Bohol Island Getaway - Part 1

Thursday, September 6, 2012

To celebrate Candice's certification, we took a mini-vacation to the Island of Bohol.  Located 500 miles to the south-east of Manila, Bohol seemed to be a world away from the busy, rainy city.

We wrapped up Candice's certifications on Friday, taking time every hour to squeel "We're going on vacation today!"  After Friday's shift ended on Saturday morning, Candice's husband took us to the airport where we caught a flight with discount airline Cebu Pacific.  You might remember Cebu Pacific from this post about the most entertaining safety demonstration I've seen.

Before boarding, we were able to hang out with Ceejay before his trip to Palawan, another island (there are over 7,000!).   After boarding, I was way too excited to sleep so I stayed awake as the flight attendants kept us entertained with Philippines movie trivia.  I got zero answers correct.

An hour or so later, we disembarked via staircar to a tiny airport that possibly had fewer square feet than our plane.  Before deplaining, they made an announcement not to take photos from the tarmac.  Of course, I hadn't considered taking photos until they told us not to, so I joined dozens of other travelers taking snapshots against the rules.

Leaving the airport was a bit chaotic; there were dozens of drivers with signs to attract you to their resort.  Apparently arriving without accomodations is common enough for these guys to stay in business, but the thought of doing so makes me breakout in a cold sweat.  Thankfully, Candice had arranged for our hotel to pick us up and we waited in the hot, sunny parking lot for the transportation to arrive.  

Thirty minutes from the airport, this is the paradise that awaited us (click to enlarge): 

Upon arrival, my internal clock was telling me it was 11pm and I should go to sleep; but we stayed awak, determined to maximize our trip.  We enjoyed lunch at the resort restaurant on the beach and ordered our first round of cocktails.  After lunch, we moved on to some less-than-comfortable beach chairs that we were determined to make work.  Turns out, with enough drinks and magazines, anything is possible!

Our seats in paradise
 I did sneak in a ninety minute nap mid-afternoon as we lounged on the beach.  We watched as scuba and fishing excursions returned from their day trips and decided to indulge ourselves in hour long massages on the beach, only $3USD each.  During my massage, I looked up to see the very last of the sunset in paradise. 

Feeling nice and relaxed, we returned to our room just a few yards from the beach to get cleaned up for dinner.  Luckily Candice and I agreed that a room with air conditioning was well worth the extra $10/night charge.  Set up kind of like a camp cabin, we had surprisingly comfortable beds, a private bath and a front porch with a view of the resort and beach.

We enjoyed dinner and a performance of coversongs by a duo playing guitars.  They played mostly 70s and 80s songs and we sang a long for a few.  I commented on how musical everyone in the Philippines seems to be; all of the skits in class included musical performances and Candice agreed.  Exhausted from being awake nearly 24 hours, we kept telling ourselves, "Okay, we'll leave after this song." until the next awesome song started.  Then we'd say "Okay, we'll leave after THIS song."  Until we finally crashed.

We booked an excursion for Sunday morning, more on that soon!  Here are some more pictures from Bohol!  Click to enlarge

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