Revisiting Tagbilaran, Bohol (Part 1)

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The Author in Bohol

Every year, I try to travel with my family around the Philippines and Bohol is one of the provinces we haven’t been back to since 1998 when we visited friends in Cebu and ventured to the nearby province for a side trip. In 2019, I decided to treat my mom to a Mother’s Day vacation in Bohol.

We took a flight from Manila to Bohol via Cebu Pacific and landed at the sustainable Bohol–Panglao International Airport, one of the most beautiful airports in the country, with its wooden ceilings, green and brown paint depicting the famous Chocolate Hills which Bohol is known for – a depart from the typical cold metal and white paint design of airports worldwide.

Since I needed stable internet at the hotel for my workcation, I booked a room at the modern Twin Tides Panglao boutique hotel in Panglao. The hotel is strategically located along the main road beside the cafes and restaurants, ideal for digital nomads who need to have backup or stable internet.

The hotel is designed in aquamarine and the industrial concrete interior design was quite cozy, with a small pool and gorgeous lobby and restaurant. Their staff was quite warm and very welcoming, making our stay comfortable and enjoyable in the hot summer days of May. I remember it was election time when we flew that year so we even witnessed how it was in the province.

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The hotel service picked us up from the Bohol–Panglao International Airport which was a mere short ride of around 10 minutes. Upon arrival, we rested a bit and started the day with a tour of the churches in Tagbilaran. If you’re new to the province, I highly suggest booking your accommodation in Panglao and doing sightseeing both on the island and Tagbilaran so that you can visit the historical churches, Chocolate Hills, islands, and other tourist spots.

If you’ve been to Bohol before, there are quite a lot more than these well-known spots, which we sadly weren’t able to visit given the short time we were there but we have plans to go back again to see Anda Beach (recommended by our tour guide as a more beautiful beach compared to those in Panglao), Hinagdanan Cave and other destinations Bohol mainland has to offer.

Visiting the Historical Churches

Since we’ve been to Chocolate Hills, Blood Compact Shrine, and Tarsier Sanctuary before, we decided to skip it and do a church hopping sightseeing on the first day. If you’ve never been add these popular tourist spots to your list.

Baclayon Church

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Bohol is known for the Baclayon Church, the oldest church in Asia which was damaged by the earthquake in 2013 but the government has reconstructed it over time.

Loay Church (Holy Trinity Church)

The Loay Church was also devastated during the 2013 earthquake but the government has succeeded in its reconstruction. It has a separate bell tower that is still standing despite the calamities over the years.

St. Augustine Parish Church (Panglao Church)

Panglao Church has mesmerizing high ceiling paintings and Spanish Machuca tiles.

St. Joseph The Worker Cathedral Parish

St. Joseph The Worker Cathedral Parish has Neo-Romanesque architecture, depicting the Old Testament symbols inside the church.

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (Dauis Church)

The neo-classical Dauis Church was built in 1697 and the National Historical Commission has classified it as a National Historic Landmark in the Philippines.

Santa Monica Church (Alburquerque Church)

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Sta. Monica Parish Church in Alburquerque was built in 1869 and is famous for its sturdy arches supporting a pathway leading the church to the convent. The church is unique for its altar which was sculpted by a Filipino, making its intricate design one of a kind.

Stay tuned for other places to see in Part 2 of Tagbilaran, Bohol on The HodgePodge Lifestyle.