Apat – Tagbilaran Beauty Queens

12th Dec 2010, Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines

Morning saw us getting more adventurous, eschewing the chartered ferry and van for public transport. We walked to the village where others were waiting for the public bangka to take them to Cebu mainland.

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Yellow buses from Ceres Liner greeted us at the Cebu side, ready to bring passengers down south. I quite like the buses, even though they were non-aircon, the big windows allowed me to look out and take in the sights and smells. The bus driver’s route meandering around town also lets me see more.

The big city (relatively) of Cebu City is completely different from Malapascua’s laid back charm. We had a plan though, and skipped the city for later, instead heading straight to the port for our fast ferry to Bohol. Supercat’s ticket office, and subsequent check-in and waiting area were comfortable, modern and sees many tourists, evident in the multiple nationalities sitting inside this ferry right now with me.

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Reached Tagbilaran city, spent the rest of the day there. We took a 50 peso trishaw to Chriscentville Hotel, in the city centre for a 1200 peso room. Went to explore the surrounding malls, BQ Mall is a 5 storey mall which looks like the majordomo mall out here. That’s where i had Halo-halo, ice shavings and sugar and toppings, very much like our local Ais Kachang. More charming is Tagbilaran City Square, adjacent to it. This mall looks older and more run down, but then I’m biaised, because TCS was the location of Miss Dunkin Donuts 2010! We were shopping and minding our own business when the commotion on the second floor atrium signalled the start of the pageant. We stayed 2.5 hours to watch the beauty pageant from start to finish. My favourite, contestant number 8, won top honours!

Here’s the intro video, if you can’t see it, go to http://www.thefuriouspanda.com/search/label/tagbilaran

Practicalities:
It’s a 10 minute walk from Exotic to the village where the public boat sets off, just ask anyone for directions. The ferry ticket is 50 pesos one way, and at low tide, you need to pay 10 pesos on each bank for the little boat (tundas) to take you from shore to the ferry. First ferry sets off at 630am, so it makes sense to be at the ferry station (which is nothing more than a covered tent) at around 615am. The ferry bangka itself is about 40 minutes.

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At Maya, its a 95 peso, 4.5 hour bus ride with stops down to Cebu city. The bus is the yellow Ceres Liner, non-airconditioned. The bus stops outside SM Plaza in Cebu City.

From there, I took a 5 minute taxi ride to the pier. Always metered, starting meter price is 30 peso. In total it was around 50 peso, excluding a 10 peso port entrance fee.

Pier 4, where Supercat and Weesam have services to Tagbilaran, on Bohol. Pier 1 is where Oceanjet’s service start from. At Pier 4, I took Supercat, 535 pesos, a 1.5 hour fast ferry ride to Tagbilaran port. The ferry leaves at 1230pm, other timings also available on the bohol website.

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