4/5/11

Panglao, Bohol

Alona beach

When I was much younger, my father used to bring me and my siblings to his home province in Bohol every summer. This was a perfect time as practically every town in this island province has a fiesta in May and one fiesta we really never miss was the one where he grew up, in Alburqueue, 12 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City. But fiesta it is not at this time of our visit. Thanks to my sister's generosity, we're following the tourist trail of Bohol (which I don't mind doing since I'm not the one paying hehehe!)





Long before air travel had become mainstream, traveling to Bohol was like an expedition from Mindanao - we either sailed for 3 days from Davao to Cebu and then on to Tagbilaran or took the long bus journey from Davao to Butuan or Cagayan de Oro and sailed overnight from there to Tagbilaran or Jagna. Those trips have been ingrained in my memory that long trips have become something I still like to endure till now.

Visitors arriving at Tagbilaran port get help at the local tourism office

On the way to Panglao island

These days, things have really changed swiftly that traveling between Cebu and Tagbilaran  have become a breeze. Fast ferries like Ocean Jet, Super Cat and Weesam Express have cut sailing time to a mere 2 hours. Even travel agencies now offer "day trips" to Bohol from Cebu! But that's not what we did.

Welcome drink at Amorita

My sister booked us to stay for two nights in Amorita, a resort in Panglao island perched cliff-side situated at the north-eastern end of Alona beach. As soon as we arrived at the Tagbilaran port, a resort representative was there to meet us and whisked us by private van for the half-hour drive to the resort. Cold drinks were offered at check-in and we were escorted by three people, two guys to carry our bags and one lady to explain to us the resort facilities and our options as guests.





Our rooms have two queen-sized beds and come equipped with an LCD TV, refrigerator, safety deposit box, mineral water (replenished daily) and toiletries. There was even a jar of cookies on the desk - a welcome treat indeed for my 4-year-old niece! And as part of the package, we're also getting a free one hour in-room massage, something which I was really looking forward to.

Amorita's infinity pool


View of Alona beach from Amorita Resort

We walked around the resort area to feel the lay of the land. Its grounds are well-manicured with plenty of plants and flowers but the highlight must be the infinity pool just past the resort's restaurant - it overlooks the entire stretch of Alona Beach. There's a series of steps just below the pool that led to the beach itself. But like any resort or hotel anywhere in the world, Amorita's number one asset is undoubtedly its staff. They've exceeded my expectations - they're so courteous and helpful I felt like royalty!


Taking the trike to Bohol Bee Farm

It was noon time and we were all hungry. I wasn't too excited to eat in the resort's Saffron restaurant since breakfast is served free there anyway. Having heard so much buzz about this on several blogs (and that Pinoy travel show "Trip Na Trip"), I offered to treat my family to a foodie adventure at the famous Bohol Bee Farm.

Riding a motorbike is a great way to explore Panglao
Foreign visitors are aplenty in Panglao - including young ones
A jeepney full of students

This organic food restaurant is located too in Panglao island but when I asked the resort for transport, I was quoted ₱600 just for one way! Not wanting to get a heart attack, we walked away and found a tricycle driver who was willing to drive the five of us for ₱400 roundtrip - not bad considering that he will be waiting for us while we eat. While Panglao's main road is paved, the road leading to Bohol Bee Farm is utterly bumpy that I wished it's election time once again.

Bohol Bee Farm entrance
Souvenir shop
Bohol Bee Farm has no beach but there's a great sundeck/lounge area below the restaurant

To get to Bohol Bee Farm's restaurant, we had to walk past their quaint shop and a swimming pool and into an airy perch on a cliff that overlooks the sea. We were seated right away and was given the option of a la carte or the buffet. I went for the latter which is tier-priced based on the number of people  - in our case  this was  ₱500 per person.

