Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bohol 2016: Tourist Spots ~ Part 1

Bohol is one of those family friendly tourist destinations.  This is because other than relaxing at the beach shores of Panglao Island, Bohol offers various tourist spots that you may visit to learn about history and marvel on God’s wonderful creations.

Our itinerary when we visited Bohol last March was to spend a day on city tour.  I searched online for recommendations of van-for-hire contacts and found Kuya Tatsky.  We initially wanted to do-it-ourselves-commute, but realized that since we have a little boy with us, it wouldn’t be very practical – and good thing we did not do it.  Public transport while touring would take up too much time and effort.

Kuya Tatsky gave us Php2,100 rate for a whole day city tour using a sedan.  He told us that the car is at our disposal wherever tourist attraction we wanted to visit.  Ric-Ric, the driver assigned to us, fetched us at Bohol Divers Resort at exactly 8AM (this was the time suggested by Kuya Tatsky to maximize our Bohol City Tour). 

Here are the different tourist attractions we went to:

Bohol Bee Farm – No entrance fee but there’s a tour fee of Php30 per person.  The tour will show you different organic plants they grow at Bohol Bee Farm and of course, bees.  Bohol Bee Farm sells a lot of souvenir items and pasalubongs at a higher price than other areas. The only practical pasalubong you would buy here are the different kinds of honey.  You can also try their different ice cream flavors; but be warned that not all are yummy hehe J

Bees… 

Hinagdanan Cave – Entrance fee: Php50.  It’s a small cave with a small deep body of water inside.  You can swim and take wonderful pictures while perspiring too much since the inside of the cave is too hot.  Just be careful because the area is slippery.




Dauis Church – No entrance fee; the church is still being renovated.  This church has a wonderful ceiling.  I think it’s hand-painted, and would let you think that 3D art exists even before 1800s.


Embossed ceiling?  No, it’s just paintings.

Blood Compact [Old Site] – No entrance fee.  This is the old site of Blood Compact and it has better view and better statues.  This used to be the “Blood Compact” site, where Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna made a pact.  They call this the fake site because around 10 years ago, they found the correct site.  Buy your pasalubongs in the store near this site because its way cheaper than the other selling areas.




Baclayon Church – Entrance fee for Museum: Php50.  Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, and the oldest coral stone church in the region.  The earthquake last 2013 damaged the church, but it is now being restored.  Restoration is taking time as it is being overseen by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.  They had to make sure that every small detail is just like before the quake damaged it.  If you are not a fan of church memorabilia, you can opt not to visit the church museum. 




Bohol Wildlife Park – Entrance Fee: Php30.  Bohol Wildlife Park is the home of Prony before he died.  Prony is the biggest python in captivity here in the Philippines.  He weighs more than 300 kilos.  They preserved Prony’s bones and skin, so you can still see the remains.  They are also trying to raise a new python in Prony’s image – that is overfeeding it hahaha :D


Prony’s skin and bones and future Prony.


Blood Compact [Real Site] – No entrance fee.  This real site of Blood Compact was only confirmed some 10 years ago, when Legazpi’s diary was found and it indicated that the Blood Compact site is beside a well between two rivers.  That area is the only site beside a well between two rivers.  Thus, the history of the two Blood Compact sites.




Part 2 will be the continuation of the city tourist attractions we went to at Bohol.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bohol 2016: Bohol Divers Resort

Staying overnight at Panglao Island has been in our itinerary even before we went to Bohol.  Our little boy loves the water so much, and I can now attest that we as a family are beach lovers na nga.

However, booking an accommodation at Panglao took a backseat for me since we were so busy with work.  We initially wanted to stay at Alona Swiss Resort, but when we saw the Panglao Island map, it is located quite far from the beach shore.  We have to let go of that plan and search for a resort close to the beach.

A colleague suggested Bohol Divers Resort.  I searched online for reviews and found good ones but were dated some 4-5 years ago.  I didn’t mind the dates of the reviews so I booked Bohol Divers Resort for 2 nights at TravelBook.ph, where I got the lowest rate.



We booked the Cella room, which has 2 double beds, a bathroom, air-conditioning unit, and breakfast for 2 costing us Php5600 for 2 nights.

Our room viewed from the outside.

When we arrived at Bohol Divers Resort, around three in the afternoon, we were quite confused.  Bohol Divers Resort is a very big hotel with lots of room accommodation BUT with few guests (I wasn’t able to see anyone other than us, actually).   

