#BEHOLDBOHOL: Discovering the Island Paradise

12:00 PM

It's Visit Philippines in 2015 and one of the must-go places that I would recommend to everyone, both domestic and international tourist is my home, the island paradise of Bohol!

When I said Bohol is a paradise, I'm saying it without exaggeration.  Bohol almost has it all, in terms of land forms and water forms and all of them are breathtaking and picturesque.  Add up to that a rich history and a very vibrant culture, including the millions of resilient, happy Boholanos that inhabit the island.  Bohol, indeed, is a province worth beholding.

Below is a video that captures what we really have here in the province. (Sorry DOT. I am just not in love with your video.)

I first came to Bohol summer of 2002.  My family was still leaving in Zamboanga City that time and all I heard of Bohol was of course, Chocolate Hills.  At that time, Hinagdanan Cave was not yet in books or magazines (or that is what I know) and white sand beaches is limited only to Boracay and Puerto Galera. The Panglao Island was not as known as it is today.

My family decided to be based here in Bohol in 2002.  From then on, I discovered the many beautiful things Bohol could offer.  However, my family was not financially well off and so I never had the chance to visit these sites, unless we were invited to go there by relatives when they have tours or through excursions sponsored by my orgs.

The majestic Can-umantad Falls, the highest falls in the province.
Taken last March 2013 during my DWOC Acceptance Climb in Candijay.

The adventurer in me found a way of satisfying my wanderlust when I joined Holy Name University's Divine Word Outdoors Club.  Through DWOC, I was able to see Bohol in a very different perspective.  It is not only an island for those who want the comfortable kind of sightseeing.  It was also for those for the thrill seekers, the backpackers who want to be in communion with nature.  Through DWOC, my desire to travel intensified.

I love this shot actually.  It's so ethereal.
Taken at Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, Bilar. November 22, 2014.

Through DWOC, I discovered that we are more than the Chocolates Hills, the tarsier, and the white sand beaches.  We have so much more to offer. However, we are confined in the shadows of those famous sights and the other tourism players in the province have to work so hard to get noticed. And I was challenged to help them get noticed by tourists and by the government so that they can also invest on this sites.

The first time I saw a rainbow without even looking up.  That is how high I was.
Taken at Camp Verde, Duero. January 27, 2013

Perhaps many Boholanos, especially the young ones, want to travel to different provinces or even to another country.  But for me, I would want to explore Bohol first --- all of its 47 municipalities, Tagbilaran City, included and all that it could offer.  It is my way of discovering more reasons why Bohol is a province worth beholding.  This is not an ordinary tourism/ travel project for my blog by a newbie blogger.  This could be more of a journey of being more Boholano.

The sunrise at Himontagon Hills of Loay, known for its scenic sunrises.
Taken last May 2014.

When I made this project, the words of the world-acclaimed Boholana poet Marjorie Evasco echoed in my mind.  She said in one interview that the best people to promote Bohol are the Boholanos themselves and so everyone --- from students, to government officials, to vendors, and habal-habal drivers --- should know about their home.  It posted a challenges to me and this is my way of learning.

A foggy morning and we're heading to Mt. Cumbil, the highest peak of Bohol.
Taken March 2014 at Brgy. Biabas, Guindulman.

#BeholdBohol is a project of self-discovery and of intensifying the my sense of pride of place.  It is my way of helping boost up tourism in the province and helping promote Bohol on this Visit Philippines 2015. Bohol is a province that can provide the core of tourism --- experience. The experience of seeing the sites, knowing our culture, and being with the people.

The DWOC team with Tatay Juan (middle), the leader of the Eskaya Tribe.
Taken March 2013.  Brgy. Biabas, Guindulman.

The kids of the Eskaya Tribe during our small Outreach in the Eskaya community.
Taken March 2014. Brgy. Biabas, Guindulman.

The world saw us devastated last year due to the earthquake.  But since then, we were able to get back on our feet. We are no longer that people and Bohol is no longer the province that is pitiful but a source of strength and inspiration for trying to get better. And our tourism industry are still in tact. We can still compete and we have much to differ.

Join me in my journey of discovering a thousand and more reasons of beholding Bohol.  #BeholdBohol features come out twice every month and can be about places, certain industries, a historical story, it about the people of Bohol. #BeholdBohol is a project about me and about Bohol.

Through this project, I hope we can all say to the world "I Behold Bohol!"


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About the Blog

DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..