We’ve moved from the island of Bohol to the island of Panglao, and though that transition involved no more than a short drive over a bridge, it feels like we’re in a different universe. Panglao is the most popular tourist destination in this part of the Philippines, known for beaches and resorts. So while we had very much been experiencing village life on Bohol, we are now shut away from it:
The compound on which we are staying — entirely surrounded by that twelve-foot bamboo fence — is fairly small. There are about six bungalows like ours, each divided into two rooms:
It’s pretty idyllic, if you ignore the street noise (we’re on a major road), the rooster noise (I’m not sure you ever get away from chickens in the Philippines), and the cat noise (the owner here has adopted and is protecting over forty street cats).
Dream Native Resort is owned by an Italian gentleman who seems very kind. I don’t know if he or someone on his staff is responsible for translations, but and not all of the wording here is quite right (even the name of the resort itself feels strange):
I especially like this menu page for the alcoholics:
Because the resort is owned by an Italian, the restaurant on site serves Italian and Filipino food (an odd combination). The pasta arrabiata and grilled kitong (a kind of fish) were excellent; the pizza was a huge disappointment.
The main attractions on Panglao Island are the beaches, so we headed down to Alona Beach on our first night. People flock to Alona for its restaurants, dive shops, and night life — it’s quite a scene. But I don’t really see the appeal; the water is so filled with diving boats that it’s hard to imagine having a peaceful beach day.
That said, the sunset was well worth the visit:
For our first full beach day, we went to the Bohol Beach Club, which sits on a long white sand beach. A place called a “beach club” is not a choice we would have made on our own, but our hotel offered a free shuttle ride there, and I’m grateful that they had this option. As beaches go, it’s amazing!
At low tide in the morning, the water was remarkably clear and calm. I spent lots of time in the water, collecting shells and starfish (don’t worry — I sent the latter back from the depths from whence they came).
They even have starfish here that are blue:
Prescott wisely spent a lot of time out of the sun (though we’re both sporting embarrassing sunburns right now, despite his time in the shade and my healthy use of sunblock).
This was the view when we looked up from our beach chairs …
… and this was our view out toward the ocean:
We even had two beach rainbows! The first was low on the horizon:
The second rainbow was high in the sky:
It was a great day — I would highly recommend coming here for the beach experience.