Bohol was like a second hometown to me – I’ve spent my summer in my mom’s hometown during my adolescent years and went back after 10 years. As I would celebrate another life milestone, I’ve decided to celebrate it in Bohol – to be exact in Panglao Island. I’ve already written my itinerary and possible expenses. But, life has full of surprises. I wasn’t able to celebrate my 31st birthday in Panglao, but I’ve experienced the true island life a week ahead before my birthday. A friend of mine invited me on a spontaneous trip to Bohol. I only have to pay for my transportation, but our stay and food will be shouldered by the family who will host us on the island of Pamilacan. I said YES without any hesitation.
Day 1 Most of our time was spent traveling from Cebu to Tubigon to Tagbilaran to Baclayon (where the jump off point of the island is located) then to Pamilacan Island. Lunch was waiting for us at the table when we arrive late in the afternoon. After getting to know our host, we’ve decided to walk around the beach – chase the sunset, learn more about the island (how they live their day to day lives), and listen to the mini-lecture class of the island’s marine life. Then cap off the night by star gazing from our humble “kamalig” – our home away from home accommodation on the island. Day 2 As much as I wanted to watch the sunrise, but I’m so tired from yesterday’s activity, I woke up late. But, still too early for my usual wake up call. Our host prepared hearty breakfast and promised to give us a sumptuous seafoods for lunch. Which was a feast! In the afternoon, we’ve visited the sanctuary and swam in the crystal clear and turquoise water. Then, went back to the house ‘coz I had an upset stomach. At night, we’ve waited and watched the fishermen arrived with their fresh catch. Lingered for a while, then call it a night. Day 3 Pretty much we’ve explored the entire island by boat – a traditional fishing boat. When the locals found out about our adventure, they were all amused. I know they wanted to say “are you guy’s crazy?”, but they preferred to keep their mouth shut and shrug it off. When I feel better, we went back to the other side of the island where most of the tourists would stay, where there’s a mobile signal, and the water is much clearer. Stayed for a while, then went back to our kamalig and witnessed a wedding celebration. Mind you, it is not just an ordinary wedding. Here’s a trivia: After the church wedding, the bride and groom together with their family and guest will walk their way to the reception and a live band will play a music. It’s like a procession. I thought they were kidding when they told me about it. But, the bride and groom were all smile as they walked their way to the reception area which is 2.5 kilometers away from the church. Later in the afternoon, we went back to the public beach and watch the sunset for the last time and seize the moment while it last.
Pamilacan Island is part of the Municipality of Baclayon. The island is known for dolphin watching. There are a couple of resorts where you can stay. No parties at night – only a “discoral” (a local disco held in basketball court). More likely, the island is best if you want to meditate, literally disconnect yourself from the online world ‘because on the other side there’s no phone signal. Pamilacan Island can be reached via Tagbilaran to Baclayon or via Tubigon Bohol. Then, ride a bus going to Tagbilaran then transfer to a PUJ bound for Baclayon, Bohol. To know more about Pamilacan Island, visit http://whales.bohol.ph/island.php
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