Mga Imbak na Marka: loboc

why can’t i bring one home?

Aside from the Chocolate Hills, these guys have been the unofficial ambassadors of Bohol throughout the world!

The trip was a bit long from the Chocolate Hills view deck to the Tarsier Conservation Area but this was a pleasant trip.

We were first made to pay the entrance fee of Php 60.00 each (Php 50.oo for Senior Citizens) and wait for the next batch of tourists for a briefing on how to conduct ourselves inside the conservation area. We got another souvenir postcard from visiting this, an I idea I really, really like. πŸ™‚

Not long after sitting in the waiting area, “Love AΓ±over” comes out and introduces herself as Laiza, our guide. (I swear, they must’ve been separated at birth!) She discussed house rules and some facts about the tarsiers in captivity in the conservation area and that flash photography is strictly prohibited. it wasn’t long before we were ushered into the enclosed area to see the tarsiers. I was really excited to meet the little critters like i was going to meet a rock star. really!cats

during the briefing, we were told how to spot the tarsiers: ‘spotters’ of the conservation site had tied red bows on or near the tree trunks where tarsiers can be found. this was the deal-breaker for me. more on the later.

the trek was somewhat paved with concrete steps in some areas that were quite slippery (MIL had a little difficulty because of the flats she wore) but the rest of us were prepared with quite grippy shoes. (N.B. to those who want to visit!)

anyway, it was a quick tour, really. that’s the really disappointing part… i had imagined something that was straight out of a Steve Irwin documentary or one of those from National Geographic. instead, it was like i got into a big zoo with animal props. it felt a bit staged to me. plus the faces and posture of the spotters didn’t help — they looked like mall attendants at closing time who have been on midshift for two weeks straight. they looked awfully bored and tired! aside from “Love Anover”, only one other ‘spotter’ (who took our picture) was smiling during this trip.

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so this experience was half-half for me. it was great to see this creature for once in my life in such a beautiful and safe place but at the same time, it’s hard not to think that they are also victims of commercialization.

the Loboc River on Busai Monark

one of the spots that i’ve always looked forward to in this trip was the Loboc River. why? because it’s the time when i can just relax and have a wonderful meal while we cruise around the river in between the green mountains.

the registration was quick and easy enough (they charge Php 400.00 per person). oh, i forgot to tell you, the nice thing i like about the tickets they sell in Bohol is that you get a postcard for every ticket! so you just don’t throw away the tickets once they get the stub. it’s a pretty nice idea, if you ask me. πŸ™‚

anyway, back to the cruise. it took only about 15 mins before the floating restaurant was full and we were on our way. the spaces in between tables was good enough and the buffet table was mid-sized with about 8 dishes/viands on both sides. i was quite famished after the plane ride and some of the tour we had earlier so i was expecting some good food to have that day for lunch. but, alas, it wasn’t.

i wasn’t really disappointed. perhaps my expectations just weren’t met. the seafood was fine: boiled shrimp and crab were no different than what we have at home. and they were about the same size, too — small. so that was a bit of a bummer. the pancit was on the salty side and the chicken ‘nuggets’ were kind of tough. well some of them. and then i dared to get some of the food which i’m not familiar with — yes, i lead a dangerous life. πŸ˜› but ultimately, i finished the coconut milk dish and the seaweed dish with difficulty. in my mind, i always had to justify that the food was just traditional in Bohol and i had no way of knowing if it was good or bad. i just have to stay neutral and say “it wasn’t my kind of food but it was OK.” πŸ˜€

oh, and then your choice of drinks is limited to two: 1 small bottle of Coke or water. i chose softdrinks to wash the flavors away but bought a small bottle of water (at P40!!! holdap!) afterwards. oh well…

the music that serenaded us was mostly jukebox selections sung by some guy accompanied by an electric guitar. kinda reminds me of our local pulosa in Pampanga but the young-at-heart seemed to appreciate the playlist so i can’t speak for everybody on the cruise. hehe. it was kind of entertaining, still.

when i expected nothing more from this cruise, we approached a little floating hut along the river and docked right beside it. and what greeted us was absolutely fun! more than 3 dozen men, women, and children playing guitars/ukelele and dancing for us! it was so much fun, A and the FIL decided to join in! haha! πŸ™‚ though this was part of the fee we paid, i’m sure, A still dropped some money on the donation box they passed around. it doesn’t hurt to give more with all the smiles they showed us. πŸ™‚

and then we went back to the pier where we started. so the tour was 4/5 stars. the food was 2.5/5 stars. but the river? 5/5!