Thursday, February 14, 2013

Panglao Chronicle: The Adventure Begins

Before the end of 2012, my calendar for 2013 were already full of activities. Dates were marked with my races, training and travels. Most travelers plans their trip ahead because local airlines offered seat sale before end of each year and lakwatseros and lakwatseras were all eyes on the alert sale. For this year, my first travel was with my friends and team mates Raff and Pepsi. Destination? Panglao, Bohol!

The Hogwarts
We know it’s early for summer vacation but I think this is the best time to travel before the school semestral break start. It will be my first time to visit Panglao Island but it’s my 2nd time in Bohol.

And the adventure begins.

Day 1
Panglao Island

Panglao is an island in the Philippines located in the Central Visayas, with an area of 80.5 sq. kilometers. Politically, it is divided into two municipalities: Dauis and Panglao, part of Bohol Province. Panglao is located southwest of the island of Bohol and east of Cebu. It is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines and includes several small islands like Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag. - Wikipedia.

From Manila we traveled by air via PAL. The flight duration took us 1hour and 20 mins. to Tagbilaran City, Bohol's capital. We were greeted with cloudy sky in  Tagbilaran City when we touched down. Outside the terminal, a lot of locals greeted us, offering tours and rides but we opted for an adventure.  We hire a tricycle that will bring us to the bus terminal. The tricycle driver keep insisting that he can bring us to Panglao for 350php  one way but we said, we choose to take a bus.  The tricycle driver charge us 50php per pax from the airport to Island City Mall (ICM) which was only 20 mins. more or less travel and we felt that the fare is too much. The bus terminal is located near ICM. Raff left his sunglasses and needed to buy a pair, so, we went inside the mall to look for a cheap one and since it was past 11pm we decided to have our lunch also.  We checked  for a restaurant that Manila can’t offer and we saw this “The Buzzz Café” of Bee Farm.

The Adventuristas
The café has a relaxing ambiance. Bee farm is known for their organic food. 

"Boy and Kris"
The Buzzz Cafe 

After we had our lunch, we headed to the bus terminal and look for the bus going to Panglao Island. We asked  one local for the direction and the man pointed us to an old mini-bus.  We all laugh upon seeing the mini-bus. We asked ourselves if we were sure to take the bus or we just take a tricycle that will bring us to Panglao Island. After some deliberation, we decided to take the adventure of taking the mini-bus. It reminds us of the Tijuana ride in Mexico and reminded me when I did the orienteering race in Maringundon. The bus was  similar but only the one we were taking to Panglao was smaller. Fare was 25Php per pax.

The man seated besides Raff said that the bus can occupy more than what we can imagine. The middle isle that normally a path way for those exiting passengers will also be occupied. The passenger also said that after we leave the station, the bus will stop at the second bus station to picked up more passengers.

The second station was in front of the old house now a Museum of Pres. Carlos P.   Garcia. We waited for another 30mins or at least when the bus gets full.  Normally the travel time took 45mins. but at that time, we felt that it took us forever before we reached our destination, the Alona Beach.  We stayed at L’ Elephant Blue in Tawala, Alona Beach, Panglao. The hotel offered basic amenities like cable TV, a/c, hot and cold and wifi. Good enough for their rate. But I think this is one of the best hotels that offered a good deal in Alona Beach. The hotel is not at the beach front but it was strategically located in the main road and just 100m away from the beach. In our reservation, the package includes the Countryside tour and Island hopping tour. 

The jeepney going to Panglao
Passengers in our mini-bus
L' Elephant Blue 
After we settled in our hotel, the three of us were excited to check out the beach. The rest of the afternoon was our free time to enjoy and swim the Alona beach as we have full activities in the coming days of our stay.

Alona beach is similar to Boracay’s white beach and crystal water. The only difference is that Boracay's sand is more powdery. We've noticed that most tourists were European and the establishments are owned mostly by European also. There were only few local tourists in Panglao at the time we've visited and still not many people were in the island as we expected. 

Alona Beach
Me and the Beach!
We swam at the deeper part of the ocean where the boats parked. We did our own fun thing. Boat-hopping, which we swam to one boat to another, counting star fish, and getting used to the creepy sea grass at the bottom of the ocean. We only saw one small jelly fish. We had a great time swimming until sunset. 

Alona Beach Sunset
Gastronomy attack. We searched in the internet for the good place to eat. We choose SWISS Restaurant that only just beside our hotel. SWISS Restaurant is top #15 in the recommended list of restaurants in Panglao but after the experience, we say, we were not satisfied in what we ate or at least we choose the wrong dish. To shook off our dismay, we walked to the beach and look for pastries but we can't find any instead we settled for ice cream :) 
All busy with their phones! 
Yummy Ice Cream
We end the day with more expectations on our second day.

Lights off.

1 comment:

  1. ganganda ng quality ng picture nyo po! isalli kita sa blogroll ko


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