Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Circles and Bohol

My balikbayan Tito and Tita from L.A. treated our family to a sumptuous meal at Circles Event Cafe in Shangri-la Makati a couple of weeks ago. We ran out of tummy space in no time for there were simply too many dishes to choose from.

There was something for everybody - grandparents to grandchildren had a grand time walking up and down the buffet spread and picking out their favorites. I had to remind myself that summer was fast approaching and I was on a diet. The few pounds I lost since the new year could have easily been regained had I given in to the various dessert choices. The panna cotta was perfect. Luigi, my 9-year old nephew, said the steak was "very good". Miko, the 7-year-old, got disappointed because the chocolate from the fountain was made from dark and bitter chocolate, which the grownups favored. My parents and I talked about that meal for days afterwards. We definitely want to come back when other balikbayan relatives arrive.

The next highlight of my aunt and uncle's visit was a trip to Bohol and Cebu. We made last-minute reservations through Travel Village of Tagbilaran for an overnight stay at the Bohol Beach Club and a city tour. In this photo, we posed at the real site of the historical blood compact. We had the best tour guide, Grace, who also was trained to take pictures for her guests.
This was taken inside one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines, Baclayon Church. Beside the church is a small museum where artifacts from the 16th century were on display.

I first saw Panglao Island ten years ago and I fell in love with its serenity and beauty. I was with my fellow law students then on a limited budget and they had to pry me away from the hammock for us to make it in time for our ferry back to Cebu. I was therefore very thankful to be back in Panglao. I did not wait to put my purse down, I strolled immediately on the beach after breakfast. I even woke up early enough to catch a sunrise. My mom knew it was a special occasion then, for I'm a night owl. I had my prayer time on the beach. Fantastic!

The words "inviting pool" took on a real meaning for me when I saw one of the three swimming pools at the resort. I virtually had the pool all to myself and I was free to do laps. My tita just swam short distances, and the rest of our group just watched us on the water. It was a very refreshing swim for me.

Our last stop before the ferry back to Cebu was the famous Bohol Bee Farm. We did not have space for the smorgasboard and just relied on the owner Vicky's picks for our lunch. Must-try are her pates and breads. We also loved the salad made of greens and indigenous flowers. There were various products made of honey to buy for pasalubong and good-quality handbags at reasonable prices.

I definitely want to go back to Bohol, specifically Loboc River for the cruise, and Panglao Island. It was a stress-free holiday too as we were on package tour. You may email Travel Village for inquiries and reservations at tvillage@globelines.com.ph. Tell Leslie, my friend from Lingkod-Tagbilaran, that Ella referred you. She knows I will blog about them. That's what I told her after she gave me a tub of the best ube I've ever tasted, proudly Boholano-made, reportedly the one used for Magnolia's Ube Royale.

I think I could get into this travel writing business. Wait for that on another website, coming soon. ;)

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