Notes by yeyette on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 under Visayas
After at CHAPS, we went to Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex and it was already very windy. There was an entrance fee of Php50 (USD1.15). There are 214 steps before you can go to the peak and the roof are already swaying. I just stayed for around 5 minutes on top. The wind was getting stronger. As I went down, the roof was almost already taken out by the wind.
The peak was badly hit by an earthquake happened way back 2013 at magnitude 7.2 but it was still haven’t fix until today (October 2014).
But still, the surrounding is perfect!
Carmen Bohol Chocolate Hills
The driver send me back to the market where I need to take a bus going to Panglao. He asked Php200 (USD4.50) which is good for 2 pax. It should be only Php100 (USD2.25) but he said we went to CHAPS and Carmen Chocolate Hills has a separate rate. Meaning, he drove me in different place, when in fact, Carmen Chocolate Hills is less than 10 minutes drive from CHAPS, same direction. I just pay him and walked away. If you travel, deal with the driver first unless you are willing to pay a hefty price.
I waited for a bus when an old man approached me and said enthusiastically, in English:
Him: (In all smile) Good morning Ma’am! Where are you going?
Me: (I answered him in fluent Bisaya, grinning) Adto ko Panglao ‘Nong. (I’m going to Panglao, Uncle. Uncle in Filipino is Manong. In Bisaya, we can say it in shortcut which is ‘Nong).
Him: (Surprised) Aw, bisaya diay ka Ma’am. (Oh, you’re a Bisaya).
Me: Oo ‘Nong. Unsa diay imong pagtoo, Chinese ko? (Yes Uncle. You think I’m Chinese?)
Him: Dili Ma’am, abi nako Haponesa ka. (No Ma’am, I thought you are a Japanese).
Me: Ahhhh… Abi nako Koreana. (Ahh… I thought I looked like a Korean).
That leads him and the other people laugh who are listening to us. That also leads him to guide me what to ride to Panglao. Talking to friendly strangers are great!
There are a lot of buses to Panglao from Carmen. There are also vans and motorcycles. Motorcycles asked for a hefty price. The man told me it will cost around Php800 to Php1,000 (USD18 to USD22.50) for an hour ride while a van will costs higher if you are alone. Bus was only Php60 (USD1.35) but expect a delay due to stops. I was able to take a bus at 4:30 and it was a peak hour. I told the conductor (fare collector) to drop me to the gasoline station or “multicaban” (as per the man told me). The conductor just looked at me and didn’t say anything. I told to myself, “Sungit naman nito”. My estimated time of arrival to Tagbilaran is 7PM. Carmen to Tagbilaran is only 2 hours drive. It’s already 7PM and we are still on the road. The hotel emailed me a day before of my ETA and I told them around 7PM. I don’t have a Philippine sim card and no internet as well. I asked the person beside me if we are already near to Tagbilaran. He didn’t smile and told me we are still 18 kilometers away. TF! How would I know how far 18 kilometers is? I just sigh with his answer. He then said, still frowning, “Why did you go home late?”. I was like, “OMG, there are even students inside the bus and he asked me that? Am I a kid?” Well, maybe I looked like a kid with a big bag, haha. I gave him a shy smile and told him I have a delayed travel from Cebu to Bohol because of typhoon and I went ahead to see the Chocolate Hills. He’s still not smiling. I think he doesn’t know how to smile. But he was kind enough to tell me that I can put the bag on his lap. I said I am fine, maybe he sense that I am not comfortable with it, so he just let his other left leg support my bag. After a few minutes, he went down. What I didn’t know was that he told the conductor where to drop me.
The conductor approached me and told me that he can only drop me if there are still “multicabs” in the station. If not, he will drop me to the market where there are “habal-habal” (passenger motorcycle). Jeepneys to different area in Panglao is only until 7PM. It’s already 8PM. Luckily, there are still 2 multicabs left going to Panglao. I asked the lady beside me how to go to Tawala (the address of my hotel). She said to stop at Panglao market because the multicab is only until Panglao highways. From there, I should take “habal-habal”. The fare of multicab to Panglao market was Php30 (USD0.70). It was past 8PM and I’m hungry. I felt a sudden pain in my tummy and I need to buy an ointment. When we arrived that seems to be a market, I asked the lady if it is the market going to Tawala and she said yes. I saw a small store and bought an ointment. I asked the saleslady how to go to Tawala and she said just take a motorcycle. Her mother who sat outside told her to call a driver that they know because it’s already dark. Her daughter obliged and called their friend. I bid good bye and said thank you with a tired smile.
I talked to the driver regarding the way of transportation in Panglao. He said that the jeepneys, after they drop all the passenger even though it’s not 7Pm yet, will not go back. So, motorcycles are a big help for the tourists and vice versa. They will operate until 12midnight or as long as there are still tourists. The motorcycle fare to my hotel was Php30 (USD0.70) but I gave him Php50 (USD1.15). The road was good but dark.
I arrived at Regents Park Panglao at 9PM. There is a deposit of Php500 (USD11.25) in case there will be a damage in the room upon check-out. I booked Regents Park thru booking.com last September 6, 2014 in the amount of Php3,392.86 (USD76.40) for 2 nights and a 12% VAT is not yet included. The card that I used bounced back. I waited the hotel to cancel my booking because I am still looking for other options. Last Sept. 18, 2014, booking.com emailed me that the prices of hotels went down. I checked the email and saw Regents Park go down as well. I emailed their customer service if it is possible to cancel my booking but I will book the same room at a lower price as per booking.com‘s website. I received a reply a day after that it would be possible. I was a happy customer because I only paid Php3,400 (USD76.60) including VAT for 3D2N.
My room was at the annex, near the side road but is was not noisy. I was hungry and found the menu on the table but there was no telephone inside the room. I went down and ordered Brocolli soup which was Php160 (USD3.60). I still have some bread anyway. I told the waiter that I will bring my food upstairs. I also told the reception that there was no phone in my room. He seems unease and I told him not to mind. He asked if it is okay and I said yes. There was a free wifi but you have to get out of your room. Their tap-water is salty so expect a salty water when you brush your teeth. Aside from that, everything was okay.
The hotel pool: