I watch in amazement as Roel, a known local biker here in Bohol, gains momentum and speed as his bike descends on the rough slope leading to a short ramp which is the start of the biker’s trail. For a moment he and his bike were suspended in the air and instantly he dashes on a curve on to the rough mountain bike trail of Mongo-ol, Baclayon, Bohol. I know how to bike, but Roel, along with his fellow bikers here really know how to ride their mountain bikes easily on this mountain trail like riding on a pavement. They make it look so easy.
I felt like a kid again with a new toy as I stepped on the gas and feel the engines surge as it rev up and cuts the wind heavily as my dune buggy speeds up on the rough trail. I held on the wheel as I turn on a corner, veering towards my left. Woah! There’s a cliff with a high drop on my right. Scary but I took the challenge and drove on the rocky and dusty trail despite the fear. Now this is what I call fun, I never thought there would be a Dune Buggy Trail Ride offering in Baclayon. It is certainly something different and new for this part of Bohol.
Still high from that amazing superpod dolphin sighting, our outrigger boat blasted its pump to the shores of Pamilacan Island. This small island is less frequented by tourist who would rather stay at the posh and becoming overdeveloped island of Panglao. Which means it still has that rustic, tropical island feel which I liked. Open cottages, fisher folks with carefree family and a nice stretch of white sand beach that makes 80% of the island’s shoreline. Now I’m yearning for some snorkeling.
I’m glad I was staying at Peacock Garden in Baclayon and only had to wake up around 4:30am to prepare for our early morning boat ride to Pamilacan Island. I met my young host couple at the reception and they will accompany me on this island trip. Grabbing our bags of towels and packed breakfast, we rode our Van and drove for only 10 minutes (or less) to the Baclayon Baluarte (port).
From the main coastal road of Baclayon, Bohol, just a few minutes past the Baclayon Church and Baluarte, our van took a left turn on a narrow road. We passed through a small community as we ascend taking a couple of turns on the road. It seems a distance away from the main road, I thought. But suddenly on my right I saw a large yellow gate with no pedestrian entrance. It opened to let the van through and I saw this large manicured garden with well cut grass and placed trees. Then on a higher ground stands a mansion that seemed to have been plucked out from a scene in Europe. Everything seems so elegant. I had no idea Bohol was hiding another wonder beyond what it is known for, I thought as I walk the grounds of the Peacock Garden Luxury Boutique Resort.
It’s a funny thing since I’ve been to Bohol several times but I never got to see the Chocolate Hills from that famous view deck in Carmen, Bohol. So l let myself be a tourist for the day. Joining in a bus load of media people who hosted and participated on the Survivor Challenge and get led like a flock of sheep around some of Bohol’s touristy side.
It was an unexpected but a welcome surprise when I found out that Acer would be bringing us to Bohol for their annual Acer Media Challenge with this year’s theme “Survival of the Explorers“. Funny thing is, when we got there I’ll be going back the next day at the same resort where we were staying for a project after the Acer event. Call it coincidence or whatnot because Acer has been tight lip about the destination until the day itself. While it would have been convenient if I had known so I didn’t have to go back to Manila and get my gears, I didn’t mind. Besides it’s good to stock up on some miles.