I wanted to do something a bit more special for my husband’s birthday this year, not just the usual dinner out and cake at home. It’s also his first birthday since we got married, so as his wife now, I felt I needed to up my game! So, even though his birthday wasn’t until September, when I saw a Cebu Pacific all-in-fare sale, I decided to book us a couple of tickets to Cebu and see what might unfold for us.
Fast forward to September, and we’re super excited for our weekend away from Manila. Manila is great and all as far as city life goes, but I’ve always considered myself a small-town girl. After our fantastic weekend spent in Bohol, I’m secretly hoping that we can move out to the province one of these days. Anyways, it was finally time for our getaway, and we started planning all the fantastic things that we would do and see while in Bohol.
For the first two days, we hit all the big tourist spots – Chocolate Hills, Loboc River Cruise, Hinagdanan Cave, etc. – but we set aside our third and final day on Bohol (which was also the actual date of my husband’s birth!) for something extra special: an island-hopping adventure!
We arranged for our boat the night before as we planned to get an early start. We only had half a day before we had to catch the ferry back to Cebu, so we wanted to pack in as much adventure as we could. The boat would leave from Alona Beach on Panglao Island, so after we arranged for the boat, we hung around for a while longer to enjoy the gorgeous views.
The price will vary depending on your boatmen, if you’re hiring them privately or going with other tourists, and how good you are at haggling – we were charged Php500 per head for a non-private boat, excluding a few additional fees.
We arranged to get on a boat that would leave at 6am so that we could stop by the dolphin feeding grounds on the way to Balicasag Island. Unfortunately, we were unlucky – seeing the dolphins is always a chance thing, and we were told by our boatmen that the waves were too high in the morning and there would be no dolphins around. They only come out in the morning, too, because they don’t like the midday heat. So we missed out on the dolphins(but this gives us an excuse to go back and do it again, right?). So we proceeded straight for Balicasag Island.
Balicasag Island is a haven for divers and snorkelers alike. Sadly, we are not dive certified, but anyone can snorkel, so that we did! We had to hire a smaller paddle boat to take us to the snorkeling area as motorboats, like our bangka, aren’t allowed there. We also rented the snorkels as we don’t have our own yet, even though we keep saying we’re going to invest in a pair so we don’t have to keep renting them. As the small boat took us and 2 of our boat-mates(Valentine and Tatiana, if you happen to read this, we still owe you 50 pesos – look us up when you’re in Manila!) to the snorkeling area, we were just struck by the beauty of our surroundings.
We were so eager to dive into the water once we arrived, and the best part is that we’d borrowed the undewater SJ-Cam from a friend so that we could capture this experience with videos and photos! We were able to take some awesome videos as we swam through large schools of fish and enjoyed the beauty of the corals beneath us.
We were able to take some awesome videos as we swam through large schools of fish and enjoyed the beauty of the corals beneath us.
Next stop, Virgin Island! See Page 2 for more photos of our adventure!