Islands and Beaches
Dolce Amore's Sweet Escape in the Land of the Chocolate Hills
Choose Philippines | Mar 07, 2016
Since its premiere last February 29, the teleserye Dolce Amore has toured us around Manila and reunited us to the historic city's destinations that we often ignore. Through the eyes of Italian princess Serena Marchesa, we've seen the Pantheon-like Manila Post Office, Paco Park and its magical fountain in a cemetery, and the Basilica of San Sebastian, a church made of steel.
This week, Sese and Tenten are bringing us in yet another popular attraction in the Philippines—the beautiful island of Bohol.
An island province in Central Visayas, Bohol is well-loved by intrepid travelers because of the many activities that it offers. It has interesting limestone formations, stunning view of the sea through its many diving locations, majestic Spanish-era churches, and 75 smaller islands surrounding it. It is also the home of the tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world and measures less than a human hand (85 to 160 millimeters). It may have sustained damages especially after the 7.2 earthquake in October 2013 but Bohol's tourism is slowly picking up and restoring its high rank as a popular tourist destination.
Take a tour of the island through Dolce Amore's cameras and fall in love!
1) Bilar Manmade Forest
The Bilar Manmade Forest was part of a bigger reforestation project to respond to the alarming deforestation in the Loboc watershed. It is the result of the volunteer efforts in 1968 to late 1970s as laborers, students, scouts, pupils, and socio-civic volunteers arrived in droves in Barangay Riverside, Bilar where they planted the white and red mahogany seedlings. Today, the dense forest stretches up to two kilometers and is a favorite stop amoung tourists going to and from the Chocolate Hills in Carmen.
2) Loboc River Cruise
Comprised of a platform which carries a mini-restaurant and a smaller pump boat which propels it, the cruise offers guests a buffet lunch while touring the most beautiful section of the river that runs through Loboc. Local singers and musicians also offer entertainment aboard the floating restaurant. Cruises start near the historic Loboc Church and ends near the Busay Waterfalls.
3) Albuquerque Church
The Santa Monica Parish Church of Albuquerque was declared an "Important Cultural Property" by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2013 and a "National Historical Landmark" by the National Historical Institute in 2014. One of its interesting features is that it is in the shape of a cruciform.
This breathtaking bridge in Tigbao, Bohol was listed among the world’s "most spectacular” footbridges by CNN Style last 2014. It is suspended 82 feet above the Loboc River and, though it is made of metal, the bridge has bamboo floorings. It really is a test of your fear of heights!
Bohol's unique geological formation is named as such because the grass-covered hills dry up and turn brown, almost like chocolate, during the summer season. This transforms the area into endless rows of "chocolate kisses."
"Like something out of Super Mario Land, the Chocolate Hills are a bizarre geological formation. The perfect, grass-covered, mole-hill mounds are scattered thourgh a large forest; there are estimated to be up to 1,776 in the 50sq km area. The oddity picked up the name because during the dry season the grass turns brown, and some have compared the hills to Hershey Kisses. They are on Bohol Island and visitors can take tour of the hills from the small town of Carmen," wrote Will Coldwell in an article published in UK's most popular news site, The Guardian, in 2015.
What other Philippine destinations will Serena Marchesa visit? Find out in the next episodes of Dolce Amore after FPJ's Ang Probinsyano!
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