Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Most Precious Moment in Bohol: Half-day of Dolphin Watching, Balicasag Snorkeling and Virgin Island Swimming

When I made the itinerary for Bohol vacation, I had the island hopping set in our second day in Panglao Island. That would guarantee us a whole day of experiencing the sun, the water and the sand. So on our second day, we all woke up very early, knowing that we have to leave for the sea at 5:30 AM to make sure of dolphin sightings. We were already having breakfast and everyone was so excited. Then at exactly 5:30, Kuya Tatsky Cubero, who I've contacted for both island and country tour in Bohol sent me a text message asking if I'm already awake and informing me that the boatman he contacted to take us island hopping cancelled. The reason given to me is that the sea is turbulent and the boatman doesn't want to risk our safety. I suddenly lost every energy I had in my body specially when I asked the people from Whites and Greens about the condition of the sea that morning and they all told me everything seems normal. Even the fisherman in the shore I asked told me the same thing. I felt irritated especially when I saw at least seven boats with tourists sailed that morning to go island hopping. Up until now, I don't know what's the real score. I just remember we were texting the night before and he was asking me if it's ok if two other tourists would join us in the boat. I did say no politely since my family seemed not to be comfortable with the idea. I didn't know what truly transpired. I just know, we won't be able to push through with the original plans that day. We just went on country tour instead, with Kuya Bogart, Kuya Tatsky's comrade, which turned out pretty fine.

So on our third day, and having exactly just a half day to spend in the islands, we sent to the sea early. I cancelled the boat service from Kuya Tatsky and negotiated with another boatman with a spotter instead. It was a long boat ride, exceeded the one hour I've expected. Finally after 20 minutes more, we arrived at the waters near Balicasag Island. There were already several tourist boats in the area. We joined them. The spotters have a very sharp eye, they would see right away where the dolphins are coming from. They would then start the motor boats headed to the direction of the dolphins, signaling others to follow. It was fun! It was like a race with the dolphins.

Our spotter  has very keen sight with these friendly creatures and most often than not, the dolphins would pass nearest our boat. They come in group, swim fast then jump above the water for a brief moment. I was first trying to capture their photos but   found their movements elusive to get a perfect shot. I'm only using a point and shoot camera after all. So after trying to click my camera a few times, I decided to set aside capturing photos and just witness the dolphin show on their natural habitat. For a moment I forgot about my blog and tried to be a normal traveler and just enjoy every minute of it without feeling the need to document. There were lots of dolphins that day which our boatman said doesn't always happen. It was so exciting and everytime they appear, I can't control myself from shrieking. Irritating I know, I just can't stop. lol! After 30 minutes of chasing with the dolphins, we decided to head to Balicasag Island. We knew we have limited time to spend.

Just a few minutes, we docked the shores of Balicasag Island. Balicasag is one of the 73 smaller islands surrounding the main island of Bohol. It is a barangay gifted with so much beauty. Several pandan trees grow near the shore. The sand is white and is obviously crushed corals. The sea water is so clear. The barangay has the territory of the 400 meter diving Marine Sanctuary that boasts of diversity when it comes to marine species. Since I'm not ready to dive yet, we did snorkeling.

The snorkeling area is near the shore, yet we needed to ride a small boat that would take us in the waters. The locals don't encourage tourists to walk from the shore to this area since accidental stepping on the corals may destroy it. We paid Php100 each for the small paddle boat ride.

Upon reaching the area, we started exploring what's under the sea. Sadly, on the shallow area, I noticed the corals looked bleached. On the deeper part though, life underwater is blooming. There are a lot of healthy looking corals. Fish are abundant too specially when you try to feed them bread, fish would be swarming you in no time. You wouldn't even know in what direction they came from. It was my first time seeing a lot of fish like this and it's euphoric. TI also saw several blue starfish on the sea bed. This island just made me more in love with the world under water. Hope to do diving next time.

After an hour of snorkeling, we wanted to have lunch in the island. Locals sell fresh sea food and can cook this for tourists for a minimal fee. We didn't have a chance though since we're running out of time. We then proceed to Virgin Island.

Virgin Island is a tiny island with a crescent shaped sandbar surrounded by crystal clear waters. During low tide, one can walk up to the end of the sandbar. When we arrived, it was high tide that the sand bar was already submerged under water. We tried walking and the water  is up my knees, on other areas it goes as high as my legs. On the sides are deeper water that can probably submerge me instantly. The island is a paradise. The water is sparkling. The white sand is fine. It was very inviting that we had a hard time leaving when the time turned eleven. There were lots of foreign tourists that time (I even overheard a lady who was about to leave telling herself she doesn't want to go home, hehe.. ) yet it didn't change a thing about the island. For some reasons, it still glowed in beuaty to me, it was indeed a majestic island. After quickly frolicking in the waters, few photo shots and swimming in the shallow areas, we sadly bade goodbye to this part of Bohol.

Bohol is truly blessed with beauty. Their waters is one that they can truly be proud of. I'll surely never forget Bohol. It is just mesmerizing.


  1. keeps getting better! great job pang! more more more! -jet

  2. That's one inspiring comment. Thank you Jet. :)

  3. i'm currently updating my site din pala. sobrang tagal ko ng di naguupdate. Hahaha! but will update it. I already post my Bohol exp. check it out sa

    thanks! hehe

  4. That's nice to hear Jet. Let's help promote the Phils.I visited your site and left a comment for you. :) Hope to see more entries in the future. I like your photos.

  5. Hi! how much ang rental ng boat going to these places and how many hours? Can you send me your suggested itineraries if mag stay kami ng 3d/2nights sa whites and greens. my email,


    1. Hi Elmer. We paid Php1500 for the entire island hopping trip. This amount is for the whole day but on our case, we only had a half day to spare. I'll try to send you our itinerary, I'll rummage all my files first. Can't seem to find it. Thanks. :)


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