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Loboc River Cruise, Bohol
Part 10 of the Libotero Bohol Series
As I said in the previous post, the Loboc River Cruise has skyrocketed to become one of Bohol’s major tourist drawers.
So after exploring the magnificent Loboc Church, we headed back to the airconditioned tourist waiting area and patiently waited for our turn at one of the river cruise boats.
The Loboc Church, as seen from across the Loboc River
A few minutes later, we were paged and instructed to proceed to the dock. Among the few floating restaurants operating at the Loboc River, we chose Riverwatch since it seemed to have the most variety of food. The river cruise fee, inclusive of eat-all-you can buffet and one drink and in-float entertainment cost us P300 per head for adults and P250 per head for kids. When we reached the dock, we were made to pay an additional P100 per head for adults while kids were not charged. I had no idea what that fee was for but I think it’s alloted for the maintenance of the Loboc River and the facilities around it… Terminal Fee if the term is appropriate. And I guess it is justified as the Loboc River is arguably the cleanest in the Philippines.
When we got aboard the boat, everyone else was already scrambling over the food. The river cruise boat which was made of two ‘bancas’ carrying a covered platform, pushed by another motorized ‘banca’, left as soon as the last person was comfortably seated on his/her table and then the band started playing some music to which I can’t relate with, LOL.
As we approached the buffet table, we were shocked to see it almost empty! Gawd, we were very hungry! We asked the waiters and they told us that the food was still going to be refilled so since we were a large group of 8, we requested for the next batch of food to be served directly to our table, hahaha! He obliged. A few minutes later, we were served by a bowl of rice and servings of pork belly, fried chicken, grilled fish, chopsuey, and pansit ‘bam-i’ which was enough for all eight of us.
If you’d ask me though, there was nothing really special about the food. To be quite honest about it, it was only good enough to be a “pantawid-gutom”. Oh well!
Anyway, I don’t think the food is the primary attraction of the river cruise. It’s called a river cruise because it’s all about the river. That’s why I’m not complaining that we were shortchanged for what we’ve paid for because the river is just so enchanting!
The Loboc River is jade green in color during the dry season while it turns to muddy brown during the rainy season as eroded soil from the mountains go directly to the river. We came across another boat which produced some waves then mom suddenly blurted out some “what-ifs”, “What if the boat will sink?” “Are there life jackets”, etc. etc. I easily get affected my negative thoughts but I didn’t mind and just continued to enjoy the view.
Again, to be very honest, there was nothing very spectacular about the view. All throughout, we passed by a forest of coconut trees and curtains upon curtains of dark green plants. Nonetheless, the sight of so much greenery while on a relaxing river cruise was worthwhile.
Some twenty minutes after we left the dock, we reached the end point of the river. It is characterized by a set of waterfalls, but then don’t expect set your expectations too high as the “waterfalls” are only short cascading waterdrops.
The boat then made a U-Turn to return to the dock but before we reached the end of our river cruise, the boat stopped by a bamboo raft where a group of locals, from kids to elders, performed some folk songs and dances and featured some of their local products. Ofcourse, a “tip” will be very much appreciated by them.
When we got back to the port, I didn’t feel that the cruise lasted for forty-five minutes. It felt like twenty. But then, as they say, good things always come to an end and despite all the “shortcomings”, I enjoyed our Loboc River Cruise experience!
After disembarking from the boat, we checked out one of the cottages by the river that bred some tarsiers.
Oh, such cute little thing!
Face the camera, please!
We then headed back to the Tourist Center and checked for some good finds at the pasalubong center. Each of us got a souvenir Bohol shirt, and then we headed back to the car to proceed to our next destination.
(…to be continued)