Travel Guide: Anda, Bohol

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If you want to rough it out and go on the road less traveled, visit Anda in Bohol. It is a peninsula situated in the eastern part of the island facing Mindanao. It is often called the rising jewel but problems on infrastructure and paved roads hinder Anda to fully rise and shine, related Mayor Metodio Amper during our visit. Continue Reading →

Whirlwind escape to Anda Bohol

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It was short but sweet. That’s how I met Anda.
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Only those who go beyond the usual deserves to see her rustic beauty. She has an enchanting charm waiting to be discovered by the curious traveler.

Having heard stories of the mystic Lamanok island, I was eager to see her.

Anda was a three hour-ride away from Panglao Island. The sun shone brightly embracing us with its warmth.

The glittering white sand of Quinale Beach welcomed my feet. It was soft as a talc powder.

The 18-kilometer stretch of sand is a public beach yet it doesn’t look like one.

After having a sumptuous lunch of shrimps, our host brought us to the Combento Cave Pool, one of the many cave pools in Anda. Combento Cave looked eerie that no one dared to swim among the group.

As hours passed by, the sun finally went down to rest. The sky turned from blue to indigo. The tide was low that I decided to take an after sunset walk.

The place was so serene. Everything was in perfect harmony.

This is the beach life!

Darkness started to fill the surroundings. As the fisherman packed his things and carried his net, it reminded me that It’s time to go home and rest.

It’s not goodbye, Anda. ‘Till we meet again.

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Special thanks to the Municipality of Anda, Bohol for hosting us, USAID-COMPETE, Bohol Provincial Tourism Office and the Department of Tourism for inviting us to rediscover Bohol. 

Amorita: Your darling abode in Bohol

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Photo courtesy of Amorita Resort Atop a cliff overlooking the fine white sand of Alona beach in Bohol lies an abode named Amorita. Amorita means a “little darling”. But the resort is never little in giving love to its guests.

I did not feel like a stranger during our stay at Amorita Resort in Bohol. Everyone greeted us with a smile and a warm “hello!”  It felt like home.

There’s a sense of belongingness.

Upon arrival at the reception, the staff welcomed us with cold towels and a refreshing drink.

Glorem, one of the staff of the resort, led me to my room. From the reception, we walked amidst the serene garden of the villas until we reached a set of newly constructed units.

The architecture of the unit was modern contemporary. This was the second phase of Amorita Resort, which just operated last May.

THE ROOM

As I opened the door, I was surprised to see a spacious room. The interior of the room has an “industrial feel” making it unique.

After I dropped my bags on the floor, I saw a welcome treat on the table—Crinkles in a jar and basket of fruits. It also came with a personal note.

 

 

The weary body rested on the comfy bed. On top of the bed headboard was a magical lamp, which turns on and off with a tap.

THE COMFORT ROOM

The toilet is separated from the shower area. The toilet has a bidet for hygienic purposes. It was almost perfect except for one flaw. There’s no handle to open the door when you’re inside the toilet or the shower. Thanks to my room mate, Aica, who improvised a handle for ease of opening and closing the door. Toiletries such as shampoo, soap and dental kit are provided in the room. Towels, bath robe and slippers were also available.

RESTAURANT

“Good Morning!” This greeting was true in its literal sense especially when eating at the Saffron Restaurant of Amorita. Mornings were not just good but great while I sipped a hot cup of tsokolate and ate a filling breakfast with a breathtaking view of the pool and the beach of Alona.

The hot chocolate was so rich that I had not just one but two cups. The buffet breakfast is a mix of Filipino, Asian and American cuisines.

There’s a food for everyone from breads, cheese, cereals, yogurt to congee, rice, corned beef and longganisa. Fruits are also present on the table for a healthy meal.

Eggs are freshly prepared to one’s liking. Be it hard-boiled, sunny side-up or omelet, the kitchen staff cooks it for the guests.

During a chat with Amorita Resort’s CEO, Nikki Cauton, he said that they wanted their guests to have a sense of place.

