I didn’t have many birthday parties as a child and I think from my teenage years to young adulthood, I wanted to be surrounded by people during my birthday. I would have parties that lasted till the next morning because I didn’t want anyone to leave. It made me feel loved and more secure having them around, though I only realized that hindsight of course. When I became a Christian, I guess it naturally eventually followed that I didn’t need too many people to greet me or make a big deal about my birthday anymore. I guess it became less about me and more about being grateful. I can’t say though that having a husband who gives importance to my birthday and a mom who invites us on trips yearly doesn’t help. 😀
It was my Mom who made me realize that this is the third getaway we’ve had celebrating my birthday! One was in Coron, Palawan when I turned 33. Another was in Cebu when I turned 35. And then Bohol this year for my 36th birthday! I am incredibly blessed. 🙂
I’m sharing my highlights through my photos. Enjoy! 🙂
Day 1: Learned some pretty interesting stuff about Bohol.
Both men and women subjected themselves to this skull deforming procedure, to make themselves “beautiful.”
Deformed Boholano skulls
Though it was in a mall, the Prawn Farm had yummy food!
We ordered two kinds of tiger prawns, scallops, bagoong (shrimp paste) rice and liempo (grilled pork)! Burp.
Day 2: We went dolphin watching in Panglao, the other side of Bohol!
So many dolphins! We wish we could’ve swum with them.
We were blown away by their number! They were going in different directions too! Our boat just followed them around, wherever they would pop up.
This was probably my best shot, considering it was a bumpy ride. I captured one of the dolphins’ face above water. 🙂
We docked at Balikasag (inverted crab) Island afterwards, for a dip and a little snorkelling.
Noelle feeding the fish.
There was some garbage in the water. The OCD in me could not let it go floating around. Or lying around for the tide to wash it back in. We collected what we could in our area, and wrapped it up in a bag. Kept reminding our boatmen to throw the bag properly.
Danae helped out too — a great way to teach our kids to take care of our environment. It was pretty disappointing to see no one clean the shores over there, which is why I had to get a plastic bag and bring the trash with us. 🙂
Alona Beach is I guess the Boracay of Bohol. We didn’t see the night life, but what used to be a peaceful, wide stretch of beach is now covered with establishments. We just ate lunch there and moved to another beach.
Dumaluan Beach. This was really nice and clean. No pump boats on the shore. We had to go into a resort but it was pretty cheap, even for a mere hour-long stay.
These mangoes were just delicious! Philippine mangoes generally are, but these ones from Bohol were perfect. They had just the right sweet taste and the right sour, and they had yummy spicy sweet shrimp paste with it. sluuuurp.
Day 3: Tarsier! They used to have just a small place on the side of the road, where they had a tree showcasing the tarsiers. They even let people hold them. Now they’re really serious about preserving these special creatures. They have a much bigger preservation site, and they do not allow people to disturb them, except to quietly take photos.
I wonder if Golum (LOTR) was inspired by the tarsier. They really look alike.
Chocolate Hills! Danae was hoping they’d be dry and brown but they weren’t. Beautiful nonetheless.
Manmade forest full of Mahogany trees. Just had to take a shot from the middle of the road.
Hanging bridge over the Loboc river.
Loboc river cruise! We had lunch on one of these rafts, while cruising along the beautiful, clean Loboc river.
There was music on the raft, and a cultural show on one of the stops. Breeze was refreshing too.
Caterpillars! Danae was brave enough to hold them, of course. Our tour guide in the butterfly farm was pretty cool. The girls had a good learning experience, for sure.
Just one of the pretty butterflies there.
Butterflies still in their pupa! Cocoons are for moths, fyi.
Prony the python! I think when he grew really big, the owner built a mini-zoo so people could get to see his pet and the other animals. Only my mom, Danae and I were willing to touch him. He was full and asleep when we were there. They said that he gets fed a pig or two goats monthly. Sadly, he recently died. We don’t know why.
Day 4: Lunch at Bohol Bee Farm. Beautiful view. We had the best table in the house.
Yummy bread, chips, and salad! All organic. Flowers and greens grown there. Breads and sauces made there. Honey, of course, harvested there.
Crabs in coconut milk!
Beautiful Bellevue Hotel — got my wish to stay there for one night!
Loved our room and our access to the pool!
King and the girls got a head start on swimming. Noelle was actually swimming on her own! Danae has always been the natural swimmer, but Noelle’s catching up, getting more and more unafraid. Both still need lessons, but they’re definitely water babies. So proud of them!
The beach in the afternoon — low tide. Too bad we weren’t able to swim in the ocean.
We got to discover hermit crabs that turned themselves over when they were on their backs, little crabs that burrowed into the sand, and star fishes that crawled on our palms with their sticky little “feet.” It was pretty awesome. Didn’t have my cam with me though as I was expecting to be in the water. This was King’s cam. 🙂
Our only family picture! We got to enjoy the pool till it closed at 10pm. It was the first time we did that. The girls enjoyed the fact that I was swimming with them too. Haven’t done that in a long while. It was just a cool, relaxing day — a very happy birthday indeed.