Dolphin Watching and Island Hopping in Bohol

Day 2 of Our Bohol Itinerary.

We certainly had an early start on our 2nd day. Excited or worried? Both.

On late afternoon the previous day, Panglao Island had heavy rain showers and we’re worried about the weather. Although, our boatman assured us that we’ll have a sunny day and plenty of dolphins sighting ahead of us today.

True enough, when we checked out the horizon, there were no traces of dark clouds.

We sailed away into the deep, blue sea, a distant from Pamilacan Island. This is where all the magic begins. We were the first to make it through the show. But the stars weren’t there yet.  We’re sailing again and doing rounds and wait… we heard flipping near by. Our boatman pointed us to the splashing direction and after a few minutes of figuring out what seems to be only waves, we finally had a glimpse of the adorable dolphins.

Dolphin Watching near Pamilacan Island and Snorkeling at Balicasag Marine Sanctuary. Those were only the decent shots I have on my p&s camera. You really have to be quite attentive as your proctor in college entrance examination to be able to get a good shot of this playful species. And pardon my awkward stance as I hold on for dear life.

We’ve seen dolphins before but not those swimming freely on its natural environment. They are not our common entertainers but anyone who is fortunate to watch them seemed to be transported in happy valley with high spirits. Everyone are thrilled even our boatman who makes it a living to bring tourists here every single day.

Not too long, a number of boats are coming towards our side. All of them carrying tourists, who are in for some visual thrills. Dolphins appeared to be more excited to put on a great show as we noticed school of dolphins everywhere. Spinners show off their acrobatic skills in spinning. They even seemed so inviting to join them for a swim. Of course, I didn’t fall for their cutest tricks, even at their charming appearance, I’d dive if only I’m the best swimmer in town.

We can’t get enough of the dolphins but we’re not staying the whole day or we’ll be baked under the scorching sun, so off we go to snorkeling at Balicasag Marine Sanctuary. It is a world class diving spot boasting the best coral reefs in the country.

Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to swimming in an open water and underneath, the sight of huge barracudas scare me, next to the deepest dark part of the ocean. But without a doubt, it was better than Puerto Galera’s reefs. The underwater world is just amazing. Even at the shallow waters, it was a haven for starfishes and tropical fishes. We wish we have an underwater camera with us.

After the draining water activity, it’s time to grab some lunch at the nearby island. We didn’t brought packed lunch with us since we were told that there is a restaurant operated by Balicasag Island Dive Resort. Approaching the pristine island, we saw a white watchtower and we reckon it’s just a few steps away. We then asked our boatman what path should take us there. He pointed the way passing through rows of houses. We got lost and finally made it back to track through the sweltering heat. On our front laid Balicasag Watch Tower where I wondered how beautiful it is to see the light shining from the lookout point to break the ocean waves against the darkening sky.

Back at the beach, we wander by the shore first,and took advantage of the lack of tourists and guests around the resort. We have the place all ours, from the seaside chaise lounge to the swimming pool and the massage cabana. Time to get camera happy!

The beach isn’t fit for swimming though as a result of the marine sanctuary, chunks of coral debris and broken shells abound the area. Although we learned that when the wind turns to another direction, the other side of the island gets the share of the rocky shore, then the fronting resort gets a fine beach front for a season.

This place is a haven for scuba divers to just relax, chill and sunbathe. We even met the lady who runs Balicasag Island Dive Resort. She was picking up some seashells and noticed our photo session. She approached us and was so nice to give us a background and a little tour at one of the cottages. Surprisingly, the amenities and rates are very competitive with resorts in Panglao and Boracay Island. Most of their guests are foreign scuba divers and are napping at the moment. We learned that they get up really early for the dive. That explains why we’ve only seen only a few visitors wandering around the resort.

Balicasag Island Dive Resort is a government owned, special interest resort. A joint force between Philippine Tourism Authority and the Philippine Navy to promote under-water sports and protect the marine life sanctuary.

If you want to get lost with nature, this is the perfect place to be. Peaceful community, front beach lifestyle,  what more can you ask for?

Our mini tour ended at the cozy Restaurant which overlooks the beach. The airy ambiance is welcoming. We were so ready for the sumptuous feast, albeit a bit pricey too.

After a hearty meal, we walked down the beach one last time and hopped aboard to our banca for the next destination. We were heading to Puntod Island. As we get nearer, I was like a kid seeing stars on the island. Quite excited to land but we were too late to catch the low tide period where the long white sand bar emerges to glisten under the sun. It was deserted and known to locals as Virgin Island and the movie location of the the famous Muro-Ami film.

To satisfy my swimming desire to the finest of sand and an almost waist high water, our boatman docked to  the sand bar.  I had a few minutes of joy to soak in and feel Bohol sea cleansing my tortured soul.

We decided to get back to land and explore Panglao Island, or not yet. We wanted to wash off the sea waters and what better way to cool down than to hang out at Bohol Divers Resort Swimming Pool. Ahhh, this is life, yeah?  Everyone’s busy at the beach and the pool is all ours.

After some time, exhaustion got into us, so we headed to our room for an afternoon nap. Gotta take some zzzzz’s after all the water fun today.

Just in time for sunset, we agreed to explore the other side of Panglao. We headed to a cliff nearby to witness the whole beach stretch. The sun, no longer burning but the warmth and charm of Panglao Island is truly amazing. Found countless of starfishes at the shore, oh, I was thrilled every time. Strolling further, we had an encounter with a puffer fish and loads of sea urchins.

For dinner, we walked in through one of the local eateries. We had delicious pork sinigang and pork chop. Solved for the night.

Kissing Panglao Island goodbye on Day 3.

Only in Panglao Island, Starfishesssssssss!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Discovering Bohol | Weekend Haven February 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

    […] Follow me through our 2nd day adventure in Bohol: Dolphin Watching and Balicasag Island Tour! […]

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