Panglao Island | The Sidetrip

The North Face: Thrill of the trail Bohol series was awesome. It was nice having those experience. Straggling to run on a muddy stones, rough roads and crossing a couple of rivers.That was one hell of a run! Although I was tired at the end of the race, thinking back about it, I felt I had accomplished another challenge.
After the TNF: Thrill of the trail race, we meet up with my friends and decided to go for some side-trip. Bohol is one of the tourist spot in the Philippines. The place has a lot to offer. One of the place in Bohol where tourist often go is the Panglao Beach.
taken during low tide.. but still the beach is beautiful.
How to get there:
Coming from abroad, you have two options: you can fly to Manila or Cebu. Cebu is the most convenient, but only a limited number of international flights will arrive there. Coming from Europe, you’ll need to have a stop-over in either Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong, however, it will save you the hassle of going through Manila. Among others, the following airlines fly international routes to Cebu: Silk Air, Malaysian Arilines and Cathay Pacific.
If you come via Manila, you’ll probably want to take a connecting flight to Tagbilaran, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is also possible to take a boat to Bohol, but will take 25 hours, and is only advisable if you have plenty of time and enjoy a trip on sea, or have to travel on a rock-bottom budget. If you come from Manila, you can also go to Cebu by air, and then continue by boat. There are numerous daily flights from Manila to Cebu. The flying time is about 50 minutes. The transfer by taxi from the airport to the pier takes about 30 minutes in normal traffic conditions, and should cost 165 pesos. The following airlines fly from Manila to Cebu: Philippine Air Line, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Asian Spirit, Astro Air, and Grand Air.
If you come via Cebu, you can also take a short 25 minute flight, but you’ll probably want to take the one and a half hour trip with a fast boat to Tagbilaran. The regular boat to Tagbilaran will take about four hours. It is also possible to take a boat to Tubigon and Talibon, which may be more convenient if you want to be on the west or north coast of the island.
The most economical way to get from Cebu to Tagbilaran by boat is to catch a ferry to Tubigon, and continue by bus from Tubigon to Tagbilaran. This is sometimes both faster and cheaper than taking a boat directly to Tagbilaran.
From the port of Tagbilaran, you can take a taxi to Panglao Island or a couple rides of tricycle/jeep. As for a budget conscious like us, we take a tricycle ride to Island City Mall. Fare ranges from 7-10 pesos. From Island City Mall we can toke a jeepney ride to Panglao for a fare of 50pesos.
If you’re in bohol and worried where to stay,  check out this website They have lots of places to offer.
Our Stay :
We arrived in Panglao around 6PM. We are on a tight budget, so we looked of a place that will cost us a little. Fortunately, We found this house. One big room cost us 1,200pesos. We were also given the right to use their dining room and kitchen.
After unpacking our backpack, we proceed to the kitchen to cook dinner. Then went to the dinning hall to eat. But the best part that night was the drinking session. Although I didn’t remember that much about what happen that night. I’m pretty sure it was a lot of fun. Basing on all the stories my friend who didn’t drink told us, it was indeed a funny and amusing night. There was a lot of bloopers happen and almost all got drunk. That includes me of course. ^_^
The next morning, my whole body was screaming for more sleep. But my friends keep telling me to get up from bed and enjoy the beautiful beach outside. Even though I’m to tired, I tried my best to get out. And I’m glad I did!
The view from our terrace was wonderful. How I wish I own my own resort like that. It was so peaceful. The only thing I hear aside from our voices was the sounds of the waves and the wind.
There were a lot of things we did at the beach. One of these was playing Frisbee. Sure it was exhausting, but we had a great time playing. With the long shoreline because of low tide, it give us plenty of space to play games.
A couple of my friends knows how to skim. I wanted to learn how to do it, so they volunteered to teach me. They really look good doing it. As for me, it was a disaster. An hour pass and I still don’t know how to do it on  my own. It was so hard. and my patience were tested. It really take a lot of guts to do it, and I guess I don’t have that. ^_^
Beachenering wouldn’t be complete without  sunbathing. We wanted to have a visible tan lines. So after taking a dip in the water, we lay in the sand  and expose our body to the sun. After an hour, we got what we want, a nice tan lines.

After spending the whole morning at the beach, we decided to pack our things and leave the beautiful place. I don’t want to, but  what choice do I have.  We need to go back to Cebu.

