On our way back to Tagbilaran, our next stop was the man-made forest in Bilar (you won’t miss this as it is along the way to Carmen), the first and only of its kind in the country. It is a two-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees, covering at least 860 hectares of land, planted during the 60s as part of a nationwide reforestation program. Most especially for city-dwellers, this offers a very interesting respite where the road is protected from the heat of the sun by interlocking leaves of the greenest shade and the temperature is noticeably cooler. I must say It’s quite commendable how the Boholanos were able to keep this place clean despite the number of tourists that must pass this on a daily basis – or perhaps, the simplistic grandeur of the forest somehow compels a person not to go about trashing the place.
|I still don’t have a decent “diwata” pic in this place|
Another tourist spot we went to is the Sipatan Hanging Bridge – or simply Hanging Bridge – which connects two barangays separated by the Loboc River, and is made up of bamboo and steel ropes suspended some 20 meters from the river. There used to be only one bridge, for the use of the locals who previously had to climb down the steep cliff and use bancas to get to the other side, but after an influx of tourists compromised the safety of the bridge, a second one was built, made up of the same material. There is a souvenir shop at the other side of the bridge and in my last visit, a hut was also there where a native would showcase his talent in ripping of the skin of a coconut using only his teeth. But this time around, only the souvenir shop stands and the hut is nothing but a pile of rubble.
|worried that crossing the bridge with hubby will send us plummeting to the river 😛|
Take note though that the bridge can only support ten people at a time and a fee of Php 10 is collected at the entrance. I don’t really find anything fascinating about this bridge but mainly that’s because there was a time when to reach my grandparents’ house in Bulacan, we had to cross a wide stream using a bridge made of bamboo slats – it was more terrifying than the one in Bohol since it was only four bamboos tied together by rope and one slip means you fall down into the stream. It has since dried down though and there is no more need for the bridge. But I cannot deny that the view of the river from the bridge is quite breath-taking and worth many a shot. And the water is so clean that if you look down, you will see lots of fish swimming.
|The photo does not do the river any justice. You just have to see it!|
We also made a quick stop at a historical monument – the Blood Compact site of Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. There isn’t much to see here, but the bronze monument is very gorgeous and the view of the sea is not t be missed.
We skipped the Clarin Ancestral House, an old, colonial-style house with artifacts from a bygone era. We normally would have visited it, but this house isn’t as well preserved as the ones in Vigan. But you can read all about it from my last visit.