History and Culture

Venice's Gondola Ride Has No Match For Loboc's River Cruising


Jeffrey Asuncion
Jeffrey Asuncion | Sep 19, 2016

Although located in the heart of the Philippine archipelago, Bohol remains a quiet and quaint place, as compared to other provinces. From the plane, descending to the Tagbilaran airport, one can already notice the lush, dark-green forests covering the province’s central and southern portions. Then one can see a river winding down the plains and trees interspersed by homes, its emerald-white surface glimmering even during a cloudy morning.

But the quaintness belies the center stage role that it played to in some key events in our past. Remember the decades-long uprising by Francisco Dagohoy and his followers thatseparated themselves from Castilian hold in the 1740s and onwards? Remember also that the province was the home of many known personalities, ranging from the poet-politico Carlos P. Garcia to noted actor Cesar Montano. Remember that the founders of Dapitan, in Zamboanga del Norte, had originated from Panglao Island, and who had fled a devastating attack by raiders from Ternate island in Indonesia and their Portuguese allies.

READ: News Site: Bohol's Chocolate Hills 'Will Take Your Breath Away'

And the past has left beyond relics in the province. Right at Tagbilaran’s heart, one can see a Spanish-era church still towering forth. Many more can be seen in the towns beyond the capital city’s core; the churches are mute testament to the Bol-anons’ Catholic piety emblazoned in limestone and coral. Baclayon, Albuquerque, Loboc. Unfortunately, they were not spared the ravages of the 2013 earthquake. In Baclayon, it seemed time had stood still inside the church: 

Just as devastating is the sight of the Loboc church. Three years after the magnitude hit the province and Central Visayas, the collapsed middle portion of the church is yet to be repaired. Yet life goes on and on. While one views the damaged portions of the Loboc church, one can still savor the fresh air and clean sight while starting the famed cruise along the town’s green-colored river.

Alburquerque Church photo by Rod Acuzar

Going back to Tagbilaran, one can enjoy a unique stress-free nightlife. Although it now has some noted commercial coffeehouses and restos, by far they are few enough not to be crowded and rowdy.  Interestingly, even the streets are clean, and would make such passageways in its larger counterparts look dirty in contrast.

One to two days tour is not enough to savor Bohol’s past and quaintness.

Read Related Stories: 

Bohol's Perfect-shaped Landmark Finally Restored After Devastating 2013 Quake

Lamanoc Island: Bohol’s Mystical Cradle of Civilization 

Bohol Culinary Adventures: 10 Gastronomical Treats for You! 

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