Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Bohol Adventure Day One

As I am typing this, I am seated comfortably on a king-size bed with the softest sheets known to mankind in a private villa, well-fed and tanned. I'm currently in Bohol and would be spending the next four days (3.5 days to be exact) and I'd like to deviate first over here from all the reviews and features that I do. After all, this sure is part of wellness, beauty, and health - to get a boost of fresh air and happy experiences and travelling to pretty places. And while at it... TAN (safely of course).
My obligatory feet by the shore picture, always taken on the first day I visit a beach. First thing I do is run to the ocean and dip my feet on the water.

When it was time to choose a vacation place, the first thing in mind was to choose a location. I wanted local first since I wanted a beach and February is perfect for beach season since the sun isn't scorching and our swear glands aren't overdrive. Besides, one thing we have to be proud of are our beaches here in the Philippines, with calm lukewarm waters and powdery white sand.

With a beach setting in mind, it was time to choose which beach. Initially, Boracay would come to mind but we've been to Boracay only and we wanted something new. Palawan was the second choice, although I was quite hesitant due to Palawan's notoriety for being attacked before. Besides, Palawan reminds me of college field trips anyway. Bohol was another option, which was ultimately the choice after the reviews about it. Besides, it would be more than just baking on the sand, something new right?

Skipping flight and airport details, we arrived at Tagbilaran airport where a private shuttle took us Amorita Resort, which was a 35 to 40-minute drive from the Airport, passing through Tagbilaran City proper and crossing a long bridge to get to Panglao Island. It's not as butt-numbing as you think, and the guy from the Resort would give us details about the city, especially us, since it was our first time here.

The number one mode of transportation is the tricycle. Unlike the tricycles we're used to in Manila, this one's bigger, and during a slow-stop, I was able to zoom in on one trike with manong gamely posing for me.

The starting fee for the tricycle is Php 7.00 and just like a cab, it's more expensive the farther you go. A trike ride from Tagbilaran Airport to the resort costs around Php 400.00 if you're the type to prefer to wing or rough it.

Tagbilaran only has two malls, BQ Mall and Island City Mall. Sorry, no SM malls here but they do have familiar establishments in the city like banks and food joints in the city proper. The rustic old houses had old Pinoy architecture preserved.

Amorita Resort is located at Panglao Island, among the other beach and luxury resorts that dot the coastline. It's a pretty new resort and the website posts a whole lot of pictures which are indeed a treat. Clean lines and intimate atmosphere rather than a commercialized resort, with around 30+ rooms total.

When we got there, all we saw were big gardens first with lots of foilage. A girl held our welcome drinks, iced tea with ginger that was really yummy and didn't taste fake or it came from a powdered kind. Since checking in and prepping the room would take a while we decided to look around and have lunch first in the restaurants.

The first thing that made my jaw drop was the infinity pool, which looks as if you're heading straight to the ocean with comfy beach beds. You could just relax there after a dip in the ocean or the pool and watch the sunset as your tanned skin starts to cool down.

The beach was no exception. It was quite kelp-y on the part right next to the resort so we decided to walk a bit father to where it's clearer. I don't know if it's just the season but there are hardly any green stuff along the shoreline. The beach slope isn't that severe as well, so you could still stay a bit far off the shore and still have the warm (instead of freezing cold) water be waist-deep. Sand was so silky-powdery, almost like a tad rougher version of powdered milk. In fact, it's quite milky, it doubled as great exfoliant. I suggest to use the ones that are farther off from the shore as the ones in the shorelines were still coarse. The fine, fine sands though rivalled a body scrub that I tried in a spa before and left my skin feeling super smooth... and I have an entire shoreline of it at my disposal!

I like taking pictures of boats. They say boats are lucky in careers, so you'll see a lot of boat pictures in my albums.

Amorita has 8 Garden Villas each with a private garden. It's like a tiny little house just for us. Except it's got a humongous king size bed.

A private dip-pool to cool off after a hot day touring and a sun deck to tan if you find the pool or beach too crowded.

Something new is the outdoor washroom. Yep, you got that right. The bathroom is outdoors. But not to worry, it's cleverly concealed so no one's gonna see you if you're doing your business there. I was in fact nervous when the guys there showed it to us but they assured me that it's cleverly concealed from the outside. It's got the privacy of a traditional indoor enclosed bathroom but it's got a rock garden inside and a comfy rainfall shower that has both hot and cold water. The good news about this too is that our swimsuits or handwashed items are dried naturally outdoors just like at home.

Did I tell you that they have Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries (in Aloe Vera, which is just so perfect for sunburnt skin) and are fully equipped with all toiletries from shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste? The toothpaste tastes mildly like choco-mint candy. Oh and did I mention the supply of cookies and water too?

The Garden Villa was our choice since it was reasonably priced and mid-ranged among the three other rooms (Deluxe and Ocean View, with a view of the Bohol Sea as it's perched on top of a cliff). And well, we wanted something different.
The sunset of Bohol is something too, best viewed by the infinity pool. We were lucky that it wasn't a crowded day so we got our taste of Bohol sunset and snippity-snapped them away. These shots take note, aren't taken by an SLR but a simple and cute point-and-shoot camera and everything's directly posted and lighted by nature.

Day one was definitely great. Tomorrow, we explore stuff that put Bohol in the map. Time for beauty sleep!

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