My friends made the most out of the long weekend. 12 people packed in one Multicab in a span of 3 days. And yes, we did fit! Here is the full story of how me and my friends made a way to squeeze in Php 1500.00 all-in.
My friends rode an overnight boat trip from Cebu to Bohol. It is the most effective way of coming to Bohol if you’re just going there for the weekend. In that way, you wouldn’t waste your day time traveling to the island. Another advantage is that it is way cheaper than fast crafts especially if you’re traveling to Tagbilaran City.
They arrived around 3 in the morning and I had to pick them up with our family’s multi cab (which is our main vehicle all throughout our trip around Bohol) so that they can still continue resting at my house before we start our trip to different places in Bohol.
Around 7 in the morning, some people in our group went back to Tagbilaran (I live 3 towns away from the city) to buy their tickets back to Cebu and buy the things needed for the trip, food included. We predicted that a lot of people will be traveling since it is a long weekend and it is the Halloween weekend. The rest of the group, left at home, prepared the things to bring so that everything is ready for the rest of my friends who’re assigned to buy the tickets are back.
We had a very systematic and very organized way in which everyone has a role of responsibility to take care of. By 10:30, everyone was already at home, done eating their breakfast, already taken a bath and ready to take on an adventure.
We are first heading to Anda. It is 2-3 hours away from the city. We had checked the weather forecast before the trip and had known that it will rain during the day. HA! I finally learned my lesson of checking the weather forecast first to know what to prepare (see my tragic story about NOT checking the weather forecast here). True to what the forecast was, it did rain right before we were heading to Anda. Good thing we brought a lot of trash bags and tarp to keep our things dry. But most of us were wet during the trip. Good thing the rain stopped when we were already in Anda around 1:30.
We first ate our lunch behind the public market in Anda. We cooked our own rice at home so the only thing we have to buy for lunch is our viand and drinks. We also brought our own paper plates and plastic gloves for eating. Told you, we were prepared. Haha.
After we ate our lunch, we headed to one of the cave pools first. Our first stop was the Cabagnow Cave pool since it is the closest cave pool to where we were currently at (which is the Poblacion of Anda). We didn’t stay long because there were a lot of people enjoying the cave pool and the water is quite murky because it just rained. We decided to visit Cabagnow the next day before we head back to the city.
We then went to Combento Cave Pool and prayed that it would be less crowded than Cabagnow is. Combento Cave Pool is conveniently just one barangay away. We had to pay Php 10.00 each for the entrance fee. There was supposedly another payment for the environmental fee but nobody asked us for the payment (and I’m not one to complain). We were glad when we arrived that we had the cave pool all to ourselves. We stayed there for 3 hours and just played around the cave pool before we had enough. We then headed to the Quinale White Beach, where we intended to camp for the night. We went there before it got dark to prepare our stuff. When we arrived at the public beach, we were asked to pay the environmental fee which is only Php 10.00 each.
We cooked our own food for the night. Normally, you wouldn’t be allowed to make a bonfire because it will destroy the white sands of the beach. But we had an ingenious plan to make a bonfire without destroying the sands. We brought a basin with us. We dug a hole and placed the basin there. The basin now acts as a makeshift coal holder where we placed the coals for grilling.
We, of course, asked permission from the police assigned in the area. They approved our plans.
We ate our dinner around 7 in the evening. After dinner, it freakin’ rained. Too bad for some of my friends whose tents had to be moved under a tree because their tents had holes in them. That, of course, didn’t stop us from enjoying the rest of the night. We rented a table and some chairs from a bar nearby so that we can chill for a while. It only cost us Php 75.00 for a square table and Php 5.00 each chair. We only rented 6 chairs so the total damage was Php 105.00. We had a few drinks, played some card games before we ended the night.
Wake up call was at 6 in the morning. We were hung over and had too much fun that we woke up later than our call time. Not complaining though because we had a fun night. We then packed up all our things so that we can skedaddle. But before anything was packed, I had a little photo sesh with my tent, which I’m loving (Find out here why I love my Tent).
