Bohol lies in the dead center of the Philippines. It has a plethora of attraction such as the chocolate hills, the world smallest primate the tarsier, 16th century churches and abandoned beaches. They were all entiing but we came with a singular purpose – the tiny island of Panglao, off Bohol’s Southern coast.
For the most part it’s a quaint island, filled with family farms and palm forests, but the coral fringed sands of Alona Beach have rocketed Panglao into one of the most popular dive destinations in the Philippines.
We came to Alona Beach via Cebu, the country’s second largest city, where we spent three days unapologetically sleeping in, watching non-stop satellite TV, and pushing our air conditioning unit to new personal records. It was a nice recharge.
We had an eventful arrival day. It started with something we thought impossible in Asia: a visa extension that only took 30 minutes. We were legally ready for five more weeks. We showed up at the ferry, totally unaware of its schedule and found that it would be leaving in a mere 45 minutes, how accommodating! Then we happened to meet two savvy German travellers who guided us through every step to Alona Beach, the cheap way. And there we were. Efficiency is not something we find in abundance on our travels but occasionally the stars align and it seemed to be a good omen of the things to come.