I revisited Bohol the other day with my friends. This was the third time I visited the place and it’s great that I have discovered new places I haven’t been to in my first two visits. I noted some tips for backpackers and groups on a budget.
If you’re vacationing on a beach, you always want to stay (of course) on a beachfront to experience a different ambiance and enjoy your beach vacation fully. You have an impression that beach-front hotels are expensive. If you want to enjoy the quiet and alluring beach of Panglao on a budget, Dumaluan Beach Resort is best for you. Their standard room will only cost you PHP 1,300. It’s a regular-sized air-con room with high ceilings, one double-sized bed, a large bathroom, a cabinet and a small veranda in front. The second night, we transferred on a deluxe room. It’s a pentagon-shaped air-con room with high ceilings, big bathroom with bath tub, double-sized bed, television, cabinet and a porch outside. The resort has a swimming pool in the middle. At the lawn you’ll find one ping-pong table, hammocks and benches. A few steps away towards the beachfront is their restaurant offering Filipino and American food. You might want to try their buffet at PHP 250. At night, there’s a house band that performs and entertains the crowd.
Dumaluan Beach Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lindy at 09178834888
If you find the food at the Dumaluan Beach Restaurant pricey, from the restaurant, walk to the right by the beach and you’ll see DBR Grill. It is a small food stall that offers grilled seafood and meat. Their fruit shakes are also cheaper that Dumaluan Beach restaurant. A glass would only cost you PHP 50 compared to Dumaluan Beach Restaurant’s PHP 90. They also offer alcohol in cheaper prices.
Trip packages in resorts are expensive. That’s because there’s a certain percentage for the resort for booking you in. They charge PHP 3800 for the dolphin watching and island tours. There are boatmen at the beach whom you can ask for the trips. Their price is PHP 2000. PHP 1800 saving compared to the resort price. Dolphin watching starts at 6am. You’ll be asked to be ready by 5:45am. The part where you’ll see the dolphins is about 30mins to 45mins from Panglao beach. You’ll see swarms on boats there in the morning with tourists waiting to see the dolphins jump.
After dolphin watching, the boatmen will bring you at the Balicasag Island where you would need to pay PHP 50.00 entrance and PHP 150.00 for the mini boats that will bring you to the snorkeling area. You may rent snorkeling gear for PHP 100.00 and shoes for PHP 100.00. There are food stalls by the beach with a lot of seafood choices. All choices are fresh. They’ll cook the food for an extra charge of PHP100.00. After lunch, you may want to have a walk and discover the island more. There’s a lighthouse at the back of the island and a small community. You’ll see the simplicity of the island from the scenes of fisherman boats, small old houses, a school, people having siesta in their asoteas, and small sari-sari stores.
The virgin island is your last destinations. It is 30 minutes away from Balicasag. The boatmen will require you to go there before low tide. They have reasons why, I just forgot what the boatmen said when I asked him. It is really a virgin island. There’s no community there – just vendors that sells sea urchin and accessories made of shells. What made the island amazing is the picturesque, long, white sand bar. Bring your tanning oil as you might want to lie down and get some tan before heading back to Panglao beach.
Contact: boatman RICO at 09351691150.
It is advisable to rent a van rather than commuting in Bohol. Like island tours, booking countryside tours from the hotel is expensive than getting vans for rent from outside. If you need a van, you may contact Hans (van for rent owner) or his driver Mang Tino on these numbers: HANS 09065077848, MANG TINO 09179983236. They only charge PHP 2300 for an 8 hour trip.