Sunday, June 29, 2014

‘Kumusta’ Hello

It is over a month I have been in Tagbilaran, Bohol province. I had a chance to go on a trip traveling around Bohol with my roommate’s nieces and nephew who came to visit their aunt on the weekend. In Bohol, there is no other tourist destination more famous than Chocolate Hills. Chocolate Hills is composed of over a thousand perfectly cone-shaped hills, located in the province’s central area. The hills are covered with green grass which turns to chocolate brown during summer. It is a fascinating natural wonder; however, what I am excited most is that finally, I have seen the Philippine tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world, in the Tarsier Conservation Area. Tarsiers are only found on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Their small size makes them difficult to spot. The name tarsier is taken from its extremely long tarsus bone. They are able to rotate their head 180 to compensate for their immovable eyeballs!  Other landmarks we visited are Blood Compact Monument, Baclayon Church, Simply Butterflies Conservation Center, and Hanging Bridge. We also drove past Mahogany Forest and took a photo shot with ShipHaus. On the next day, we spent a whole day at Dumaluan Beach on Panglao Island. It is a long stretches of powdery sand beach and crystal clear water. What I learned here is that no other souvenir is as good as your foot getting stung by sea urchin. Fortunately, I am doing fine now. Besides, we went on kayaking. I must say it was a tiring weekend but fun!
Chocolate Hills
Dumaluan Beach
I am not only on traveling, at least. This month I have visited CEVI’s branches in Ormoc and Dulag which are on Leyte Island. Therefore, it is my first experience for islands hopping. I even slept overnight on a boat. In order to go to Leyte, I and my lovely Filipino work partner, Tessa, must take a ferry to Cebu Island first, then take another Ferry to Leyte Island. During CEVI's branch visits, I have just learned that each town here in the Philippines has different styles of the Tricycle. So, I don’t miss taking photo each design I saw. I still see debris of houses, churches, and hospitals hit by typhoon Haiyan, particularly in the Dulag area. I am thankful that at least, there are Red Cross, UNICEF, World Vision, and other Non-profit organizations including CEVI helping these victims recover.

My story will not end if I have not talked about local food and desserts yet. In my opinion, most Filipino foods taste pretty much sweet, but I really like chicken adobo my roommate cooks. I definitely will ask her to teach me how to cook it before I leave. I tried a few desserts such as Halo-halo, Leche Flan and Suman Maron. Still, there is another interesting common street food here I must introduce. It is called balot, a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is sold only at night along the street, so people will not disgust it while eating. Is that surprising?


Suman Maron
‘Salamat’ Thank you for reading my story and other WDI fellows’ inspiring stories 

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