A weekend in Bohol

The last time I had a long vacation was in La Union. It was in December 2021. After that, I didn’t have enough time to go out of town again. This year started with a lot of deadlines for work, graduate school, personal life, and other hustles. No complaints. It was a ‘happy pagod.’

I intentionally did not book any long weekend trip because it wasn’t in my priority (source: my 2022 Planner). Hence, this Bohol trip was actually a graduation gift and birthday celebration at the same time. It was a reward for all the struggles, adjustments, and other trials I’ve overcome for the past months this year.

Day 1 – Chocolate hills and everything in between

We left Manila at 7:00am. It was one of the earliest flight. We arrived in Bohol after one hour. Then, upon arriving in Panglao International Airport, we were greeted with buses, and private cars offering their services. What we chose was the bus ride instead. We decided that for the first day, we’ll do mostly tourist-y things.

The travel time from Panglao International Airport to Tagbilaran City was about thirty minutes. We reached the bus station. In front of that was the Island City Mall. We ate our breakfast there. I didn’t have any booked tours yet so I looked on Facebook and sent a message to a Facebook page. We hired a driver/tourist guide for 2,900php.

We went first to Chocolate Hills. It was a bit rainy but it was a fun experience. We took the usual photos like what the usual tourists would do.

Chocolate Hills on a rainy morning
Your usual touristy post at Chocolate Hills

After Chocolate Hills, we headed to Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area. Another tourist spot in Bohol. We saw some tarsiers which reminded us of our shih tzu, Tyni.

Sorry for waking you up, Tarsier.

Then, we went to man-made forest.

Our tour guide said that the trees here were planted by some boy scouts who were assigned here.

After some time in this forest, we ate lunch at Loboc River. There were lots of foreigners here. This was one of my dream destinations. Now it finally happened. Thank You, Lord.

Loboc river after rain
Day 2 – Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol

We woke up a bit late. We took our time because we both agreed that this trip would be a slow travel. Slow yet relaxed. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’d remember how enthusiastic I was before when it comes to ticking places to certain destinations. But now, I promised myself not to rush and take my time whenever traveling. So that’s what I did!

We took the van ride going to Loon. That was about 90 pesos fare. It was more than an hour trip going to Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol. The travel was worth it. We were able to see this church near the sea.

Front view of Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol

The church was said to be built by corals. It was destroyed during the war, it was reconstructed by the National Museum later on. Luckily, we saw the sacristan mayor. We talked to him, and he toured us around the church. We even went up to the kampanaryo–which was so amusing. We were able to see century old bells. Bells that survived a war. Wow.

The altar of Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol

We were able to see (close up!) some bells owned by the church.

One of the bells in Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol

Aside from Miagao church in Iloilo, this was one of my favorite churches I’ve seen so far and I thank God to finally visit here.

Day 3 – Panglao, Bohol

After roaming around Loon and Tagbilaran City, we headed to our next destination which was Samadhi Resort Panglao. My friend recommended this place to us. Her recommendation is superb. This resort is so relaxing and great.

It was so relaxing that we didn’t spend time taking photos. We were mesmerized. Period.

It’s me trying to be instagrammable.

After leaving our places in Samadhi, we headed to Alona Beach. We stayed there for a while. Look at the view. Eat kwek-kwek and barbecue. We also had our dinner there. The view was so nice. However, we didn’t try the island hopping. Budget constraints!

We instead had a tour in Panglao. This cost 1,000php. Basically, we went to another church, a cave, and Bohol Bee Farm. Everything was so nice and worth-trying. Pictures were uploaded in Instagram instead. Hehe.

This is my favorite photo from this trip. Our third day in Bohol was the steadiest among my trips. We spent our time at the beach. We looked at the beautiful views. We had our dinner here. We get to listen to kids singing using their natural voice.

We basically just look at the horizons and wonder if God will allow us to travel more.

Our trip ended on a Sunday. We were happy. We were recharged.

I hope you, who’s reading this, will also find the rest and happiness you deserve.

Coffee Rush Binangonan Review

If you need a place for good coffee and stunning view away from the city, you should visit Coffee Rush in Binangonan. It is situated on top of a hill in Rizal. You should visit this coffee shop in Rizal if you’re craving for coffee, pastries, and fresh air.

It’s me in my natural disposition.

I assume you have read my post about the best coffee shops in Rizal. I have to update this list because Coffee Rush is not yet included there.

I’ve first encountered Coffee Rush in their small kiosk in Eastwood, Quezon City. Ever since, I’ve been a fan of their Spanish Latte, whether it’s hot or iced. In QC, they also offer the popular strawberry cake from Baguio. As of this writing, that branch is already closed.

Maybe, they’ve closed that branch because of the bigger and wider branch in Rizal. It is near ArtSector Gallery and Chimney Cafe which is the first overlooking café in Eastridge. So, if you’ve been there, you already know how to go to Coffee Rush.

