From one island to another
26.05.2019 - 05.06.2019
Sunday (26/5/2019) - Today, I flew off to Manila on the 11.15am flight from Brunei using Royal Brunei Airlines. We landed at Manila airport at 2.05pm and I had made arrangement with Sarah and Jake to pick me up from the airport as we were heading straight to Baguio. It will be at least 4 hours drive depending on how bad the traffic is on the highway. On the way to Baguio, we stopped by Jinky's place to have dinner where Jake's mother who just came back from Hong Kong was also there. The home cooked meal was simple but delicious. Then we continued on with our journey and arrived to the apartment where we will be staying for the night around 9pm. Weather in Baguio was very cool where the temperature was 25.7 °C even though there was no air conditioner in the apartment and the windows were not opened. Since we had to wake very early tomorrow, everyone went to bed early.
Monday (27/5/2019) - Today, we woke up as early as 4am to prepare for our trip to Mount Pulag. We had to go to Jollibee to be picked up by the driver organised by Tripinas at 5.30am. Since we were going to stay overnight at Mount Pulag, Jake managed to talk to the security guard of the apartment and we left his car there while we used a taxi to go to the pick up place. It was a good thing that taxis in Baguio is unlike those in Manila as the taxi drivers here use their meter so they do not cheat passengers. Initially, we thought we would be the only ones going up Mount Pulag since it wa a working day but when we reached to the pick up area, we saw quite a number of people with their backpacks, waiting for their transport to go to Mount Pulag also. When the driver came, we had the whole van to ourselves which was good because we had a lot of space. However, the driver drove very fast along the winding roads and I thought I was the only one who was having car sickness. It turned out that Sarah and Jake also felt the same and the good thing was none of us vomited in the car. The driver initially stopped at a simple eatery place but Jake told him to moved on until we stopped later at another eatery.
The scenery at the second eatery where we stopped to eat was very serene and the wind was cool even though it was a sunny day, just like the last time I was here back in 2017. A lot of people going to Mount Pulag were also having their breakfast here. After we have settled down and getting ready to eat our breakfast, I asked Sarah and Jake how come they didn't get car sick because I almost felt like vomiting which I did not experience before when we used the same road from Banuae to Sagada, then finally to Baguio the last time I was in the Philippines. Then both of them told me that they also felt like vomiting which was why Sarah was sleeping and Jake was lucky because he had moved to the front seat halfway when the driver stopped for a while at the roadside so he didn't feel the effect as bad as us at the back.
After breakfast, according to the itinerary given by Tripinas, we were supposed to go to Ambuklao dam and the hanging bridge but the driver told us that the dam was was closed on that day. Instead, we just went to Badekbek (Declan) sulfur spring. I have been to volcanic areas with sulfur before in Indonesia but I have never seen bubbling sulfuric muddy hot spring before. There is still a lot of development that can be made for this sulfur spring area to generate income for the local community. Basically they already have a small pool for the hot spring since it is believed that the hot water from the spring have some therapeutic effects but unfortunately, it was not maintained at all and there is only 1 hut for people to rest.
In order for a person to be allowed to go up Mount Pulag, a medical certificate is required which was like when we went up to Mount Semeru in Indonesia. Since none of us had that medical certificate, the driver stopped by at a small house "clinic" with a small souvenir area for us to get it. There were only 2 ladies doing the check up where the first lady took our blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation and then the other lady looked through our readings and listened to our heart beat and breathing. After we got our medical certificate, we head to the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) registration office where the driver registered us and we had to listen to a briefing about Mount Pulag as well as what we were not allowed to do there. We were also shown pictures taken at the summit where the sea of clouds were just amazing and we were also hoping that we could see the same thing tomorrow.
After the briefing, we drove to Babadak Ranger Station where we were dropped off at SJ Homestay, one of the houses along this road leading to Mount Pulag. This is a very quiet road with only few houses and small sari-sari stores to cater for the basic needs of the hikers. Since we arrived before noon time, we had to wait for our room to be ready. So we just stood outside the house and enjoy the peaceful scenery while watching people who were going to stay overnight at the camp site along the Ambangeg trail pass by. Even though it was noon time, the temperature was only 20.2 °C and the wind was cold as the sky was getting cloudy. After our room was ready for us, we put our stuff in the room and then ate lunch cooked by a local lady. Due to the cold weather, they put ginger slices in the pork with cabbage soup which was just nice. After lunch, we decided to head out for a walk just to check out the trail leading to Mount Pulag.
