Backpacking in Bohol

Recently(like three months ago boooo), my college friends and I went on a trip to Bohol and Cebu last Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2015. Planning this trip was fun and exciting because we were on a tight budget and had to get the cheapest things possible.

Pre-landing view ✈

A photo posted by Janella Salcedo (@janellamarey) on

September 30, 2015 – Wednesday

Our first activity was kayaking with the fireflies. From the Tagbilaran Airport, the tricycle ride costed ₱50. Abatan River is the only river near Tagbilaran that isn’t exposed to much noise and light, good for the fireflies.

Credits to Jeselle Sosa

Credits to Jeselle Sosa

I wasn’t a big fan of kayaking since my arms always hurt the next day. However, this experience was different. It wasn’t as strenuous as daylight kayaking. Slowly and steadily pacing to our first stop, we found a cluster of fireflies above a mangrove tree. It looked magical to me as I’ve never seen a cluster that big, their lights throbbing everywhere.

Moving further, we found more clusters. It’s during these times we appreciate the dark talaga. hahaha. Truly a break from all the city lights and noise we’re used to hearing. I’ve never seen so many fireflies in my life! hahaha!

Fun fact: Sometimes, female fireflies use a bit of trickery to lure males of other species, and then they eat them.

We availed of this tour through Dragon Tours, ₱350 for each of us. You may contact them at 09089378094.

After that activity, we headed back to Tagbilaran,  ₱20 for the jeepney ride, and then rented a multicab(₱50/head) to bring us to Panglao. Overnight, we stayed at Inthing, Dumaluan. It can be found behind the Chicken Atiatihan. We availed the airconditioned room for just ₱1250! Each of us contributed ₱156.25. hihi.

Inthing 1BR
This is the AC bedroom at Inthing. This could fit 2-3 persons.
We’re eight in the group so they just laid mattresses on the floor outside of the bedroom. And we didn’t mind since we’re just staying overnight. For a cheap price, I think we got more than we paid for.

October 1, 2015 – Thursday

Day 2 was packed with activities that would lead us to Cebu. First, we availed an island hopping package, ₱1500 for us eight, consisted of dolphin watching, Balicasag, and Virgin Island tours.

Waiting for the boat at 6AM, we found many sea urchins near the surface of the shore. One must be careful with every steps, better invest in good aqua shoes! These sea urchins are not the edible kind; they have longer thorns and are poisonous.

low tide 🐚

A video posted by Janella Salcedo (@janellamarey) on

The initial boat ride took around 30 minutes to get to the site of dolphin watching. However, there were soooo many other boats that I think the dolphins got threatened. We only managed to see a few of them from afar and then they were gone. (Don’t worry, there’s lots in Cebu.)

Next stop was at Balicasag Island where we found out that we had to shell out an additional ₱400 for the turtle watching and snorkeling. Since we really, really wanted to see giant sea turtles, we paid na rin. Here’s a pic of a giant sea turtle we saw.

One of the many giant sea turtles we found

There were really a lot but we had to keep our eyes close because they’re always swimming everywhere. One even got to the surface before it went away. I think they’re as big as a five year old child but they can grow up to 9 ft. long.

Snorkeling around Balicasag was so much fun! We managed to see different kinds of fishes, big and small. There were also lots of starfish! I wanted to swim to a very deep part of the perimeter where only big fishes go. However, it was kinda scary to pursue even when I was only by the surface, as if something unknown’s gonna get me. hahaha. But that’s where scuba divers go so I guess it’s safe.

Jeselle holding a starfish
Jeselle holding a starfish
Finding Dory

Last stop was at Virgin Islands. We were in a hurry since it was almost noon. We explored the place quickly and found starfish of another kind and there were so many of them.

starfish at Virgin Island
Image by Rachelle Barcelona

It was a little past lunch when we got back to the shore. We packed our things and rented a van(₱2500) that would take us to the Tarsier Sanctuary, famous Chocolate Hills, and Tubigon Ferry Station. We figured it would be better since they’re very far from Panglao.

Tarsier Sanctuary

ticket-turned-postcard at Tarsier Sactuary

The entrance at the sanctuary costed ₱60 per head. There were only 4 tarsiers that can be viewed by guests. 🙁 They cannot be touched as well. 🙁 🙁  So here’s a picture of us instead.

Image by Rachelle Barcelona
I bought these chichaworms as pasalubong for my officemates. hahaha.
I bought these chichaworms as pasalubong for my officemates. hahaha. They’re yummy, btw.

Chocolate Hills

Image by Rachelle Barcelona

This was a quick stopover as we’re way behind our schedule, just to complete our Bohol experience. There were houses in between hills that looked like toys from our point of view. I never imagined them to be thaaat big. hahaha!

From the site of the Chocolate Hills, we headed to the Tubigon Ferry Terminal. The ticket costed ₱225 per head. We were seated at the lower deck of the ferry which scared me a little because of the things I’ve watched before wherein the ferries sank. hahaha! Anyway, I was grateful for this opportunity to be in Bohol! The marine life, the sea, the people, and the experience would surely be unforgettable. I wish we could stay more to explore and do other activities (maybe next time). Our Bohol trip was over in just two days and next was Cebu (which I’d write in another post)!

lower deck of the ferry

Bye for now, Bohol! <3

Expenses and Itinerary:

Date Time Checkpoint Description Amount
9/30/2015, wednesday
4:00 PM Tagbilaran Puto and hot cocoa 33.00 PHP
5:00 PM Tagbilaran tricycle ride to Abatan 50.00 PHP
6:00 PM Abatan River Visitor Centre Kayak with the Fireflies 412.50 PHP
8:00 PM Jeepney ride back to Tagbilaran 20.00 PHP
9:00 PM Tagbilaran Dinner 102.00 PHP
9:30 PM Tagbilaran multicab to Panglao 50.00 PHP
8:00 PM Dumaluan Accomodation at Inthing 156.00 PHP
10/1/2015, thursday
5:30 AM breakfast 18.00 PHP
6:00 AM Dumaluan island hopping 187.50 PHP
8:00 AM Balicasag Island turtle watching + snorkeling 400.00 PHP
1:00 PM Chicken Atiatihan lunch 124.00 PHP
2:00 PM Inthing bohol tour 312.50 PHP
3:00 PM Tarsier Sanctuary entrance fee 60.00 PHP
3:30 PM chichaworm 120.00 PHP
merienda 20.00 PHP
6:00 PM Tubigon Ferry Station ticket to Cebu 225.00 PHP
Total 2,290.50 PHP

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