Bohol and Cebu. No novice traveler of the Philippines would ever go on to other provinces without ticking these off of the checklist. For me, as of now, I’ve been to Cebu three times and Bohol, four times.
And with the most recent turn of natural disasters, I couldn’t help but to look back on previous trips and in one light be sad that most of the sites I have visited before are damaged or destroyed, in another light, I have another reason to go back to them – to help rebuild the community and to spend some much needed tourism money in their cities and towns once again.
“You Can Make Me Bo-Whole Again”
Taking cue from *that* 90’s song by Atomic Kitten (show, age, by golly, shooooow!), I could say that Bohol makes me whole, with 4 different visits, never doing the same itinerary twice – always something to satisfy some part of my travel-soul.
One of my most memorable times in Bohol has been a good couple of years ago but it was a goodie. I had a marvelous staycation with one of the best luxury resorts in the country: The Peacock Garden Resort. The resort is situated in the heart of Baclayon, near to where the now ruined church of Baclayon stands.
The resort does not only excel in customer service and in anticipating customer needs but the food is just marvelous. They serve mostly European dishes, particularly German food, that can stump most restaurants in Manila. Do not even think about skipping on the homemade ice creams with flavors such as my favorite: Banana-Coconut-Curry.
But for me, the highlight of the resort were the staff. They are all locals and all very much trained to be the best that they can be. I have never experienced that kind of service wherein my needs were simply anticipated and calculated. From the guy who gives me privacy when I get in and out of the pool to the girl who knows I WILL be asking for ANOTHER bread basket.
I’m thankful that they weren’t damaged by the earthquake and that the owners of the resort are doing personal relief efforts to help out their fellow Boholanos. They are another aspect of the resort that I adore, they are young, vibrant and do NOT come from the hospitality industry that’s why their manner of thinking and managing the place has been so different and personal. They are their resort and they take care of their staff and fellow Boholanos, something I truly admire them for.
To Cebu With Love
Switching gears and into Cebu, looking back on my 2nd trip there with the Happy Meal and the rest of the Super Tourists bunch. It was another staycation in another resort, this time, with an oldie but a goodie: The Costabella resort in Mactan Island. This was pretty much our first time to travel locally together, all because we were the recipients of awesome mileage from PAL.
I remember gallivanting around the city in the searing heat, constantly sweating, squinting and whining as we did. However, we did have fun discovering parts of the city, especially the old fort as well as shopping for those famous Cebu pasalubong (which we all ate ourselves anyway).
This province is going back for. If it’s not one of the many magical beach island destinations, it would be for the immense amount of history and culture, or for nature tripping or just plain hanging out.
It was also on this trip that we got to try out business class for the first time. The social climber in me has never been happier. Wala lang, bagong pagupit ako so that justifies my insertion of this photo. SO THERE!
To love, to remember and to return – that is my mission for Cebu, Bohol and the rest of the Visayas region, which has been affected by the recent 7.2 earthquake as well as Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
This is my contribution to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival for the month of November.
This month’s theme is: Memories of Cebu and Bohol
Hosted by Grasya of This Grasya on the Road of Life
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