Checking in was a breeze, because there were no other guest.  We traveled as a family of 4 (Papa Leo, Mama Nerisa, Ate Espie, and Neo).  We were asked to pay Php700 for extra pax per night.  

Let me give you an honest review of Bohol Divers Resort.

Room – 2 out of 5.  The Cella Room, which we booked, is very spacious.  TravelBook.ph says it has 18sqm floor area. It has 2 double beds, cabinet, small television, air-conditioning unit, water dispenser, spacious bathroom, small dining area, and a veranda with table.  I will be honest, I wasn’t too pleased with the room, and I am very easy to please.  The 2 double beds have old thin foams, 1 pillow each, and old blankets and linens.  The small television has only few channels.  The spacious bathroom luckily has hot and cold water, but has old and damaged fixtures.  The air-conditioning unit is very old and is very dirty; I don’t want to know when the last time they cleaned it.  There were even no toiletries inside the room, and we have to ask for the reception to give us some.  One of the good things in this room is the water dispenser, but sadly it doesn’t offer cold or hot choices, just plain water.  Oops, the lock of the doors doesn’t seem to be sturdy, so we have to make sure to put the chairs as blockage in the door when we were sleeping as an extra precaution.  


Goofing at the dining area.

Amenities – 3 out of 5.  Bohol Divers Resort might have been a very nice hotel before.  It has a very beautiful swimming pool, but we weren’t able to try it.  The rooms and the reception of Bohol Divers are far from each other.  I think there’s another hotel in between.  So you have to go down to the beach shore and go up to the reception if you needed anything.  And there is no telephone to contact reception.

The swimming pool inviting us to take a dip.

Staff – 2.5 out of 5.  Because this resort doesn’t have a lot of guests, I seldom see staffs roaming around.  The few staffs you will see won’t even offer a smile.  Even during breakfast time. L During the time we were checking in, the receptionist was even combing his/her hair while entertaining us. The only time I feel staffs are okay was when they helped us send our luggage to our room when we checked in.

Food – 4 out of 5.  With only 2 viands plus an omelet, this is one of the plainest buffet breakfasts I have ever tried.  They offer banana as dessert, 3in1 coffee, and juice as well.  This is quite bias of me, but the viands they served were Cebu chorizos and danggit – two of my favorite Cebuano foods, so I am happy with the breakfast they offered.

Sea view during breakfast.

Location – 3.5 out of 5.  Bohol Divers Resort is located at the farthest end of Alona Beach.  The location is very ideal for us because we don’t want a crowded shore or beach.  But if you’re someone who loves a crowd, this might not be the place for you.  What saddens me on the location of Bohol Divers is that it’s located at the far side, with few guests, very lonely ambience with no visible security too L

Value for Money – 2.5 out of 5. For Php2800 a night (+Php700 for extra pax), I think Bohol Divers Resort’s room rates is not very competitive with the other hotels at Alona Beach.  For the rate they’re charging their costumers, I think this hotel needs an overhaul.

Overall, Bohol Divers Resort seems to be a very popular resort some 5 years ago.  With the competition they have right now at Alona Beach, they can try to refurbish their rooms and services to better attract tourists to stay at their hotel.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bohol 2016: Panglao Island

Panglao is an island in Bohol province known for its Boracay-like powdery sands.  It has a lot of beach shores and one of them is Alona Beach.  We decided to stay at Bohol Divers Resort, a beach front accommodation at Alona Beach.   

There are a lot of beach front hotel accommodations in Panglao that you can choose from.  But in case you cannot get one, don’t worry because Panglao is just like Boracay where you can walk for a few meters and you’re already at the beach.  The only down side of Alona Beach at Panglao is that the beach is crowded with so much boats.  These boats shuttle tourists to different island hopping locations.

Good morning, Panglao! 

A lot local boatmen are offering island hopping services.  We begged off because they gave an approximate of 45 mins boat ride going to an island to watch dolphins, and you have to wait for the dolphins (sometimes they appear, sometimes they don’t), another 30 mins to another island, and we don’t think Neo would be able to endure the boat ride. So we just content ourselves in exploring the beach.



Wandering feet.
Even the pigeons love the powdery sands.

The beach shore is clean.  The locals are friendly.  Food is everywhere.  You will not worry about food because by night time, there are a lot of restaurants offering seafood paluto.  Choose your seafood and they will cook it the way you want it served – grilled, with sauce, steamed, or whatever you want.



