airasia Super App recently went to Bohol with a few media friends as Sandugo
Festival resumes face-to-face celebration after two years of lockdown. And, of course, Village Pipol Magazine was honored to be part of the initiative. With COVID-19 cases dwindling and restrictions loosening up, our hearts begin to beat once again with the desire to travel.
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Here are the places we visited and the activities we did with airasia Super App:
As Bohol recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and the typhoon Odette, the province is still on its way to recovery. Visiting Bohol once again not only aids local businesses in the path to revival but also allows us to see the awesome sights of the Jewel of the Philippines.
DAY 1: airasia Super App goes to must-visit places in Bohol
St. Augustine Parish Church in Panglao
St. Augustine Church remains a special place to go, especially with its famous ceiling murals depicting the sacraments. Aside from that, it also has a main altar with a hexagonal dome with a mural of the Holy Trinity in the ceiling, surrounded by eight divisions of angels.
The Hinagdanan Cave is definitely one of the many wondrous caves in Bohol. A farmer accidentally discovered the cave when clearing his land, finding two holes. When he dropped a stone, he heard a splash. He, then, built a ladder and accessed the cave where he found its hidden beauty.
Blood Compact Shrine
Also known as the Sandugo shrine, the Blood Compact Monument marks the bond of friendship between two tribes. Sandugo means one blood and the shrine depicts the pledge between the chieftain of Bohol, Datu Sikatuna, and Spanish explorer, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, on March 16, 1565. This became the symbol of the first friendship treaty between the Filipinos and the Spaniards.
Baclayon Church Ruins
Declared as a National Cultural Treasure and National Historic Landmark, Baclayon Church in Bohol remains one of the Philippines’ oldest Catholic churches. Structurally original and still with its authentic facade, it dates back to 1727. Founded by Jesuits in 1596, it was established only 75 years after the Spanish conquistadors arrived.
Rio Verde, Loboc River Floating Restaurant
One of the stops that the usual Bohol tours commonly offer visitors is a river cruise while having lunch along the Loboc River. There are two options where to do this — Loboc or Loay. Rio Verde Floating Restaurant operates in Loay. The cruise also features a musician entertaining guests on board the floating restaurant. Plus, the unforgettable: “BALIK SA BOHOL, BALIK!” That song will never leave my brain… ever.
Xzootic Animal Park and Butterfly Garden
Located in Loay, Xzootic Animal Park and Butterfly Garden allow you to interact with their animals closely. As soon as you enter the animal park, you can see snakes just crawling around the cemented ground. Guides teach you about their lives in the park, how often they eat, and how they rest. Of course, you are allowed to pet them if you want. Aside from that, you can also enter a butterfly garden where guides teach you about butterflies’ lives.
Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary
The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary lets you see and visit the smallest primates mostly found in Southeast Asia — tarsiers. Established to protect these endangered species, it also promotes eco-friendly tourism.
The Bilar Man-Made Forest is a favorite stop for tourists going to and from the Chocolate Hills. It stretches two kilometers along the border of Loboc and Bilar towns in Bohol. Made up of white and red mahogany trees, it is a part of a reforestation project over fifty years ago. Visitors can traipse along the road under the canopies of a lush mahogany forest. Branches that curve overhead make it even more magical.
Probably the best part of our first day — seeing the Chocolate Hills and watching the sunset from the deck. The hills are a group of unusually shaped hills located in the middle of Bohol. Although unknown how many hills there are, they have estimated to put the number as high as 1776. One of the most beautiful about this place is the mystery of how it was formed. Whatever its origin is, being in the presence of the Chocolate Hills feels surreal.
Bohol Bee Farm
For dinner, we went all the way back to Panglao to the Bohol Bee Farm. Their restaurant combines homemade and organic ingredients to cook hearty meals. They offer hand-picked edible flowers, fresh garden salad, roasted chicken glazed with honey, and unique choices of ice cream flavors. However, I have discovered that it also offers accommodations as a 3-star hotel.
DAY 2: airasia Super App does adrenaline-inducing activities
Danao Adventure Park
Although recognized for pristine beaches, unique geological formations, and countryside attractions, Bohol also offers adrenaline-inducing activities with Danao Adventure Park. Bagging the Best Adventure Tourism Award during the first-ever Philippine Tourism Industry Awards in 2017, the LGU-initiated facility boasts a fusion of ecological, educational, and extreme adventure. Although they have tons of activities, we were only able to try some of them. So, we encourage you to do it all!
One of the highest canyon swings in the world at 280-meters in-depth and the only one in Southeast Asia, The Plunge will definitely kick your adrenaline as gravity brings you down inches away from the Wahig River.
Many of us have tried to do the zipline before. However, this one will make you feel like you’re flying as you speed through the forest-hedged canyons, staged at around 250 meters above the ground.
With a beautiful panoramic view of the entire park and surrounding areas, the Giant Swing at Danao Adventure Park swings you towards the beautiful cliffs below.
Of course, we had the chance to calm down after an exhilarating day as we watch weavers in Antequera and ask them a few things about their products. Known for its basket weaving industry, Antequera residents learn basket weaving skills from older generations and the knowledge has been passed down since the 1900s.
DAY 3: the airasia Super App and all kinds of party
Balicasag Island is one of the top diving spots in the Philippines for certified divers because of its sea turtles and different species of fish. Although there are many activities on the island, we only did a few of them like snorkeling, fish feeding, and turtle watching.
Probably the most iconic island destination in Bohol, it has a lengthy sandbar that curls and fades into the ea. The runway makes for a postcard-perfect backdrop. Here, we experienced eating sea urchins and paid vendors through an e-wallet (which is very ahead of the times).
airasia Fiesta Concert and Sandugo Night Market
Promoting tourism and culture, airasia Super App and airasia Philippines co-organized the airasia Fiesta Concert and Sandugo Night Market. As mentioned earlier, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government of Bohol had to stop the famous Sandugo Festival for two years.
With COVID-19 cases dwindling down, airasia helps Sandugo Festival to have a face-to-face celebration. Of course, local talents performed as well as one of the most famous bands in the Philippines – Sponge Cola.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your flights and hotels at the airasia Super App! Download the mobile application here.
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.