Posted by: nastypen | May 14, 2007

Of Tarsiers and the Saddest Disco on Earth

The first thing I noticed when the ferry arrived at Tagbilaran port was the sea. It is so blue. I can see the rocks underwater with schools of fish flittering about.

This is a stark difference from Manila’s pier teeming with junk and body parts. Nor is this like the Cebu port with giant ships giving the sea a black sheen of spilt oil. I normally associate piers with rancid smell of decay and neglect. Yet, in Tagbilaran, it was the crisp sea breeze that welcomed me.

It was a great start for the Bohol trip. This is worlds away from the claustrophic traffic of Makati, away from the hubbub of Cebu.

Addie surprised me that we shall be going to Bohol. I have always wanted to visit Bohol. Ironic that I lived half of my life in the island next to it.

We stayed at the Metro Centre Hotel right smack in the middle of Bohol’s capital. The good thing about this hotel is they are the same owners of the Panglao Nature Island Resort. The latter is an exclusive patch of white sand beach with cottages reserved for members who shell out seven thousand pesos to stay there. But if you are staying at the Metro Centre Hotel, you pay 150 pesos to get a coupon to get in and use the facilities of Panglao Nature Island Resort. That 150 pesos is consumable so you can pool your coupons if you’re a big group and order food.

The beach looks fantastic. You can WALK, if the tide permits to the small island offshore and lounge on the hammock. If you want, you can swim or have a boat take you to a floating raft with a nipa hut and look at the sunset. The sky and sea are pristine blue that it is hard to look for the horizon until the sun dips into night.

lovely beach

The one thing I did not enjoy is that sea by the beach has algae. This means creatures that live in the floating green can bite. And despite my girth, I have such sensitive skin, that is why the bites are painful, itchy and make me look like I have smallpox.

That place has an infinity pool, too. It is beautiful and with an adjacent Jacuzzi, too. But I really would rather swim out in the sea. This is why I love Boracay, I am not bitten by those itty bitty algae creatures there. If only I brought my snorkeling gear with me, I’d ride the boat far away from the shore and skin dive and check out the corals and fish.

But I am quite happy that I was at the sea with Addie. It is rare that we go on a vacation. So, I enjoy the moment and make a mental note to purchase bottles of caladryl when I return to the hotel.

The next day proved to be the best and most straining. We paid about 2,500 pesos for the group for a packaged day tour around six sites in Bohol.

First stop was the monument of the blood compact between Raha Sikatuna and the Spanish Miguel Lopez de Legazpi with the chronicler Urdaneta.

Of course, a chance to cam whore:

pose si baboy

This photo is called “Lechon de Cebu was served during the ‘peace treaty.’”

What I do not like about the sculpture is that why is it just Raha Sikatuna as the sole Filipino in the tableau? There are four Spaniards and one Boholano? So much for patriotic representation. But if you visit this site, do check out the nifty details of Sikatuna’s armor. Also, note how different the way Sikatuna handles his mug as compared to the Western Legazpi raises his. A detail often overlooked but it is glaring on the disparity of cultures.

We went to Baclayon Church. The driver tourist guide beamed that this is the second oldest church in the country. He could have gone on about how it was built, the significance of this one in Bohol’s history, but he ranted on that this is the birthplace of the local actor Cesar Montano. Big f*cking wow. This was the point I decided to ditch the driver and take shots of the place.

I was having geekgasms as I view the retablos, the details of the windows, the painted details on the ceiling. I would have wanted to stay on if only to soak in the place. But this is a group tour and must be considerate of the others.

Outside the church, a nun is selling religious paraphernalia. Interesting object to note are the angel figurines with pouches. You tell the nun on your exact birthdate and she checks her chart and she would give you a specific angel that is your guardian angel.

Since I am a Wednesday child, my guardian angel is Uriel. There is a parchment inserted with the angel and it reads that my particular angel is the one with the weighing scales of justice to remind us of God’s swift hand to cast out sinners. Great. I am a professional sinner and this is my angel. Oh well. Furthermore, These are not yet blessed by the priest, because if an object has been blessed, one cannot and should not sell it.

And then there were the tarsiers, Bohol’s cute mascots.


You have not visited Bohol if you have not seen these endangered primates up close. We went to the Loboc Tarsier sanctuary. These smallest monkeys on earth got even smaller when I stand beside them. Ahahahha. You can stroke their backs softly with a finger or two. Just don’t touch their heads because their cranium is soft.

They have flying lemurs in the vicinity, too.

But the real stars here are the tarsiers. It would be nice to remind the visitors to talk in whispers because these are nocturnal creatures and they are having their beauty sleep during daytime.