The cute little boy with the cute little lobster. 
We had dinner by the beach shore.

We stayed for one and a half day at Alona Beach, Panglao Island.  We just ate, rest, walk the beach shores, swim, and relax.  Don’t forget to drop by Panglao Island once you decide to tour Bohol province. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bohol 2016: The Itinerary

March has always been our time to travel.  It’s the start of the summer and its Neo’s Mama and Papa’s anniversary month.  We need to celebrate.  And we do it by traveling to create memories. 

Sometime last June 2015, Cebu Pacific had an online sale and we grabbed cheap airfare tickets to Tagbilaran.  Since we were so busy due to work, planning our Bohol getaway took a back seat.  It was only early March that we were able to book our hotel and tours.


Someone’s traveling again.

Our itinerary was 4 days/3 nights stay.  And it goes something like this:

1st Day:  After lunch travel from Manila to Tagbilaran.  We arrived at Tagbilaran airport around 3PM.  We then walked 100meters and reached Marcelina’s Guesthouse.  We booked it for our last stay in Bohol.  After which, we hailed a tricycle that brought us to Panglao.  We haggled and were offered Php200 for almost an hour ride to Panglao. 

Some websites says tricycle drivers asked for Php500 from Tagbilaran to Panglao.  So how did we get a lower rate? (1) We walked 100 meters away from the airport and (2) my mom is a Cebuana and I can converse well in the Cebuano dialect which is the same dialect they use in Bohol.  And pronto!  They think we are locals! J  We offered Php50 additional tip to the driver though.

Upon arrival at Panglao, we checked in at our Panglao resort, Bohol Divers Resort.  After dropping our things at the room assigned to us, we changed our clothes and explored Alona Beach, Panglao Island.  We were offered a lot of times to try Island Hopping.  We begged off after knowing that the boat ride will take some 1hour to an island.  Neo will not be able to endure that long.  We spend our afternoon just savoring the view of Panglao.

Aw…the beach…

2nd Day: Our second day was solely devoted to the beach.  We swam the whole morning and walked back and forth Alona Beach the whole afternoon.  It was such a wonderful relaxing day.




3rd Day: Our third day was dedicated in touring the city.  I searched about this and found some blogs suggesting a do-it-yourself commute to save money.  May I counter-suggest that you don’t do this and use the van-for-hires that offer city tours?  It may cost more but will save you a lot of time.   

In one day we were able to go tour (1) Bohol Bee Farm, (2) Hinagdanan Cave, (3) Dauis Church, (4) Blood Compact [old site], (5) Baclayon Church, (6) Bohol Wildlife Park, (7) Blood Compact [real site], (8) Loboc River tour and lunch, (9) Tarsier Conservatory, (10) Habitat Bohol, (11) Chocolate Hills, (12) took some photos of The ShipHaus, (13) Bilar Manmade Forest, and lastly (14) Bamboo Hanging Bridge.  This van-for-hire fetched us from Panglao, toured us the whole day, and brought us to Tagbilaran.  Very convenient and very sulit!

It was only 6PM when we were brought to Marcelina’s Guesthouse.  We then opted to go to the mall/market area.  Toured quite a bit, ate dinner, and then went back to the guesthouse to rest.




4th Day:  It’s an early flight back to Manila for us.  But since we were billeted some 100meters away from the airport, there is no need to rush and wake up too early.  Bye, bye Bohol!  We had a great time!

That sums up our Bohol 2016 itinerary.  Hope it helps you when you plan to go to Bohol! J


Monday, May 16, 2016

SkyLife Color Explosion 2

 Last May 8, my little boy attended the SkyLife Color Explosion 2 at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.  This is a free event for little kids attended by the first 200 registrants.



Different art activities were in-store for kids such as:
LI’L HANDS: Make wonderful art pieces made out of personalized little hand prints using your hands and water based paint.
QUIRKY EYES: There will be sunnies and craft material available for kids to use. They can take home these eye shades as a token.
FUN HANGING CRAFTS: Kids will be making their own paper lanterns and piƱata.
DO IT WITH POPSICLE STICKS: We challenge kids creativity and imagination in creating several items using colorful popsicle sticks.
ARTSY TEES: Tie it, Roll It, Dip It and Wear It. Kids to design their own tees and bring it home as souvenir.



