Bohol, In the Eyes of a First-Time Beholder
Text by Raymund Magno Garlítos
Perched on a very young palm tree, the tarsier fidgeted as I aimed my camera on its direction. It was only a few centimeters away, so easy to touch and yet I reminded myself to avoid the temptation. I read in an article how traumatizing it can be for these velvety creatures to be held, that they would hurt themselves to death after being “violated” by curious tourists who are never content with taking pictures. So imagine my surprise when it landed very near me to catch the cricket hiding behind the leaves. Without even thinking, I brushed my fingers on its brown fur in what seemed to be a second or two; it didn’t flinch, but the click of the camera (there was no flash since it was daytime) alerted it, and it darted back to its highest hiding place in the palm tree.
Like that unlikely encounter with the tarsier, my trip to Bohol was something worthy to remember. Thanks to the invitation of a friend, poet and journalist Michael Ortega Ligalig, my memory of Bohol was not limited to beaches, Chocolate Hills, and yes, tarsiers. But there is no denying that Bohol is teeming with natural and man-made assets. If you are artsy and into culture, Bohol can offer you a lot with its cultural and historical riches. If you are into nature and adventure, there are surprises that the island can offer.
Churches and Heritage Houses
For somebody like me who is fascinated with old things and history, Bohol is like a gold mine with its old churches and heritage houses. Almost all of the 47 towns have old, massive, stone churches that have survived natural ravages, wars and even climate change. I asked to be brought to some of the most fascinating ones, like the Baclayon and Loboc churches.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception or the Baclayon Church is one of the country’s oldest churches. First built in 1595, the Jesuit frailes built the Neoclassic structure piece by piece...
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