It was already cloudy by the time we started walking but the weather was still cool. The road was not too bad but because of the previous rain, there were parts where the road was muddy. There was nothing much to see and not many houses as we walked further except vegetable farms. Since there wasn't much to do, we decided to just sit by the side of the road and just enjoy the beautiful and peaceful scenery around us. Then the hikers started passing by us. Jake was able to ask them how it was and they said they were not lucky enough to see the sea of clouds this morning. Although the weather was getting dark by now, we still hope that we would be able to see the sea of clouds (fingers crossed). After that we head back down towards Babadak Ranger station. There were a few small sari sari stores and a small eatery but nothing else. So in the end, we just sat at the roadside and ate chips while people watching.
Since there wasn't anything else to do and it was still early, we decided to head back to the homestay and prepare our backpack for the hike. By 3pm, it started to rain pretty heavy and visibility was very bad. Inside our room, after packed my stuff for the hike, I decided to take a shower which took so long because the water was so freezing cold and the water heater was not consistent. Then I also took a short nap like Jake and Sarah and woke up not long after as the homestay were getting noisy with new guests.
As we waited for our dinner to be served at 6pm, the rain had stop but the temperature had gone down to 18.4 °C. Our dinner was cooked by a village lady and she brought it over to our homestay. The hot chicken soup cooked with potatoes and pumpkin soup was just right for the cold weather. By 7pm, we were preparing to sleep as we need to wake up by midnight. By then, the temperature in our room had already dropped to 17.5 °C.
Tuesday (28/5/2019) - We woke up at midnight while everyone else in the homestay were still sleeping. After waking up, we prepared ourselves and our female guide had already arrived early with our simple breakfast which consisted of a cup noodle, a hard boiled egg and a peanut butter sandwich for each of us. The temperature outside the homestay was 13.3 °C. By 1.03am, we started walking in the dark. At first it was hard because there were puddles of water everywhere and the wind was wet and cold. I had also stopped hiking for quite a while so my stamina had gone down a lot. As we kept on walking, another group caught up with us and we all just walked in silence, just concentrating on our steps on the uneven ground where some parts were just flooded with water.
We kept on walking until we reached to a hut for a short break and for whoever needed to use the toilet. After a short rest which Sarah needed, we continued on towards camping ground 2. There were few campers sleeping there in their tents and I was wondering how they could sleep and stand the cold wind blowing through their tent since it was already quite cold inside our homestay which was situated at a lower altitude than where we were at the moment. We took a longer rest here since our pace was not bad as we already reach camping ground 2 in 2 hours only. After using the toilet which is the open air type with just bamboo walls and no door at all for privacy but with only 1 small hole to do your business like at Mount Semeru. Good thing there was one for men and one for women.
After half an hour of rest, we head on towards the summit. We finally reached to the summit at 4.52am and we were the first few to arrive there. Even though it was still dark, the sun rays were slowly breaking out from the horizon and we could see the sea of clouds even though they were far away. 3 of us were so happy and grateful that we were lucky today compared to those who went up the day before. As time passed, more and more people arrived at the summit. While we waited for the sun to rise, we had to take shelter in between the dwarf bamboo plants because at a temperature of 11.3 °C on an elevation of 2,926m in open area, the wind was freezing cold that everyone had to wear gloves. When the sun finally rose, the view was just amazing that it was indescribable. I am glad that Jake told me about Mount Pulag or else I would have not experience and see the beautiful view.
After taking enough photos. we started heading down at 6am before the weather got too hot. During day time, it was easier to see the trail and avoid puddles of water. It was also interesting to see what we have actually passed through in the dark and I didn't realise that all those short plants along the way at the sides of the trail were the dwarf bamboo plants. There were also not many trees and the grasses were pretty short. When we reached to camping ground 2, everyone who came down from the summit were resting there. We didn't rest long there as it was already getting hot so we kept on walking non-stop until we reached to the resting hut. By then Sarah was already tired and our bags were getting heavier and heavier. Since we were already getting hungry, we decided not to stop at all if possible so that we could reach to our homestay as fast as possible. By 8.30am, we have finally arrived at our homestay and we had to wash our shoes because it was so muddy. After taking a shower, we packed our stuff and went to one of the shop to buy Mount Pulag t-shirt for our souvenir since we still had time before we leave.
We decided to leave by 11.30am and Jake told the driver that we will not have lunch until we arrive to Baguio which was a very good decision because when we came to Mount Pulag, he was driving very fast that we all got car sick. Now on the way back to Baguio, he drove even faster than when we came like as if we were in a Formula 1 race and Jake kept on talking to him so that he would slow down but no such luck. So Sarah and I used this opportunity to catch up on our sleep. After we reached back to the petrol station in Baguio where we were picked up, we quickly ordered Jollibee for our lunch and head back to the apartment where we stayed before we left for Mount Pulag to get Jake's car. We then head to another apartment where we will be staying for the night before we go back to Manila since all of us needed to catch up on our sleep. After settling down, we took a nap before heading out for dinner in the evening. For dinner, we went to one of the popular restaurants which serve mainly Chinese style meals and after that, we head to the Baguio Craft Brewery just to try out their beer since it is one of the recommended things to do in Baguio. We could have a taste of which beer we felt like we wanted to have first before ordering it. We tasted a few and most of them were bitter even though they have various taste so in the end, Sarah and I ordered the sweeter tasting fruit beer flavour while Jake ordered one of the India Pale Ale flavour as well as beef nachoes and chicken quesadillas just to munch on. By 10pm, we call it a night and went back to the apartment to sleep.
Wednesday (29/5/2019) - Today we left to Baguio at 8am to head back to Manila. After a while on the road, we stopped halfway at a roadside carinderia to have our brunch since the journey from Baguio to Manila takes about 4.5 hours depending on the traffic. Although the food was simple, it was tasty and Jake ordered a bowl of clam soup which was pretty cheap considering it is only about B$1.50. Then we drove on to Pangasinan to stop by at Jake's house to take some thing before we finally continue on to Manila.
Traffic was pretty bad going into Manila and we only arrived into the city at 4pm. Before sending me to Shell Residence, we went and had our late lunch since Jake said I must try kare-kare which all along I though it is curry so I didn't bother to actually try it when I was in Philippines the first time. On the way to Shell Residence, we passed by Shores Residence. Now all the shops on the ground floor of the 2 separate blocks were fully in business while a year ago, these spaces were still under construction. Since I am going to Cebu tomorrow, I quickly went over to Mall of Asia after doing my laundry to do some window shopping and also to have dinner.
Thursday (30/5/2019) - Today I am supposed to meet up with Albert and Hazel at the airport to catch our flight to Cebu at 12pm. However, due to delay from their side, I only met up with them after 1.30pm. After checking in, we waited for our flight using Cebu Pacific and managed to catch a simple snack for our lunch since we decided to have it in Cebu instead. When we arrived at Cebu airport, we quickly catch a taxi to go to Lapu Lapu city to find the Tarmong coffee shop which specialise in making Tarsier shaped bread with white bean paste filling. Each tarmong bread cost 100 peso which is pricey for the locals but it is a very unique souvenir. After sitting down to have their bun and tasting their beverage, we then head to Express Inn Cebu in Mabolo for our accommodation.
On the way to the hotel, we saw that SM City Cebu was just walking distance from where we will be staying. After settling in and putting our stuff in the room, we headed out to SM City Cebu to check out the stores there. For dinner, we ate at Tokyo Tokyo which serve Japanese food and they also sell cucumber lemonade and I have to say that it is very tasty. After dinner, we head back to our hotel and rested as we were going to be picked up as early as 5.30am the next day.
Friday (31/5/2019) - The pick up time was supposed to be at 5.30am so we checked out and waited. We waited and waited and eventually a van pulled up in front of the hotel but no one came to us so we were not sure whether if they were supposed to pick us up. After a while of waiting, the driver then came down and asked if we were following the join in tour. So much for being on time. We were the second last group to be picked up so the best seats were already taken while the rest of the seats were so uncomfortable with no head rest at all. We drove about 2 hours before the driver stopped at a roadside carinderia where there were also other join-in vans already there. It was so hot even though it was just slightly over 7am as we were next to the sea. After everyone had their tummy filled and changed to their swimming clothes, we head on for our first activity. We took a boat ride to Pescador island to do snorkeling. The water was very blue and doesn't taste salty at all. Since the water was very calm, it was easy to swim and see the fishes as well as the corals underwater. Dolphin watching was on the itinerary but it was not done during our trip, probably because it wasn't the dolphin season.
Then we head on to Panagsama beach to experience the sardine run. I would have to say doing the sardine run is one of the lifetime experience that I would never forget because the sight of just seeing hundreds of sardines swimming in a big school and their shiny body reflecting the light rays, it was just indescribable. It was very unfortunately that I don't know how to do free diving or else the sight would be even more spectacular to swim with the sardines. After the sardine run, we ate our lunch at one of the stall near to the bay. It was then that I started to notice that whichever carinderia we ate, the choices were only mainly pork and minimal choice of vegetables or even none at all.
After lunch, we head to Kawasan falls where those who choose to do canyoneering were dropped off at a place where there are guides to bring them to do this activity. We opt not to do it as it is expensive for foreigners and both Albert as well as Hazel did not know how to swim and they were not fit enough to walk long distance. So the rest of us who did not do canyoneering went on to Kawasan falls where we could swim in the water or just sit around. It was so packed and there were no place to sit so we decided to swim in the water which was extremely cold! Everyone of us had to water a life jacket when we swim in the water. It was fun to swim in the blue water and even under the waterfall but unfortunately, we couldn't see anything under the water. After 1 hour of swimming, we had enough of the cold water so we went out of the water and found a place to sit. We had to wait for the others and also it was still early as those who were doing the canyoneering would only reach this waterfall around 5pm. There was nothing much to do except people watching and after a while, it got so boring. I was so glad that the guide finally told us that we could go and have a shower at the public toilet next to the church. The queue at the toilet were also long but since we were in no rush, it was ok. After everyone had taken a shower, we were brought to one of the canyoneering place where those who went for the canyoneering activity were given free dinner while those who did not do this activity had to pay for it. We had no choice but to pay for it because there were no other place to eat. Instead of arriving at 5.30pm, 2 hours had passed before those who did canyoneering only started to arrive for dinner. So you can just imagine 2 hours of nothing to do. It was so boring and time wasting! Dinner was so packed that some food had run out. It was just oily so it wasn't an enjoyable experience even though they serve a whole roasted piglet. After dinner, we head to the place where we will be staying for the night. Some of us were dropped in 1 place while the others were staying elsewhere. There was no air con in the room but at least it was not so hot.
Saturday (1/6/2019) - We were told the night before that we were going to be picked up by 5am but once again, 5am became 5.30am before they came and picked us up. This is getting to be an annoying trend in Cebu. We wake up so early making sure we get ready on time and yet have to wait for at least half hour or more to be picked up. However, today is going to be another interesting day. I am looking forward to the whale shark watching in Tan-awan, Oslob. By the time we reached to the briefing area which is located on the beach, there were a lot of people already queuing up to get their snorkeling gear and life jacket before waiting for their turn to get on the boat. It was a long wait and by the time it was our turn, the sun was already getting hot.
We reached to the place where 2 whales were swimming around a boat where the man was feeding them, it was so exciting to see them up close and personal. We were allowed to swim in the water to get a closer look at them though we were told not to touch them. However, the waves were so strong and the water was very salty unlike the seawater yesterday when we were doing snorkeling so it was very difficult to balance in the water and those who are not strong swimmers had to hold on to the bamboo floaters of the boat. The whales were not afraid of people nor did they care about how close you are while they were swimming so I was tail kicked by one of them while it was turning back to swim towards the boat that was feeding them. You definitely do not want to be hit by a whale because it was hard and rough. We were only given 15 mins to take photos and see the whales up close before we had to go up to the boat and go back to the shore since there were a lot more people waiting for their turn to see these whales. Once we reached to the shore, we looked for a place to have our breakfast.
