Tagbilaran Things to Do
If you're done with the obligatory city tour, there's plenty more to see around Tagbilaran. The province in itself is blessed with both cultural and natural wonders and you'll discover soon that many of these are possible for day trips.
Snorkelling around Panglao Island
In less than an hour for example, you'll have access to the best snorkelling and dive spots in the region as well as white sand beaches and a rocking nightlife. We went to the scenic Panglao Island which is located just about 15 kilometres away.
The island boasts no less than 5 pristine beaches, and we decided to check out Alona Beach as it's the most popular. We brought picnic essentials and found ourselves a nice shady spot in the public beachfront. We enjoyed swimming in the crystal clear waters and dipping our toes on the white sand. The only thing that bothered us is that the peddlers can't seem to leave us alone. Every so often we would be disturbed by someone offering tours or massages or souvenir items. Other than that, it's a pleasant enough resort.
As the sun starts to sink down on the horizon, there's a flurry of activity as the vendors and restaurants starts to set up tables for the evening diners. You can dine on grilled meat and a variety of seafood so you can fill your tummy before you head back to the city.
Caving in Bangag
Hinagdanan Cave in Bingag, Dauis is another gift from nature and if you have never been to a cave before, you're in for a nice surprise. What's amazing about this cave is that there's a lagoon inside which is actually good for swimming. It would have been nice though if it wasn't too crowded so we could really get in for a moment. Still, swimming in a greenish-blue lagoon inside a cave full of bats was a dreamlike experience. There's a small entrance fee of PHP50 and an additional swimming fee of PHP75 and it's also possible to get a guide. Just take note that it can be slippery so be extra cautious despite of the handrails.
Located approximately 20 kilometres away in a small town of Antequera, another body of water awaits you. Mag-aso Falls can be easily reached in about half an hour from Tagbilaran and what we liked about it is you don't have to hike a mile in order to get to it. We all lead a sedentary lifestyle so we're always hesitant of something that requires more than 20 minutes of walking. So anyway, not only are the falls clean and well maintained but they somehow managed to remain secluded even if we went on a weekend.
Another thing that sets this apart from other small town cascades is the emphasis that they place on the safety of the visitors. There were lifeguards and life vests and you can also rent a floater for PHP50 if you're not a good swimmer. Make sure to stop by and bring your own food as there's no restaurants nearby.
Last but not least, the mall is always a good place to hang out after a long day. The island's main mall, Island City Mall (Raha Sikatuna Ave, Dao District, Tagbilaran City) has plenty of shops and restaurants, ATMs, and a supermarket for your daily supplies. There's a movie house and a play centre which is good if you have kids with you. We always like hanging around the malls when we travel as it offers a sample of the local culture. Not as big but much closer to the airport is Bohol Quality Mall (North 6300, Carlos P. Garcia East Avenue, Tagbilaran City) which is perfect if you've forgotten to get souvenirs for the people back home.