Whirlwind Travelogue to Mactan, Cebu and to Chocolate Hills of Bohol


OUR THREE-WEEK trip to Manila from November 24-December 14 last year took us island-hopping to Mactan, Cebu, Bohol and back to Manila and then made quick visits to Tiaong in Quezon, Lipa City in Batangas, Lumban and Pagsanjan in Laguna and Tagaytay City, the alternate summer capital of the Philippines.

Mactan was our first stop, jumbo-jetting to this historical island in one hour from the Ninoy Aquino Intermational 2 on Nov. 28.On arrival at the Mactan airport and after checking in at Cebu Beach Club, we hired a cab to take us to the place where Lapu-Lapu and his warriors armed with spears and arrows fought Magellan and his army of 48 men in the shallow shore of Mactan.Lapu-Lapu is honored with a huge monument which stands a few meters from Magellanís statue at the Mactan Shrine.

We found the city bustling with cottage industries rivaling her neighbor Cebu City. High-rise hotels are sprouting all over Mactan since the islandís airstrip was converted into an international airport. Beach clubs and resorts are being developed around the coast of Mactan to accommodate the influx of tourists from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and other Asian countries as well as tourists coming from Europe.

Cebu City used to be the ukulele and guitar-making center in Central Visayas but Mactan is fast catching up in this industry, equaling the quality of Cebu guitars. It is now one of Mactanís major export products.

The taxi ride from Mactan City to Fort Del Pilar and the Basilica de Santo Nino where the Cross of Magellan is enshrined in a small building for the public to see took us 35 minutes crossing by the first inter-island bridge linking Mactan to Cebu. Cebu City is also bustling with construction activities. Tall and large industrial and commercial buildings are being built in the reclamation area fronting the mammoth SM Mega Mall near Pier 1 and other parts of the Queen City of the South.

Bohol, the birth province of the late Carlos P. Garcia, the fourth president of the Philippine Republic, was our next destination. We opted to take the ocean jet ferry from Cebuís Pier 1 instead of taking a plane to get a coastal view of Bohol and enjoy the freeze sea breeze during the one and one half hour cruise to Tagbilaran City, the provinceís capital.

Speaking of Bohol, the first thing that comes to oneís mind is the Chocolate Hills. The world renowned cone-shaped Chocolate Hills is ďnatureís expression of beauty, romance and mystery,Ē wrote one European traveler who visited the island in 2005.

Spread over the municipalities of Carmen, Sagbayan and Batuan, Chocolate Hills is Boholís signature attraction. It consists of approximately 1,268 cock hills with heights from 40 to 120 meters.

The over an hour car trip to Carmen where most of the Chocolate Hills are located was worth the travel. We were amazed at this natureís wonder viewing from atop of one of the hills the stretch of cone-shaped hills spreading across Boholís central valley. How this came about is a mystery

Legend has it that hills came into existence when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they made friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made.



The famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol are spread across the towns of Carmen, Sagbayan and Batuan.

The Philippine tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world, can be found in the forests of Bohol.


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Text Box:         Kumusta! ONLINE  <> www.e-kumusta.com  ■  March-April 2006 Issue

Kumusta! Internet EditionóMarch-April 2006 Issue

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Whirlwind Travelogue to Mactan, Cebu and Bohol