Bohol promises scenic spots, delicious food, and more. Here are some highlights and tips on how you can safely visit amid the pandemic.
So grateful to be blessed by a breather away from the city! This past week, I’ve been exploring the beautiful Island of Panglao, Bohol. Yes, traveling in the new normal is definitely more challenging than it was in the “before times”. But, it will definitely make you appreciate being surrounded by the lush beauty of nature even more.
I myself haven’t been on a plane for more than a year before this trip, so I was both excited and extra cautious in terms of protocols and hygiene as much as possible. Getting to the destination, though, was more taxing than usual island getaways in the past. But again, being there was every inch worth it.
Preparations Before the Flight
Before getting too excited, we had to make sure that our swab test results are valid and negative before booking our flights and finalizing our hotel accommodations.
After that’s settled, Bohol actually has a strict and very thorough visitation system in place. First, you’ll have to register on their websiteand fill out all your details. Next, you need to attach your swab results and input your hotel booking confirmation number, among others. There are step-by-step instructions that will then be sent to your email. So you won’t get lost, just make sure to read each line and step carefully.
Finally, once all steps have been done, you’ll have access to your coveted vacation pass—your very own personal QR code! A personalized and formal Certificate of Acceptance from The Bohol Tourism Office and The Office of the Mayor will also be sent via email, which acts as your golden ticket to Panglao paradise. Yes, it felt like I passed the entrance exam of a university that I’ve been wanting to enroll in.
After all your documents were in place and confirmed, that was the only time when I was able to fully relax, condition, and excite my mind to celebrate this pocket of freedom and adventure that I can finally call my own.
Though I’ve been to Bohol before, it was only for a short work trip, so I wasn’t able to do a “grand tour” of the must-visit sites. This time, we kept our itinerary short but sweet.
Aside from enjoying our hotel accommodations at The Bellevue Resort, all we wanted to do was lounge by the beach, be surrounded by vast nature sceneries, enjoy amazing fresh food the locals had to offer, be in awe by the majestic Chocolate Hills, and see adorable Tarsier at the nearby sanctuary.
And so we did just that. Here are some highlights from our trip!
The Suite Life
At The Bellevue Resort, we stayed at the Presidential Suite with adjacent rooms housing large king beds. There was a spacious family living area, our own dining area, kitchen, a guest toilet, and two grand master bathrooms that each have their own bathtubs.
And yes, the master bedroom has its own private balcony, day beds, and Jacuzzi, which I made sure to not take for granted! Their breakfast buffet is done in “new normal” style, too—with only the server having access to the serving trays. However, you may also request for the plated dishes to be brought up to your room for extra privacy and to be extra safe.
Here’s a tour of my room in The Bellevue Resort at Bohol.
For dinner, the resort has a special dinner by the beach—a set-up complete with beach blankets, pillows, low tables, and a comforting bonfire. However, to our surprise, we were treated to an elegant al fresco garden dining set-up under the stars. It came with romantic ambient music and a plated dinner.
We had hearty mushroom soup to start, and for mains, salmon steak with veggies or beefsteak with veggies were our options. Fresh coconut juice on the island was also a must for me! Not only is it refreshing, but it also makes a cute tropical prop for photos!
The Best of Bohol
The next days were a balance of full-on explore and adventure mode and some rest and relaxation. Plus, it’s so cool that The Bellevue Resort had its own private van service to take us to the sites we wanted to visit.
Seeing the Tarsier
After brunch, we headed straight to the Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area. With these endangered beauties being extra tiny, the area won’t take long to tour and discover. Only about 30 minutes here would suffice, not unless you wish to keep staring at the Tarsiers’ cute little faces!
They looked unreal! In my opinion, they’re a mix between a Furby’s face (because of its gigantic nocturnal eyes), a body of a mouse, and a monkey with grippy, long fingers. And each Tarsier is only as big as your fist! For the record though, yes, it is a type of primate! The way they turned their necks to look in a different direction also seemed like it was playing in slow-motion!
Too cute! Just make sure to be extra sensitive around them. Absolutely no flash photography, touching, or being rowdy on the site. All love, respect, and admiration with extra caution for these adorable, insect-eating beings! They’re also suicidal when stressed, so don’t be the reason a tarsier takes their own life. How could one ever live with that guilt?
