Temple of Leah – Cebu, Philippines

One of our stop was Temple of Leah.

The temple was constructed in the year 2012. It was built as a symbol of the undying love and ceaseless devotion of Teodorico Soriano Adarna to his wife for 53 years, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Business Tycoon, Teodorico Adarna (Grandfather of actress Ellen Adarna and owner of Queensland Motels) constructed this huge edifice for his late wife, Leah Albino-Adarna.

We had a great time at the Temple of Leah. It wasn’t busy at all. There was probably 1 employee working there at the entrance gate at that time, but I wanted to know more about the history of the temple without looking at it online. There was a bunch of rooms that looked like storages. Some has statues inside and other miscellaneous things.  

Amazing view from the temple
Amazing view from the temple

“Beloved Wife and Mother: Leah V. Albino-Adarna was chosen Matron Queen of her Alma Mater the University of Southern Philippines. This bronze statue portrays her composure and regal bearing when she was crowned. May the beholder discern her innate beauty, poise and gentleness.”

Tops Lookout, Cebu, Philippines

Tops Lookout, better known simply as ‘Tops’ is located on Mt Busay. The viewing deck provides spectacular views. It is one of the best-kept secrets of the locals.

It was mostly concrete with interesting circle stone architecture. It has a bar for beers, snacks and a souvenir shop. Their prices were a bit high, I’m sure people can bring their own food and have picnics there. There’s a lot of room to eat.

Tops has a panoramic view of the whole Cebu. The locals told us to come back later that night to see all the lights light up, but we didn’t have time to come back. I was also told some people stay for the night to camp out and see the lights.

They do have a restaurant, Top of Cebu, but we didn’t eat. I wished we did though. We weren’t that hungry at that time, so we just took pictures and enjoyed the view and the sun.

Entrance fee: 100 pesos ($1.92)/ person

 

Sirao Garden, Cebu, Philippines

Our first Cebu day tour was Sirao Garden. It is also called Little Amsterdam in Netherlands. It was a bit of a drive uphill, but the view was amazing.

This farm was very colorful and organized. It’s pretty spread out that you can go any directions you want to, but not chaos. We arrived in Manila when summer just started and the weather was perfect that day.

I was not expecting the garden to be that big. I thought it was going to be like a garden in the backyard of a house, but I was wrong, it was huge!

People were very friendly, waiting for their turn to take pictures, and offered to take some pictures. Anyone can take their time to walk around, but since we were on a tour, we were there for about 1.5 hours.

Entrance fee: 80 pesos ($1.54) per person.

LOVE
As you can see, I looked really scared. Well, I was! I felt like I was gonna fall back, but it was safe to sit on it. I’m not a big fan of heights.
One of my favorite here in the garden.
With my husband, Kevin.
Namaste
Not as scary as the earlier picture 🙂
I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot and had 3 open heart surgeries. This heart shaped, made me feel very special.
Entrace area
Entrance door to the garden

Cebu

First day in Cebu, Philippines

We arrived in Cebu around 12pm. The ferry took about 2 hours from Tagbilaran, Bohol. I didn’t book any tours or driver ahead of time, but they were people waiting outside offering tours.

As we were walking outside a lady came up to me and offered me a driver and a car. We talked of what we wanted to do and we ended up with a price of 5,000 pesos ($96) for the car and the driver for 6 hours.

The car arrived, we got our stuff in the car and was ready to go, but the AC in the car wasn’t working at all. The driver claimed he picked up the car that morning and haven’t gotten a chance to figure how things works. My husband and I were sweating like crazy in the back seat and we were getting irritated, opening the window didn’t helped at all. On top of that, I didn’t know we had to pay for gas, too. That was additional 1,000 pesos ($20).

I felt like I was ripped off, but the driver was nice and I’m sure he was just making money for living. Since we were on a vacation, I expected things like this to happen, so I let it go and I just wanted to enjoy the day.

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First stop in Cebu —>>> Sirao Garden Little Amsterdam

After our Bohol day tour, Bohol, Philippines

After our day tour in Bohol, we were dropped off at our hotel. We stayed at Belian Hotel. It was a small, cozy hotel. The price per night wasn’t that bad and breakfast was included.

They also had restaurant inside the hotel. We were tired from the tour so we ate dinner there and the food was really good.

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This was one of our favorite lumpia ever, Cheese lumpia! Never had it with cheese and this one was very good.

After we had our dinner at the hotel. We went to a spa and massage right across the hotel, Masaje de Bohol. The people were very nice and helped us figure out what we need. With all the traveling and time changed, it helped us relax and made us sleep great that night. 

We woke up the next morning around 6 am to have breakfast and relax. We had to catch our ferry at 10:40 am at the Tagbilaran Port. Good thing the ferry was just down the street.

Funny, we were expecting a small breakfast table with bagel, cereal, or pancakes, but we were surprised with what they prepared for us.

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Belian Hotel was by the ferry and it took us about 5 minutes or so from the hotel to the ferry. We could of walked, but with 2 luggages and the weather was hot, the hotel offered us a ride for free.

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We book our ferry from Bookway and it costs us $27 for 2. Travel time was 2 hours.

Next stop Cebu!

 

Bohol Countryside Tour – Bohol, Philippines

These are the quick tours we did from the country side tour in Bohol. Besides the Chocolate Hills, Tarsier, and Butterfly Garden.

Here is the Man-made forest. According to our tour guide, the man-made forest was planted by students and was part of their curriculum in school. They planted trees every year for over 30 years. These trees are Mahogany Trees and local fungi, mammals, birds and insects are unable to live and reproduce themselves. They do not belong to the native plants and tress in the Philippines.

