Oct 24, 2017
Exploring Hinagdanan Cave
Fees: entrance P50, swimming P75
Location: Hinagdanan Cave, Dauis (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
It was supposed to be an overnight at Pamilacan Island jumping-off from Baclayon, but there was no boat and no system in place to get there. Everything seemed left to chance. Even the boat fee was not established and had to be negotiated with a boatman. We asked around but couldn't get a straight answer. It was even more frustrating considering that the tourism head of Baclayon was there and couldn't extend any assistance to get us across. In disbelief, Juan and I decided to visit Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis instead.
It was a series of jeep rides via Tagbilaran until we got to Hinagdanan Cave. The opening was a small hole in the ground with a ladder to climb down with. It opened up inside to a huge cathedral-like chamber with a natural swimming pool fed by the tides. The depth could be as deep as 10 feet in some spots. The pool took up nearly the entire floor area with ample man-made walking path around its perimeter. The top had two openings that allowed natural sunlight. Altogether, it was a beautiful cave, not for crawling into, but for swimming in such a surreal setting.
Unfortunately, Juan and I left our swim wear together with my snorkeling equipment in Tagbilaran to lessen our load which included enough gear and provision for an overnight stay in Pamilacan!
The Foreigner: Movie
Defaulting back to Tagbilaran, we just watched a Jackie Chan movie - The Foreigner, with an aged Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. It made for a good spy thriller with a new role for Jackie Chan - as an obsessed father out for cold-blooded revenge against the terrorists who killed his daughter. He was a mix of MacGuyver, Rambo and Liam Neeson in Taken. Good movie albeit over the top.
On My Own
After the movie, I decided to wander into Tagbilaran while Juan went back home to Loboc. I stopped by my favorite haunt - sikwate and budbud at Cogon Market. I also came upon a newly opened tablea cafe, Tablea de Maria Clara, but they still had no wifi. I think it's cool to have tablea cafes in addition to coffee cafes - me, being a sikwate fan. Instead, I went to Fred's Book Cafe to get some wifi and meet-up with Nizah. I got my halo-halo and wifi but Nizah was tied up somewhere. It rained the whole time until I got a jeep to Albuquerque (or Albur to the locals) then a bus to take me home. It was good to be home again.
This day was a mix but still an adventure of a different kind. The overnight island adventure turned out into a cave visit and ended up in a movie. I would still like to visit Pamilacan Island but it looks bleak given the uncertainty and the probable hefty boat fee getting there.
Ultimately, this day is about bonding with Juan. We'd been spending time together lately like at the Loay market day and the long bike rides. Even though he's only a few years older than me, I defer to him the way I would my Dad. I'd carry his market load, run to fetch us coffee, etc. It's rare that I hangout with someone my age. In fact, I can't remember the last time I've done this, except with my high school good buddy, Ferd. I enjoyed the novelty. Indeed, this was a good day!
Reader Comments:Karen Huerte
(Oct 30, 2017) I enjoyed reading your blogs. Indeed a nomad and very well travelled man. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
(Oct 30, 2017) ...grateful to have your family show me around
Next stop: Cycling to View the Tarsier in Corella
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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