The island province is definitely another gem of the Visayas group of islands. The "Republic of Bohol," as Boholanos are fond of calling their province, is one of the most booming tourism destinations in the Philippines for many reasons. The little island paradise has worked its way through the years to emerge as one of the most popular vacation and tourism sites in the country. It is scenic with an enigmatic charm drawn from archaic memento.
There are many reasons why tourists come to Bohol. First, water fun is not restricted to wonderful beaches across the province. Diving is an ultimate recreational activity because Bohol’s underwater is simply magnificent. There is a vast bio-diversity consisting of interesting aquatic life in the tropic waters. The coastline is skimmed by white sand beaches and gentle covers. Among the most notable are Balicasag and Cabilao, which are both popular for their aquatic biodiversity.
The province is the 10th biggest island in the country. It is surrounded by the island provinces of Cebu in the west, Leyte in the northeast, and Mindanao in the south, across Bohol Sea. It has the 19th biggest population nationally at 1.23 million, as of latest census count. Its capital Tagbilaran City is a second class city in the southwestern side of the island. There are daily flights to and from the island through it. Ferries and speedboats also take tourists and travelers to the island from nearby cities like Cebu, Dapitan, and Dumaguete.
In history, before being noted as the home province of former Philippine president Carlos P. Garcia (the fourth republic president), Bohol was already listed in history textbooks for many historical events. The famous ‘blood compact’ between native chieftain Sikatuna and Spanish conquest leader Miguel Lopez happened in the island in 1565. It was among the first established links between the country and its longest colonizer, Spain.
Tourists and vacationers who like to observe flora and fauna could find getting to Bohol very rewarding. Bohol wildlife is fascinating. It is home to the smallest primate in the world, the Philippine tarsier. The nocturnal animal measures only four to five inches. The tail is usually longer than the body. The famous primate could be observed in its natural abode in the hills of Corella town.
Any Bohol trip would not be complete without a tour to the Chocolate Hills. There are 1,268 of those perfectly cone-shaped but rounded hills. The massive land drops have always been the most popular in the province. Two of the hills have even been developed into high-class resorts. Other inland attractions include more than 1,400 caves, beautifully laced waterfalls, and of course, the controversial Loboc River, which has become famous for its floating restaurants and river cruises.
Just like other provinces in the country, Bohol is made more alive by several of its public festivals. Among such events are Sandugo Festival (whole month of July), Tagbilaran City fiesta (May 1), SidlaKasilak or Festival of Lights (August 30 to September 8), and Bolibong Kingking Festival (May 23 and 24). Tourists who come to witness such renowned festivals are almost always bringing home their fondest memories that surely make Bohol a great destination they would visit again.
How to get there
Daily flights are offered from Metro Manila to Tagbilaran. Some travelers opt to go to Cebu first, and from there take a 25-minute flight to Bohol. Boats also take travelers to Tubigon from Manila or Cebu.