Isip ko’y Buhol-BOHOL: Living The Life of a TARSIER (part2)

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Travel
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Isip ko’y Buhol-BOHOL:
Living The Life of a Tarsier
Part 2

After the long walk up the steps at Nuts Huts, we were famished and would really like to eat a hearty lunch. So we headed for the Tourism Complex at Loboc River and registered for the Loboc River Cruise and eat lunch

With the tourism fever, the floating restaurants were envisioned providing tourists with a first class dining experience on board floating restaurants. The floating vessels are made up of a covered platform on top of two large outrigger boats, which are joined together. The boats can accommodate up to 50 people.

Most of the floating restaurants treat their guests with Boholano songs played by in-boat bands during the cruise. The trip winds up the river and ends at the Busay Falls, which is only one and a half meter at most. Here, guests are treated to a rondalla music by a local rondalla group housed under a floating cottage.

Local folks usually take a dip in the waters and enjoy bathing under the falls. Guests who have brought with them extra clothes are welcome to swim and bathe and experience the heady feeling of a refreshing swim in the river’s unpolluted waters.

Going to and from the Busay Falls, visitors are treated to a spectacle of children diving from a large coconut tree that is leaning out towards the river. One will feel a bit tense seeing the children climbing up the tree and then plunging towards the deep waters. From the looks of it, the part of the tree where the children usually dive from is more than 10 feet from the river.

Along the way, one can see children swimming and people passing by in small bancas or canoes. Upstream, and located on the eastern bank of the river, the Nuts Huts Resort is seen. This resort is a favorite hang out for bikers and hikers who prefer the peaceful and scenic surroundings of the riverbank rather than the majestic allure of the sea.

Another area worth visiting is where wild chickens, turtles, and pythons are kept in captivity. On this trips, visitors are given the time to marvel at the surrounding landscape. After a while, the return trip starts. Since the trip is going downstream, it takes a shorter time for the boats to arrive at the starting point.

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After a hearty meal, we walk around the stalls where they sell souvenirs and then ate ice cream at The Buzz Café, and bought some souvenirs.

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After our lunch, we are now headed for the town of Carmen to see the Chocolate Hills, but on the way, the rain started pouring hard and was thinking we could not get any good photos of the hills… arriving in Carmen, the van headed up a hill to the view deck but it was still drizzling so we went around the stalls and bought some souvenirs and ate some pinipig ice cream. After awhile, we started up the steps to the top of the view deck and see the famous Chocolate Hills, but was disappointed, why? It was just a not so many of those hills at this view deck.

The Chocolate Hills, are probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant molehills, or as some say, women’s breasts, and remind us of the hills in a small child’s drawing. Most people who first see pictures of this landscape can hardly believe that these hills are not a man-made artifact. However, this idea is quickly abandoned, as the effort would surely surpass the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. The chocolate hills consist of are no less than 1268 hills (some claim this to be the exact number). They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.
Legend has it that the hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant who fell in love with an ordinary mortal girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried bitterly. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief.
However, up to this day, even geologists have not reached consensus on how they where formed. The most commonly accept theory is that they are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of a impermeable layer of clay. If you climb the 214 steps to the top of the observation hill near the complex, you can read this explanation on a bronze plaque.

We were drenched when it was raining then was sweating again when the sun came out because of the humidity. I got some decent shots despite the rain and the clouds covering the hills but would rather have another shot at it next time.

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Going back to Loboc, we passed by The Simply Batterfly Conservation Center, which is situated in Bilar, Bohol, Philippines. Bilar is an interior town located 41 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, the lone city of Bohol. The Center is 1 kilometer from the Bilar market and 5 minutes away from the Mahogany Man-Made Forest.

Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding and conservation program in Bohol. Its main goal is to protect and strengthen the natural environment of the butterflies through plant research, breeding and releasing.

Aiming to raise the butterfly population in Bohol, the Center also seeks ways and means to bring money into the local economy using butterflies and butterfly by-products. Local town folks have been taught how to breed butterflies and at present, a community of paid breeders has been formed.
Likewise, the Center is into the study, research, and preservation of host plants, which are dwindling due to illegal poaching and deforestation. The breeding of common butterflies for export, plus their by-products help to fund host-plant research, development and the breeding of rare butterflies.

Only hand-bred sources, not those captured from the wild, are used by the center to protect the butterfly population. A large number of hand-bred butterflies are also released into the wild from time to time thus increasing local population. Only the surplus from these hand bred butterflies are used for making by-products for both the local and foreign markets.

Our tour guide was a witty guy named Jobert, who explained to us all the things we should know about a butterfly and their gender (even told us that there are gay butterflies), how they mate and eat. And showed us the stages of the butterfly.

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On our way to Loboc, we passed also the Man Made Mahogany Forest, located between Bilar and Loboc. Streching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Before and after this man-made forest are the naturally grown forests of Loboc and Bilar, which are thick with a kaleidoscope of green foliage, different species of trees and giant ferns lining the road.

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Next came the Hanging Bridge in Loboc (actually there are two, one is the entrance and the other is the exit). Located in Tigbao, is made out of bamboo with cable support. Which help the community living in the other side of the river to cross it. We were greeted by a man at the other side of the bridge, which sells coconut drink (or buko juice), but did not get buy one because we were not that thirsty. Bought some souvenirs which was cheaper here than any other place where we have been.

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We heading back to Loboc, and tried to enter the museum, but it was close (strike three). They said that they had a meeting that is why all the museums were closed. Got some water and cola for our stay in Nuts Huts. Paid our guide for the day and said our good-byes and took the Habal-habal (motorbike) to Nuts Huts whish was around 1630hrs, where we freshened up and took a rest, then around 1930hrs, we had dinner at the Main Hut where we ate; Spaghetti Ennia Morricone (meat) and Spring Rolls, then strolled by the river and took some photos. The Loboc River by night is lighted up with different colored lights, which changes from time to time and you could hear the singing in the boats as they pass-by.

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At night was just a wonderful feeling, hearing all those noises that the animals and birds make and then came the downpour of rain, which felt so cold and lasted till morning.

Suggestions:
• Try as much as possible to hire a van, haggle for a good price to take you around the tourist spots, it would take you where ever you say you want to go and faster way to get from one place to another
• Try the river cruise at night, the river is lighted with different colors and would be so romantic having dinner on the boat with the band playing.
• If you would stay at Nuts Huts, take the habal-habal going to Nuts Huts then the banca leaving, the steps going up Nuts Huts is about 200 steps plus the walk going to the main road would take you about 30 to 45 minutes, that is if you walk fast.

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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