And fun fact: they can also jump up to 40 times their body length! That’s about over 16 feet in one leap! They’re quite athletic when they want to be.
Visiting the Chocolate Hills
Then onto the next, the majestic Chocolate Hills! Across the manmade forest, on top of a “chocolate hill,” you’ll be greeted by an ethereal cave-like structure with colorful steps—all 214 steps of them will lead you to the very top of the observation deck!
And behold, a breathtaking view of Divine Creation! I used to only see them in textbooks, nd travel magazines, but to experience it in real life is really on another level. I made sure to adjust my eyes clearly to savor every sight! It was every bit cinematic and worthy of its hype. All the forms and processes it took to get here did not end up in vain.
Praying at the St. Agustine Church
To cap off the day, we heard mass in the grand St. Agustine Church. After mass, I was surprised when my attention was called by a follower, who was a local too! It was so great to meet a supporter who was familiar with my work. She shared that she always listens to my Rise Up with Janeena Chan podcastepisodes.
How sweet! It was great meeting you in your hometown, Angel! Listen in on what’s new on the podcast via Spotify and Apple Podcasts!
Dinner at Mist
Dinner was at this IG-worthy restaurant and cafe—Mist! When I saw these teddy drinks on Instagram, I was immediately reeled in! And the rest of the food did not disappoint! Plus, the fun interactive ambiance, from the swings as chairs to their wooden slides and cozy den areas, down to the theatrics of their service and delicious food…everything was commendable!
Rest, Relaxation, and Restoration
The last day was reserved for rest, relaxation, and restoration! I thoroughly enjoyed my deep tissue massage by Ate Grace of The Bellevue Resort in our comfy room, after having the pool to ourselves during the day. Before taking off, we headed for a hearty Japanese late lunch at Nonki, near the airport.
The weekend was such a dream, and hopefully, our world heals much faster. That way, we can go back to enjoying traveling much more without the added caution and extra procedures. Until the next adventure!
Janeena is best known as a professional multi-platform host, most remembered from Upfront at the UAAP which aired on ABS-CBN S+A, and Chinoy TV on ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel). Her shows and new media content continue to inspire the youth as she pursues her passions in a smart and playful way — with style, substance and heart. Catch her podcast, Rise Up with Janeena Chan on Spotify and Apple Podcast, and follow her online via @janeenachan.
OneMega.com is your all-in-one access pass to exclusive content from a wide variety of lifestyle experts, thought leaders, influencers and leading content creators here in the Philippines and around the world. OneMega.com is a prestige media brand of One Mega Group, Inc.
ONEMEGA EDITORIAL TEAM
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marga Medrano-Tupaz CREATIVE DIRECTOR Suki Salvador MULTIMEDIA ARTIST Maica Jose JR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Diane Nicole Go BRAND ASSOCIATE Bianca Lagman BOOKING ASSOCIATE Marc Louisse Esguerra FINAL ARTISTS Eric Gallego, Mark Villanueva PUBLISHER Archie Carrasco
SALES DIRECTOR Carmelli Daet DIGITAL SALES MANAGER Maureen Alexis Busto ACCOUNT MANAGERS Pauline Mata, Chloe Tapucar, Jasmine Co Leng, Ivan Panganiban, Akiko Sakamoto, Alyssa Lescano, Christine Dabu SR ADVERTISING IMPLEMENTER ASSOCIATE AND IMPLEMENTOR Anikah Chua
CREATIVE SERVICES SUPERVISOR Kristoff Sison, COPYWRITERS Stephanie Ferrer, Peaches Garcia, Jeronne De Villa MULTIMEDIA ARTISTS Zion Santos, Thea Uy, Gari Rivera BOOKING ASSOCIATE Marc Louisse Esguerra
PRODUCTION AND STUDIO MANAGER Ed Simon PHOTOGRAPHERS Floyd Jhocson, Miguel Abesamis, Kieran Punay FINAL ARTISTS Eric Gallego, Mark Villanueva CAMERMAN JR Ramirez
SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER John Paras SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Emina Sotto COMMUNITY MANAGER Laura Barber CHANNEL MANAGER Faye Ramirez AD & PROMO MANAGER Brent Castro PR AND EVENTS MANAGER Marje Davantes COPYWRITER / SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT Rowan Palomares
MANAGER Harvey Medina SR. WEB DEVELOPER Carlo Tumaliuan