After that, we went to Sumilon Island to see the sandbar since the tide was still low. The water was very blue but unfortunately, you can't see anything underwater. Once again, like every touristic place in Cebu, this island was packed with local tourists taking selfies here and there. Even to go back to the shore again, we had to wait at least half an hour before it was our turn to go on the boat. Then we head back to the place where we were staying, took a bath, packed our stuff and waited to be picked up.
We then head to Simala church which was 54km away from Oslob so by the time we reached there, it was after 1pm. The sun was so hot and we decided to find a place which is not crowded for our lunch before we check out the church. The church was also a very crowded place. Unlike a typical church, Simala church looks more like a castle. After taking some photos, we slowly head to the car park since it was very hot. After everyone was ready to move on, we slowly head towards Cebu city.
On the way, we stopped at the roadside souvenir stalls in Carcar city to buy pasalubong such as the famous dry Cebu mangoes and the chicharon (pork crackling). I bought a lot of chocolate coated mangoes to give away as souvenir while typical Filipinos love to buy chicharon. After everyone had enough of shopping, we headed off again non stop this time until we reach to Cebu city area and stopped to shop for more pasalubong, this time t-shirts, key chains, bags, etc before stopping at Taboan Market so that they can buy danggit, a famous pasalubong from Cebu and other dried seafood products. I didn't buy any seafood products as they were smelly and I don't eat dried ones at all. Instead, I bought more dried mangoes, this time in small packs so that it is easy to give to a lot of people compared to the ones I bought in Carcar city. We were then dropped at the accommodation near the IT park where we were going to stay for the night. I have to say that it's not one of the most comfortable place to stay in as the room was pretty small for 3 person. For dinner, we decided to go to Ayala Center Cebu since there were no restaurants nearby.
Sunday (2/6/2019) - Today we were going on a city tour around Cebu. After being picked up, we head for the Sirao Flower Garden first which is 30 minutes away and is located on the mountainous area of Cebu. The main flowers grown in this farm is celosia but they also have sculptures and Instagram worthy decorations. However, in order to take photos on each photo site, we had to join the queue and wait for our turn. The sun was getting hotter and more people were coming to the farm. As we were the first group coming out of the farm, we had to wait for the rest of the group before we head on to our next destination.
After everyone had enough of photo taking, we went to Temple of Leah. I didn't look up what this temple was about but when we reached there, I was impressed with the design of the massive building structure as it looks like a Roman temple. Just like Taj Mahal which was built by Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife Mumtaz Mahal, Temple of Leah was built by Teodorico Soriano Adarna as a tribute to his wife, Leah Albino-Adarna. Unfortunately, it was not 100% finished yet as we could see all of Leah's collections just stored there unorganised in different rooms.
After that we head to the Cebu Taoist temple. It is a small taoist temple on top of a hill for the Chinese community to pray. In order to reach to the temple, we had to climb up 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures). You can see the scenic view of the downtown Cebu from the top of the temple. There is also a wishing well for people to throw the coins into the pots.
Next we went to the famous House of Lechon for lunch since the specialty of Cebu is lechon. We ordered 3/4kg of Carcar special which came on a wooden pig's head plate and gising gising na kangkong. The lechon was juicy and tender and the sauce that came with it really fit well with the taste. The price is also not that expensive as it is about B$12 since the lechon is mostly meat with thin crispy skin. It was a very filling and satisfying lunch.
After everyone was done with lunch, we head on to Yap-Sandiego ancestral house, one of the oldest houses in the Philippines which was built in the late 17th century. We were dropped in front of the Cebu heritage monument and then we walked across the road to the Yap-Sandiego ancestral house. Even though more than 130 years had passed, the wooden house was still in good condition. Inside the house, the ground floor was not cemented but made of soil. The house is filled with a lot of antiques and locally made native furniture. On the top floor, there were a lot of saints and family photos. However, there was a weird smell which according to Hazel is the smell of the rice that was left on the table for days that was displayed with the other food eaten by the family. So it was probably the decomposition smell.
