Bohol – a lush island paradise

I know I promised Bohol, but as it turns out I did not get any decent food pics! Which was a shame since the food we ate at the resort we stayed in, Amorita, was nothing short but spectacular!

The mercury was already soaring when we took off from the Manila domestic airport. Now for those not familiar with the Philippines, it is made up of three regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Bohol is in the central Visayas region, itself is made up of several islands (The Philippines, after all, is made up of 7000+ islands). We landed at the tiny airport of Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital which is about an hour by plane from Manila. From there it took us another 45 minutes to get to Panglao, the outlying island where our resort was located.

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View of the beach from the infinity pool

As expected, heat and humidity plagued us the moment we stepped out of the shuttle bus. As we waited to be checked-in, we happily gulped down the cold gulaman drinks (gelatinous dessert chunks made from seaweed) graciously provided at the reception area.

The weariness of the journey dissipated when we got to our room.

It was gorgeous!!!

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mini-infinity pool

Our own infinity pool visible from our room…

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Double-sliding doors to our cottage

Our cottage had glass-paned walls that allowed us a view of our private little plot from inside.

Sadly we didn’t linger in our room much, because our stomachs started to growl and feeding them became our priority.

While waiting for everyone to show up, someone remembered to take pictures.

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The restaurant had wifi, and yours truly didn’t waste time checking emails

But alas, when the food arrived nobody did, until it was too late…

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near-empty plates in the background

I’ll spare you all the beach and pool-side pictures, I think my family would appreciate it if I didn’t publish their various states of undress either. πŸ˜‰

Because we were so impressed with lunch, we decided to stay at the resort for dinner. They had set up a grill where you can select from various freshly-caught fish of the day.

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a selection of fish

Hubby picked the red-snapper looking fish…

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grilled fish

And it was prepared simply served with slices of lemon and a dipping sauce.

The idea of eating "light" was forgotten when our server persuaded my brother to order “Crispy Pata” (deep fried pork legs that epitomize every reason for a heart attack). When the plate arrived, I managed to sequester the dish long enough to pick my share of crispy skin before it got sent down the table – I realized that P doesn’t stand for Perez alone, it also stands for "Piranha" – because any plate of food that gets sent down the depths of the family table stands minimal chance of returning with any edible bits left.

But since I was the visiting "guest", my nieces and nephews did leave me the honor of picking the bone clean!

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The way to eat crispy pata – caveman style – there is no other way…

The following morning was a breakfast buffet. From dried fish and rice to sausage and potatoes, from omelette and pancakes to a bowl of noodle soup, I must really commend the chef of Amorita. The three meals I’ve had at the resort have been first-rate and fresh ingredients clearly played a vital role. Even something as simple as fish and chips was executed to perfection. Hubby even said he had the best pancakes of his life and I had a really, really good hot chocolate de batirol (yep, the hot and humid weather did not faze me). The fresh fruit shakes were also highly addictive, our favorite being the watermelon shake.
 

I have a confession to make, I am not much of a sightseeing person. Specially if there is no food involved, my attention quickly becomes passive. One of the industries in Bohol is recycling used-tires and making them useful such as converting them to furniture or garden planters.

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recycling used tires

What got my interest though, was the blacksmith trade in Bohol where the bolo, a Filipino-type machete used for clearing fields, is made. I wanted one. Maybe that would make chopping ribs easier?

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Hammering out a bolo

I must admit, I did get a flash of these two guys sprouting elf-ears and they were forging the sword Anduril from the shards of Narsil.

Anyone remember "Lord of the Rings – Return of the King" ?

I am such a dork.

Moving on…

The star of the tour, however, was my little friend here, the tarsier.

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The Tarsier of Bohol – the one clinging to the tree silly, not the one smiling stupidly!

They are nocturnal primates and from what I’ve learned about them, are loners and quite suicidal when under stress. With the dwindling rain forests, they are classified by some as endangered species.

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Gollum?

 I was disappointed in the "chocolate hills" stop. I was expecting mountains of cocoa- colored hills, but I guess the weather was not cooperative and instead we got pistachio-green ones. But I must say this, I have never seen vegetation so lush and thick, I’m sure if the heat wasn’t killing me I would have appreciated it more.

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A view of the chocolate hills

The lunch-cruise down the Loboc river was relaxing enough as the river breeze lowered the temperature a bit. I was not expecting gourmet food either and did not eat much at the buffet opting instead to save my appetite for dinner.

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Loboc River
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So what’s for dinner?

The Bohol Bee farm! I’ve heard so much about this haven of organic farming and fresh food, and you know what, it did not disappoint! The lemon grass juice was so refreshing. Everything from the ribs and soup to the seafood lasagna and honey chicken tickled our palate with its simple clean flavors. The dining areas were designed to make use of the land well and play up to its natural terrain.

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One of the dining areas

My only regret was because we went for dinner we were not able to visit the bee hives. But then we wouldn’t have dined while looking at this awesome view if we did go during the day time.

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Full moon reflecting on the ocean

 

 

13 thoughts on “Bohol – a lush island paradise

  1. This is incredible. I can’t get over how beautiful the place looks, how fresh the fish is and how close you are with your family. And the infinity pool…I’m ready to pack and leave now!!

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  3. Lovely! So nice to read your account of your stay in Bohol πŸ™‚ I went once years ago and sadly did not know about Bohol Bee Farm then…will definitely go if I make another trip πŸ™‚

    Love the crispy pata picture…I can so relate!

  4. Haha, I think you should count it as fortunate that you got to see them green. I’d hate for them to be chocolate because all the vegetation had died!
    I suppose I must confess that I probably have never eaten crispy pata the “right” way then!

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  6. Now that’s the way to take a vacation! Glad you had a great time at the wedding and you guys looked smashing!
    Glad to have you back too!

  7. Well, well, well, what a grand old time you had. I’m ecstatic! Nothing like first class rejuvenation with tasty sides to bring up a girl’s spirit. I’m delighted you had a delectable time including the “caveman” style gorging! Good for you Veron!!!

    Thanks for sharing with us…

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