Posts Tagged 'bohol'

Attempt to Helping Tarsier Conservation

One of Bohol’s tourist attractions is visiting tarsier in its natural habitat. Though it’s my 6th time in Bohol, we’ve frequented that one in Loboc. And quite frankly, I wasn’t happy at all seeing this endangered specie removed from its natural habitat, altered its natural behavior and held captive in a cage. This does not actually help in the conservation measures of Tarsiers.

So this Easter, when P said he wanted to see the famed smallest primate, I proposed to go to Tarsier Sanctuary, in Corella. It’s a natural environment abounding with trees and bushes protected and managed by Tarsier Foundation. Their doors are open from 9AM to 4PM. They showed us an hour video first on how they carry-out their protection/ conservation program and taught us how to be a responsible Sanctuary guest. (Hop here for heaps of information).

We went inside the Sanctuary with 4 more people on a guided tour (they try to keep a very small group per guide). The tour guide alone can interact with the tarsier, it being territorial, solitary and extremely sensitive to noise, we were showed where the tarsiers are resting / sleeping. That day we were told they found 4 Maomag (tarsiers’ local name) among 88 others (if I remember it correctly). P and I respected their habitat and hardly spoke during the visit except for the occasional whispered woows and amazement =) He took only few photos as he was just happy to see how tiny they are, how enormous their eyes are compared to their body and how their tails are really long relative to their height. We even witnessed one that leaped from one branch to another and how it used its tail to balance itself after the jump. It was waaaay too cute =)
photo(7)

photo(10)

photo(8)

We would have stayed longer and just ogle to the little creatures but since it’s just the 1st leg of our motobiking day, we took off and left the Sanctuary moved and with the understanding how we can help to keep it from extinction.

We were heading to our last stop of the day, Chocolate Hills Complex, right after the arch that welcomes all Carmen town visitors, P suddenly stopped and spoke to a woman carrying a green net with her. I sped past thru them until I realized P wasn’t following so I went back to see what was he up to on the side street.

Voila! The woman he was talking to was selling him a live tarsier captured in her tiny net basket. He was so perplexed to see that this woman was selling the tarsier on broad daylight, on the street, without a trace of shame on her face at measly Php 500. So he was talking to the woman that it’s illegal to sell it, and was telling her to return it to the wild. The woman even had the nerve to say that they didn’t steal it and that her son caught it in the forest to be taken care of by its buyer. He thought of buying it so he can return it to the wild but we talked about it that we don’t want to be caught by the authorities with it on our way to the wild and that we don’t want to patronize such practice. So we told her we will be back and immediately left the woman. We went straight to the foot of Chocolate Hill Observation Deck and reported what we saw to the men at the Barangay Outpost. We said the woman is just on the street about 500-800m away with the Tarsier. But to our surprise the men told us that it was a normal practice there to sell it and they added there was no harm done to us. Disappointed and frustrated, we went up the hill and saw a Tourist Police Outpost and narrated again what we saw downhill. Relieved to finally have somebody understood our concern and this the man in uniform took his bike right away and called one of his colleagues and went straight to where we said the woman is.

We really hoped, they’d be able to catch her and teach her that selling Tarsier is strictly prohibited. However, after we climbed up the 200+ steps to the Observation Deck, we were advised by the police officers that they didn’t find the woman anymore. Their efforts were futile as the woman maybe was able to sell it already or maybe she realized we will be reporting her to the Policemen and hid somewhere already.

Before we hopped on our motobikes again, we can’t relinquish the thought that maybe we should have dealt with it differently. We should have let the woman go with us on our motorbike and brought her to the Police Station to report her right away. Maybe just maybe, we’re able to save one tarsier right there and then.

I saw how disappointed he was specially, knowing that this illegal practice can go on right below the town residents’ very nose. We both agreed next time we would be more vigilant and more decisive.

How about you? Would you have done it differently? How can you help in Tarsier’s conservation? I don’t know about you, but one thing for sure, there’s Tarsier Foundation who began a good work somewhere in the small town of Corella, Bohol.

Tarsier Sanctuary is only 28.6 km Northeast from Alona Beach, and 14km Northeast of Tagbilaran City.

Sanctuary’s entrance fee is P50/hd that is used to help fund conservation advocacy of the Foundation.

Exploring Bohol Differently

The french beau was speed freaking at 80 to 100km/h whilst at my best, I was only inching to reach 60 km/h and was mustering all my energy to brush-off my head my freaky motobike accident in Saigon some yrs ago. But after a couple of intersections, several towns passed, got chased by dogs, blindly drove on sharp curves and hairpin bends without lamp posts or well-lit signages and terribly burnt shoulders, I felt I’m slowly getting the mojo back. (And Oh! Yes Dad!!!) I drove a motobike again and on a national highway from one island to another, without me being brought to ER for a knee surgery =) (I’m sure I made you proud!). I’m not yet 100% but i know, I’m traumatized no more.