Then we went to see Magellan's cross and Santo Nino church. Magellan’s cross is a Christian cross planted in 1521 by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers under the instruction of Ferdinand Magellan when they arrived in Cebu. It is kept in a chapel next to Santo Nino church, the oldest Roman catholic church in Cebu. We did not managed to see Santo Nino church because it was fully packed with Filipinos everywhere and there was a church service going on when we were there. So everyone was standing and listening to the sermon while a few others were lighting up candles. Since it was impossible for us to see the church, we head on to the next destination.
When we arrived at Fort San Pedro, there wasn’t as many people as the other places we went to earlier. There wasn’t much to see at the fort anyway except for a few exhibition like the Magellan's ship made of wood. After going up the fort to see from the top, we headed down and out of the fort to wait for the others to finish going around the fort.
Our final destination for the tour around Cebu city is the 10,000 Roses Cafe in Cordova which is an hour drive from the city. There were 2 lots of artificial LED roses, amounting to 10,000 of them. We quickly took photos before the sun set completely and by the time, the sun had already gone down, we were drinking inside the cafe. While waiting for time to go back to the van, we saw a guy proposing to his girlfriend with all their family members and other people who happened to be taking photos around. Pretty sweet and romantic actually. Then it was time to head back to Cebu city. After we were dropped off at the accommodation, we took a taxi to send our laundry to the Laundry Express near Mabolo so that it will be easy for us to pick it up once we move back to Express Inn Mabolo the next night. Initially, we were planning to do the laundry ourself but since there were only 3 sets of washer and dryer and people were still queuing to do their laundry, we had no choice but to pay for laundry service instead which we will collect the next day. Then we took a taxi back to the IT park and decided to eat McDonald's for dinner. When we got back to our room, while waiting for our turn to bath, we started packing all our stuff since we will be checking out tomorrow morning before we go to Bohol.
Monday (3/6/2019) - Today we will be going on a day trip to Bohol to see the tarsiers. We were picked up from our accommodation around 5.30am with all our luggages kept inside the van. Then the driver drove us towards Cebu International Port but before we entered into the port, he stopped by the road to buy our ticket. We were to catch the 6am boat to go to Tagbilaran port in Bohol. When it was time for us to board Oceanjet, we had to walk by foot to the pier where the boat was parked. The boat was not bad, air conditioned with 2 decks. Our seats were on the bottom deck so it was like in an aeroplane for the next 2 hours.
When we arrived at Tagbilaran port, we did not know who we were supposed to be waiting for but in the end, we found our driver. Before we start our activity, the driver drove us tovMcDonald's to have our breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the Chocolate Hills in Carmen first. It took us 2 hours to reach there and boy, was it packed with local tourists. It was already so hot even though it was only 10am and we had to climb up the stairs to the top of Carmen peak to see the full view of the chocolate hills. After the hard climb, the view from the peak was beautiful! All you can see are endless chocolate hills 360 degrees view. There are 1776 chocolate hills scattered over Sagbayan, Batuan and Carmen. These hills are actually limestones that are generally conical and symmetrical in shape. Since it was not dry season yet, the hills were still green in colour but in dry weather, the grasses become brown and that was how the hills got its name.
Next, we went to the Loboc Wildlife and Nature Park. It’s a small park with some birds and furry animals like the little famous stars of Bohol which is the tarsiers. Tarsiers are the smallest primate (only 9 – 16cm long) with a tail that is twice its height and they can leap from tree to tree. What is so special about tarsiers are their big eyes which is a bit disproportional to their small head and body and well, their eyes can be very scary to people who have never seen them before because they look like they could pop out anytime. Since it had rained in the night, we were told that many of them did not come down but the park staff showed us 3 individual tarsiers taking shelter under the leaves which were bigger than them. It was difficult to spot them at first since they are no bigger than a hand and even more difficult to take clear photos of them since we were not allow to go very close to them. Well, at least I have finally seen how small the cute tarsiers are. On the way out, we also saw white civet cats (luwak) and bearcat (binturong) which I have never seen before. Then there is the albino python which people were eager to take photo with and the friendly macaw which kept on saying hello and goodbye while hanging upside down in its cage. A pretty nice park but not many animals in it.
