Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Anda Bohol - BoWhole New World

Photos by Elki Balbuena

Anda, like most places that I've visited, brings a feeling of happiness and disappointment. It is disappointing for the same reason that most popular travel destinations are disappointing: people just throw their trash everywhere. The people who trash Anda are locals and it's ironic because they're destroying the very place that sustains them.

Getting to Anda

Anda is about 100 kilometers from Tagbilaran. Because Bohol is not cursed with traffic, it only takes two hours and 130 pesos (via van) to get to Anda.

From Tagbilaran Port, you can get a tricycle to take you to the Integrated Bus Terminal, which locals refer to as Dao Terminal. Lamentably, the tricycle drivers will overcharge you so be prepare to haggle for 20 pesos per person. It is still over-priced because the terminal is only 4kms away from the port, but that's as long as the fare could get.

From the Integrated Terminal, you can take a bus or van. Don't overthink your options, either is okay. From the terminal, it's a smooth sail on Bohol's eastern coastal highway all the way to Anda. I envied how well-paved that highway is.

Dapdap Beach Resort

We stayed at Dapdap Beach Resort. The resort is run by a wonderful family but they said they plan to sell it. Hopefully, the next owners are just as nice. I'll just drop their official website here. And yes, they serve good food. If there's three or four of you, get their platter of garlic rice and you wouldn't be hungry for hours.

Marine Life in Dapdap

From Dapdap Beach Resort, you can see a variety of corals just a few minute's swim out into the water. And where there are corals, there are also fishes. I've marked out some spots where you can find corals in Dapdap, here and here. These are just approximations so you need to do some searching yourself.

There's a guy on Panoramio named Peter Kock who was able to snap some nudibranch in the area. Our eyes are not as good as his so we didn't see some nudis. Also, Panoramio will be gone soon so you'll have to check out his photos before November 04.

Cateres Cave

Cateres Cave is just five minute's walk from Dapdap Beach Resort. It's more of a cove than a cave. Its tiny lagoon is a mix of salt and fresh water. Be prepared to be greeted by trash on the way to the lagoon. I'm talking about junk food wrappers, empty liquor and soft drink bottles, and shampoo sachets. The lagoon itself is clean.

Dapdap Beach to Quinale

Quinale Beach, at the heart of Anda, has the reputation as the finest white sand in the town but it's too dirty when we went there. There was litter everywhere and the water smelled of sewage. It is rather unfortunate because the sand is indeed as fine as the sand that you could see in an hour glass.

But don't let that stop you from going to Anda. When the tide is low, you take a walk from Dapdap Beach Resort all the way to Quinale Beach and you'll find many beautiful spots. There are tiny cliffs and coves everywhere. It's a four-kilometer stretch punctuated by several beach resorts.

You can still find empty lots where you can chill under the shade of coral rock coves. I think now is the best time to go to Anda, while it is not yet as crowded as Panglao.

Lamanoc Fish Sanctuary

I don't really like most of the tourism offices in the Philippines because it seems that they're just sitting around and raking in money. It was true in Bohol, a few years back. But now, I can feel that Bohol's tourism office is on to something good.

They give away free maps and brochures that offer legit information. The brochures don't cover the small things (I guess the whole point of traveling is to find out the small things that make places remarkable) but they're good enough to start with.

One of the things that you can find in the brochures is Lamanoc Island. It is an island that used to be a burial site for the natives and has remains of Boholanons who walked this earth a long time ago. I can't say much more because we didn't really go there.

We just went out to snorkel on the waters that meander around Lamanoc Island. I'm cool with dead people it's just that I'm more interested in living fishes and corals. If you want to get the whole package for the Lamanoc Tour, you'll just have to pay 300 pesos. For snorkeling, it's 130 pesos per person.

A local guide will take you on a boat to the snorkeling site because the water near the coast is too shallow. Also, the corals near the coast have been wiped out by a number of typhoons and they're still on the way to regrowing. However, there are some interesting things to see at the snorkeling area and your local guide will tell you where to go.

Can-umantad Falls

Water rapids scare me because even if you're just two feet deep in them, they can knock you off balance and take you to your unplanned demise. And when you go to Can-umantad Falls during rainy season, you can expect to cross a stream with strong rapids. But I'm not discouraging you from going there -- just giving out a word of caution.

It is best to go to Can-umantad by motorbike because they road going there is scenic. It is one of those times when you can say that the journey is as good as the destination. Or maybe I'm overstating it -- I'm just probably overwhelmed by the lack of pollution.

On the way to the waterfalls, you'll pass by Cadapdapan Rice Terraces. I'm not particularly crazy about it but I like it anyway, mainly because I love rice and I eat a lot of rice. The fields look golden when you go there an hour or two before sundown.

Motorbike Rental

We rented a motorbike at Dapdap Beach Resort for 300 pesos. I didn't realize right away that the bike we rented didn't have a working headlight. I got quite anxious about getting back to Anda before sunset but I didn't drive faster. I know some people would push the speed on their bike when they're in a hurry but for me the risk is not worth it. It's like saying you saved $50 on an overpriced dress because it was 50% off.

There are many bike rentals in Anda if you just walk around town. If you're lazy, you can go straight to Anda's tourism office where you can rent a bike for 500 to 1,000 pesos per day. Or a more convenient option is to get the bike from your resort. It's hard to pin an exact price because bike rental is not a regulated industry.

I wasn't at all upset with the bike that we rented for 300 pesos. It's a good deal anyway, and if it had a working headlamp it would have been perfect. Nobody likes to drive in the dark (which we didn't because we made it back just before dark).


Neil said...

Tshoy lagi na nga place bal. Hahehehe

Youwebsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mesa_kaylar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bal Marsius