Of Honey Bees, Forest & the River in Bohol (Part 2)

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The Author at the man-made forest in Bohol

We’ve first been to Bohol in 1998 and so much has changed over the years. The tourist spots we’ve seen over a decade ago are still standing like the Bilar Man-Made Forest, Tigbao Hanging Bridge, and the Bohol Bee Farm. After the church sightseeing on our first day, we went to both old and new destinations in Tagbilaran, Bohol.

What to see in Bohol?

Bilar Man-Made Forest

The reforestation project in 1947 was built to halt the Loboc watershed deforestation back in the day. The 20,000 hectares of man-made forest traverse the towns of Loboc, Batuan, Carmen, Valencia, Jagna, Sierra Bullones, and others in Bohol. Feel the zen of nature as you’re surrounded by the canopy of tall massive trees and take a good photo for a keepsake on the road with the Bilar Man-Made Forest as your backdrop, just be careful of passing cars!

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Loboc River Resort

Instead of joining the Loboc River Tour for lunch which involves riding a boat with a lunch buffet on the Loboc River, we opted to dine at the beautiful Loboc River Resort‘s Venia’s Restaurant. One of the best restaurants to dine in for sumptuous Filipino dishes with a picturesque and tranquil view of the river. The restaurant service is impeccable with the heartwarming welcome of their staff and the eating by the river is utterly relaxing.

You can stay in their hotel rooms and be surrounded by nature, quite a depart from the busy nightlife of Panglao island. They have a swimming pool, in-room massages, an outdoor night theater, a trekking path/birding area, Camayaan-Ugpong Hanging Bridge, and SUP stand-up paddleboard activity. The prices of rooms in 2022 start at Php 2,400 for 2-4 persons for their Native Forest View Room.

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The Author with her mom at the Loboc River Resort

Bohol Bee Farm

After a fulfilling lunch feast, we headed to a popular tourist spot, the Bohol Bee Farm, which has a farm, restaurant, and resort. We joined their honeybee farm tour to see what the buzz is all about (no pun intended!).

Our tour guide was funny and quite entertaining as he brought us to the weaving area where they create local arts and crafts like the placemats, bags, and other souvenirs they sell at their stores. If you are up for an experience, don’t be afraid of the bees (they don’t sting when unbothered). We got to hold them after our guide told us how they are taken care of and how honey is produced to make their products at the farm.

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After the fun tour, we saw their restaurant led by the head chef and owner, Vicky Wallace, who prepares organic food so if you want to eat healthy food, you can have lunch here too. We were already full to the brim so we only tried The Buzzz Ice Cream after the bee farm tour. They offer unique flavors such as malunggay, tomato, spicy ginger, and coconut on ice cream cones made from dried cassava. Sounds weird and too healthy? Surprisingly it’s pretty good! They also have a store where you can buy their products from honey to coffee before leaving. They have other outlets as well as their restaurant in Tagbilaran and Panglao if you don’t get to buy from here.

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Nova Shell Museum

A new place we haven’t seen before is the Nova Shell Museum owned by Quirino Hora whose passion is collecting different shells, and converting his passion into a business venture. More than half of the shells in the museum were collected in the Philippines.

It houses one of the biggest shell collections in the world. You’ll see here the world’s smallest seashell, Rotaovula Hirohitoi, named after the Emperor Hirohito of Japan. You’ll need a magnifying glass to see the shell, that’s how small it is. The ticket price is Php 50 for adults while children are free admission.

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Butterfly Conservation

We also visited Butterfly Conservation which houses different species of butterflies and other animals such as snakes, birds, and monkeys. It is an ideal place for kids and the young at heart to learn a thing or two about wildlife. If you plan to see the Tarsier, the world’s smallest monkey in Bohol, add Butterfly Conservation also to your list.

Tigbao Hanging Bridge

In Sevilla, Bohol is where the famous Tigbao Hanging Bridge is but when we went back it was more commercialized. Back then, the bamboo bridge was suspended 83 feet above the Loboc River to connect two barangays. I remember how my cousins and I jumped in the middle of the bridge while crossing it to scare our parents.

It now has cable suspension apart from the bamboo you’ll step on so it’s not as scary as before but still is for those who are scared of heights. There are now souvenir shops at the end of the bridge where you can buy local goods. I bought Chichaworms, a popular exotic food that is deep-fried larva and seasoned with sugar, salt, and chili powder. Yes, insects that are safe to eat to take home to my friends for fun and they do taste good!

After the whole day’s fun day tour around the mainland of Bohol, we capped the day in Tagbilaran and went back to our hotel on Panglao Island to rest for the day.

Stay tuned for the Panglao Island Part 3 on The HodgePodge Lifestyle!