Teresa and I had one day left to immerse ourselves in Bohol’s unique setting and culture. But after days of driving long distances on a motorbike that would inevitably become uncomfortable for the both of us, we needed a morning of R&R before setting out once again.
We found a coffee shop on the edge of Tagbilaran, not far from the pier. Enjoying a couple of strong coffees, we sat back and had what we call a “reading session” for a couple of hours. It was here where I finally finished up Stephen King’s It. Concluding the 1100-page story nearly had me in tears; the man does an incredible job of developing his characters. I felt like I knew every one of them by the end and the moment I turned the last page, I was already missing them like they were a group of old friends. It left me with a faint sense of melancholy that took a bit of time to work itself out.
But work itself out it had to. Bohol was still begging to be explored and we had one last place to visit before our time here was up. Attached by bridge to the island’s mainland is a smaller island called Panglao. Along the southern coast lies the Bohol Bee Farm, a cool little spot that grows organic produce, provides cuisine and accommodation options, and of course is home to an organic bee farm producing some of the tastiest and varied types of honey I’ve ever tried.
We arrived hungry so it was pretty easy to decide what to do first. We walked through the grounds and into the large, open restaurant. Finding a table right along the Bohol Sea, we sat down and opened the menu, browsing through some interesting food selections.
I had to get the flower salad just to say that I did. The flowers themselves weren’t overly flavourful, but the dressing was as vibrant and fruity as the bulk of the salad looked. We also got a crispy fish taco, as well as some tortilla chips with guacamole and a tangy mango spread. Our entrees were massive; I got the organic chicken with some brown rice and a soft spring role on the side. Teresa ordered the creamy seafood linguine. It was all delicious and we were beyond stuffed by the end of it.
Afterwards, we took a short break and then decided to take a half-hour tour of the bee farm. A very enthusiastic young guide took us around the property and explained their small-scale agricultural process. All over the property are potted herbs and greens used in their cooking. A little ways away are where the bees are kept. Our guide talked about the roles of the workers and the queen, letting us hold up the combed colonies as he gave us his spiel.
Afterwards, we went into the shop, each of us buying a couple of items to take back to Canada with us. I got a jar of “hard” honey which had a very thick molasses-like texture, as well as a jar of something more traditional. I enjoyed the entirety of both when I returned home weeks later. Teresa got some natural cosmetic products. We sampled several other types of honey as well. One of the most interesting varieties was infused with spicy chilies.
We stepped outside and bought ourselves some freshly-made ice cream. Teresa got durian and I got dragon fruit. I couldn’t expect to come across fresh dragon fruit ice cream again any time soon so I had to go for it.
It was a very relaxing stay at the Bohol Bee Farm. When we drove back to Tagbilaran, it was beginning to drizzle a little bit. That night, we went for dinner at a little shack along the straight that separates Cebu and Bohol. Almost as soon as we parked and went in, a torrential, thunderous downpour began. After eating, we were stuck here for a good 20 minutes before it died down a little bit, and not by that much. We braved the storm on our motorbike and made it back to Marcelina’s in one piece.
The following morning we had to be up at 5AM to catch a 6 something AM ferry back to Cebu City. We had a late morning flight and were a little anxious about making it to the airport on time, but it worked out in the end. We were on our way to Palawan, our final destination in the Philippines before heading back to Manila and then out of the country. Palawan is as far west as it gets for the island nation, its absolute western point almost touching Malaysian Borneo. It’s the most sparsely populated Filipino island with a lot of untouched land to explore. We still had a little over a week and a half to go with a lot of adventure still ahead of us. See you on the West side.