7-Days Bohol+Cebu+Negros Oriental DIY Itinerary with Family (Honoring Parents with a Trip)

I’ve noticed that most travelers nowadays travel solo or with friends/acquaintances who have similar age and interests. There’s nothing wrong with that but I think it’s also best to share the same activity with parents or family [if we can (financially) and while they can (physically)]. If you know someone or if you are planning for a worthwhile activity that you can cherish all your life, why not treat parents/family once in a while and create beautiful and long-lasting memories.

In this blog, let me share about how I organized a spectacular travel with a goal of honoring parents through this worthwhile trip. Here, I will talk about it in three parts–PART 1, The Profile of Travelers, PART 2 – The 5-Day Itinerary, and PART 3-Where to Stay. All of these are only based on my research and actual experience. So let’s get started!

Part 1 | THE PROFILE OF TRAVELERS

No. of Travel Planner 1 budget traveler
Total No. of Travelers 4
Age 25-60
Point of Origin Baguio City (6-8hrs to Manila) &
Nueva Ecija (4hrs to Manila)
Destination Cebu->Bohol->Negros Oriental
No. of Days 5 days of adventure; 2 days travel time
Remarks Parent 1: First Plane Ride
Parent 2: First Domestic Flight
Sibling: First Plane Ride
  Parent 1: No previous adventure
Parent 2: Limited physical activities in the past few months
10% swimming skills
  FIRST TIME IN CEBU, BOHOL & NEGROS ORIENTAL
Goal To honor parents with a special trip by showing them how beautiful Philippines is (while they can walk and run) 🙂

I only have limited resources but with a good plan, I worked and saved up for this. Hence, there’s no excuse for me not to let them experience it in 2017.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: FEBRUARY 2017! PTL! ^_^

Part 2 | THE 5-DAY ITINERARY

Here is a summary of our DIY itinerary to Bohol+Cebu+Negros Oriental, Philippines. A travel full of wonderful memories. I have saved some videos to  keep myself reminded how beautiful it is to spend quality time with family.

DAY 0

Travel time (Baguio/Nueva Ecija–> NAIA–>Cebu)

DAY 1

Travel Highlights:
Blood Compact Site, Baclayon Church, Loboc River Cruise, Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Breeding Area, ATV Ride, Dumaluan White Beach

Means of Transportation:
Van Rental (Actual): Php2300
Contact: Cresente “Cris” Balaba 0920-885-3635

Itinerary:
Tagbilaran Port–>Blood Compact Site –>Baclayon Church–> Loboc River–> Tarsier Breeding Area–> Chocolate Hills–> ATV Ride–> Ship Haus–> Dumaluan White Beach–> Hennan Resort-Alona Beach–>Henann Beach Resort (Alona Beach)

DAY 2

  • Bohol Part 2 (Hennan Resort–Alona Beach)

Travel Highlights:
Henann Resort/Alona Beach

Means of Transportation:
Van Rental (Hotel to Tagbilaran Port): Php600
Contact: Cresente “Cris” Balaba 0920-885-3635

Itinerary:
Hotel –> Tagbilaran Port–>Argao–>Tanawan

DAY 3

Travel Highlights:
Whale Shark Watching + Snorkeling, Binalayan Hidden Falls, Sumilon Island

Means of Transportation:
On foot (Whale Shark Watching)
Car Rental (Binalayan Hidden Falls): Php800
Boat Rental (Sumilon Island): Php1500
Bus (Tanawan to Liloan Port): 120 (4pax)
Bus (Sibulan Port to Bais City): 200 (4pax)

Itinerary
Whale Shark Watching–>Binalayan Hidden Falls–>Sumilon Island–>Liloan Port–>Sibulan Port–>Bais City

DAY 4

Travel Highlights:
Manjuyod Sandbar, Dolphin Watching

Means of Transportation:
Boat Rental (Dolphin Watching & Manjuyod Sandbar): Php2700

Itinerary:
Dolphin Watching @7AM–> Manjuyod Sandbar (Bais City) @ 8:40AM

DAY 5

Travel Highlights:
Rest time. Dumaguete Food trip. Travel back to Cebu city.
I could do a lot of activities for this day if I’d want to but I’m with parents, lets be considerate 🙂 We had too much activities in the past few days and we need to recharge.