On the way to our next destination, we had to pass through the 2 km stretch of mahogany trees along Loboc to Bilar highway. That stretch of road was fully shaded by these trees so it was so cool to walk on the road. We had to take photos very quickly as cars were still passing by.
Then we went to the Sipatan twin or the Tigbao hanging bridge which crosses the Sipatan river. These two bridges are 40m long and made of bamboo. One bridge is to go across the river and the other bridge is used to come back. Just at one look, the bridge doesn’t look safe at all especially if you see a lot of people crossing on it at one time while bouncing up and down. We went to try it ourselves and of course it was bouncy but pretty safe actually as they are supported by cables made of steel.
After all these sightseeing, we were already hungry so it was time for lunch. We went for the Loboc riverwatch floating restaurant which is basically having lunch buffet on a big floating platform which pushed by a small motor boat at the back. The buffet cost 650P (about B$17) per head which is worth it because it consist of 3 types of appetizers, 2 types of salads, 1 type of soup, 8 types of entrees and 4 types of desserts. We were allocated specific boat to go on and once we were onboard, we chose a table to sit and then checked out the food before we started taking the food. The food was pretty delicious and enough for everyone of us throughout the cruise while we were entertained by singers on the boat They made 2 stops along the way for the people to watch tinikling where the dancers were prancing in between 2 bamboo poles and a traditional dance.
After the 1 hour boat cruise, we went to Baclayon church. There were not many visitors so we didn’t go into the church but just looked at the building which was built from coral stones. There was a lady selling Bohol delicacies such as calamay and peanut kisses.
Our last stop is at the Blood Compact monument and also at the same time, shop for pasalubong. I have never come across the history of the Blood Compact at all nor were the other people interested in it either so we ended up spending more time on buying pasalubong instead. After everyone was satisfied with all the shopping, we slowly head back to Tagbilaran port to go back to Cebu. Our boat was delayed so by the time we arrived at Cebu, it was around 7.30pm. Then we had to find the driver of the van who was supposed to picked us up and once we did, we got in and then once we reached to the city, the driver dropped us first before the others since we were staying in Mabolo. After checking in, we went out and walked by foot to the laundry shop to get our laundry. On the way back, we stopped at a restaurant and ate dinner before we went back to our hotel to pack and rest.
Tuesday [4/6/2019] Today, we will be flying back to Manila so we were thinking of finding place to eat breakfast. Unfortunately, there was no restaurant around nor was SM Mall open yet since it was still early. So in the end, we ate simple breakfast at 7-Eleven before heading back to the hotel. After checking out from the hotel, we took a taxi to the airport. We were supposed to fly off at 12.35pm but our flight was delayed to 3pm instead. So we took the time to just have our lunch since there was no rush at all. The airport was already so crowded, then with a lot of flights delayed, there was just not enough seats for people to sit. When we were already waiting at the boarding gate, we heard an announcement saying that the plane that we were supposed to board had just taken off from Manila and I was saying like what! It just took off, so how long is our flight going to be delayed again! Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to board the plane but it was already late and I had dinner appointment with Sarah and Sunny at 6.30pm.
When we arrived back at Manila close to 5pm, we quickly took a van to Shell residence where I checked in and put all my stuff in the condo 1st before I walked with Albert and Hazel to MOA and then parted ways. I had to do a bit of shopping before Sunny came and pick me up. By the time I got back to the condo and took a shower, Sunny was already waiting for me. We went to 4 Seasons and met up with Sarah. The buffet was well worth the price because there were so much food that I didn’t even get to try all since I was already full after 1 hour. We had fun talking and eating and we also happened to be the last group to leave when the restaurant was about to close.
Wednesday [5/6/2019] Today is a relaxing day as I am going to fly back to Brunei. It has been a very interesting trip with with Jake and Sarah to Mount Pulag as well as the sardine run and whale watching in Cebu. However, I would think twice about flying with Cebu Pacific if I have to catch another connecting flight.