It’s the second day of my Bohol trip, and today’s theme: wet, wild, and healthy! It’s an entire day of getting close to nature with most likely risk of getting wet and close encounters with wild life. Let’s start the tour.
Our first stop is a mini zoo with some wild life found in the area. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of cages and caged animals but since we’re already there might as well have a look. There are quite some facilities like this all over Bohol and they have permits to do so. I would assume that these animals were rescued from the wild life trade and for some reason can’t be returned to their homes. It’s a sad story actually and I had a heavy feeling all throughout this part of the tour. Except of course for some of the animals that we know are considered pets.
Among the other animals found here are:
Wet (Optional): Hinagdanan Cave
Our next stop is the Hinagdanan Cave. This cave, according to our guide, got its name with the ladder (hagdan, hinagdanan means ladderized) that was the only way to enter the cave. The cave was discovered as two holes on the ground, and with further inspection of these “holes,” the cave was discovered.
Unfortunately graffiti line the walls of the cave, but this is not a recent incident. According to our guide, the caves were used by Japanese soldiers during World War II as camps, and so were the suspected culprits of these graffiti.
Inside the cave lives wild life as well. Other caves have bats but Hinagdanan Cave has cave swiftlets (balinsasayaw) whose nests are the main ingredients in making the popular bird’s nest soup or nido soup. But apparently their nests are not harvested in this area (probably not cooking grade).
Also inside the cave is an underground lake that goes with the tide. It was a holiday when we visited so there were many locals swimming in it.
In case you are interested for some trivia:
Healthy: Bohol Bee Farm
One of the best places in Bohol to eat is the Bohol Bee Farm. Their food is all organic, mostly grown in their organic gardens, unique, healthy, and tasted great! Add to that a very nice ambiance and a wonderful view of the sea. All these while maintaining a very reasonable price.
While waiting for our food we were served with some appetizers. The first one was their bread served with three spreads: malunggay (moringa oleifera), mango, and honey. We were also served chips that looked like chicharon but are apparently from vegetables.
For lunch I opted for their unique pasta (which I forgot the name) with bananas, mangoes, etc. and some Tarragon iced tea which were all excellent. I also got to try their famous flower salad which is, as the name implies, a salad with flowers as main ingredients. Naturally it comes with a honey-mustard dressing.
Another must try on their list are the ice cream. They have a variety of unique flavors, the most “exotic” of which are probably the malunggay and spicy ginger flavors (both I tried, the best!). Make sure to have it served in their unique cones, also made from vegetables.
Before leaving make sure to stop by their souvenir shop where you can also purchase their delicious spreads. I enjoyed all of their spreads so I got one bottle of each and another bottle of pure honey! (If you’re travelling by plane consider your volume liquid and weight before splurging)
Travel Tip: You may also buy Bohol Bee Farm’s products from The Buzzz Café branches (one is located in Loboc in the river cruise area).
Wet (Definitely): Alona Beach
Bohol in recent years had been gaining popularity because of its beaches, and one of the most popular and beautiful one is the Alona beach. Legend has it that this was the site where a film was shot years ago starring Alona Alegre and so when people asked, it was referred to as “the beach of Alona (Alegre’s film)” and later on as Alona beach.
But wait, there’s more! Our day didn’t end there. The highlight of the day’s tour was fireflies kayaking at Abatan river in Cortes. You may have heard of kayaking, but fireflies kayaking is a totally surreal experience! It’s kayaking in the middle of a dark river (early evening) all the while being illuminated by thousands upon thousands of fireflies that lights up trees! It’s an amazing experience that only quite a select few have the privilege of doing. Watch out for it, coming up next!
Continued: Fireflies Kayaking at Abatan River