Means of Transportation
Bus (Bais to Sibulan Port) Php200-4pax
Ferry (Sibulan to Liloan) Php180-4pax
Bus (Liloan to Cebu City) Php800-4pax

Itinerary:
Rest time–>Dumaguete Food trip–>Sibulan Port–>Travel back to Cebu city.

DAY 6

  • Cebu Part 4 (Cebu City Tour)

Travel Highlights:
Cebu Heritage Monument, Cebu Cathedral, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, shopping/pasalubong, food trip

Means of Transportation:
On foot (few minutes walking distance from the hotel)

*In the original itinerary I prepared, we were supposed to visit the Taoist Temple and the Temple of Leah (however, we skipped them due to travel buddies’ preference. Instead, we went around shopping affordable but quality stuff) nawili sa pamimili 😀

DAY 7

Travel time from Cebu–>Manila->Baguio/Nueva Ecija

Part 3 | WHERE TO STAY

Day 0
We arrived at around 10PM and went directly to the pension house.
Robe’s Pension House: http://www.robespensionhouse.com/
Cebu Guesthouse: http://www.cebuguesthouse.com/

How to get there:
Ride a taxi from the airport.

Day 1
Henann Resort in Alona Beach: http://henann.com/bohol/henannalonabeach/
We arrived in Tagbilaran at around 9AM. After the Countryside Tour, we went directly to the hotel that we booked. This is a little bit pricey compared to others but this is part of the Parents’ Treat factor. We stayed at one of the Pool Villas with its own private plunge pool and veranda and it was great! We also indulged ourselves with sumptuous buffet meal. My travel buddies enjoyed it and didn’t want to leave.

How to get there:

We rented a van for the Countryside tour and the driver agreed to drop us off at the hotel after the tour.

Day 2
Chateau de Tan-Awan: 0917 912 7783
Here’s the Facebook Page

It’s walking distance to the Oslob Whale Shark Watching area!
If you are a budget traveler, this one is for you. It’s a home away from home. The hosts are very accommodating and kind. Highly recommended. There are also other budget accommodations around the area.

How to get there:
If you ride a bus going to Liloan from Cebu South Bus Terminal, tell the driver/‘konduktor’ to drop you off to Chateau de Tan-Awan (in front of Tan-Awan Elementary School) in Oslob. It’s along the national highway.

Day 3-4
Casa Sandoval Pension & Restaurant: 0917 777 0826
Here’s the Facebook Page
Email: casasandovalpension@gmail.com
Nearly an hour bus ride from Sibulan Port, the place along the national highway. We chose to stay here in order to be early the next day for Majuyod Sandbar. We didn’t want to miss it.

How to get there:

From Sibulan Port, we walked our way to the national road. We ignored the tricycles parked in front of the port knowing that it’s just close (based on research.. and it is!). Go to the Bus Stop near Birdies’ bakery shop.  Ride a bus going to Manjuyod, Bacolod or San Carlos. Ask the driver to drop you off the Bus stop near Jollibee in Bais. Walk/Ride a tricycle to Casa Sandoval (if the bus strictly unload passengers at the bus stop). It’s just along the highway.

Day 5-6
Cebu View Tourist Inn: http://www.cebuviewtouristinn.com/
(032) 254 8333
Sogo Hotel: http://hotelsogo.com/branch/cebu.html
Reason for choosing this is its proximity from the South Bus Terminal. As I mentioned, no one among us has traveled here before. So, staying near landmarks is best for us. It is 5-8 minute walking distance but if you carry a lot of stuff, you can ride a taxi parked near the bus terminal.

How to get there:
Option 1- Check the google maps and follow the lead 😀
Option 2- Ask locals
Option 3-ride a taxi
Option 4- Combination of 1&2

Day 7
HOME SWEET HOME!

