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Sunday, December 6, 2009

~ Cebu Manila Trip - Day 2 @ Bohol (Part 2) ~

28th Nov 09 (Part 2)

After the river cruise lunch, we headed towards the Man-made forest and Chocolate Hills. Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit the Baclayon church - the oldest church of Bohol due to the shortage of time. The ride to Chocolate Hills will take about 40 mins and Hubby and the kids took a quick nap in the van. I stayed awake but did not manage to take photos of the man-made forest as we drove through. As Grace explained, the locals planted mahogany trees on both sides of the roads (part of the reforestation program) and cutting the trees are strictly prohibited.

More rice paddy fields as we drove on...

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It was still drizzling when we reached Chocolate Hills. In order to view the 1700 odd haycock hills, we would have to first climb 241 steps up. It will be much easier without the rain and if Gladys is willing to walk on her own. Hubby has to carry her up all the way and we stopped mid-way to hide under a shelter from the rain. Luckily, the rain came and stop rather quickly.

It was cooling when we reached the top! The cone-shaped hills are actually made of grass-covered limestone. Why are they call chocolate hills then? During the dry months, the green grass will turn brown and hence they will look like chocolate kisses.. and hence the name. :)

The hills are mostly green when we are there since it is not the dry season. :) These are the photos which we took in the rain so it looked a bit misty.

Grace told Denver 3 legends on how the Chocolate hills were believed to be formed.

First was a romantic story of a Giant Arogo who loves a girl Aloya. Aloya was to be married to another man and he kidnapped her on her wedding night. However, Aloya died shortly after being held in captive and this cause Arogo so much pain and misery that he cried. His tears become dry and that's how the Chocolate Hills were formed.

The 2nd legend was about 2 giants who were always fighting and they keep throwing rocks and boulders at each other. Eventually, they got tired and from enemies they became friends...however, they did not clean up the mess they created during the battle and that's the Chocolate Hills.

The last legend (which is Denver's favourite) tells of a town being plagued by a giant Carabao, who ate all of their crops. The townsfolk took all of their spoiled food and placed it in such a way that the carabao would not miss it. Carabao ate it and had a tummyache and so he poos and left behind a mound of feces. The poo poos are believed to form the Chocolate Hills. :p

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We had a mango ice-cream after making our way down from the top. The weather is cooling and since there is still a bit of time before our Dinner and Firefly watching, we decided to go to the Butterfly Sanctuary which was not planned in our agenda initially.

It was dark when we reached and they are closing for the day. The owner was very kind and let us visit the sanctuary at a cheaper rate since most of the butterflies are going to sleep and there is a limited area for us to view in the darkness. He gave us a quick tour around, explaining the life cycle of the butterflies, from courting, mating, eggs laying, caterpillar to a chrysalis and finally a beautiful butterfly. He also tell us the differences between a male and female butterfly and showed us a unique butterfly which is a combination of a male & female.Denver already knew the life cycle but nothing beats seeing the real thing. It's a pity he was too timid to actually touch the caterpillar. So Mommy has to show him that it's harmless.
The pupas came in different colours.. Yellow, green and brown. When you touch it, it will wriggle away from you! As we are unable to go inside the butterfly garden, the guide took out one of their biggest butterfly. Too bad Gladys was asleep throughout!!! Else she will surely love it!

To show Gladys that she has visited the Butterflies, we took a photo so that she can see it when she wakes up. Bye Bye Butterflies...


Although Gladys missed seeing the beautiful butterflies, she had another adventure catching a firefly on our Dinner River Cruise and Firefly watching!

Dinner was buffet style and it was also on a floating resturant pushed by a motor boat. We also met up with Flor (another guide who will be taking us on our tour for tomorrow). The night was quiet and we enjoyed the cooling breeze along the river banks. It really felt like we are so far away from the city life and enjoying the nature as it is.

The local guide shined his torche on the trees and we were amazed to see SO MANY White egrets! During the day, we can see them on the rice fields and in the nights, they are found resting by the mangrove swamps!
In order to view the fireflies, we have to turn off the lights on the boat. Moving quietly by the river, the local guides again shine their torches.... and there they are!! Shining on one of the trees like twinkle stars and a Christmas tree. We moved on and saw another bunch of them on another tree. And there are many more along the river! One of the firefly flew in and the guide manage to caught it. Gladys also got lucky with catching one and it blink on her thumb!!
It has been really exciting and a wonderful experience!
Photo shoot with our guides: Flor (left) and Grace (right). They are wonderful people and have been really nice.

Wow!! What a full day event we had so far and our bodies need to rest for another! We finally got back and check-in to the beach resort. We have chosen to stay with Dumaluan Beach Resort - standard air room for 1 night (1300p and each additional person is 250p) . Well, initially we wanted to book a superior room but it was fully booked. The only difference is the pricing and that the standard air room has no TV, fridge and water heater. Other than that all are good. :) http://www.dumaluanbeach.com/

Night view of the resort

We spotted Coconuts and decided to sit down for a little drink relaxing and enjoying the music and songs. Flor gave us tips to order our breakfast for tomorrow so that the resort will pack it nicely and ready for us to take away early tomorrow morning for our Dolphin tour. :)

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Breakfast @ Diplomat - 410p
Cab to Pier 1 - 100p
Cargo Tax - 50p
Buys @ Souvenior Shop - 997p
Butterfly Sanctuary Tour - 45p
2 Coconut Juice - 180p
Breakfast for Dolphin Tour - 360p
Total - 2142p

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