Welcome to Bohol Blog, your alternative source of information regarding one of the most famous tourist spots in the Philippines -Bohol. Here we feature news and blogs that talk about Bohol's finest attractions, hotels, beaches, dive spots, and a whole lot more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Moment in Paradise

Posted by: Coriander

I witnessed Bohol’s city lights wane into the dark horizon after twinkling goodbye to me. The frothy ripples drawn by the ferryboat we were riding seemed to murmur a song of serene warmth . The ferry seemed just as excited going home as it had been going to Bohol.

A sun-drenched Monday morning welcomed us to Panglao. When I first dipped my toes into the inviting waters of the beach, I figured that if not for the change of environment, things wouldn’t be different from home. Almost everyone from my family was there that it didn’t feel like traveling at all. We brought home with us.

What’s amazing about that reunion was that the only thing I was allowed to do was have as much fun as I could. Those were the ten most memorable days of my childhood when television, computer games, Barbie dolls and Chinese garters had nothing to do with fun. Even though I had the salty wind kissing my sun burnt skin or the constant swoosh of the dancing waves that wouldn’t give us silence, there wasn’t a day I didn’t wear a smile...Read more @ Coriander


Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to go to Bohol

Originally posted from: Bol-anon

I am always asked by officemates and friends how best to go to Bohol. After telling them how beautiful Bohol is - with plenty of exaggeration - and showing them nice pics of our province, I feel obliged to provide them the information. Of course, there are so many ways to go there. I will try to tell you all about them.

From Manila, one option is to take a plane to Tagbilaran at either the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 (the Centennial Terminal) or the Manila Domestic Airport. You may read the profiles of these terminals/airports here.

Cebu Pacific flies to Tagbilaran twice daily. Flight 5J-617 departs from the Manila Domestic Airport at 6:50 and arrives at the Tagbilaran Airport at 8:10 am. Flight 5J-619 departs at 11:45 am and arrives at 1:05 pm. For both flights, Cebu Pacific uses their A319 planes. You may see their complete schedule here.

Philippine Airlines also flies to Tagbilaran twice daily. Flight PR175 departs from the NAIA Terminal 2 (Centennial Airport) at 8:00 am and arrives at the Tagbilaran Airport at 9:30 am. Flight PR177 departs at 2:30 pm and arrives at 4:00 pm. For PR175, Philippine Airlines uses either an A319 or a B737 plane, while PR177 uses an A319 plane.

Another way of going to Bohol from Manila is to take a boat to Tagbilaran. Superferry's Our Lady of Medjugorie leaves Pier 15, North Harbor, Manila every Monday at 11:45 pm and arrives at the Port of Tagbilaran on Wednesday at 12:30 pm.

On the other hand, Sulpicio Lines' Dipolog Princess departs from North Harbor, Manila also every Monday at 7:00 pm and arrives at the Port of Tagbilaran on Wednesday at 2:30 am.

Considering the limited flights to Tagbilaran, one option is to pass by Cebu, the queen city of the South. From Cebu, you may take fast ferries or the regular sea crafts from the Port of Cebu to the Port of Tagbilaran or one of our municipal ports.

Ocean Jet's fast ferries leaves Cebu for Tagbilaran daily at 6:00 and 9:30 am, and 2:00 and 6:00 pm. On the other hand, Weesam Express's fast ferries leaves Cebu for Tagbilaran daily at 9:10 am, 2:00 and 6:00 pm. In addition, Supercat has a ferry which leaves Cebu for Tagbilaran daily at 12:00 noon.

In case you want to save on transportation expenses, you may consider taking the regular see crafts of Lite Shipping and Trans-Asia. Lite Shippings' vessels departs daily from Cebu to Tagbilaran as follows: Sr. San Jose de Tagbilaran 10:00 am, Our Lady of the Barangay 12:30 pm, and Santiago de Bohol 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. In addition, Trans-Asia 1 departs from Cebu for Tagbilaran every Monday at 8:00 pm.

Finally, one interesting option in going to Bohol is to take the twice daily bus trips of Megastar and Philtranco from Metro Manila to the Ubay Port and the towns in the eastern side of Bohol, passing through Matnog in Sorsogon, Samar and Leyte. Believe me, I know some people who chose to take this option.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Justice for Victor Olayvar

Originally posted by: IncendiaryTey

These are Victor Olayvar's oldest (Phillip Ivan) and youngest (Giovanni Faith) kids. I took this photo a year ago, during the 40th day of his death.

