“This is what summer is all about”
Let me dance with you
Oh, summer breeze!
Let me feel the sands
And the waters caress
my skin and feed my soul
down to the deep.
- Like a couch potato
- How it all started
- Economy with first class joy and laughter
- At the town of Tubigon
- Strolling around
- The heat of the sun
- Need more proof?
- A little retreat house
- Boholano's hospitality in action
- Good morning Bohol!
- Sagbayan Peak
- Jump shot?
- “And waters do caress my skin and feed my soul down to the deep.”
- "Not here for a swim."
- What Summer is all about
Like a couch potato
Summer indeed is fast approaching in this wonderful tropical country, Philippines. The heat of the sun says it all. The magical scent of summer breeze just makes one want to dance with it. It is time to enjoy outdoors and come out from the shadows. After all, caving in is never this season’s trend.
Enjoying summer need not be expensive. All you need is check on alternative options, see available resources and of course make sure that you love the company you are with. I am talking about a wonderful summer experience with the most awesome people in my life- my friends.
I was watching ASAP. A variety show aired every Sunday noon by one the biggest stations in the Philippines. I love how they recognized Charice Pempengco as a Filipino pride. If you remember the 16- year old singer who appeared in Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres show, that was our very own Charice.
How it all started
The show was totally entertaining and uplifting. I thought of ending the day with a smile on my face knowing that we are world class until my phone rang:
“You have 15 minutes to pack your stuff.” We are going to Bohol.
That was exactly what the voice said while I was holding the phone’s cradle sitting like a couch potato. I recognized where the voice was coming from and I knew that the question: “To go or not to go” will never be an option. My friends really can drive me nuts from time to time. I do the same thing to them at some points too reason why I cannot complain. It has always been our group’s culture. Something we do out of knowing each other well and everyone’s company feels like home. Checking my wallet, I found out that it’s “Tingbits time.” This is a time when regular employees like myself almost run out of funds waiting of the next pay check. Tingbits is a slang term for Cebuano: Tingbitay. “ Tingbitay napud” is used as an idiomatic expression. It is when a person feels hanging on a cliff with just one arm holding its whole body from falling. It is exactly the feeling when you have to stretch your funds to survive a few days’ expenses before getting the next pay.
Then I answered:
“I am running out of funds. All I have is a less than 800 bucks if I want to spend extra for myself.”
I never said no. As I mentioned it’s never an option. Bohol is a neighboring island of Cebu. It is just an hour to two hours ride away from Cebu and the ferry itself costs more than 500 pesos per way (Cebu to Tagbilaran, Bohol) and of course the accommodation and food is not for free. My friend’s voice laughed and said:
“You have just enough.”
Who would believe my friend’s words when in fact I’ve been to Bohol? Believing that I’ll get a treat for me ( free trip to Bohol), I packed my stuff and headed to the port.
Economy with first class joy and laughter
Instead of Cebu to Tagbilaran, we took the Cebu to Tubigon route (another Bohol port) with cheaper rate. It was just 200.00 pesos for one way. I was totally amazed because I calculated that I only needed to pay 400 pesos for a round trip fare. Smiles were all over my face while enjoying the company inside the ferry. Our friendly bonding always involves taking photos of ourselves.
At the town of Tubigon
After an hour ride, we reached Tubigon and we found out that it was their town’s annual fiesta. What we saw was the float of one of the famous ointment brands in the Philippines with Ms. Tubigon waiving her hand.
With the festive spirit of the place, who wouldn’t be enticed in joining the parade and eat some street coolers?
The heat of the sun
Forgive me; it was a hot summer day so I had an umbrella to protect my skin. My friends laugh at it but it has always been my trademark.
We had a lot of fun while inside the vehicle. We never expected that it will be crowded by people. There were passengers all over it, even on the roof. Gifted with Cebuano’s love to laugh nature (from The Cebuano that I know article), we still had fun out of it. Actually, a lot of fun by secretly taking photos of the foot on top.
Need more proof?
Inconvenient? Yes. Fun? Very much!
Indeed, we learned a different way to travel Bohol not just go with the conveniences of renting a van for an island tour. Sometimes, experiencing this, is not just touring the place but also exploring people dwelling in it as well.
A little retreat house
We arrived at late afternoon. Her uncle’s house has a fish pond in front of it with beautiful landscapes. We explored the place and got amazed by how it was maintained. We even thought to go on swimming at the pond as the water in front of the house's veranda was so enticing. We just stopped ourselves because putting such crazy thoughts in action will be way too much. We thought of skin allergy, that’s the only thing that stopped us though.
Boholano's hospitality in action
At dinner, one of the kind neighbors gave us delicious coconut fruits. This is Boholano's hospitality in action. As soon as they knew that we came from Cebu, we just get knocks on the door asking if we have rice or something to eat. Someone even offered to prepare native chicken soup for us. We gently refused the offer though as we also have food to consume from the house's kitchen.
After dinner, we had fun breaking some coconut shells and had a toast of it's juice right away. We slept soundly as we indeed had a day full of adventures. Our dreams were all of the laughter and the things we enjoyed along the way.
Good morning Bohol!
Just when you thought our little weekend getaway is over, think again. At five o’clock in the morning, we had a little breakfast and went straight to Sagbayan Peak. It is one of the most famous spot in Bohol. The Chocolate Hills greeted us good morning with the Carabao too. Carabaos are domesticated water buffaloes mostly found in Asian countries. They are called “a farmer’s best friend” because they help in pulling both a plow and the cart used to haul produce to the market. It was just early in the morning so he was caught in act, feeding himself for the day’s hard labor.
The Peak opened at six in the morning and just in time; we were the very first visitors on that day. The entrance fee was only 20 pesos. The view is priceless- Overlooking the Chocolate Hills and seeing how gifted Bohol is with the bounties of nature. Almost everything is green. This is a perfect place to relax.
And of course, who wouldn’t want to dance with the wind or at least fly with it?
“Introducing our jump shot or should I say about to jump shot”
“And waters do caress my skin and feed my soul down to the deep.”
Why should we not forget plunging into the nice Sagbayan Peak WaterPark’s swimming pool? It was a very refreshing place. They have two beautiful swimming pools with cottages around. They have a wonderful clubhouse and the best thing is you are swimming at the Peak.
"Not here for a swim."
Even if you don’t dip into the waters you will still feel the magnetic spirit of nature - from the waters to the mountains above.
I can’t even count how many photos we’ve taken from this trip. I won't even dare. All I know is the memories gathered with "a just enough funds" are priceless. It is always rewarding to have fun while spending less but what counts the most is our strong bond of friendship. Above, is what we call our Family photo.
What Summer is all about
We left Bohol in a hurry to catch an evening shift. Tired but with a grateful heart. Though with less sleep, I remembered doing my job in the most passionate way. Sleep never mattered,all I thought was I had a wonderful getaway- a great fuel to start a week's labor (just like the carabao who feeds himself before starting the day).
Hope you will enjoy this summer too!
Remember that it just took us checking on available cheaper routes (Bohol to Tubigon), choosing a practical mode of transportation (jeepney) and maximizing the resources we have (just like my friend's place to spend less) in order have a wonderful outdoor summer experience. There's is one thing you should not forget:
“Indeed it is not the place nor the timing (tingbits time or not); it's always the company that matters most. Simple joys are indeed big time. The learning and memory gathered is priceless. Something we cherish as gifts of youth. The best way to spend youth is to live, love, laugh with summer heat.”
All the best,