It is my second time to visit the place in Rizal before convincing myself to actually write a lengthy review about it. Here are the reasons why you should really go here.

1. I love their coffee. Love is an understatement to be honest. They offer unforgettable coffee lattes. I’ve tried their Mocha and Spanish Latte. Both are great.

2. You would love their pastries, too. It is mouth-watering. You would also great find lots of pastries that are not usually offered in other shops.

3. Their all-day breakfast are all yummy. From their sisig to bangus meals, their silog-like meals are something to try here.

4. They have invested on a spacious area. If you need to have your alone time, go here. If you need time to spend quality kwentuhan with your friends, bring them here, too.

5. I seldom write about coffee shops because I make sure that I have tried them before recommending. So, if you are still reading up to this part, please, try their coffee.

Aside from their food, you would also love the view. You would see Laguna Lake and the refreshing view of the countryside. The air is really fresh despite the number of private cars going. There is enough parking, by the way. You just need to keep your receipt and show it to the guard upon exit.

You can easily search their location on Waze. If you want to avoid lines and crowd, go there in the morning. If you want to enjoy the city lights, maybe spend more time lining up outside the shop before entering.

Here are some of my photos from the coffee shop. I am not a good photographer so I think my writing will suffice. Hehe. Also, it is my tenth year of somehow writing blogs. Happy to be consistently writing and updating here. I still have a lot of pending blogs about my recent coffee shop reviews.

Do you have other recommendations? Let me know in the chat box.

La Union Trip 2021 2 Days 1 Night

Squeezing a quick beach escapade was made possible through an invite from my college friend. Last December 11-12, 2021, we were able to go for a quick trip to La Union also known as Elyu with some friends.

We were picked up at Greenfield at 12:00AM by our service. We were joiners. There were also other passengers who were with us on this trip.

Day 1 – Tangadan Falls, Baluarte Bell Tower, and the Beach

We reached the North at around 7:00AM. We ate breakfast in acarinderia along the way. Look how sumptuous our breakfast was.

After having our breakfast, we headed to Tangadan Falls. We were transferred to a jeepney. It was a 30-minute ride, and a 10-minute walk going to the falls.

Tangadan Falls was one of the main destinations for this Elyu Trip. The water was cold, and the surrounding was indeed peaceful. You can feel the fresh air in this place.

We stayed there for two hours, before we headed to our next destination.

Our next stop was the side tours. This included the Baluarte Watch Tower. We also ate our lunch there. We passed by the Bahay na Bato and Namacpacan Church.

After our quick day trip, we headed to our hostel. We stayed in a hostel room in front of El Union Cafe. It was already coordinated by our tour guide.

After resting, we headed to have our merienda at San Juan Beach. No entrance fee. Here, you will see the majestic sunset.

I loved looking at the sunset while enjoying our barbecue, shake, and our alone time. My friends respected each other’s alone time here. We were never required to be with each other at all time. But, we made sure that our companion was safe all throughout the trip. We tried to go to Kabsat and the other popular go-to destinations in Elyu. However, one will lose patience on how long the line was. Anyway, our group was not a fan of drinks so it was just fine with us.

Day 2 – Elyu beach and Slowing down

We woke up early the next day. 7:00AM to be exact. After doing our personal morning routine and eating our breakfast provided by our tour guide, we went straight to the beach which was just near where we stayed.

We stayed in the beach until 10:00AM. Packed our bags. At 12:00NN, we were fetched by our tour guide. We were dropped at SM La Union while the others went to Thunderbird Resort. We were fetched (again) at 3:00PM. I would never rant how we waited for a very long time for this was one of the many consequences of being a joiner in a big group trip. We went straight to a temple.

After taking some photos here, we went to the grape farm. Here we tasted the wine.

We bought pasalubong along the way. We reached Starmall Mandaluyong at 10:00PM if I am not mistaken.

Lessons from Joining a Tour

I enjoyed the place itself. However, if you want a more peaceful trip, just rent a van and do things by yourself. For me, I only need to relax by the beach. Hence, some trips were unnecessary for me. But still, when I went there, I enjoyed.

Joining a group took too much of our time. We were fetched late by the service. Two hours late. When our co-joiners go to the washroom, and take photos, it also consumed time. When they were headed to another optional trip, much of our time were wasted.

This is just for me. Maybe, group tours work for some. 🙂 As for an introvert, DIY-ing is preferable. You’ll have better options as well in terms of hostel booking.

Please note that we followed all the requirements asked by the local government. We also are fully vaccinated when we proceeded to this trip.

Again, this was the only time we went out after being stuck at home for a long time.

Did you also go somewhere in 2021? Where are you planning to go next (once everything is okay)?