Bohol and Panglao Island

Chris, Christine, and I decided to only stay in Moon Fools Hostel for one night since the facilities aren't that great. In fact, it's even worse than Murals Hostel. Chris and Christine had booked a place beforehand, but I couldn't book it since it was full. Instead, I booked a room at the Hotel Pressie not far from Alona beach, the main beach on Panglao Island.

I mainly chilled at the beach in the morning while Chris and Christine worked in their hotel. I saw some starfish in the water and saw the sunset on the beach. While walking to the beach that night I was approached by a beautiful woman whom I didn't think was a sex worker at first. As we were chatting on the beach, she texted her sister to come over. As it turns out, her sister is a sex worker. I told them I had no money and they left soon after. Later that night, I saw them again not too far from my hotel. I was curious why they are doing what they are doing. The sister said she's trying to support her one year old child. Another sex worker told me she is trying to earn money for school to become a flight attendant. I didn't partake in any sexual activities and I wasn't sure what to think of them at the time. It was my first encounter with sex workers. They are humans and they have needs to be filled, mostly involve money. The nature of their work doesn't appealing to me, but I feel pity for them and I hope they have better lives ahead.

The next day, Chris, Christine, and I checked into the Villa Almedilla hotel where Chris and I shared a room and Christine had her own. The hotel was close to the beach, but we had to walk on a very bumpy path to get there. That afternoon, Chris and I booked three tours for the weekend: an island hopping tour, a firefly tour, and an all day land tour that involved going to Chocolate Hills, seeing the tarsier monkeys, etc. The tour agent was a very beautiful Filipina girl named Bella. We chatted for a while and it seemed she's still adjusting to her life back in the Philippines after working in Macau for five years.

On Saturday, Chris and I went to see the sunrise over the ocean. After Christine joined us, we went on a boat to do some island hopping. The boat's engine was very noisy and eventually we reached Balicasag Island where Christine and I did a little snorkeling. I saw a giant turtle and some fish, but I was afraid of the water so I didn't stay long. Chris stayed on the boat because he had an ear infection from the scuba diving in Mactan Island last weekend. After the snorkeling, we went to the Virgin Island Sand Bar where we walked on the shallow water. Christine was getting a photoshoot from Chris the entire time while I walked on the sand bar. Finally, we got back to Panglao Island around 1 PM.

I was so tired that I took a nap when we got back to the hotel. Chris and Christine went to lunch while I slept. I ate an early dinner around 5 PM. Then at 5:45 PM, we rode in a van to see the fireflies at Loboc River in Bohol where we had to get on a river boat. I was feeling tired and the ride was about an hour long. We only spent about 30 minutes on the boat to see a few groups of fireflies up in the trees. The moon was especially beautiful since it has a ring around it. I took many photographs of the fireflies, but they all just turned out to be little dots against a black background. We came back to Panglao Island after another hour of riding the van.

Yesterday was the third tour where we got in a van at 8 AM and went to Bohol. The first stop was a butterfly and lemur sanctuary, then we went to see Chocolate Hills, which are big mounts of earth. They are called Chocolate Hills because they turn brown at certain times of the year. The next stop was to see the smallest monkeys in the world called tarsiers. They are smaller than the size of my hand. I felt bad for them because they are nocturnal animals and us tourists are keeping them awake just to get some photos. On the way back, we stopped for a photo at the man-made forest before making another stop at a church that we didn't even go into.

We had lunch with four other tourists. Two of them ended up meeting us for dinner at an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant. The man is 66 years old and is from French Polynesia and his girlfriend is a 30 years old Filipina. After talking with the man, whose name is Roberto, I got a sense that he has some old concepts about men and women. Mainly, he thinks that women are only good for reproducing and that this is a man's world, which is something that I strongly disagree with.

This morning, us Turtles took the 10:40 AM ferry back to Cebu. I ate a subpar meal at Chowking's, a fast food Chinese chain, and Chris and Christine ate at a fast food Korean place. We are now back at Murals Hostel and plan on doing some laundry. Tomorrow, we will take a Grab taxi to the airport and catch our 10:35 AM flight to Manila.

Just to note of the cost of the tours (per person) with my comments:
  • Island hopping group tour: 1200 PHP (~$22) - Not worth it unless you like to snorkel. Also, it's only half a day tour.
  • Firefly group tour: 600 PHP (~$11) - Not worth it since the ride is one hour each way from Alona Beach to the firefly site. Only on the boat for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Land group tour of Chocolate Hills, tarsiers, butterflies, and man-made forest: 500 PHP (~$9) for the tour, plus entrance fees of 350 PHP (~$6) for a total of 850 PHP (~$15.50) - Worth the trip since it's a day trip. You get to see and do multiple things.
You can book these tours from many tour agents on Alona Beach. I recommend a woman named Bella. You can reach her on WhatsApp: +63 992-244-2588 to schedule the tours any day of the week.

Hostel view in the morning

Alona Beach on Panglao Island


Sunset on Alona Beach

First time eating a mangosteen

Dried mangos is the specialty here

Another sunset from the beach

A couple of strayed dogs resting on the beach

Filipinos celebrate Christmas as early as September

Sunrise over the water

Island hopping tour selfie with "The Turtles" (Christine and Chris)

Arrived at Virgin Island Sand Bar

Fireflies at night

Butterflies at the sanctuary

This lemur looks tired

Passed by some rice fields

Going up a Chocolate Hill

Chocolate Hills

More hills

Me, Christine, and Chris at Chocolate Hills

Tarsier monkey. The world's smallest monkey.

Jump shot at man-made forest

Some kind of a church

Drummers practicing

Blood Pact Shrine

Roberto and his girlfriend sharing a Korean BBQ meal with us during our last night in Panglao Island.


  1. I read the whole blog. Thank you Hiatt for sharing your experienced staying here at Panglao Island Bohol 🤗


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