A gastronomy virtual tour of Panglao Island

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The Author at Bluewater Panglao

As the years go by, traveling with my family isn’t as often as before so for this trip since it was Mother’s Day, I had to make it more special than the usual travels that I do. I felt bad that I had to work partially on this vacation but also glad that it pushed through.

Instead of booking at the upscale resorts in Panglao such as Bluewater Panglao and Amorita Resort, we did a day trip and a Mother’s Day dinner instead. I’ve tried Bluewater in Cebu for day trips while Amorita Resort was recommended to us by Twin Tides Panglao for having one of the best restaurants on the island.

Restaurants to Dine In Resorts

Bluewater Panglao

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The Author with her mom celebrating Mother’s Day in Panglao, Bohol.

Their day pass rate is quite cheaper compared to other resorts in the Philippines, costing Php800 net per person weekday/weekend. Other resorts usually have walk-in guests who aren’t staying in their rooms pay Php1,000 above. Their hotel driver will fetch you from your hotel and bring you back and forth to their resort and where you’re staying on the island.

For weekdays, the day pass includes Php 700 net consumables on food and beverage for adults in any of their restaurants. On weekends, the rate is inclusive of a lunch buffet and live Entertainment from Lumad Panglaoanon Cultural Troupe on Saturdays and JAM 403 Acoustic Band on Sundays.

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I suggest dining at the restaurant in front of the beach so you can indulge in their food offerings with a view of the ocean. Their food is quite delicious, some served on bamboo trays and worth every penny. The serving looks like they’re good for one to two persons but surprisingly even more enough for three persons, depending on how much appetite you have.

Their Filipino food staple, lechon kawali, and the popular local dessert, halo-halo, are unforgettable. They serve fresh juices and shakes as well as coffee. It’s a food coma post lunch, making us want to siesta (a cultural tradition to sleep in the mid-afternoon) before dipping in the pool or sunbathing.

Bluewater Panglao is located in Danao which is ideal for water sports, given its rougher sea floor compared to Alona Beach. Our entrance fee includes the complimentary use of the resort’s Aplaya swimming pool and beach with a free pool towel and locker. You can also use for free their board games, table tennis, and duck pin bowling. It also includes the complimentary 15-minute use of non-motorized water sports facilities such as snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Luckily, there weren’t many tourists so I had the beach all to myself so I tried their stand-up paddleboard. Their shoreline reminds me a bit of Mactan, Cebu which isn’t swimmable compared to Boracay. The hotel staff gave me a life vest, a paddleboard, and a paddle then proceeded to brief me that I can’t swim because there are sea urchins and sometimes even watersnakes.

Don’t worry he was quite attentive, making sure to stay at the shore until I finish doing the activity. I wasn’t terrified of the water snakes, given our encounter on Camotes Island, Cebu where we saw one while walking on the shore. I was curious if I would see some but I didn’t. The calm sea made it easier for me to paddle while enjoying the smell of the ocean as the sunshine beat on my back.

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After a fun paddleboarding session, I dip into the pool while my mom enjoyed her fresh fruit shake and desserts (she doesn’t love swimming as much as I do). There’s a kiddie pool and an adult pool with lounge chairs where you can sunbathe. It was nice and relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. They also have a Japanese garden and my favorite, the bamboo path walk. If you want to enjoy the quiet, calming ambiance of the resort, I suggest walking here before you go home.

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The view of Alona Beach from Amorita Resort

Amorita Resort

In the evening, we went to Amorita Resort for a luxurious dinner with my mom for Mother’s Day. Heads up, you can walk here instead of riding the tricycle which costs Php 100 (a bit expensive given it’s near) unless you don’t like to exercise.

What was impressive was the Filipino hospitality service at the luxurious resort. Usually, when you visit luxury resorts and hotels, you feel intimidated and since we don’t always stay at expensive hotels and resorts when we travel, we didn’t expect how warm their staff welcomed us for the special night.

We had a reservation for two at their restaurant by the pool. It was time for dinner service for other hotel guests and we were told to wait in the lobby or if we were interested to see their rooms. We wanted to see why this resort is included as one of the best accommodations on the island. Maybe one day, we can stay here and experience it firsthand.

Their room has a swimming pool and a mini garden, very private and ideal for those wanting a quiet time during their honeymoon or a break from the busy city life with their families. They have their own beachfront away from the Alona Beach crowd but the resort itself is perched on a cliff side of the shore. They have swimming pools, a spa, and yoga classes you can use if you’re staying there.

The Author with her mom on Mother’s Day at Amorita Resort.

After the short resort tour, we were led to our table and ordered their sumptuous food. We tried their pasta and fish dishes, which were good for one to two people for sharing. There’s complimentary bread as well while waiting for your orders. I was quite happy seeing they have a caipirinha, a Brazilian liquor I loved while living with my Brazilian housemates in Colombia when I lived there because of my organization, AIESEC. It’s not easy finding the most authentic caipirinha in Asia and Amorita did it well! A local twist, using calamansi instead of lemon.

To top off their impeccable service, they gave my mom a Mother’s Day bracelet and a cake as their gifts! We weren’t expecting it at all so that made our night even better. It’s worth splurging on a more expensive dinner because of the good food and Filipino hospitality. Hopefully one day, we’ll get to go back and stay here.

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Restaurants to Try on Panglao Island

You don’t have to dine in high-end restaurants all the time when traveling except like this instance when you want to treat yourself or your loved ones and can afford to do so. I remember back in the days when a friend of mine who was in their 30s that traveling changes when you grow older. I was in my 20s back then and he told me that we work so much and there will be instances when you turn older, you would want to treat yourself and splurge on staying at high-end hotels or resorts. What I do is I do both, I have travels that are on a budget and some travels where I splurge more.

Shaka Cafe

There are other restaurants you can try on Panglao Island. For breakfast, my favorite is Shaka Cafe, which has stores in Siargao, Cebu, Palawan, and Manila. Try their smoothie bowls, my fave is Bom Dia (which reminds me of Brazil as the Portuguese words mean good morning in English) made of acai, mango, banana, pineapple, and mixed berries. If you’re not into healthy smoothie bowls, they have vegan burgers, pasta, tacos, and even shakshuka. The price is higher than most considering it’s a healthy cafe but the serving is big enough for two!

Bohol Bee Farm is iconic in Bohol and I mentioned in my previous blog, Of Honey Bees, Forest and the River in Bohol, that they have other branches. In Alona Beach, you can dine in their cafe, serving healthy dishes like Shaka Cafe. We had pizza and wine on our first night. Their food is good and the ambiance is quite earthy with the green and brown walls with wooden furniture.

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Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast

If you’re craving authentic Italian cuisine, visit Chef Giuseppe Genco’s Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. In 2019, their restaurant is open air with yellow hanging lamps and wooden floors dining area along the road near where our hotel was. In 2022, they seem to have renovated it to be bigger and nicer. I love how their dishes were plated when we ordered their mozzarella sticks, pasta, appetizer, and dessert with the wine of course! Their food is tasty and brings you to Italy as if you’re dining there in reality with the view of the Trevi Fountain.

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Our hotel, Twin Tides Panglao, also offers a good breakfast of Filipino food tocilog, dessert, and a hot cup of coffee to start your morning on Panglao Island. Did I already mention how beautifully designed their boutique hotel is in the previous vlogs as well as how good their staff have good service? I cannot say more. You just have to see for yourself when you go here.

If you’re a foodie at heart, try these restaurants on Panglao Island. There is so much to choose from but these are the ones I recommend that you must visit at least once when you travel to Bohol in the future.