Thursday, September 27, 2007

10 Things One Shouldn't Miss Doing While in Bohol

Before anything else, allow me to be defensive. This list need not suit everybody else's tastes and necessarily comes from a particular standpoint. The list is that of one who claims ancestral roots in Bohol (as his mother is a Boholana), grew up in Mindanao, went to university in Bohol, worked for some time somewhere else, but went back to Bohol to claim a Boholana bride.

Having said that caveat, let me also add one more. This list comes from a not-so-athletic person, whose idea of sports is to play basketball with a two-year old son, or to enjoy paragliding in front of a PC. Nevertheless, this list also comes from the standpoint of one who enjoys the simple things in life (in other words, doesn't have enough money to splurge in expensive getaways).

1. Get wet. Conquer the beach or the river. Swim. Forget the swimming pool. It is a great insult to the island's waters - Panglao's or Anda's beaches, or Loboc's river, or Antequera's falls - if you spend your time lazily in an artificial pool occassionally drinking chlorine-treated water.

2. Drink.......whatever it is that you fancy. Hot drinks of kape mais or sikwate, fresh mango or buko juice, or tea with ginger or lemon grass....or aged bahalina. Explore the kind of drinks that the island offers and suspend for a while your craving for margarita or agua de jamaica.

3. Get stuffed......with a long list of pastries that are distinctively Boholano (broas, kinatloan, tajada, tinapay etc) or "not-really-boholano-dishes-but-still-different" choices as inon-onang isda sa bato, adobong bakasi, tinonoang bat baje, suwaki, tujom etc. Don't go to Bohol and spend the whole week at KFC.

4. the island's different sounds - the world reknowned Loboc Children's Choir, Alicia's Musika Kawayan, Dimiao Children's Rondalla. (It becomes obvious now the kind of music that I like...yeah, I am fond of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in G Minor or Handel's Messiah etc). It does not mean though that Bohol lacked your favorite R and B. A tour of the usual night meet-up places will tell you that there's a wealth of music that Bohol can offer. (Calling all music enthusiasts, help me out here).

5. Watch.....not your favorite Australian soap "Home and Away" or TV popular series (CSI whereever, Prison Break "again", 12 x 2 = nothing else but...., or the Kumars at No. 42) but the occassional productions in community drama, dance, informance (performances that inform) and others that are directed, produced, and performed by Boholanos.

6. Talk to people, learn from, and not only about them - from the tricycle driver to the cigarette vendor - all have a story or two to tell. I advise that you take a trip to island, coastal, or upland communities where there are eco-tourism projects being offered (Cambuhat, Sierra Bullones river walk, Cortes Mangrove etc). Stop complaining about the bad road, the dilapidated foot bridge and listen to the stories. Immerse yourself in the wealth of the "other's" experience.

7. Take a walk.....either at the beach, or at the Himuntagon Hills, or towards Cruz Daku....savour the experience of sweat and short breath. If you have strong legs and are good on wheels, bike from Loboc to the Chocolate Hills.

8. Go to church.....even when you are not the religious type. You need not be a Catholic to appreciate the beauty of Bohol's old churches and you would miss the essence of what a church is when you do not at least join a service.

9. Dive or snorkel. Colors are more defined (red, and orange, and green and brown and purple and black and ochre and peach.....i know, that comes from the lyriccs of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"..........or magenta, cyan, etc) when underwater.

10. Sit down and do front of the beach, overlooking the Loboc river from one of Nuts Huts' huts, or just practically anywhere where you can enjoy a silent moment or two. Just be there. Feel the place and feel your own presence. Let go of your cares for a while and savour the serenity of the moment.

Do not take this list as a prescription. Not even as a guide. Read it and think about it. If you think you might enjoy doing the things listed in it, then do it. And one request, please let me know how it goes....


Gibo said...

this is great miko. :) great "prescription" on how to savor bohol life.

Kidglove said...

Bohol is a very beautiful place. My parent's relatives and my wife's relatives have "roots" in Bohol. Although we are from Cebu but I and my colleagues would always advise our single friends to choose Boholana and Boholano as partners in life because they are very faithful partners. Sakto ba ko? regards to all!