You can feed the tarsiers. There are crickets skewered on sticks and let it dangle in front of the tarsier’s face. One 15-year old tarsier was an elegant eater, taking small bites. The tarsier I fed gave me a do-over!!! I swear that little bitch glanced from my head to toe!!! It looked at my face then at the insect I was feeding it. It fixed its stare at my face and violently grabbed the insect from the stick and stuffed the entire thing in its mouth! What? He thought I was going to eat it?!!?!? Ahahahah.

Once in Loboc, you have to ride a “boat” through Loboc river, eat their food, and listen to a local belt out Frank Sinatra. It was a lovely river experience. Although I would have preferred a bigger boat with a show band so I could dance as we glide through the clean aquamarine river. It would be a sight of me doing the funky hippo dance move as we passed by shocked residents.

One way to ruin a trip is when some bitch would cut the line to the buffet. This one lady who apparently is a TV personality in Cebu, I don’t care to pollute my blog with her name.

She cut in the line and was gabbing on about the food. I was seething. Not because I am hungry but have the decency to respect those who queued. Never mind that you are a celebrity with bad butch hair and pockmarked face reminding me of the roads that need asphalt. But karma was on my side. As she sauntered to her seat, ALL of her soft drink bottles tipped over and created a beautiful mess on her table. I laughed out loud and yelled, “KARMAAAAA!!!!” Sometimes, I love pointing out the obvious. I made it let known on that boat that there could be one bitch on this ride and that bitch has a beard.

Anyway, it was a lovely lunch despite that harpy TV “personality.”

We went to the Chocolate Hills next. I just reapplied three layers of sun block spf 75. The sun was more cruel than usual and we had to clamber up steps to the summit to view the 1, 268 almost identical hills. It was breathtaking, literally. One old gentleman from Minnesota had to stop at one of the rest points to catch his breath. When I reached the top, it was borderline “This is it?” with “Wow.”

All those times we are bombarded with images of the chocolate hills seem to have desensitized me. Perhaps it was the heat or the TV showing stupid Wowowee that got my goat. But it feels great to see all those hills as far as the eye can see. What a natural marvel. No matter how we create skyscrapers, Mother Nature still wins as best architect and designer.

Of course, summon the cam whore and do the “Wilkam to da filipens” beauty queen wave:

mabuhay beauty!!!!

The other sites we went to were blah. We were supposed to go to a place where we could see how bolos (hatchets) were made. We went there and apparently all blacksmiths were having a long coffee break.

So, the next time that I shall be here, I will talk to the driver and set the six sites that I would like to visit. It would be nice to visit more churches, not because I’m religious. These churches are testament to Bohol’s significant place in our history. The early Spanish friars exerted their presence by having a building frenzy of almost to a ratio of one church per town.

Next time, I will be with Nemcy and Addie. I plan to see dolphins. I want to go to the town of Dagohoy, named after one of the country’s lesser known heroes Francisco Dagohoy. This guy sustained the longest revolt against the Spaniards. His brother was refused a proper burial by the Spanish priest and earned the ire of Dagohoy. He caused Spanish authorities grief by organizing armed conflict against the abusive colonialists.

I’d rather know this information than be told this was the birth place of Cesar Montano.

The group decided to have a night cap with the city’s only disco or dance place. We were supposed to have a karaoke session, but it costs 2000 pesos consumable. Even in Manila, that is pretty expensive. Since the dance floor is for free, we might as well check it out.

And we saw this:


Two men dancing like drunks having epileptic seizures to irritating barrio techno music is not what I call hip and happening. I asked, “Sumasayaw ba sila o nagsasabong?” (are they dancing or having a cock fight?) homoerotica never looked this bad. Nobody danced with them. This has got to be the country’s saddest disco.

Well, Bohol is not known for being a party place which is great. Partying is so overrated. Nothing beats the serene look of people as they glide down Loboc river in disbelief that there are rivers still unsullied by pollution and progress like this one. Nothing beats the wonder on one’s face reflected on the huge tarsier eyes. Nothing beats the hard-earned burps one gets from indulging in the Joving’s restaurant.
I’ll always think of Bohol with this picture I took in mind:


A calm clean sea that makes you believe that you can walk on water. Flowers actually blooming. The soft rolling of the waves and no blares from impatient cars. And the wind reminding you what you have been missing from all those years in urban decay.

If you want, do visit my multiply site for pics, click here or how about this one?



  1. Sounds like Bohol is a great place to visit. Hmm. I hope I can visit the place someday.

  2. Pagkaganda-ganda nang unang larawan!, mabuhay ka!

  3. pwede bang mag-bulsa ng tarsier?
    ang saya naman sa Bohol, sayang hindi kami natuloy.

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