Tagbilaran City

Loay Interior RoadLoay Interior Road or “tina-i sa manok”

One of the remarkable part of the leg, is what locally known as “tina-i sa manok” or chicken intestine. There were several sharp curves and hairpin bends that have actually made me ask myself again, “how far would I go with my zest for adventure?”.  I don’t know how many times I heaved sighs of relief after each curve, knowing that a slight miscalculation on my turn, I’d fall on the dreaded ravine on the road side. On one of the stops we did, told P how $h#t scared and how ecstatic I was at the same time to brave it. Told him though that on our way back, which would definitely around night time, is a different story. He took my hand and reassured me, how I was doing well on the handlebars =)

manmade forest drive

BIlar Man-made ForestBilar Man-made Forest

Bilar Man-made Forest is a two-kilometer road beautifully dotted with mahogany trees, rendering shade from summer’s scorching heat to its revelers. Covering approximately 10 hectares stretching from Loboc to Bilar towns, it’s a local government reforestation project to address the growing ‘kaingin’ concern during the early ’50s. The colors here are so rich, that reminded me of the colors of Fall. The scent of the woods is so distinct I had to ask P to stop for a bit so we can appreciate it longer.

Definitely my favorite drive of the day =)

choc hills driveUphill to Chocolate Hills Observation Deck, we’re welcomed with spectacular view of hundreds of similarly shaped grass-covered hills, which to date remain a geological puzzle as to how they were formed. It’s so picturesque, we had to do sooo many stops before heading to the 214 steps at the Observation Deck.

photo(3)Chocolate Hills Observation Deck

photo 2

It’s already 5ish and we were running late already. Manong who rented his motobikes to us said we should be back by 6pm. But the sunset that served as our backdrop to Bohol’s No.1 tourist spot, was so gorgeous, it’s ridiculous not to marvel a little longer.

We started driving back and at the foot of the hill, P signaled to me to stop so we can discuss our route back. He showed me his intended route back to Panglao, which was actually shorter and less busy. He snagged my helmet again and requested me to accelerate a bit more, before letting me hop on my motobike and start another road adventure.

It was a little less than 2-hr drive back to Alona Beach, but it sure felt waaaay longer than that. And though I’ve somehow regained my confidence on the handlebars, since my knee surgery, the highway back to Panglao can be really challenging especially at night.

Motobike Route

Out biking for 10hrs including all the stops and breaks we did, covering approximately 160km and consuming about 6L of fuel, we were immensely happy bikers!!! ♥


*Map Legend:
A& F – Alona Beach area
B – Tarsier Sanctuary Corella
C – Loboc River Cruise / Loboc Church
D – Bilar Man-made Forest
E – Chocolate Hills Monumental Complex
*motobike / scooter rental rate: Php 300 for 8hrs with Mang George, +63906.451.3424, one of those locals who rent out their bikes to tourist whom we met by the street next to Alona Beach Tourist Police Station. He’d provide you helmets, after signing a Rental Agreement and providing your driver’s license number. We paid him though extra because we returned his bikes after 10hrs :-)
(I would have wanted to rent from Mike Bike Rental Shop, for its reputation in the island, however they have 3-days minimum for rental and were actually fully booked during the Easter)
*If you’re up for a new adventure and wanted to explore Bohol differently, motobiking is definitely the better option!
*Entrance Fee to Chocolate Hills Observation deck is P25/head (adult).

4 reasons why i joined the condura run

run for the dolphins

Concepcions (elo Ton & Pat!) may have 10 reasons to join the Condura race. i, on the other hand only have four.

One. i’m an environment stewardess a.k.a. tree hugger

race’ main cause was to save the dolphins. and whatever it is to save the ecosystem, count me in! i overheard during the race day, the emcee said for each registrant, Php50 would go to the conservation fund.(please correct me if i’m wrong). with 8,500 runners (that’s effin Php425,000.00!!!), substantial moolah to carry out the rehabilitation of the baclayon pier and the building of floating wharf.

Two. i’m a nomad and Bohol ranks high in my favorite Wow Philippines’ destination.

i’ve been to Bohol twice and wouldn’t think twice of going back again should an opportunity comes. and on both occasions, i was up before the dawn broke and hopped on the outrigger boat to Pamilacan to watch the dolphins dance gracefully to their audience’ heart’s content! on both times, it was magical!!!

isn’t it awesome to make Baclayon and Pamilacan Islands as the beneficiary islands? :-)

Three.i’m a scuba diver.

nothing can make this advocacy to save the marine life be any more meaningful to a heart of a true blue scuba diver! when you have actually gone through the depths of the water and have actually communed with the marine life, you’d be awed how much beauty is there underneath. then you’d learn to respect it and care for it beyond words.