Victor Olayvar was the chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Bohol) and was one of the pioneering members of the farmers' group Hugpong sa mag-uumang Bol-anon (HUMABOL).

He was one of the happiest soul i ever met in this island, amid all the fights he led and his own struggles withing his family, particularly raising seven kids with meager allowance for committing his life full-time to the people's struggle in Bohol since the 8Os.

Up to this year, justice hasn't been served. The military agents who killed him last September 7, 2006 in Danao, Bohol are still running around freely. Well, as in every other military agent who killed political activists.

One thing is clear though, all the killings did not stop the people from fighting. And the people will continue to fight for what is right. The fight against imperialism, feudalism and beaurocrat capitalism continues.

Justice for Victor Olayvar! Justice for the Filipino People!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Is Bohol's Tourism Any Good for the Poor?

Originally posted from: BoholAnalysis

The benefits of tourism to the poor in terms of employment, livelihood opportunities, improvements in the local economy, has recently been highlighted in development practice (Ashley 2006). Specific country case studies have shown its effect in generating employment, in enhancing participation of women in the labour force, and in instigating developments in forward linkages (ODI 2007). In the Philippines, tourism is pushed as development strategy, not only to propel local growth but also to combat poverty (Turingan 2006).

Eco-tourism is one of Bohol’s primary development strategy (PPDO 2003). Its competitive advantage is the presence of the famous Chocolate Hills, white pristine beaches in its islands, diving sites, and world-class cultural attractions (Relampagos 2002). Increased investments and promotional activities in the tourism sector have caused the dramatic rise in tourist arrival in the province since 2001.

Starting 2001 tourist arrival in the province has significantly increased (in 2003, foreign arrival was 18,385 while domestic was 110,514), especially when compared to 1998 base figures of 11,329 foreign and 28,958 domestic tourists The increase in arrival has fuelled increased economic activity in the capital city of Tagbilaran primarily because of the increased demand for services to cater to the rise in tourist inflow (Acejo et al 2004). Correspondingly, the increased tourist arrival was positively correlated with both increases in the number of manufacturing, service, trading and agricultural establishments as well as employment. (ibid).

Interestingly, the province has an area referred to as a ‘tourism belt’ where all major tourist destinations are situated. This spans from the island of Panglao to the town of Carmen where the Chocolate Hills can be found. The major ports of entry for local and domestic tourists are those located in the towns of Tubigon, Jagna, and the city of Tagbilaran.

Poverty incidence is relatively low in areas where the “tourism belt” and the major tourist sea ports are located, which incidentally are all in Districts 1 and 3. Acejo et al’s argument on how tourism has fuelled the growth of Tagbilaran resulting to increased employment of people may invariably be applied in this case, since unemployment statistics in the municipalities of both districts 1 and 3 are recorded as low, and have significantly decreased between the periods 2000 and 2003 (HNU-CRLG 2004).

It is argued that tourism has both direct and indirect impacts to domestic production and employment (WTTC 2005). As the Bohol case shows, it has positively affected living conditions of areas where tourism activity is high. Admittedly however, establishing a solid argument on the role of tourism in poverty reduction by gauging its impact on economic growth and improvements in quality of life is still at its infancy stage and in this respect, future research in the province in this area is highly encouraged.

Tourism, for one, is heralded as one of the two primary development strategies of the province (PPDO 2003, 2006), but provincial initiatives did not go beyond promotion and ensuring infrastructure and services especially within the ‘tourism belt’. With the burgeoning tourism industry, the tourism sector has not been used as a means to benefit directly the poor by fortifying the link between local production of the predominantly agricultural province to the tourism sector. Moreover, ‘leakages’, defined as a “process where foreign exchange earnings generated by tourism is not retained by the tourist receiving country” (WTTC 2005), are neither regulated nor minimized. To illustrate, ownership by migrants, foreigners married to Filipinos, and businessmen based in Manila, of the tourist service establishments in the ‘tourism belt’ is relatively high which may have jeopardized the benefit of reinvesting tourism gains into the local economy.

