One way to explore Bohol is by doing a country-side tour. Doing so allows you to experience remarkable and notable sites that Bohol got to offer. Generally this kind of tours are offered in most hotels and resorts all over Bohol, but if you want to save up you may hire a tricycle to do the tour for you. But as for us we have settled what Paragayo had offered.
So the tour lasted more than 8 hours, starting as early as 9am and ended minutes after the sun sets as I remembered. But before we hit the road we satisfied our hungry big stomachs at Trudi’s Place. Trudi’s Place is just 2-3 minutes away from where we stay, located right along Alona Beach which is really really perfect for breezy morning beach view. Food is usual nothing fancy at all, most of it are in combo-set which varies from all Filipino, American to Intercontinental meals. Cheapest is roughly at P75 and can go high as P150. Staffs were trained to be neutral, sometimes they take the effort to smile, be polite and accommodating but sometimes not. If you are in a budget then Trudi’s is the place for you, but if you want to have more than the usual on food then you might be needing to walk somewhere else.
And so we started our country-side tour by first visiting Hinagdanan Cave. The site is located in the Northern part of Panglao, 15-20 mins drive from the resort. Its a natural lighted cavern filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Sunlight passes through big and small holes inside the cave which allows birds as well to nest on high edgy rocks. As we were told by one of the cave’s attendants, it is strictly prohibited to hunt and harvest the bird’s nest since Hinagdanan is considered as a bird sanctuary. Well it’s sure not bad to taste some Nido’s soup.
Next on the list was the Blood Compact Site and this time we went out of Panglao. Strategically speaking the site is located along the road going to the Northern part of Bohol. It was said that the area might not be the exact site where Datu Sikatuna and Legazpi made a friendship pact, but at least it is somehow closer from the original site. Until now the pact between the Spaniards and Boholano’s is being celebrated in Bohol, known as the Sandugo (One Blood) Festival where the town hosts dances, sport events, beauty pageants, community fairs and reenactment to commemorate the pact that held 2 different nationalities into one.
Since our way is going to the Northern part, we headed straight to the famous tourist site – the Baclayon Church. Built in the late 15th century, Baclayon is considered as one of the oldest Catholic church in the Philippines. The entire church was built out of coral stones which were skillfully cut, erected and arranged as bricks . To be honest I was completely bedazzled when I walk through the church’s main altar. The natural lights created from the reflection of the glass windows and sun’s ray captured my heart as I deeply felt God’s presence in the place. It felt warm, silent and so secure when I sit and walk through the stoned cold walls. Though the whole place can be physically old, Baclayon stands out to be the most beautiful piece that both man and God ever created in Bohol. Definitely a must to see!