Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Family Short Travel Guide: Cebu and Bohol, Philippines 2019


The Philippines is an island country of Southeast Asia. It is well-known for its beautiful white beaches and rich natural resources, attracting thousands of travelers everyday. 

For this mini travel guide, I will share you the two of the most visited islands in Visayas region, Cebu and Bohol.

Cebu City, the capital of Cebu province is the oldest city and the first capital of the Philippines before Metro Manila.

Bohol is the one of most picturesque province of the Philippines. Why? It has a rich and colorful geographical features such as mountains, rivers and islands. You can travel by land to see the famous Chocolate Hills, Loboc River and see the world's smallest primates, Philippine tarsiers. You can also travel by sea to get a tan at white sand beaches or see the breathtaking underwater diving spots such as Balicasag Island.

» When To Go? «

Summer season (March - May) is the best season (but peak season) for Cebu and Bohol. Tourists from different side of the world flock to this side of the country to warm up and soak the sun.

Cooler season (November - January) is also the best season to go there if you want to enjoy sunny days and cooler nights. It is also less humid time of the year. Opt to travel by January to witness the colorful Sinulog Festival.

On our case, we choose to travel March 30 to April 2. I considered this as one the best travel month because it's not yet crowded and tourists are just starting to flock.

» How To Get There? «

There are few airlines offering a direct flights from Manila to Cebu / Bohol such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia.

To travel from Cebu to Bohol or vice versa, you can choose to ride a fast ferry - OceanJet and SuperCat. The trip takes two hours (one way) with several departures daily.

I will share my experience riding on OceanJet on my next blog post.

» How Long To Stay? «

We stayed only a night in Cebu, which was a bit short for me because we failed to explore the whole province. However, we enjoyed Bohol more because we stayed there for 3 days.

If you have a week of spare time, I suggest to stay in Cebu for at least 4 days and to stay in Bohol at least 3 days.

» Where To Stay? «

It took time us time to choose the best hotel for our family trip. On our case, we checked-in at Happy Beach in Cebu. Here's the link of our Happy Beach trip. 

For our Bohol trip, we stayed in Panglao area:
  • Hotel Casa Teofista
  • Blue Ocean Bohol Beachfront Resort

» Things to Do «

Here are the activities we did on our 4 days / 3 nights trip:

  • Lunch at Rico's Lechon

  • Soaked the sun and overnight at Happy Beach Cebu


  • Witnessed the beauty of Cebu's bridges connecting Mactan Island and Cebu City: Osmeña Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge.



  • Rode on a ferry boat from Cebu Port to Tagbilaran Port.


  • Spotted the smallest primates, Philippine Tarsier.


  • Observed the beauty of Chocolate Hills.


  • Discovered the dark-side of Bohol, Man-Made Forest.


  • Caught the glimpse of Loboc River.


  • Attended Sunday mass at Baclayon Church.

  • Enjoyed the dolphin-watching at Balicasag Island.


  • Relaxed in the spectacular sandbar of Virgin Island.


  • Tasted the famous creamy ice cream from Bohol Bee Farm.



  • Savored the night life in Panglao Island.



You can check my blog post about our Bohol countryside and island hopping tours here.


Note: There are no affiliate links on this post.

Have you been to Cebu and Bohol? Share your experience.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Bohol Countryside Tour + Island Hopping

Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol, was our main point of entry by ferry. Public transportation are unreliable according to my research. Not sure if it's true through though because we roamed via private transportation.

» Getting around Bohol «

There are lot of agencies in Bohol offering private transportation. We were not fond of shared transportation because we would like to enjoy more our family travel.

Without further ado, Bohol Car Van Rentals & Tour caught my attention because they have the cheapest rate for car rental (group of 4 persons). Here's the link of their website for their contact numbers and rates: https://www.boholcarvanrentals.com/. They also have a Facebook account, just search for boholcarvanrentals. The car rental rate as of April 1, 2019, was Php 2000 inclusive of driver and fuel. You can personalize your trip according to your likes. 

» Countryside Tour «

Our personalized tour was the following:

  • 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm - Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary - It is located in Corella, Bohol, open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The ticket price is Php 60. They have registered tour guide that will tour you, where to find those tarsiers in the area. They are good photographers too, right?



***Be quiet because they are sensitive to the surroundings.


  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Chocolate Hills - The most iconic postcard of Bohol. It is located in the town of Carmen, open daily from 9 am to 4 pm. The ticket price is Php 50. 

***There are almost a hundred steps to go up just to see this breath-taking view. Prepare for this and bring a hat and a bottle of water.



  • 5:00 pm - 5:15 pm - Man-Made Forest - It is a 2-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees in the town of Bilar. 


  • 5:30 pm - 5:35 pm - Loboc River - It is located in the town of Loboc, nearly halfway between Tagbilaran and Chocolate Hills. Unfortunately, we didn't book our lunch there (prices may vary). Behind us were the popular floating restaurants.


  • 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm - Baclayon Church - It is located in the town of Baclayon, near the city of Tagbilaran. We were lucky to attend the 6 pm Sunday mass.




  • 7:30 pm - Hotel Casa Teofista - After the half-day trip, we were dropped-off by our driver at our hotel in Panglao.