When everything was packed, we headed to Cabagnow Cave pool. Normally, I would suggest eating breakfast first. We were in a hurry so that we can reach Panglao by the afternoon which is roughly 3-3.5 hours away from Anda. We just ate some left over bread which we brought with us for the trip.
Thank God we were the first group up in Cabagnow. The water was clearer that day than the day before. Out of 12 people in our group, only 4 brave souls were courageous enough to jump inside the cave. The rest chickened out and made excuses. One of my friends didn’t even know how to swim yet he was determined to jump. The three of us who were already down the cave was ready to save him after his jump. It went okay at the end.
Note: There is a Php 50.00 per head fee for the cave. You could also rent floaters for Php 10.00 each. The best time to check the cave pool is during the dry season. Better water quality than what we’ve experienced.
By 9, we were ready to go and head back to the city. Around 10:30, we had a stop over in Jagna to eat our brunch. After that, we were all set to go home.
By 12:30, we arrived at home to drop some of our stuff and poop (shhhh). We strictly decided that we only had 30 minutes to stay, so whatever we may need to do, we should do it fast. And that was the fastest poop + bath + preparation time I had. We can’t use the bathroom too long since there are 12 in our group and I only have 2 bathrooms at home.
If only the weather cooperated with our plans, we would’ve been to Panglao 30 minutes earlier than planned.
Initially, we wanted to go to Isola Di Francesco, a free island near Panglao (know more about the island and how to get there for free here), but it was raining that the plan didn’t push through. We wouldn’t enjoy the island anyway due to the rain.
Note: If you’re planning to go to the island for free, their last boat trip to the island is 2:00 in the afternoon. They’ll close at 3:30 PM.
Since Isola Di Francesco was out of the plan, we headed straight to Alona White Beach, a popular destination in Panglao.
Although Alona’s sand quality isn’t the best one in Panglao, there is something in Alona that I will always love. It must be the people (or the afam HAHA!). Alona is like the Boracay-ish part of Panglao (though I can’t really confirm this since I’ve never been there). There are a lot of stores and bars by the beach. A lot of possibilities to choose from. And the best part? There are no entrance fees. It is free for all (yeyyyy!!).
Since it was drizzling a bit, we decided to try out one of the stores by the beach. I suggested to the group to try out The Buzz Cafe.
If Dumaguete has the famous Silvanas, Bohol has the Buzz Cafe. The cafe is a product of The Bohol Bee Farm. They serve an all organic menu. The most remarkable product they have are their home-made ice cream. You can never go wrong with choosing a flavor. Their ice creams are priced at Php 50.00 per scoop. Trust me, It’ll be one of the best scoops you’ll ever have.
After we ate our snacks, we were all excited to just relax by the beach and even swim. BUT before anything else, we took some photos. There is a nearby changing room where my friends had a quick change. There is also a bathroom near the parking lot where you could wash up.
Since it was a Halloween weekend, I decided to bring my costume with me. I almost didn’t want to wear my costume since there were a lot of people walking down the beach. Good thing I have a thick skin and did it anyway (haha).
After sundown, we decided to go home because most in our group booked a ticket later that night back to Cebu.
Before some of my friends went back to Cebu, we first had a quick dinner at a fast-food restaurant. Too bad they didn’t have time to shop some “pasalubong” at the mall. They, however, did a little “pasalubong” shopping at a convenience store near the pier.
Ok, only four of us left to continue our Bohol trip.
We woke up late, scratch that, I woke up late (lol) on our third day. Instead of getting out of the house by 7 in the morning, we got out at 11. You can’t really blame me for exhaustion. The past 2 days were intense. Ok, back to the topic, we were all set for the third and last day in Bohol.
Our first stop over was in the infamous Hanging Bridge in Sevilla. We didn’t stay long since there was nothing to do other than to cross the bridge to and from the other side. There were a lot of tourists too which was a bummer.
Our next stop was the Mahogany Man-made forest. No matter how many times I’ve had the privilege of coming back here, I am still amazed at how Boholanos made something wondrous.
