sumptuous meal. How perfect is this place for the team to unwind!
After lunch we had a quick tour around the bee farm.
People in Bohol are really nice, no wonder Tagbilaran City is known as the City of Peace and Friendship. We would have loved to stay a bit longer, but we had to leave for our next adventure.
The Ferry Ride and Cebu
We’re off to Cebu to taste the “BEST PIG EVER!” (according to Anthony Bourdain anyway)
As previously mentioned, we had some rescheduling of ferry trips, and this is one of them, our ferry schedule was supposed to be at 6pm, but the night before, we received a text message saying our ferry was cancelled and we were put on an earlier ferry which departs at 3pm instead, which for us meant, we had to cut short our trip in Bohol and cancel some of our planned stopovers.
We went to the ferry terminal an hour before departure. We opted to buy souvenirs and treats at the terminal to save time, instead of stopping to buy at the markets. The price difference were not that big anyway, just around P5-P10 PhP ($0.10 – $0.20) more.
The ferry ride lasted about 2 hours long, which was not bad. The boat was air conditioned, they sold snacks and meals, and they played a movie. All in all it was a wonderful ride, there were a few wavy spots, but we managed to get some sleep.
We arrived in Cebu at around 5pm. Our hotel was just a few blocks away from the terminal so we were able to just walk to it. We rested a bit, then off we went to the reason we came here! We took a Grab ride to Zubuchon, the owner of the restaurant made the Lechon served to Anthony Bourdain in one of his show, in which he exclaimed, “Best Pig Ever!”, which the restaurant used with his consent.
When we arrived, we ordered the famous lechon ofcourse, plus a few other dishes, including “lechon sinigang”, which is lechon in a sour soup, another famous Filipino dish made better with lechon. First bite will make you want to dance around because of how good it taste and the lechon sinigang perfectly blended with the lechon. The food didn’t disappoint, it surpassed all our expectation, totally worth the travel. A great end to a tiring but wonderful day.
The next morning we woke up very early. Luckily, our hotel was just opposite Magellan’s Cross, the first cross planted in the Philippines, by Ferdinand Magellan himself, so we were able to visit. Our advice is to go there early, because the rest of the day, the place will be filled with tourist.
For our last stop we went to the local market called Taboan. It’s filled with yummy dried seafoods which will make you think of garlic rice and sunny side up eggs, the perfect partners for them. If you plan to go there, be sure to bring extra clothes, because the smell will definitely stick to the ones you are wearing. You wouldn’t want to smell like dried fish the whole day, haha!
It was a great stop in Taboan, but it was finally time to go home, we went to the airport and after an hour flight, we were back home. The places we went to were great, but there truly is no place like home.
What we learned on this trip is that you should always remember to take a break from your normal routine. There is nothing wrong with spoiling yourself once in a while. Experience new things, explore new places, and meet new people! And, never forget that there is nobody more deserving of a break, than yourself. Thank you for reading and Happy travels!