While Bohol, aptly called “God’s Little Paradise”, has emerged as a prime tourist destination in the Philippines, I can think of two things that keep travelers coming to this island. These points of interest are the Chocolate Hills and Tarsier.
Thousands of perfectly cone-shaped hills which abound in Central Bohol are simply magnificent, natural wonders. The grasses which cover the hills turn brown in the dry season. Truly amazing, you may observe the uniqueness when the hills are wet for they turn into green and when the sun is up high, they turn brown.
The local government has approved the development of two of the hills into resort. On top of the hill are two youth hostels with a conference room, cottages with private rooms, swimming pool, tennis court and restaurant. On the other hill is an observation deck, just a climb up of 213 concrete steps, where one can view God’s wondrous creations spread below as far as the eyes can see.
Bohol prides itself as the home of Tarsier, the big-eyed insect eating monkey whose size is smaller than a body fist. Carrying the scientific name “Tarsius Syrichta”, Tarsier is considered as the world’s smallest primate, which measures 4 to 5 inches and a tail longer than its body. It has brown eyes three times larger than any primates’s hairless ears and long claws. It is able to rotate its head nearly 360 degrees and is quick agile, leaping frog.
Tarsier, which is highly regarded by scientists as the oldest mammal living mammal now inhabiting the earth, can be found in the forest of Corella which is ten kilometers from Tagbiliran City.
Bohol Countryside Tour
Lest, I may be misunderstood as bias, Bohol is more than just tarsier and hills. If it’s your first time to visit Bohol, taking the Bohol Countryside Tour would be the best idea. It will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Blood Compact Site, Baclayon Church, Prony, the Python, bolo-making, nipa-weaving, Loboc River cruise (buffet lunch or dinner during the cruise), Sipatan Hanging Bridge, man-made forest and Simply Butterfly.
If you’re on your own, you may plunge into the deep, clear blue water, complemented by verdant rolling hills. According to its tourism portal, Bohol’s beauty lies in its explore depths of waters which are rated among the best diving haven in the world and famous not only for its richness in marine life and corals. The island is also home to waterfalls amidst untapped forests, caves with stalagmites and stalactites, natural parks, exotic wildlife, centuries – old churches and edifices and lot of historical landmarks.
TRAVEL INFO: Bohol lies in the center of the Philippines, southeast of Cebu and southwest of Leyte. From Manila, a tourist may take a 45-minute flight via Cebu Pacific to Tagbiliran City, the capital.
THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.