Friday, December 17, 2010
Balik sa Bohol, Balik...
There was so much excitement these past weeks owing to the fact that at last, the hubby and I got our feet moving and went on a short trip to the south which Tim had been planning to book a long time ago. Prior to our trip to Cebu and Bohol, we have been locked up at home due mainly to the hubby's accident in September, and for which he is now undergoing therapy. (This is not part of the excitement I am talking about).
Cebu City offered nothing new to us. Like Manila, its malls are now its most important attractions. The best things I found there were the churches, specially the twin cathedrals- the Sto. Nino and the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the historic spots, particularly the very small Fort San Pedro. The fort brought back memories of the years I was teaching Philippine history to first year high school students.
I was surprised at myself for riding a Supercat from Cebu to Tagbilaran City. After that Super Ferry ride from Cebu to Manila in 1997, I swore not be in the middle of the ocean ever again. But the hour long ride from Cebu to Bohol was just a breeze. It helped that I took some medication for dizziness an hour before boarding the ferry boat. And it helped that a comedy film was shown throughout the trip.
Bohol was a pleasant surprise for me. Seeing it for the first time, I can't help but mourn for Bulacan. If Bohol were to become the gateway to the Philippines, the country will all the more become a tourists' haven. There's no traffic anywhere in the city nor in the provincial highway which is the main route to most of its attractions. Even the smallest inroads in the island of Panglao were cemented. I did not see men having a drinking spree in front of their homes. It was so clean everywhere. We passed by several public schools but there were no vendors that would create an ugly sight. All the churches we went to as we cruised the road to Carmen, where the Chocolate Hills are, kept all their historical relics. Like Cebu, its churches have the most ornate retablos which showcases the style introduced by the Spaniards when they arrived in the islands.
The cruise down Loboc river is one that I will forever cherish. I used to get annoyed before whenever I see Cesar Montano on tv saying good things in praise of his home province. I thought, 'yeah, I love my own', little knowing that he was not exaggerating. Had I known, I would have gone there with either the hubby or my kids a long time ago. Call me OA, but when I was in Bohol, I did not see the usual ugly sights in the Philippines.
There are still so many true, good and beautiful things I can say about Bohol during my very short stay there, but lest my fellow Bulakenyos call me a traitor, I will stop here. But one thing is sure, I will visit Bohol another time, and I hope it will be soon, with our best friends in tow, to make the trip doubly remarkable.