Jul 1-3, 2017
2 Days in Ubay
Location : Ubay (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
When Rey dropped me off in Ubay, I had no clue where to stay. The 2 hotels I went to were too pricey for me. I couldn't make a web deal as the decision makers were nowhere. I started asking locals where the cheapest places are. Luckily, I found one still walking distance to the town center - EVD Lodge at P150 for a clean room with ventilation and fan. When I asked for the room key, they gave me a spoon. They lost the key so the room had to be opened by prying the door lock with a spoon. It's more fun in the Philippines!
Main Street Ubay
Having settled on a place to stay, I explored on foot. Ubay is the biggest center in the east end of Bohol, but not quite as big as Tagbilaran. It has no movie house but it offers a jumbotron on the main center where town folks can watch the local program, specially the scheduled Pacquiao fight vs Horn. It has a main bus terminal for all destinations in Bohol and a port with trips to Cebu City and Leyte. With only 2 days before I take the boat for Cebu, I simply roamed about town and met common folks together with the town's influential few.
I got fake Bahalina in Tagbilaran, but in Ubay's market, I found a vendor selling Bahalina coming from its renowned source - Leyte. I tasted a cup and it was good! Shortly before taking the boat for Cebu, I bought a full gallon with me. With the 375ml of Pito-Pito herbal drink I got with me, I combined both to come up with my own cocktail!
Sikwate and Puto Maya
By the market place, I chanced on a painitan selling sikwate (native hot cocoa drink) and puto maya (sticky rice). Whoa! I love these dynamic duo and I go out of my way in any destination to savor these. I became friends with the owner and staff as I would frequent that place. They also gave me helpful tips about Ubay.
I met Dani, a Spanish backpacker, in Anda but somehow, our paths crossed again here in Ubay. He also stayed at EVD Lodge and we'd hang-out for the most part, exchanging insights and sharing travel narratives. I invited him to come along to the grand opening of Pacheco Inn. He left for Leyte as I left for Cebu.
I stumbled upon a newly completed hotel in Ubay - Pacheco Inn. It is by far, the most ambitious hotel in town. It's not too big but it has a modern architecture and amenities at par with big-city hotels. It wasn't open yet, but I met Pachec himself who invited me to attend the grand opening night the following day.
I tagged-along Dani for the event. Ubay's who's who were there - the mayor himself, high ranking Ubal officials and members of Ubay's most prestigious families. I would say it was Oscar Night in Ubay as its stars were all there for the festivity.
I was introduced to the mayor and I explained to him the many things I can do for the (city) to increase its internet profile. He liked the idea and gave me a standing offer to see him next time I visit Ubay.
I was lavished by flowing wine, lechon, sumptuous food and even karaoke performance by Pachec's dad! It was a memorable fun-filled evening of merry making.
Pacquiao vs Horn
I was also in Ubay for the historic defeat of Manny Pacquiao in the hands of the underdog, Jeff Horn. I saw a lot of illegal headlocking and headbutting by Horn which left Pacquiao bleeding. Although Horn's victory was controversial, I also felt that if Pacquiao had won, it would not be convincing. Why is it that on the 3 live fights I saw of Pacquiao, he always lost - in Gen San against Marquez, in Cebu against Bradley and now here in Ubay against Horn! Next time he fights, I won't watch it live - maybe he'll win!
My 2 days in Ubay was full of surprises. I came there not knowing anyone but I ended up having a conversation with the mayor and touched-off on promising things I can eventually do for the town. I also met Pachec and his family who are one of the town's prominent figures. I also reconnected with Dani, a Spanish traveler who I met in Anda. I wasn't part of any guest list in Ubay, but I ended up attending a lavish hotel opening complete with lechon, wine and karaoke! I got to take with me to Cebu, a full gallon of Bahalina and caught a last-hurrah for the sikwate. Knowing I'll be seeing Jeanne in Cebu, I was able to source kalamay from Jagna for her. All is well in Ubay. For but now, my boat for Cebu awaits. Another adventure beckons.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Reader Comments:Dion Ty
(July 5, 2017) I'm the smiling tindero that served you the cheap yet delicious puto and sikwate... I just looked at your blog and it really amazes me. You've done a great and happy moments with your life. You inspire me to value life and need not to worry because as you wrote, "the universe provides".
(July 5, 2017) Nice blog 🙂 thank you Ps: the hairless dog is still there 🙂
(July 5, 2017) Thank you for visiting my home town Ubay, Bohol.
(July 5, 2017) Really a nice story! Who would have thought to stay 2 days in Ubay and who would have thought it turned out so interesting?
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More on Ubay:
Ubay Google Map
Ubay, Bohol, Philippines
Ubay Travel Info / Tips
- Jewel's Nook is the only cafe in town - a/c, serving only espresso P50 but NO WIFI
- you can buy Bahalina (aged, decanted and alcoholic coconut sap) at the Public Market for P75/half gallon
- there are 2 stores serving good P10 sikwate (native chocolate drink) and P10 puto-maya at the Public Market...just ask around
- tricycle ride around the city is only P8/pax
- trisikad ride around the city is only P5/pax
- laundry is only P25/kilo, minimum of 3 kilos, for pick-up after 2 days
- Southern Buses at the Public Market leave Ubay for other parts of Bohol
- market day is Monday
- Ubay-ubay Festival is the town fiesta held every January 28-30
Ubay to Cebu City by boat (as of July 2017)
- M/V J&N Carrier - 10am Monday-Saturday, 12am Sunday
- M/V J&N Ferry - 10pm Sunday-Friday, no Saturday trip
Ubay to Leyte by boat (4-5 hours) (as of July 2017)
- Ubay to Bato
- M/V Lady of Smile (or Lady of Charity or Lady of Guadalupe) - 1pm daily
- MBCA Star Sirius (or Mama Mary or San Isidro 9) - 8:30am daily
- MBCA Neriboy Allen Rey (or Mama Mary Irvin or San Isidro 5 or San Isidro 6) - 10am daily
- Ubay to Hilongos - M/V Leopards Sea Runner or Leopards Adventurer 1, 9am daily
Ubay to Pitogo (Bohol) by boat (as of July 2017)
- MBCA Bobong B - 11am daily
- MBCA Bobong A - 4pm daily
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