This is my first time to visit Philippines, I choose Cebu simply I like places that is less crowded and less traffic.
Cebu is an island province in the Philippines and is well known as the “Queen City of the South” because of its huge potential in terms of economy and infrastructure. But first lets just go exploring the places of interest in Cebu city.
Cebu Taoist Temple
The temple is located on top of a hill about 300 m above sea level. I am quite surprised to find a big and well maintain Taoist Temple in Cebu.
The temple is open for public when we were there, there are not many tourists around. There are small balconies which provide unforgettable scenic views of the Cebu downtown. I am sure there are strong Chinese influence in Cebu since there is a huge and beautiful temple here.
Fort San Pedro in Cebu
This historical fort is a military defense structure in Cebu, built by the Spanish. It look similar to the A Famosa Fort in Melaka, Malaysia which was built by the Portuguese.
Bohol Island – The Chocolate Hills
This is one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, people rushed here to see the unique 40 meter mounds. It is said there are about 1268 of this little chocolate hills if you count them. These cute little chocolate hills were formed from deposits of coral and limestone sculpted by centuries of erosion.
It was drizzling when I arrived at Bohol Island but the view was spectacular. It was first time to see so many huge chocolate, simple amazing. This is the highlight of Bohol Island and I strongly recommend to visit this place.
How to get here?
First you need to catch 2 hour ferry from Cebu to reach Bohol Island, then take a taxi and climb 200 steps to reach the Chocolate Hill to see this breathtaking view. Well worth.
Tarsier Conservation Area
What is Tarsier? This animal has very huge eyes and small body. Be careful of Tarsier, they are meat eater and they catch insects, birds, bats and even snake to feed themselves. They are good at leaping from one tree to another, so you thought they could fly but they are not.
We went to this conservative place where the tarsier are well protected and live happily in the area. They are very cute, a little bit bigger than your palm size but with eyes that are big and out of proportion.
Mahogany Forest in Bohol Island
Mahogany is a kind of wood, reddish-brown timber. Actually they are nothing much to see. You just go to see the reddish brown timber trees. In order to prevent soil erosion of the hillside, these trees were planted here. Pretty smart right? Not only these trees are good looking but also attracted many tourists to come here. It make a very good picture if you step inside the Mahogany Forrest and take pictures with them!
Baclayon Church in Bohol Island
What make this church special was it was built with coral stones. It is a Roman Catholic Church and the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. This church was supposed to be in the list of Unesco Site but due to the earthquake in 2013, the church suffered a huge damage and it was removed from the nominate from the Unesco Site.
Bell tower of Baclayon Church
One of the best thing I saw from the church is the wall depicting the image of a face. People believe it was the face of the Jesuit priest Juan de Torres, the guy who started out this Church back in the 15 th century. Can you spot the eyes and nose? Quite obvious.
What do I like remember most in this trip?
Well, not the beach but the Chocolate Hills in Bohol Island. The beautiful Chocolate Hills also changes the colors from green to brown, depending on the season. How cool!
How is the food in Philippines?
I tried the local food and it tasted similar to the Malay cuisine. Most dish are deep fried, fishes and pork. Not very healthy but very yummy. If you want fast food, you can try the local fast food – Jollibee.
How many days do I need in Cebu & Bohol Island?
Many people just fly in for the weekends for a short getaway. I think 2-3 days is quite enough. If you want relax at the beach, you can add in one more day.
Exploring Philippines – Cebu Island & Bohol Island : Summary
- Cebu Taoist Temple
- Fort San Pedro in Cebu
- Bohol Island – The Chocolate Hills
- Tarsier Conservation Area in Bohol Island
- Mahogany Forest in Bohol Island
- Baclayon Church in Bohol Island
- What do I like remember most in this trip?