This crunchy starter (kobkob?) is served with minced green tomatoes
Camote bread with mango, pesto & honey spread
Lemongrass drink - a great thirst quencher!
Organic green salad with honey mustard dressing. The flowers are edible!
Seafood soup
Seafood lasagna
Honey-glazed chicken, grilled marlin & spare ribs
 
Homemade ice cream

However, unlike a traditional buffet, servings are actually delivered to the table by  the wait staff. Course after course, our organic food came and filled our table pretty fast. They even serve organic red rice to go along with the dishes. Once the food dwindled, they were replenished on request. I must admit Bohol Bee Farm's buffet offering is one of the best I've enjoyed and one where I really over-indulged myself. Well worth another trip in the future

15 comments:

  1. been to Panglao too and we missed Bohol Bee Farm. Now, am regretting it. great captures!

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  2. Uy! Nasa itinerary ko yan, although I'm more for the caving part of things. Have you visited Hinagdanan? They say it's worth seeing but not as strenuous as Sagada.

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  3. Marites,
    Thanks. I would have cried if I missed this restaurant now that I know how good it is!

    Jeruen,
    I wanted to but I was told that it's not what it used to be - many stalactites have disappeared and it's gotten dirty/vandalized.

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  4. Wow, I would really like to go to Bohol someday. Maybe this summer. I really hope the prices of the plane tickets drop. From Bohol I wanna go to Cebu!

    It's nice to see some foreigners exploring the place too.

    Mukhang sobrang sarap ng buhay nyo dito. Masarap talaga pag libre! The place you stayed in looks really nice.

    Ang mahal talaga ng transportation ng jeep at mga tricycle pag tipong adventure ang hanap mo. Pero okay lang kasi minsan lang rin naman saka makakatulong rin naman.

    Kahit P500 yan, papatulan ko yan! Haha mukhang masarap!

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  5. i am so amazed with the camote bread. looks delicious. how did they bake that?

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  6. sosyal, sa amorita! =)

    i started craving again for the organic buffet. tsk tsk, baka bumalik na naman akong bohol nyan..

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  7. And I've just blogged about the bee farm, too. (Made me realize that I'm so bagal to blog things hahaha.) We wanted to stay in Amorita but they cannot accommodate us because we were a big group.

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  8. Could you give me a ballpark figure of how much damage this vacation could incur? I may have to save up for a visit to the homeland, who knows.

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  9. i would love to bring my family too to amorita someday! never been to bohol; ang saya naman ng bakasyon mo, dennis! *inggit ako!* haha!

    i love your photos, man! ang husay as ever!

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  10. pretty fancy place:) ganda.

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  11. HalfCrazy,
    you have to keep your ears to the ground for cheap airfares lalo na yung promo fares ng Cebu Pacific. Makakabyahe ka talaga ng mura!

    davaoena,
    i didn't bother asking haha! nasarapan lang sobra. actually, everything we ate was very good!

    Chyng
    saucy nga ang Amorita. yung organic buffet naman is so very good na ang sarap talagang balikan!

    witsandnuts,
    my sister booked Amorita almost 2 months before our stay. At the time nga, ang dami nilang dates na puno na!

    Photo Cache,
    we had a packaged stay at Amorita which they call Bohol Tourific Package. It cost 20,800 pesos all in for two people staying in the deluxe rooms

    docgelo,
    bagay sa family mo ang Amorita - you will not regret it Doc!

    Z Joya,
    Maganda talaga sa Amorita but not as fancy I think as say Amanpulo (na di ko ma-afford mapuntahan hehehe!)

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  12. My mother's homeland. I love Bohol. Your food photos are delicious. :) Makes me want to go home in the province and ask my mom to prepare something like this for me.

    Happy weekend. :)

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  13. whoa! the bee farm! my all-time favorite is squash muffin and malunggay ice cream! YUM!

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  14. Hey, man. Taga-Bohol diay imong dad. Nice of you to drop by my homeland.

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  15. angelmiz4:02:00 PM

    Awesome pics! What kind of DSLR cam do you own btw?

    I'm also visiting Bohol in August...hope the weather cooperates then. Can't wait!! =D

    ReplyDelete

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