From our very first travel and our first very own trip together. We chose Bohol, an island located south of Cebu which is a part of the Visayas Islands. There are more ways how to get there. If you're in Manila, you can fly by plane directly to Tagbilaran City, which is the biggest city on the island and province capital, or you can take it through Cebu. Since Igor was coming to Cebu to meet me(Kimmy) for the first time, we began our trip in one of the largest cities in the Philippines - Cebu. We had to take a fast craft departing from pier 3 of Cebu port and heading to Tagbilaran City which cost us 500 per person. We had to wait for almost an hour before the shuttle departed, so we sat at the cafe in the port (Tyke's Cafe).
Once we boarded the shuttle, we took seats at an open deck on the top which offers us a very good view during our whole trip. Watching the waves and the islands we passed by was quite good entertainment during the 2 hours trip and it made us feel like the trip was really very short. When we arrived in the Tagbilaran port, we got surprised by a lot of tour offers. Well, since it is a huge business in Bohol, we should just have expected it. Many guys offered us transport to the place where we booked or even range of accommodation offers was rich to choose from. Tricycles and taxis are the only available ways of transportation to your hotel. Don't get scammed. We paid 100 for the tricycle going to our hotel (Crabhouse Inn just beside the Heritage Crabhouse Seafood Restaurant) which was only about 5 minutes ride by tricycle from the port.
During our first day there, we went to the Island city mall to find some place to eat, though we ended up bringing home 2 boxes of Pizza from Pizza Hut. Next couple of days we spent exploring. We decided to go to Panglao Island as I have never been there. We rented a tricycle from Tagbilaran City to Panglao Island. We had an idea to rent a bike, but since Igor never tried to drive a bike yet, we decided to get a bike later in our next destination (He don't trust my driving skills yet since he havem't seen me driving. HAHA). There are many things to see in Panglao Island, we just haven't travelled much to see the whole Island (maybe on our next trip, just see), but we had a great time anyway. We just had a walk at Alona beach and a short swimming when the sun started to set down. After the swimming time, we decided to grab something to eat, as we started to feel hungry.
I can't describe Alona beach differently as it was so mesmerizing when it was getting dark and the restaurants are lighted, and we even had a candle light dinner that time with our super hot and spicy buttered shrimp. As we were having our dinner, there were various people serenading us including kids, some used a guitar or ukelele while they sang well known songs (the most favorite title sang mostly by kids was "I want to be a millionaire" haha). Who amazed me the most was a blind harp player, he played really good and he had a good voice that made us gave him 100 pesos (those kids will serenade you for some change, so don't forget to give at least some coins). After our serenaded dinner, we just decided to go back to our hotel as it was already 9 pm and we were afraid we can't catch a tricycle going back to the Crabhouse Inn later.
On our last day in Tagbilaran, we headed to the Bus terminal just near the Island City Mall as we were planning to go to Jagna. We took a van (V-hire) to transfer only about 65km to village in south-east part of Bohol Island and it took us almost 2 hours to reach the place where we booked - Paseo Del Mar resort, a small resort at the eastern end of Jagna village.
For our first day in Jagna (we arrived afternoon), we decided just to rest until we got hungry. We had a cottage directly on the beach with a small terrace facing the ocean. The owner of the place recommended us to look for Garden Cafe (most servers there are deaf, so be patient if you think they don't get what you talk, if you want something, or at least approach the counter) in the village as it was the only place that is still opened in Jagna at 8 pm that usually offers Igor's typical foods. We were planning to get and rent a bike on our second day, for the price of 600 pesos per day. The bike rental had a higher price compared to prices in Tagbilaran or in Paglao because there are no many bike rentals offered in Jagna, therefore 600 was a fair price. Sadly, we were not able to use the bike due to the very bad weather conditions as it was raining due to an occurrence of a typhoon and Igor was just too scared(LOL) to learn to drive a bike. All our attempts to visit the Chocolate Hills always failed because of the bad weather. So we explored more of the village.
Jagna is just another ordinary but a very lovely village, I must say. Every weekend, they have the barbecue on sticks near the market hall if you are after some traditional Filipino food, I loved it of course! In case you run out of the cash, you really don't need to worry. The town have banks and you can pick up money from several automated teller machines (ATM) and can even get money from any remittances such as Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier, Henry Lhuillier, M Lhuillier, Western Union, Moneygram or others available.
Just a walking distance from the market, you can find Jagna Seaport. We wanted to take a boat to Camiguin and we checked what are the scheduled departures and arrivals and discovered that other destinations from Jagna port are available, too. There are regular trips to Cagayan de Oro, Butuan or to Nasipit in Agusan Del Norte. I know, those trips are all going to Mindanao, but they said it's safe there. Anyway due to the bad weather or because of the occurrence of the typhoon, and the continuous raining the whole week, we decided to postpone our trip to Camiguin but decided we should try it some other time. The weather wasn't that bad when we left Jagna going back to Tagbilaran to catch a boat going back to Cebu, because there was a flight waiting for Manila. Even the weather was being considerate by that time. Overall, our first trip in Bohol made us say " we will go back to explore more!"