There you have the formula! 🙂 Plan>Work>Save>Explore/Travel

We travel not to escape life but for LIFE not to escape us.
In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

 👣 The Official Traveler

5 Lessons From Our Autumn 🍁 Trip To South Korea

Teacher. Researcher. Soul-winner. Musician. Volunteer. Blogger. Traveler. No matter how busy we are, we should not forget to take time to see the beauty all around us–I call it ‘de-stressing’. I applied for my visa and booked my ticket together with my camera, backpack and small luggage to chase the beautiful autumn colors in South Korea. I usually travel alone but this time, I travelled with new travel buddies (Planned Travel: 6 ; Actual Travel: 3). What happened? It was not as easy as it used to be.. but I finally got over it. Lessons are learned. ^_^ After this trip I’ve realized, I should run my own travel agency 😀 I am writing this so some might learn from this experience.

hello-autumn

A year ago, we already booked our ticket for a price of USD231.45 for 4 people (it’s the cheapest promo we’ve got!) but we still didn’t have our visa at that time. A month before our travel, we started to prepare our documents according to what is required form each of us from the Korean embassy. We planned to travel as a group but due to our personal and professional schedules and consolidation of visa requirements, we could not submit our documents together to apply for visa as a group. Person B + 1 Child applied first (result is out after 5 days); then Person C (result is out after 3 days); then Person A + 1 Child (result is out after 5 days). The latter lacks ITR because she is new to her job so they had to write a written letter of explanation to the Consul.

The outcome:

Profile Visa Status
Person A + 1 Child Person A never traveled outside the country; new job (no previous formal job); employer cannot provide ITR; bank certificate–ok; bank statement–ok; COE–ok; the child never traveled outside the country Denied

Denied

Person B + 1 Child Person B traveled to Korea at least once; has ‘denied’ visa to 1 OECD country; complete visa requirements; the child never traveled outside the country Single-entry visa

Single-entry visa

Person C Person C Self-employed; Traveled to Korea twice; traveled to OECD countries; COE–ok; Bank statement–ok; Bank certificate–ok; no ITR provided this time Multiple visa (3 years)
Person D Visa Requirements= No problem; permanent employee; she just decided to cancel her trip *Did not apply for visa

Okay! So, when you are planning to travel with your friends or family, make sure everything is planned and well-prepared so as not to cause any trouble with anyone in the group  and otherwise it might cost you a lot of money. Here are some tips to get you started:

Lesson 1: if you plan to travel to Korea or any country requiring a visa, plan to travel first to cheaper destinations such as Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau to get a passport stamp. This will increase your travel credibility through your travel records.

Lesson 2: if you are not employed and you want to travel to a visa-requiring country, get a job first. Before you commit though, ask if the employer or the company is providing ITR or BIR 2307 or BIR 2316 form. If not, find another job available. Without ITR, it would be difficult for you to hit your travel goal. Give yourself at least 6 months-1 year in this job then you can confidently request for an ITR.

Lesson 3. if you do not have a bank account yet, open now! Not only you will need to save up for your travel but also the Korean embassy requires an Average Daily Balance. Meaning to say, your bank account should be at least 6 months old. If you are curious what is the safe amount to put in this account–put at least 2-3 months of your monthly salary. If I were the officer at the embassy, I would check if your monthly salary commensurate  your savings.

Lesson 4. Do not book your ticket or accommodations before applying for a visa especially if you are a first-time traveler. Save yourself from costs and headache. You might not know until you get the result. There are a lot of accommodations in South Korea and the rate is most likely fixed so nothing to worry about.

Lesson 5. Don’t miss your flight! Traffic jam is unacceptable excuse. I arrived few minutes (5 minutes to be exact) after the start of boarding time. The plane had not departed yet (the security even told me that the departure time would be delayed) however the airline attendant did not allow me to pass through no matter how I plead so I had to rebook my flight and refund my unused ticket.

LESSONS learned! All throughout the preparation up to the implementation, bear these three things in mind: BE PREPARED, BE CONSISTENT and DON’T BE LATE. I cannot emphasize it any further. Autumn is a beautiful season. Don’t miss it! Wish you best in your next travel!

dscn3993

This photo is taken in Gyeongbokgung, Seoul, South Korea

Happy Autumn,

👣 The Official Traveler