What I liked about this precious place is that it is just by the road. You don’t need any entrance fees. We took a lot of time here because we were trying to snap some photos along the road. It was tricky because we were like playing “patinteros” with passing vehicles.
Note: Be careful and be on the lookout while taking photos when you’re in the Mahogany Man-made forest. It is in between a National Highway which means a lot of vehicles pass by this area. You are in-charge of your own safety.
We then went to the Butterfly Sanctuary. Frankly, it is a waste of money coming here. I’ve been here a lot of times since I was a kid and I wasn’t amazed, not even once, with what they have. Though they have an excellent guide who will tour you to the place, it was let down every time that there were no diversity of butterflies in the area.
One thing I love about the place though is that they serve home-made ice creams. I ordered the cacao flavored ice cream. My only regret is that I didn’t buy another one.
We had a quick lunch in Batuan, we are just one town away from the Chocolate Hills. We just bought some rice in a carenderia and bought some lechon manok. While having lunch, my friends grab the opportunity to take some pictures of the Boathaus but didn’t have a tour inside because we were running out of time.
Our last stop for the trip was the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park. This is my second time here. They have more rides now than the last time I was here. Too bad I didn’t bring a lot of cash with me and can only afford their entrance fee which is at Php 60.oo.
They offer different rides and the most popular is their Bike zip. I’ve tried it the last time I was here and believe me, it is worthwhile. Unlike the regular zip line experience, you’re in control with the bike zip. You can speed up, slow down or even stop during the ride. It is scary especially if you’re just getting the hang of biking in midair. You’d be scared by the fact that it is windy and thought you might fall. But it is perfectly safe to ride. I’m still writing here aren’t I? (haha).
Check their website to know more of the rides they have as well as their rates here.
Before sundown, we were already at home. There is still plenty of time to pack and catch the mall for some “pasalubong” before riding their 10:30 PM boat back to Cebu.
- Ride an overnight boat rather than a fast craft. It is cheaper and it’ll save you time. (check the boat schedule here).
- Rent a car than riding a bus. It’s way cheaper and faster especially if you’re bringing a lot of stuff. This works especially for a big group. (Check car/van/motor rentals here).
- If you’re planning to travel using your own car (or rented), please check first your vehicle before traveling. Check the tires, water, brake fluid and all. You don’t want to run into any problems with your main means of transportation. Vulcanizing shops are happy to check them for you if you don’t know any of it.
- Plan out where you want to eat or if you plan to bring your own food. Anyway, you want it, it’ll all work out. Most public markets have carenderias. The quality of food? well, that’s another thing. haha.
- Be responsible with your trash. I LOVE MY ISLAND. Please have the decency to pick up after yourselves.
- Boholanos are kind-hearted people. If ever you’re asked, please reply and if ever they offer something and you know you don’t want it, decline them respectfully. They are loving people and not replying to them isn’t loving AT ALL.
- Check the weather forecast. Trust me, I’ve neglected this and I don’t say this lightly, I REGRET IT.
- Check your tents. It might stand on its own, but will it be good against the rain? You don’t know? Well, time to “know”. haha
- When you’re in a big group, do split the responsibilities so that you wouldn’t burden one person in the group.
- Don’t let your group mates wait for you, in other words, “mahiya ka bes” haha.
- Buy your “pasalubong” inside the malls.
