Tag Archives: vacation

Plurkers invade Bohol

September seems to be my vacation/travel month. Two years ago I visited Sagada. Last year, I went to Baguio (which shouldn’t really count). This year, I surpassed my quota (if I actually had any) by going to three different places: Bicol, Tagaytay and Bohol.

It’s my first time to see Bohol outside TV and pictures and it’s a strong candidate for a place I want to retire to. Seriously. While some people prefer city life, I can happily survive in small, provincial towns. Given that I hardly go out most of the time, I hate pollution and traffic, it’s an ideal place. Not to mention that there’s Internet there too.

I was with fellow Plurkers Joiz, Jan, Shabby and Marco. We booked for three days and two nights at Linaw Beach Resort in Panglao island. Of all the places we asked, this was the one that replied rather promptly with all the details we needed. The pictures showed a rather nice place so everyone gave it their approval. When we got to the resort, oh my. It was worth every centavo. Downside: no complimentary breakfast. Everything else was good.

We were practically the only people there, although we did see some people from other resorts dropping by the restaurant for dinner and some visitors coming in the next few days. It was nice to have it all to ourselves. On the first day, we didn’t do much except to go around and take pictures. The atmosphere was so relaxing, I would feel drowsy every time I sit down (which was what happened some time after lunch). Sat down to read “Hunger Games”, then the next thing I knew, it was mid afternoon and everyone was gone.

On our second day, we went on the countryside tour around Bohol. That means no island hopping, nothing too tiring or adventurous — unless you count crossing that hanging bridge that had me screaming bloody murder when everyone started jumping and swaying. I did not relish the idea of falling twenty or so feet into the brown waters of Loboc River. Yes, I was scared. Very much so. :p

So, tour. It started off rather promisingly, especially with the Belgian guys. Headed off to the Chocolate Hills (too many tourists posing for wacky shots), then to the butterfly sanctuary (did you know that there are butterflies that are both male and female?). Took a look at some tarsiers (I kinda felt sorry for the little creatures), crossed that blasted bridge (twice), caused traffic along the man-made forest and went on the Loboc River tour.

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Semana Santa

Holy Week has always been a big deal for me growing up. Every year, it signaled the start of vacation. It was when tons of relatives would make the trip home from wherever they are and spend a week or two here. My cousins, both first and second degree ones, would be here and we’d spend the entire day playing around the house or be at the beach. At the end of vacation, we’d be all brown and complaining of sunburn, but we all truly didn’t care anyway.

This year, not a lot of relatives came over. I guess real life kept them all busy, and they all had other places to go. It would be nice to get everyone together, see how they’ve changed and meet the new additions to the family.

Summer, specifically Holy Week, is also the time for family reunions. We’ve hosted quite a few in the past, before it was here at home, then later it was at Lolo Vering’s beach. Lola Lilay used to be the keeper of the registry and family tree, and she knew a lot about her ancestors, who married who and so on. This year, Otki and I manned the registration booth. It was interesting to see relatives arrive, people who I never met. It’s also funny when someone you know arrives and when you see them you’d go “Pinsan pala kita!”

Easter Sunday
I woke up around 3:30 AM to wait for the procession that’ll be passing by our house for the Salubong. It is a pre-dawn re-enactment of Jesus and his mother Mary’s meeting after he was resurrected from the dead. Two groups of people would leave the Church: one for Jesus, one for Mary, and they’d go around the town then head to the plaza, where an angel would descend from heaven (in this case, a high platform) and take the veil of mourning off Mary.

My grandma used to participate in this, and I thought it would be nice to do it again. So I woke up early and waited. Turns out I woke up too early (about an hour ahead of their schedule). Later, as I was drifting off to sleep again, I heard some music playing. I ran outside and waited.

What I remember from my childhood is that the musicians usually come a few minutes before the Mary group, which is the ones the females join. The males join Jesus. However, for some reason the band is with Jesus, which is the one I ended up joining because the Mary group went the other direction and didn’t pass by in front of our house.

It was nice walking around town at 4:30 in the morning. It was cold, and quiet (if you don’t count the noise we made). Many people were also awake, and had candles in their homes as a vigil for Jesus. It was probably the same for the Mary route.

We met at the town plaza, where the priest and the “angels” (little girls in white dresses) were waiting. Once the statues were in place, the “angel” comes down and lifts the veil. Then we sing “Hallelujah” and go to the church for the mass.

It’s very nice to see people still doing this tradition. I’m glad I got to take a few pictures of it.

P.S. Eating nothing but fish and veggies for a week is good in not making me feel bloated.