Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bohol Media Familiarization Tour

The author and Ms. Joy Felizardo bike zipping at Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)

Our tour guide Josue Hinay and
Carlito Pizarras at the Tarsier
Research Development Center
Last October 1 to 3,a Bohol Media Familiarization Tour was organized by the Department of Tourism.  It was participated in  by travel writers Ms. Czarina Nicole Ong of Manila Bulletin, Ms. Kathleen Llemit of the Daily Tribune, Ms. Eula Dennisa "Euden" Valdez of Manila Times, Ms. Lara Louise Gabriellle Antonio of Mabuhay Magazine and Ms. Julia Wimmerlin of Travelife Magazine; and travel bloggers Mr. Ermelo "Melo" Villareal, Jr.  (www.outoftownblog.com) and Ms. Ma. Joy Elaine Felizardo (www.gastronomybyjoy.com).  I joined in as a travel writer for the Business Mirror and a blogger (www.benjielayug.com and  www.firingyourimagination.blogspot.com)
Media ladies frolicking at the lagoon pool of Panglao Bluewater Resort
Visiting Baclayon's damaged church
The tour took place almost one year after the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Bohol on October 15, 2013, destroying or damaging at least 10 churches. Tourism is a major revenue earner for Bohol, an agricultural province with beautiful nature spots.  

The DOT and local stakeholders want to help in the revival of Bohol’s tourism by reinvigorating the island’s tourism program through the opening of alternative destinations in Bohol.  Boholanos are also looking to turn the tragic aftermath of the earthquake into tourist attractions. 
Loboc River Cruise
Abatan Firefly Tour
Joining the media group were tour operator and ground handler Ms. Edna M. Faustino, Product Development Manager of CCT.168 Travel & Tours, plus three personnel from the Department of Tourism - Mr. Ramon Rebulado (Media Coordinator), Mr. Rolando ""Rollie" Cagasca (photographer) and Mr. Herminio Reyes.  

Our home in Bohol during the 3-day/2-night tour was the 54-room,Class "AAA" Panglao Bluewater Resort.  Here, we were all pampered by Rooms Division manager Mr. Leo P. Go and resort consultant Mr. Pete L. Dacuycuy. Our local tour guide was Mr. Josue Hinay of Travel Village and Tours.
Hopping off to Pamilacan Island

Feasting on seafood at Lic Lic Fastfood
Day 1 was the Bohol Countryside Tour which included visits to St. Monica Church (whose painted ceiling was recently restored by Manila-born but Spain-based artist Guy Custodio) in Alburquerque, the Tarsier Research and Development Center (where we met the celebrated "Tarsier Man" Mr. Carlito “Lito” Pizarras) in Corella, the Loboc River Cruise and the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (where some of us tried out  the famous, exciting  and very unique bike zip line dubbed as "The Rush" and interviewed Managing Director Mr. Jing E. Velasco) in Carmen.
Hinagdanan Cave (photo: Ms. Joy Felizardo)
Merienda of camote and corn coffee at Pamilacan Island
Day 2 featured an island hopping tour to Pamilacan Island in Baclayon, a visit to Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis, watched the sun set at Punta Cruz Watchtower (where the sea-bed was lifted more than a meter due to tectonic uplift and, as a result, the coastline receded some 50 to 100 m.)  in Maribojoc, shopped for seafood at Manga Public Market (which was prepared and cooked for us and partaken of at Lic Lic Fastfood & Sutukil) in Tagbilaran City and observed fireflies lighting up trees along the Abatan River in Cortes. 
Learning organic farming techniques at the Bee Farm
Observing loom weaving at Bee Farm
Day 3 featured a healthy lunch at the Bee Farm (where we tasted malunggay ice cream. observed weaving and organic farming techniques and bought their signature food products for pasalubong) in Dauis, a visit to the Church of the Immaculate Conception (whose facade was seriously damaged during the earthquake) in Baclayon and shopping for souvenir at Aproniana Gift Shop, also in Baclayon.
Watching the sunset (and the tectonic uplift) at Punta Cruz

The tarsier in its nature habitat
CCT.168 Travel & Tours: Unit 501, The Richmonde Plaza, 21 San Miguel Ave. cor. Lourdes St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila. Tel: (632) 638-6721, (632) 631-3505, (632) 633-4856 and (632) 687-0129.  Fax: (632) 687-0010. E-mail: cct168travelandtours@pldtdsl.net.
Travel Village and Tours: Bohol Tropics Resort Club, Graham Ave., Tagbilaran City, Bohol.   Tel (038) 411-4023  and (038) 501-8078. Fax (038) 411-5928.  Website: www.boholtravelvillage.com.
Panglao Bluewater Resort: Bluewater Rd, Sitio Daurong, Brgy. Danao, Panglao, 6340 Bohol.  Tel: (038) 416-0702 and (038) 416-0695 to 96. Fax: (038) 416-0697.  Email: panglao@bluewater.com.ph. Website: www.bluewaterpanglao.com.ph.  Manila sales office: Rm. 704, Cityland Herrera Tower, Rufino cor. Valera Sts., Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City, Metro Manila.  Tel: (632) 817-5751 and (632) 887-1348.  Fax: (632) 893-5391.

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