“The concept of the resort is organic modern wherein we used the available materials in Bohol. We don’t want guests to feel that they are in Bali or in some other place but in Bohol,” shared Nikki.

On our last day at the resort, the reception staff handed another sweet treat of crinkles for take home. I arrived as a stranger but left as a friend.

*Special Thanks to Amorita Resort’s Management and Staff for a relaxing stay, to USAID-COMPETE, Bohol Provincial Tourism Office and Department of Tourism for inviting Tripadora to revisit Bohol. 

Sandugo Festival 2014: Celebrating unity and resiliency

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Bohol Sandugo Festival 2014 by www.tripadora.com Shaken yet resilient. This best describes the Boholanos as they recover from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shocked the province on October 15, 2013.

Fast forward to nine months after the earthquake, Bohol continues to rise from the rubble.

Amid the gloomy weather last July 27, the colorful costumes and warm smiles of the participants brightened the day in Tagbilaran City in celebration of the Sandugo Festival 2014. Rain or shine, the 12 groups from different schools and municipality danced with gusto.

Bohol Sandugo Festival by www.tripadora.com

Here’s a slideshow of the street dancing and the show down at the stadium.

The contingents of the Bohol Island State University clad in gold and green emerged as the champion and bagged Php 300,000.00. The Tribu Nagkahiusang Balilinhon from the Municipality of Balilihan was declared first runner-up while the Holy Name University placed second. The first runner-up was awarded with Php 250,000 while the second runner-up received Php 150,000.

Watch the video highlights of the festival (shot using iPhone and edited using iMovie for iPhone).

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, who is also the chairperson of the festival, said that the Sandugo Festival is a springboard for the people to unite. It also celebrates the resiliency of the Boholanos. The word “Sandugo” means “blood compact”.

The Sandugo is the historic blood compact that transpired between Boholano chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on March 16, 1565. The blood compact sealed the Treaty of Friendship between the Boholanos and the Spaniards. It is considered as the first international treaty of the Philippines.

*Special thanks to USAID-COMPETE, Bohol Tourism Council, Bohol Provincial Tourism Office, Department of Tourism and Amorita Resort for inviting Tripadora.com to witness the Sandugo Festival.

Bohol Adventures: The Climb to the Balete Tree

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This is no horror story. Yet, the Balete tree has been tagged to horror stories such as the white lady at the Balete drive. It didn’t cross my mind that a time will come that I will climb a balete tree.

When we went to E.A.T. Danao in Bohol, my goals were to do the root climb and the famous PLUNGE also known as the canyon swing. The E.A.T. Danao guides introduced themselves (but I forgot their names). I was too excited to do the root climb.

It was not an easy path. The riverside of the Wahig River has too many rocks and boulders. One wrong step would result to a sprained foot. Finally, our guides pointed a tree. It was not just an ordinary tree. It was a Balete tree with its humongous roots hugging a wall like something’s hidden underneath.

The CHALLENGE: Climb the towering wall which measures 60-feet high using the roots of the balete tree.

J volunteered to go first. He was fast even with his weight. lol. Thanks to his height. He was able to get up fast. I followed. I looked up at the resting point and thought, “Nah. This is easy.”

But lo and behold, when I held the roots and placed my feet on each hole, I found it to be the opposite. hahaha. I spoke too soon. It must be the lack of exercise. Physical fitness, I need you badly. Just look on how focused I was while climbing.

And yes, my friends asked me to smile for the photo-op. Whew! It was about three minutes before I got to the top.

CHALLENGE #2: Rappel down the 15-meter wall.

The next challenge was to rappel down. It isn’t my first time to do rappelling but it did feel like the first time. It was four years ago since I last rappelled so I have somehow forgotten how to do it.

Thanks to the guides who showed us a demo first. I was able to get down with intact bones and flesh. :)

The root climb and rappel at E.A.T Danao cost Php 400.00 but the experience was priceless.