Four.i’m a runner.

even if running doesn’t reciprocate my luv, i luv it unconditionally. it’s been an on & off affair, mainly due to injuries, but i always find myself going back to it – with undiminished passion. S, was a witness how i got overly excited the night before the race, i kept on tossing and turning, which was a bummer cuz we got late by 40ish minutes . when i saw how empty the 10k route already – runners have already gone – i had the choice to go back and just take the 5K route and run with my friends instead. but i thought, ‘hmmm. who gives a damn if i’d run alone and be at the tail end? i run not for anything, i run because of one simple reason – i.want.to.run!’ so i went on and continue the race. it felt good hearing your feet strike the ground of a familiar route. kalayaan fly over used to be my ‘kill-me-now’ part, but surprisingly i crossed it like a gentle wind – unnoticed yet sweet! i haven’t even hit my 3rd km when i saw other 10K runners going down the fly over, ‘good to know, i’m no longer alone on the road’ was my thought bubble :-) a couple of nods here and there to running acquaintances and even to strangers and that proverbial hollers and high fives to good ol’ running friends. it was then i realized how much i missed joining races. after i made the turn around, all i can think about was to reach the uphill again of Kalayaan.  crazy i know! but i want to run facing east to be enthralled with the beauty of sunrise! with less than 2kms to go, i felt the throbbing on my left knee. it wasn’t a nasty pain, but i decided not to push it further. i reduced my pace and did a positive split. the moment i took out my trail mix stash, i knew it’s chikka pace time.

1:56:58 (condura result) – 00:44:12 (lapsed after the gun shot) = 1:12:58; 7.2 min/km;

i may have officially ran sloooooow but i have crossed the finish line immensely happy! :-)

5mins after crossing the finish line

proud finishers

casper-not

*photos from wanderlass, marco & edith

mischievous

just got back from my business trip. pretty toxic there at saigon with work, but thank goodness nights were mine to unwind. hung-out with the hanoi trotter & B. hopped from one place to another. from a very posh club to the most unassuming sidestreet joint. i prefer the latter though. you know i’m jologs like that! i super luv the snails with coco milk (with the chili twist). it’s a winner whilst you’re having a cold beer, hooking the snail meat (with a safety pin, hehe) & having a random conversation with the hanoi trotter.

great night. if only i’ve not lost la rouge sofia! boo!

you see, when you lose an ipod or an mp3 player for that matter, you just didn’t lose the gizmo, but your music as well! yeah! my music! my life! :-( not to mention all my training runs i’ve lost, which i have not uploaded on the nike+ site. boo!

2nd day was rather the busiest of the 3 days! ran 12hrs with non-stop meetings. ok i took a 2 hour nap in between :-) cuz i was so wasted after i had 2 cold beers at broad daylight with my clients. geeez! you guys know, i don’t really drink – beer (if with ice) & at daylight! so i just have to sneak out, move my next mtg to later time and recharge for 2 hrs.

7 meetings in a day is waaaaay too much! so hit the streets of district 1 & looked for a good full body massage.

wooohoo! masseuse are indeed heaven sent! if i can always have that pampering, i wouldnt mind having 10 mtgs in a day :-)

2nd night was a jamming night at pacharan. special tapas abound there! and their paella? (spanish pronounce it as pa-e-ya). wooopeee! winner din! in there i’m guapa (hahaha! and not pretty) & peeps call me amiga! :-)

hmmm. after hanging out with them last night ( plus our shindig on my last month’s visit), they have cemented to me the idea that spanish are one of the warmest & easiest people! ok, now i’d need to join instituto cervantes on their next term! (hi bubu! you inspired me! haha!)

saigon 15-17.04.08 023

and oh! brit’s humour? i lost count how many times i let out a guffaw that night. puns at work! :-)

o~o

i thought of having a travel buddy din like others. and i wanted something that wouldremind me of my country’s pride. i thought of having a miniature jeepney, but it’s sooo bulky. i can’t just put it in my bag. but i remembered i bought this replica of a cute little animal with enormous eyes – the tarsius!

so, from now on, mischief (i christened him that) would travel and experience the world with me! :-) i’m excited how busy his weekends would be this summer. bora, hanoi, saigon, halong bay, possible another anawangin, and one more escapade that is still under the mat :-) yay!

mischief

o~o

airport officer: ma’am dito na lang kayo para mas mabilis kse may computer. (as he shows me where to queue)

d-oooh!!!

immigration counters? walang PC?? anovah? nasan napupunta tax na binabayad namin sa gobyerno??!

8 immigration counters (i dont know how many have PCs), around 300 tourists, 400++ PI passport holders all equate to RIOT at the airport!

took me 3 effin’ hours to cross the line!!!

bulok. kainez to the nth power!!!

nakakawalang gana para sa turismo! sa viet nam, ang bago nilang paliparan, meron lang naman mahigit 60 counters! oo! ganun kadami! kaya napakabilis lang! at viet nam ito ah?? hindi hong kong. hindi singapore. hindi thailand. haaay! bayan kong mahal, iniiwan tayo ng mga kapitbahay natin sa asya! (sadyang tinagalog ko kase ayoko mapahiya sa kapwa ko asyano. sa atin atin na lang problema natin, diba?)

puro ako kwento sa mga kaibigan ko sa ibang bansa, na magturista naman dito kase ang ganda ng pinas, e airport pa lang natin nakakadismaya na! anovah?!

nuff!

o~o

i’m already knackered, but i can’t sleep yet. i have to finish my deliverables in the office so i can hit boracay’s waters this weekend without guilt. otherwise my neck is on the line next week! hahaha!

ahhh! the things you’d do in the name of a weekend getaway! :-)

but how can i focus to finish my work when all i can think about is our boracay dive trip :-) woohoo! scubarats here we go!


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