Sunday, May 9

B? Bohol! - Beach...

Early morning on Thursday, we still had to get up with the sun because we were going to be fetched at 6am for dolphin watching and a visit to Pamilacan Island. Over breakfast, we thanked the staff of Simply Butterflies for our very pleasant stay in Bilar and hurriedly boarded the car sent out to fetch us.  I had made arrangements with Jojo Baritua of Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours  ( with whom I had a very unforgettable dolphin encounter seven years back. The sun rose quickly and it was a little past 7am when we reached the Baclayon pier in front of the lovely Baclayon Church.  Jojo B. was there to greet us, and after quickly filling up the maritime forms, we were off! Nenel was a small, smiling woman who accompanied us as our local guide and the captain of our bangka was mang Teodoro.  Adri was struggling with the names of the crew we had several years earlier (I was sure I could not remember them), when he remembered one of them, Idot.  By wonderful consequence, mang Idot and mang Teodoro were the same person! It had been several years and he didn't remember us in particular, but he did remember how we had tied Vir's kite to the boat. It seemed like a good foreboding for our adventure.

Pamilacan Island - home of former whalers

It's time for some sun exposure!
We circled the rich waters around Pamilacan Island for a couple of hours.  And just when I was losing hope that we would see dolphins, there was a splash on the horizon.  There they were!  A small pod of spinner dolphins!  As we approached cautiously to join them, we saw that a young dolphin was the one most active with the acrobatics of spinning and jumping out of the water. The dolphins kept their distance from the boat, but they were near enough for us to enjoy their antics.  Sometimes, a couple of them would approach and ride the bow.  They moved so swiftly, there would be times when they would disappear completely and I would think they had left when they would suddenly appear on a different side of the boat. We all clapped and shouted with glee, Adri, Mel and I, trying to get photos and video, but not knowing where their sleek bodies would suddenly break from the waters' surface. It must be wonderful to be a dolphin and move with such agility and freedom in the water.  (

Wonderful spinner dolphins

Eventually, we decided to leave the dolphins to their frolic and feeding.
We headed for Pamilacan Island for lunch, and upon stepping onto the beach we were immediately greeted with the customary frangipani leis.

Welcome complete with calachuchi leis
It was still early for lunch and they asked us if we would like to snorkel in the marine sanctuary.  Adri and I immediately agreed, while Mel exchanged snorkelling for a relaxing massage.  The only boats allowed in the marine sanctuary were small paddle-driven bangkas and I immediately thought of how difficult it would be to get back on the bangka! Our guide, Reno, pointed out the giant clams that had been seeded recently and took us to the edge of the sanctuary where we enjoyed the thrilling sight of a school of more than a thousand jacks swimming at the edge of a steep drop, their bodies glinting in the sunlight ( .Each talakitok must have weighed 2 kilos or more said Reno, but the fine for fishing in the sanctuary was 1,500 pesos per catch.  It was good to hear that the locals protected their natural bounty.  Later, we snorkelled at the Coral Garden, where clownfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and other colorful reef fish danced through the soft and hard coral. 

Ready to snorkel!

Boatman in the water

a school of jacks

in the coral garden

When we got back on the beach, lunch was ready... grilled tuna steak, native chicken soup (was it tinola or binakol or a cross?), chicken adobo, sayote and upo tops, banana and fresh buko juice. The heat of the day reflected on the sand made us very sleepy after our lunch and we did our best beach bumming by just staring at the crisp blue waters in front of us.  We took a short walk to the ruins of the lookout tower (which, just like 7 years ago, still had chickens) and watched the local kids enjoy swimming at high noon. 

lunch on Pamilacan

Melanie making friends with a goat

pamilacan island scenery

Before we had a chance to drop off to sleep permanently, we decided it was time to move on.

with mang idot and nenel

We had checked out of Simply Butterflies that morning and all our things were loaded on the boat because they planned to bring us to the Bohol Bee Farm on Panglao by boat (rather than returning to Baclayon and bringing us by car).  It was a 45 minute boat ride which would have lulled us to sleep except for an occasional large splash of water since the afternoon had made the mornings' calm seas a bit rougher.  As we approached the Bohol Bee Farm, Adri, Mel and I were surprised to see that it did not have a beach front, but that good-sized wooden dock and lounging area was built on the side of the cliff.  The waters were turning rough and it was quite a challenge to jump form our large bangka to the wooden dock while the boat was roughly tossed about by the waves.  We thanked Nenel and Idot and the rest of the crew and waved at them as they left.

the dock at bohol bee farm

Wet and looking very bedraggled, Mel and I climbed the steps to look for the front desk where we informed the staff that we had arrived... the back way!  It was obviously not the normal route taken by their guests and they quickly dispatched bellboys to help Adri bring up our things.  We were assigned to the Radish room, a very neat and home-y room... with air conditioning and a television set. 

Again we didn't want to waste any time, and before we would get too comfortable, we returned to the dock where we spent the rest of the afternoon til sunset playing with the crashing surf that threatened to bash us into the nearby rocks. The place was the perfect photo-op location, and I think Mel was the most delighted at this.

For dinner, we had the most colorful meal... bread and 3 kinds of spread (honey, mango and pesto), spicy flower salad, squash soup, spare ribs and curry pasta (and I had tarragon iced tea).  I was hesitant to eat the flower salad (which we had ordered out of curiosity), when I saw the flowers in it: cosmos, bougainvillea, gumamela, ternate blue pea, katuray!  It was like my mother's garden on a plate!  Of course there was a bit of lettuce and mushroom and nuts.  But the dressing was good, and the flower salad tasted... like salad!  I didn't know what I was expecting. Everything else was yummy, and once again, we had stuffed our selves’ silly. We were happy that we had yet to have a bad meal during our entire trip. 


When we got back to the room, there was the gecko on the wall and after a good shower and bath I fell asleep almost immediately, happy to remember that there was no wake up call the next day.

After breakfast of omelette, waffle, chicken ham and papaya juice, we took our time preparing for our flight back to Manila.  Before Chito would come to pick us up, we took the tour of the Bee Farm, checked out their gardens and bees and handicraft center. 

how can we resist ice cream on a hot summer day?

us with chito... last minute pasalubong shopping
bye bye bohol!  thanks for a wonderful time!


  1. please, please, please take me with you guys next time!!! PLEASE!!!!!!! :D

  2. hahaha ang galing ng blog complete ang story. :) syempre always happy for pictorials. isa sa pinakamagandang place for photo ops. Next time ulit. ;p