Wednesday, April 22, 2009

the wonders of the River Loboc

a summer favorite

Bohol is often compared to Cebu. Unsurprisingly, the smaller and quieter province that is Bohol might pale in comparison to the flashier and richer state that is Cebu. Cebu can match and debatably exceed what Bohol has to offer – think of beach resorts, centuries-old churches, business buzz, cosmopolitan and entertainment sophistication. But not really. When it comes to natural bounties, Bohol can easily outshine Cebu. Here’s just a short litany of Bohol’s natural wonders that Cebu could envy: wider reefs and sandbars, taller waterfalls, larger caverns, more exotic fauna.

the tarsiers at the banks of Loboc are a popular attraction

Loboc River, Bohol
typical scene alongside Loboc River

And let me add, the River that is Loboc. For all of Cebu’s chutzpah, my home province sorely lacks a raging voluminous freshwater river that has the size in life and energy of Loboc.

portrait of a boy who hitched a ride in our river cruise

I admit I must have taken Loboc River cruises at least four times and I never tire of repeating the upstream ride. Who could not enjoy the enveloping lushness of the bamboo thickets and fruit tree forest, the deepening crescendo of the river currents and the soothing coolness of being in the heart of a world of water and greens? Whether I pick the commercial floating restaurants which are are actually two native catamarans bound and boarded together (note: they offer buffets and live entertainment to boot) or opt for the smaller and cheaper banca, I always try to straight up to the wildly charging Busay Falls.

the Busay Falls which marks the end of the Loboc River cruise

Luck must be on Loboc’s side as it has more than its share of attractions than most other parts of the province. This town is known as a haven of the famous tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world. Its church, the St. Peter the Apostle, boasts of fantastic murals, relieves and history. It also serves as the base of the world famous Loboc Children's Choir which supports the town claim as the music capital of Bohol.

Loboc is known as the music capital of Bohol

Loboc Church, as viewed from the Loboc River, Bohol
the Church of St Peter, the Apostle, as seen from the riverside

For all these bragging rights, I still dare say that nothing compares to the joy of the cruise. I play favorites and I love the river most.

playful local boys often joyride on the river cruises

To go to Loboc: Loboc is only some 24 kilometers or 40 minutes ride from the capital Tagbilaran City. Take the jeepney, mini-bus or habal-habal motorcycle.

Loboc, in sepia

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