IN A NUTSHELL:
3:00 AM – ETA to Bohol
3:00 – 3:30 – Travel time to Loay (my home)
3:30 – 6:00 – Rest
6:00 – 8:00 – Preparation (taking a bath & preparing our stuff)
8:00 – 9:30 – breakfast
9:30 – 10:30 – Continuation of preparation
10:45 – Departure to Anda
1:45 – 1:30 – Travel time to Anda
1:30 – Arrival
1:30 – 2:00 – Lunch
2:00 – 2:05 – Travel time to Cabagnow Cave pool
2:05 – 2:30 – Checked the cave pool but decided to try it the next day
2:30 – 2:35 – Travel time to Combento Cave pool
2:35 – 4:30 – Swimming at Combento Cave pool
4:30 – 4:45 – Travel time Quinale White Beach
5:00 – setting up the camp site and started cooking
6:30 – 1:30 AM – dinner time, Drinks & Games
1:30 AM – End of Day 1
6:00 AM – Initial wake-up call
6:45 – wake up time
6:45 – 7:00 – packing up our stuff
7:15 – departure to Cabagnow Cave Pool
7:15 – 7:20 – travel time to Cabagnow
7:20 – 9:00 – swimming at Cabagnow Cave Pool
9:00 – 10:30 – travel time to Jagna
10:30 – 11:00 – Brunch
11:00 – 12:30 – Travel time to home
12:30 – 1:30 – Preparation (left some of our things, took a bath etc)
1:30 – 2:15 – Travel time to Panglao
2:15 – Arrived at Alona Beach
2:30 – 4:00 – snacks at the Buzz Café
4:00 – 6:00 – swimming by the beach
6:00 – 6:15 – preparation time before going home
6:15 – 7:00 – travel time back home
7:00 – 8:15 – preparation (packing up and took a bath)
8:15 – 8:30 – Travel time to Tagbilaran City (my brother drove us and he’s a fast but cautious driver)
8:30 – 9:30 – dinner at a fast-food restaurant
9:45 – 10:00 – Pasalubong shopping at a convenience store
10:00 – 10:05 – travel time to Pier
10:20 PM – went home & end of day 2
7:00 AM – Initial wake-up call
10:00 – wake up time
10:00 – 10:30 – breakfast at home
10:30 – 11:00 – preparation before departure
11:00 – departure
11:00 – 11:30 – travel time to Sevilla, Hanging Bridge
11:30 – 12:00 – Sevilla, Hanging Bridge
12:00 – 12:30 – Travel time to Mahogany Man-made Forest
12:30 – 1:15 – Picture taking at Mahogany man-made forest
1:15 – 1:40 – Travel time Bilar, Butterfly Sanctuary
1:40 – 2:30 – Butterfly Sanctuary
2:30 – 2:50 – Travel time Batuan
2:50 – 3:30 – late lunch
3:30 – 3:45 – Travel time to CHAP (Chocolate Hills Adventure Park)
3:45 – 4:30 – CHAP
4:30 – 5:45 – Travel time back home
5:45 – 6:20 – preparation time (going to Tagbilaran)
6:20 – 7:00 – travel time to Tagbilaran city
7:00 – 7:30 – Pasalubong shopping
7:30 – 8:45 – waiting game (free time and just mindlessly walking around)
8:45 – 8:50 – Travel time to Pier
8:50 – early check-in to the boat
- Pork belly
- Fish (Tulingan)
- Calamondin (lemonsito)
- Spices (Garlic, Onions & Tomatoes)
- 3 Kilos of rice
- Junk Foods
- Alcohol drinks
- Soft Drinks
- Playing cards
- Paper Plates
- Plastic Cups
- Plastic Gloves
- Metal Basin (use for grilling)
Things we brought from home:
- Ice bucket
- Mat (banig)
- Grill (Sugbahanan)
- Pot (Kaldero)
- Washable Plastic Plates, Cups
- Plastic Containers (for leftovers)
- Chopping Board
- Spoon & Fork
- Knife and Tongs
- Inflatable bed
- Trash Bags
If you like to know more about Anda (here)
If you like to know about the free island in Panglao (here)
If you like to know more about places in Bohol (here)
If you like to know more about the tent I’m using (here)
I had a blast with these guys. ‘Til the next long weekend guys!
Follow my friends on Instagram
From the left:
Mike – guy with the flowery shorts
Michael – guy wearing a tank top
Blessed – Girl wearing a black tank top
Janica – Girl in white
Stephen – Topless guy at the back
Hannah – Girl at the very back
Master – Girl behind me
Jyn – Girl beside me
Paulette – Girl wearing a black tank top
Janlo – Guy wearing a black tank top
Maria – Girl at the very right
Sorry for the VEEEERRRY long post. But hey, it is the ULTIMATE guide anyway. haha