Last Tuesday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Visayan region and destroyed some of the cherished tourism spots in Cebu & Bohol. I am an Ilongga myself and news like this made me worry & anxious for my loved-ones back in Iloilo.
It was a sad news to hear of the lovely Baclayon Church in Bohol ruined. I was privileged to have visited Bohol twice. I still have wonderful memories of my visits. I know we had seen a lot of pictures of destroyed churches & roads of Bohol circulating on social media but I rather remember Bohol’s beauty untarnished. I know we, Filipinos, can get through this sad natural calamity that struck us unexpectedly.
Baclayon Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It hold a lot of old holy relics inside. I remember that I was wearing shorts during my visit there and I have to put on a cloth that was provided by the custodians of the church to respect the holiness of the place of worship. It was beautiful church. You feel the solemnity and peace inside.
One of the highlight of my visit in Bohol is having lunch at their floating restaurant at the Loboc River. How nice it is to eat and listen to beautiful music amidst a lovely calming surrounding nature.
What a fun interlude when we would stop to watch the people of Bohol dance and sing with their cute ukeleles. The smiles of these people reflects a silent resiliency that will surely overcome any test or challenges they will face.
To visit Bohol, you have visit the Chocolate Hills. It was previously among the list of the Seven Wonders of the World. There are pretty brown hills that looks like Hershey’s Kisses from a far. It is called Chocolate Hills because during the dry season, the grass on the hills turned into chocolate brown resembling chocolates.
My friends and family had a great time taking touristy pictures here and we didn’t a thousand jump shots to get that perfect shot. Hahaha! And yes, climbing the steep high stairs to overlook the hills was a struggling exercise for a weakling like me.
If Australia have koalas, Bohol has tarsiers. These cute big-eyed cuddlies are adorable. But don’t flash a camera on them because they will go blind. It so happens that their big eyes are too sensitive to light. I hope they are alright during the earthquake too.
I think Bohol and the rest of the affected Visayas region can pick up the pieces and stand stronger than ever. And who knows it may even soar high like an eagle just like the time when we rode the zipline there in Bohol.
You are still beautiful to me, Bohol! I will visit you again soon. I told my husband I will take him there someday. Thank you for the lovely memories and many more to come.