Man-made forest

This is the Lobo River where you can cruise and eat lunch at the same time. We did not go on the cruise, though our time was a bit crunched.

Loboc River
One of the view from our drive in Bohol

The Baclayon Church was a beautiful church and in a quiet area, but one thing that made us leave earlier than we planned, was the people outside selling their stuff. I had one guy who followed me around begging me to buy his bracelets. I was very uncomfortable because he was blocking my way and was right in front of my face the whole time. Finally, our tour guide saw me helpless from this guy and he got the seller out of my way.

The church was destroyed by the 7.2 earthquake. As you can see on the picture bellow. The bell tower is new, it collapsed in the earthquake.

They also have a museum right next to it. They have so many items from the early 16th centuries. Cameras are not allowed inside the museum.

Our last stop was the Blood Compact Shrine. This was part of the Philippines history. It was where the Spanish and Philippines sealed their friendship.

If you are not paying attention to the area you might able to miss it. From what I can recall, it was on the side of the road. Our tour guide/driver parked on the side of the street and we ran to take pictures. We were there for about 5 minutes or so. As I was walking back to the car, a man came up to me and showed me a printed picture of myself from 2 minutes ago. It was a little bit scary how quickly he can take and print a picture of me without my knowledge. I know they were just trying to make money, but I was a little uncomfortable with it.

Butterfly Garden Habitat Bohol, Philippines

Our next stop was the Butterfly Garden Habitat in Bohol, Philippines.

After we paid at the entrance, we had a tour guide person waiting for us. Everyone gets 1 private tour guide, per group. The tour guide, guided us to where to start. The guide was very friendly and he was letting us take our time. He was also our photographer haha. As we walked in the garden, the garden was covered by big net so, the butterflies are free to fly around inside the garden. The only thing I didn’t like about the tour guides, they were shaking the nets to force the butterflies to fly around people. I think it stresses them out.

There was a gate that we exited out that was extended to the other side of the garden. This one was a garden full of beautiful flowers and there were some areas that has frames and preserved butterflies inside the frames to show around.

I would say the tour was about 30 minutes. The garden wraps around and when we were done, we exited out just across the entrance door.

They have a small gift shop right next to their restaurant and we ended up not eating at the restaurant.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below.

Tarsier – Bohol Tour

First stop was the Tarsier. This place only accepts cash and smaller bills. Upon entering the sanctuary. Everyone had to be quiet and be respectful to the Tarsiers. The Tarsiers were very small, I couldn’t see them, but I’m glad they had people that works there standing right next to it, otherwise I wouldn’t find them. The weather was hot, but there were trees everywhere to give us shades.

The Tarsiers eyes are so big that it looked like it will pop out if they get squeezed. Ha-ha! All they do was sleep, they’ll open their eyes for few minutes and they”ll get back to sleep. The workers told us that they are used to people as long as they’re not being touched.

It was a small place that looked like a garden in the backyard of a house.

We exited out at the souvenir shop. A lot of cute stuff, but I only bought a magnet as a souvenir.

All in all the place was great. It had a positive vibe. There were other animals in the property that are free to roam around wherever they want to and they looked happy.

Tarsier Research Center
Tarsier Research Center

Tarsier

Tarsier

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Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

Next stop: Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills was awesome! It was a little bit of walk. Well, actually steps, but there were little stop area if you need a break. I took my time going up the stairs. It was hot and my legs were starting to hurt. ( I need to go work out more often! haha) it is also challenging For someone like me who has diabetes. My blood sugar was going low and that wasn’t a good sign. Good think I have some snacks in my back pack and water. I had a pack of mentos and that helped a lot with my lows.

Ones you get on top of the stairs, it was all worth it. The view was amazing! I could stay up there. It was very relaxing. The hills was not as brown as I expected although, it could be the season?

Manila to Bohol, Philippines

We left the Go Hotels Manila at 6:30 am and our flight was at 8:00 am. The hotel was about 15 minutes away from the airport. Everything was fast and easy at the airport, but for someone like me, a diabetic took a little longer than a normal person should. I use an Tslim X2 insulin pump and a Dexcom sensor device that tells me what my blood sugar is.

We booked with Cebu Pacific Air. We checked in 1 luggage and 1 luggage per person is included as long as it was under 20 kg or 40 pounds.

Our gate was changed an hour before our boarding time and they announced it very clear. We didn’t have to guess and worried about it.

We walked down from 2nd floor to 1st floor and a shuttle bus was already waiting outside. Actually, there was probably 3 shuttle busses out there waiting for the passengers to be transfer to the airplane. Our airplane was parked away from the gates. It was actually fun. We rode the shuttle for about 5 minutes and we walked from the bus to the airplane. The walk was about 2-3 minutes it was just right in front of the airplane, but I enjoyed it. Haha.

We had to go through the back door of the airplane because our seat number was 20.

The flight was only an hour and food wasn’t included unless you pay for it. 

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Finally we arrived in Bohol.

We didn’t booked any cars for us because the hotel charges a bit more. My friend suggested to check out people outside the airport, offering tour packages and negotiate prices with them.

First person I found was very nice. She wasn’t pushy and negotiating pretty easy. She asked questions; what and where do we want to go and do. They also showed a list of tour with pictures and I just pointed out what we want to check.

We ended up with 3,000 pesos ($56) for the van with driver, gas was included for the whole day. I think, thats pretty fair deal for both.

Out first stop was Tarsier.