We head back to Island City Mall in Tagbilaran to buy some “pasalubong” (gifts) for our families in Cebu. What else would be the best pasalubong to give to your family than buying them Bohol’s best delicacies? Bohol is known to have the most delicious Calamay and peanut kisses. I suggest you would buy some of these when you travel here.
After buying pasalubong, we took a bus going back to Tubigon. The boats from Tubigon to Cebu is less cheaper than Tagbilaran to Cebu. It cost us 50 pesos for the bus to Tubigon and another 50 pesos for the boat from Tubigon to Cebu. The one hour travel from Tagbilaran to Tubigon was worth it. Hope I can go back there next year.

The North Face | Thrill of the Trail

I just arrived from our trip in Bohol and I’m still trilled from the race in Danao. It was an awesome experience. My first time to participate in a trail running race and first time to run 11km distance. I thought I’m not gonna make it, but I did. Of course I wouldn’t have done it without the help of our very amazing support team (Caitlin and Laarni), who waited for us at the finish line ready to take pictures. I could say the best support team you can ever have. They motivated us at the start of the race until it finished. I also couldn’t  have attended this event if not because of Tyo Tolet’s last minute registering us for the race.I really thank him for the experience. Without his free registration, I wouldn’t have experience my first 11k distance running.

The Day Before the Race:

It was 10 in the morning of September 11, 2010 when I finished packing for the trip. I was so excited that night that I was not able to sleep. I was working while packing at the same time. I guess I know how to do multitasking now. ^_^
Don’t you think our faces spelled “EXCITED”? We decide to meet up with the group in Pier 3 (Port of Cebu) at 12noon. Fortunately, we were able to avail Jadestar’s (name of the boat to Bohol) promo.  So by 1:30PM we’re boarding the boat to Bohol.
from left to right: Melvyn, Abbz, Caitlin, me, Kuya Jahbert (at my back), Laarni, Carla and Ian (@ carla’s back)
It took us 2 hours to finally arrived at the port of Tubigon, Bohol.
We take a jeepney ride from Tubigon to Danao. Guess who’s going with us in the ride? It’s the Filipina skyrunner herself.. Merlita Arias-Dunkin.
I got the chance to talked to her when we got in the Municipality of Danao. I promise you, she’s one cool Lady.
Unfortunately, the campsite for the race was not in the Municipal Hall but in Danao Adventure Park, which is 8km away. Some decided to go by foot. But for the few, we decided to take the habal2x ride to our campsite.
Well, what can I say? The food was great and I’m not the only one who appreciate it.
So we went to shower after dinner. The rough road to Danao was enough excuse  to do it. Afterwards, we went to our campsite to sleep early for the big race tomorrow.
The Race:
The race will start at exactly 6AM. The organizers have provided the participant a free ride from Danao adventure park to the starting line which is in the Municipal Hall.
The last call for the free ride made us pack in no less than a minute. We didn’t even got the chance to cook and eat breakfast. Luckily, one of our friends bought some bread with him. So we just suite ourselves with the bread.
We had our stretching before the race start. Woohoo! so refreshing. Made me alert and alive afterwards.
When the race start, we started to run our  way to the trail ahead, about 200 meters away from the starting line.
A trail like this is an advantage for us mountaineers. This is just an easy trail for us, but not for the runners who are used to running on flat surface like roads.
Trail running offers a lot of challenge for the participants. One of these is crossing rivers. If not careful enough and not readily prepared for this challenge, one might have the possibility of having blisters on their foot or injury upon crossing the river.
The unforgiving mud was also not an exception in the race.It adds up to the challenge and make the experience more exciting.
We navigate around few of the Chocolate Hills, which the Bohol are known for. They’re the only place in the Philippines who have Chocolate Hills. Tourist from all over the world came here to see this beauty of nature. An amazing masterpiece of God.
Mud was everywhere in the race.

Another river crossing with a wider river and stronger water current.
photo credit to Estan Cabigas. Thanks for this wonderful pic sir.
Aside from all of mud and river crossing, there was also a rough road to run. The favorite part of all the runners. I guess.
 We’re almost there. Finish line is just 1km ahead.
Finished at 2:24:56 for my first 11k run.
It was a flabbergast experience. A moment to be remembered for my entire life. I survived the 11k run for the first time. I’m looking forward for my next 11k run. Hopefully I can still attend next year’s Thrill of the Trail. May be that time I would be ready for the 22k run. What do you think? ^_^

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