The little boy’s height is for 5years old J


Even though, we didn’t stay long because the event coincided with Mother’s Day, Neo was able to try most of the activities.  SkyLife Color Explosion 2 is a good bonding activity for kids their guardians as different activities builds little children’s artistic side.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Press Release: Super8’s New Rewards Card

Super8 Grocery Warehouse, one of the country’s leading grocery warehouses, has unveiled their new rewards card.  Business owners and homemakers now have an edge with the “Discounted na, Discounted pa” Super8 Rewards Card!



On its tenth year, Super8 is empowering small business owners by providing great deals on their customer loyalty program.  This is by giving shoppers with rewards point for every peso spent and exclusive access to sale events and discounts.  The new Super8 Rewards Card allows customers more rebates for every single receipt purchase of Php3,000.




For more information on the Super8 Rewards Card privileges, like the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/super8.ph) or visit one of their branches in over 50 locations in Luzon. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Saving Money Through Groupon Coupons!


This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are mine.

Mommies like me are such practical beings.  We make sure we get what we need and want at the cost that we deserve.  We don’t pay more than what the product (or service) is actually worth.  We make sure we get the most of every penny spent.  Though there are certain times that you want to get a certain item way beyond your means.

Luckily for us, moms, group buying sites are now available and actually offers so much practicality.  Groupon Coupons is one of them.  This website is an answer to those certain times you wanted to buy certain quality items (and services or experiences) that you deem quite expensive and yet, Groupon Coupons give a very great discount.


Photo grabbed from Groupon Coupons’ website.

Let me give you some of the deals you can try at Groupon Coupons:

You wanted to buy a special gift to mom because its Mother’s Day, and you want it to be extra special, why not check out Jewelry and Watches category, and you’ll be surprised to see that Cartier watches can be bought at 59% discount!  Or you wanted to buy an advance Father’s Day gift to dad, you can check out the Sports and Outdoor collection to see that Puma items are priced as much as 40%lower than in stores!

Groupon Coupons offers us all, not just moms, a very good way to get the item we wanted at a very practical price, without of course, sacrificing the quality because you can choose a lot from the wide range of products offered by Groupon Coupons.

Check out their Facebook and Twitter pages to be updated on different deals. 





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Neo’s Moving Up Day

Last March 30th marked Neo’s Moving Up activity.  He was given a certification moving him up to Kindergarten, yey! 

During the moving up ceremony, it was Papa Leo who went to the stage with Neo to get his certificate. 



The little boy was also part of the intermission number that entertained the parents and guests.   He danced just like me.  I won’t be posting a video, so you just guess if he can dance really well or not :P LOL

This is a very proud moment for us, the hubby and me, because we enrolled Neo one step ahead of his age-required school level.  In Neo’s school the leveling of students for preschool is Toddler -> Nursery -> Kinder.  Neo’s age only fits him in the Toddler stage, but since he already finished the Barangay Day Care, we insisted he be put in the Nursery level.  We were really worried that the school admin will put Neo to the Toddler class, not because of his intellectual capacity but because of his age.  Luckily our little boy proved to everyone that he can indeed finished and conquer the Nursery level. J


Congratulations, Baby Neo!  Papa and Mama, and everyone, are so proud of you! J



Monday, May 2, 2016

Press Release: Disney Mobile Now Available in the Philippines through CellPrime

Disney mobile is now available in the Philippines through Globe’s myStarter postpaid plans beginning at P750 per month made possible by CellPrime.   CellPrime is the Product Development Partner of Disney Mobile handsets in the Philippines.  CellPrime is the first to enjoy partnership with Disney brand in the market. 

Digital natives and tech-savvy Disney fans of all ages have three design themes to choose from: Mickey Mouse, Frozen, and Disney Princess. The devices are packed with exclusive Disney custom user interface and content, such as wallpapers, widgets, and ringtones.  Also included are special Disney apps in tune with the theme of each smartphone, such as Princess Story Theater, Frozen Storybook Deluxe and Castle of Illusion. Other content may also be accessed on the Disney Philippines website. Running on Android Lollipop, each Disney Mobile device has a 1.2 GHz Quad core processor, dual SIM and 4G LTE capabilities, 5” HD IPS screen, 13MP rear camera, and 5MP front camera.


CellPrime has in store a lot for Filipino consumers.  It has collaborations with various globally reputable technology partners such as Microsoft, Intel, Disney, Spotify, and NBA.  Disney Mobile handsets can now be purchased through Globe stores or online.



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