So there are still questions left unanswered; whether tourism has indeed affected lives of the poor and if local investors are the ones who profit from it. This is not to advance the argument that Bohol is for Boholanos, but to argue that Bohol's development should be steered in a direction where the Boholano benefits from the tourism costs that he/she shoulders.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Where to stay in Bohol

Originally posted from: Bol-anon

The key to a very relaxing vacation is a good destination and a certain amount of advance information. Take that from a non-expert like me. :)

As far as Bohol is concerned, with its many beautiful attractions and the very laid back atmosphere, I think you already have no. 1. As to no. 2, one of the things you should know is... where will you stay. Asa man?

To help you, I have just added to the sidebar of Bol-anon what I think is the most extensive listing of hotels, inns, pension houses and resorts in Bohol with their own official websites. The list should assist you in deciding where to stay there.

I myself was amazed at the sheer number of options available. Bohol indeed has become a major tourist destination in the country.

From the more popular hotels and resorts in Tagbilaran City, to the more affordable inns an persion houses, to the beach and nature resorts in Dauis, Panglao, and other municipalities (i.e. Anda, Bohol), to the more specialized diving clubs (Panglao, Cabilao, etc.), a bee farm and flower gardens, I think there is something there for all types of visitors, tourists, and travellers.

Of course, there is always the option of finding a Boholano friend and convincing him or her to allow you to visit their "home". Trust me, there is a fat chance you will be staying in their their most comfortable bedroom, and get a free tour too. :)

Photo of Bohol Tropics, one of, if not the most popular, places to stay in Bohol taken from the Port of Tagbilaran.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Aint too bad to be Pinoy!

Originally posted by: Bob Martin

Tagbilaran City – THE picture may have gone from bad to worse but some foreigners do not see the way most Filipinos see.

General Manager Robin Martin for example see brilliance, hardwork and globally competitive Philippines: a far soaring image of what most believe Filipinos are capable of doing.

He said his plant Intel-Philippines is where the most advanced products are launched, including the Pentium IV He added that by the end of 2002, Philippine operations has became Intel’s biggest assembly and testing operations worldwide, and Filipino brilliance is there.

If you have your Nokia cell phones with you, the cell brains called the digital signal processor (DSP) is produced in Baguio by Texas Instruments. If your phone is a Sony Erickson, it’s an 80 % chance your chips are by Baguio Texas instruments too.

You have a Toshiba laptop? Its certainly one produced in Santa Rosa, Laguna. And your anti-virus software PC-Cillin? Trend Micro develops its “cures” for viruses right here in Eastwood Libis, Quezon City. When a virus breaks in any computer system in the world, a solution comes from Pinoy inventiveness within 45 minutes of finding the virus.

If you drive a BENZ, BMW, or a VOLVO, that Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in your car is Pinoy made.

Now who says the Philippines is going for the dogs?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Decrying a Crime-ridden Tagbilaran, Bohol (heeding mitzi i.’s text for protest)

Originally posted from: Bohol Republic

Today, we received a text from Mitzi I. (COS of the VM)

“Friends, I’ll be wearing black for the entire week to mourn the death of the security guard of yesterday’s robbery. And on the session of the city’s SP, I’ll wear a black band to protest the rise in crimes in this city. Join me if you want to. I refuse to walk our streets in fear nor live in fear.”

Talk of the alarming crime rate increase in Tagbilaran (and in Bohol) in the past few weeks has been heavily hovering over this usually uneventful city, and when yet again we hear of a bank heist (along CPG Avenue, at that and in broad daylight ,too) yesterday, with a bank security guard dead, something’s gotta give. And it matters little, even, that most of the suspects were nabbed a few hours thereafter the robbery incident.

To think that only last Friday, some of the top brass in the AFP and PNP were here for the Central Visayas Peace and Security Assembly. To think that Bohol’s been put into disgrace in the Central Visayas peace and order reports of the Regional PNP, having the most consistent increase in crime rate (for the period July2006-July2007) in the region. To think that the Bohol officials there kept saying that they were fierce and determined (as they ought to be) in combating crime. And three days later, *poof* a robbery.

These criminals should be quelled, yes. We could express utmost indignation on their crimes against the people of Bohol and the Philippines. (In Jack Arat’s name and the other nameless victims of violence) But we can’t plead with these people, they’re criminals. (Let’s not even talk about the socio-economic foundations that led these men to commit crimes.)

But it’s but right that we demand from our government, especially the police force, a safe and peaceful city and province. And let’s demand this in the open. And out loud. Even with the calm of wearing black.

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