Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:47 am Phil. Time

Tourist Spots

LOBOC RIVER CRUISE

Local and foreign tourists who visit the town of Loboc must always include a cruise along the scenic and winding Loboc River, wherein lunch could only be on board on one of the town’s native floating restaurants that serves fresh seafood and native dishes. A cruise along the emerald green Loboc River starts either from the Loay Bridge or at the town’s Poblacion. The motorized bancas and the floating restaurants take cruisers upstream passing by nipa trees, coconuts and other tropical flora. The town of Loboc is about 24 kilometers from the city.

TARSIER

The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), estimated to be 45 million years old and known to be the smallest primate. It’s home is in Bohol. It has gray fur and nearly gray tail. Tarsiers are named as such because of their special elongated tarsal bones, which form their ankles and enable them to leap to almost 10 feet from tree to tree. Their long, partly hairless tail arcs over their back when they hop on the ground. Tarsiers are small and weigh only about 110 to 145 grams or 4 to 5 ounces. The most notable feature of tarsiers is their eyes, which are each bigger than its entire brain. Like owls, tarsiers can rotate their head almost 180 degrees in each direction. They hunt at night exclusively for animal prey and their diet includes insects such as cockroaches, crickets and small lizards.

Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary

The Tarsier Trail starts at the Tarsier Research and Development Center set up by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation in Canapnapan, Corella. See the tarsiers live and roam freely in their natural habitat. The Tarsier Sanctuary is located in Corella town about 10 kilometers north of Tagbilaran City.

OLD CHURCHES

BACLAYON CHURCH is the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon town. The Baclayon Church is considered to be the oldest stone church in the Philippines. It is one of the best preserved Jesuit build churches in the region, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church. The first Spanish missionaries or doctrineros in the region,Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, first settled in Baclayon in 1595. Shortly after their arrival, a visita was erected on the spot. Although Baclayon was the first seat of the Spanish Jesuit missionaries, fear of Moro mauraders soon forced them to move their headquarters more inland, to Loboc. Only in 1717, Baclayon became a parish, and construction of a new church commenced. The church was constructed from coral stones. The laborers used bamboo to move and lift the stones in position, and used the white of a million eggs as to cement the stones together. The current building was completed in 1727. The church obtained a large bell in 1835. Beside the church is the Baclayon Museum that holds remarkable collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments and other priceless 16th century relics and artifacts. The Baclayon Church is about 7 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

LOBOC CHURCH is the Church of San Pedro in Loboc, Bohol. It is the second oldest church in Bohol built in 1608, but soon reduced to ashes. In 1638, a stronger one was build. Located near the river, it has survived a number of floods. Inside the church, you can admire some remarkable naive paintings on the ceiling. With a three storey convent, a Spanish coat of arms canbe found in the stonewall at the entrance of the convent. The church has two facades, the Jesuit-built Baroque façade which is decorated with unfinished medallions depicting saints, and the neoclassical portico added by the Recollects. The bell tower of Loboc is about 100 meters from the church. The convent built behind the church features a balcony with colored glass panes and a gilded ceiling and also has a museum on the third floor. The Loboc Church is about 24 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

BLOOD COMPACT SITE

A marker which identifies the spot where Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, forged a Blood Compact with Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi representing the King of Spain, for the purpose of fostering friendly relations between the countries. The Blood Compact Commemorative Shrine is located in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City. The sculpture depicting this historical promise of friendship is made by National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, a Boholano himself. This historical event happened on March 16, 1565 is commemorated every year in Bohol as the Sandugo Festival in July.

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