Ilonggo tourists in Bohol

(First of two parts)

IN MY FIVE month-stay in my city by the river, Iloilo, I got acquainted and became friends with members of the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) Sunday Bible Study group. It’s good to have a group to grow spiritually with. Of course, it also served as my support group professionally and personally.

The group members have been planning to visit Bohol for a short break. I guess it was bolstered upon learning that I am a Boholana, myself. I also wrote about my Bohol trip in March, https://www.panaynews.net/refreshing-bohol-visit/, which I guess fuelled all the more, their keen interest to fulfil the long-cherished plan.

In this column of two parts, I will chronicle the stories of the group who just returned from Bohol. The intent is to make my readers appreciate the beauty of Bohol through the lens of Ilonggo tourists. Nothing beats actual experience!

Here’s Lowela “Wela” Pahila Lorezo speaking: Bohol was a place full of adventures. It was unwinding for us to see the natural scenery that dusted off our worries from the busy city life. The Tarsiers, Civets, snakes, and butterflies made my children greatly enjoy the trip. The man-made forest was a spectacular site to shoot for Instagram photos. The delicacies of Bohol were mouth-watering, from Calamay to Peanut Kisses. I asked my children what the peak of the travel was and they said, “It’s the floating restaurant, Ma“. The reason: They saw how God made our planet earth beautiful and the dancers showcased their God-given talents. Travelling is exhausting, yes, but what matters the most, are the memories created and shared, concludes Wela.

We move now to the travel journal of Peter Neri, the leader of our Bible Study group. May 23rd was the start of the long -and much-awaited escapade of the group, dubbed Bles’ Christian Friends (BCF), in the Paradise Island of Bohol – an alternative tourist destination in lieu of the world-renowned Boracay Island. It’s a much-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of life.

We woke up very early to catch the 6:40 a.m. flight. Going to the airport backed by favourable weather made us light-hearted, totally liberating us from the routine stress of life. It was a leisure trip. We took off from Iloilo via PAL at 6:45 a.m. and landed at 7:15 a.m. It was the first time for Zion – the youngest in the group – to experience a plane trip. It brought him a little discomfort, dizziness primarily, but the discomfort was overcome by excitement. Landing was a little bumpy which was usual to small planes with propellers. We were 14 in the group. We call it the “blessed number”.

From the airport, we went straight to the port bound for Tagbilaran City. The heavy influx of passengers bound for Tagbilaran bumped us off to the next trip via Ocean Jet. The Tagbilaran Port was bursting with passengers when we disembarked unlike the sight of 10 years past, when you still had the luxury to tarry. Gone are those days, my friend. The fast-craft trip was smooth and pleasant. The sea was so serene. It was conducive to taking a short nap to recover from sleep deprivation owing to an early fight.

We arrived in Tagbilaran City in good spirits – thanks to the nap and favourable weather again! We checked in at Royal Coast Tourist Inn – a hotel situated in Tagbilaran City to avoid the higher cost of accommodation in the hotels in Panglao. First activity of the tour started at 4 p.m. We passed by the bridge going to Dauis. What’s noticeable was the big-sized parapet along the bridge which according to Fred, our driver/tour guide – recommended by the columnist herself, is used as dining table for those who want to chill at night. What an innovative idea! We arrived at Alona beach resort, named after Alona Alegre, a former movie star, who frequented the place before it became popular. Thus, says driver and tour guide Fred.

Alona was tranquil, water was clear, and with white sand. Alongside were vendors peddling the local stuff such as handicrafts and lots of Mango. By comparison, it looked like a mini-Boracay. Noticeable were plenty of boats or banca waiting for tourists who desire to go island-hopping. I liked the breath of fresh sea air and the festive mood of the people in Alona. We ended the day with a delicious grilled Tuna dinner at Lantaw restaurant in the city. (To be continued)

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together. – African Proverb

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For comments, you may reach the writer at [email protected]./PN

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