» Island Hopping Tour «

We also contacted Bohol Car Van Rentals & Tour for island hopping. They also offered us a very cheap price of Php 1500, good of 3-4 persons. We went to the following sites:

  • 6:00 am - 7:00 amDolphin-watching - Near the Balicasag Island. We saw some but failed to capture photos of the beautiful sea creatures.


  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am - Balicasag Island - This sanctuary is a world-class diving spot, rich in wildlife of fish, dolphins, turtle and corals. Unfortunately, we didn't dive and just roam around the island. 




  • 8:00 am - 9:00 am - Virgin Island - A beautiful sandbar stretched near Balicasag Island.







» Overall «

Overall, my family was super satisfied with our trip. We got a really cheap offer and a very nice service from Bohol Car Van Rental & Tours. The Bohol sight-seeing was breath-taking. I truly love Philippines!

Note: This is not a sponsored post.


Have you been to Bohol? Share your experience.
    Sunday, June 02, 2019

    Cebu to Bohol (Tagbilaran) via OceanJet

    As I said on my previous post, we only stayed in Cebu for a night. We travelled from Cebu to Bohol via fast ferry. 



    There are two major ferries serving between the Cebu and Tagbilaran in Bohol. The ferries are OceanJet and SuperCat. We opt OceanJet because there are few schedules compared to the latter one. 

    » OceanJet «

    Ocean Fast Ferries Inc. or commonly known as OceanJet, a Filipino-owned corporation, operates high-speed ferry crafts serving Visayas region in the Philippines. It was founded in 1995 and now serving in 10 destinations:

    • Batangas (Batangas City)
    • Bohol (Tagbilaran)
    • Cebu (Camotes Island)
    • Cebu (Cebu City)
    • Iloilo (Iloilo City)
    • Leyte (Ormoc)
    • Negros Occidental (Bacolod)
    • Negros Oriental (Dumaguete)
    • Oriental Mindoro (Calapan)
    • Siquijor (Larena)

    » How to Get There «

    The Cebu City Pier is located in Pier 1. The travel time is 2 hours per way.

    We booked via Grab app (Php 472) from Happy Beach Cebu. The price varies depending on your location and time.

    » Booking Tickets «

    I booked our ferry tickets online at the ferry's official website. The tourist class (air-conditioned area) and open-air class are both cost Php 500 while the business class cost Php 1000.

    There's an additional fee of Php 20 per person for the online booking fee.

    Take note that the port terminal fee is not included in the ticket price. For Cebu, it costs Php 25 and for Bohol, it costs Php 20. You will pay it at the terminal fee area near the pier's entrance.

    OceanJet Cebu-Bohol (vice versa) Schedule (as of March 2019)
    Route
    ETD
    ETA
















    Cebu City to Tagbilaran
    5:10 am
    7:10 am
    6:00 am
    8:00 am
    7:00 am
    9:00 am
    7:30 am
    9:30 am
    8:00 am
    10:00 am
    8:20 am
    10:20 am
    9:20 am
    11:20 am
    10:40 am
    12:40 pm
    11:40 am
    1:40 pm
    1:00 pm
    3:00 pm
    2:00 pm
    4:00 pm
    3:20 pm
    5:20 pm
    4:20 pm
    6:20 pm
    5:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    5:40 pm
    7:40 pm
    6:40 pm
    8:40 pm













    Tagbilaran to Cebu City
    5:10 am
    7:10 am
    6:00 am
    8:00 am
    7:05 am
    9:05 am
    8:20 am
    10:20 am
    9:20 am
    11:20 am
    10:40 am
    12:40 am
    11:40 am
    1:40 pm
    1:00 pm
    3:00 pm
    2:00 pm
    4:00 pm
    2:40 pm
    4:40 pm
    3:20 pm
    5:20 pm
    4:00 pm
    6:00 pm
    4:20 pm
    6:20 pm
    5:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    5:40 pm
    7:40 pm
    6:30 pm
    8:30 pm


    » The Experience «

    Online Booking. The website is very neat and user-friendly. You just need to provide your personal details. Then, you will receive the vouchers through email. Credit card is the only payment option for now.



    Check-in. After paying for the terminal fee, we headed straight to the baggage scanner and then, check-in counter. The queue line was not long and the check-in process was smooth. We just gave the printed vouchers and they gave us the seat numbers. Unfortunately, you can't choose your desired seating number.

    Passenger Terminal. We arrived early and there were few seats left near the boarding gate. The terminal is air-conditioned. There were arrays of food carts and a restaurant at the 2nd floor. We didn't roam much so we won't miss the ferry.



    Inside the Cabin. It's air-conditioned and they also provide comfort rooms for men and woman. The also offer TV with movies. Unfortunately, they don't offer free WiFi connection but it's okay.



    Travel Experience. Well, the travel experience isn't surprising. It's a good choice that we chose 11:40 am slot. The sea water was calm and travel was smooth. 




    » Overall «

    Overall, our experience was nice. I salute to the organized ferry terminal both sides. We never encountered any problems at all.

    Note: This is not a sponsored post. I booked the tickets using my own money.


    Have you been to these ports? Share it here.