THE FAMED UBI FESTIVAL, WHITE SAND BEACHES, AND HASSLE-FREE TRAVEL–HERE’S WHAT TO CHECK OUT IN BOHOL
THE DOT lauds Bohol's celebration of the annual Ubi Festival, plus its many New Normal-approved attractions.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauds the Provincial Government of Bohol‘s efforts in setting up this year’s annual Ubi Festival under the new normal.
Running until February 24, the festival, which has been celebrated since year 2000, is proof of the Boholanos’ love for Ubi or purple yam. The root crop was revered as a “savior crop” as its discovery led to the alleviation of hunger in the province during pre-Hispanic times. Now, it has become a staple food for Boholanos because of its taste, long shelf-life, and the many food varieties that can be made from it.
As the largest producer of ubi in the country, Bohol is home to many ubi farmers who turn to the root crop for their livelihood. With this year’s theme, “Pagpananum ug Ubi Napuslan, Kagutom Na Dala Sa Covid19 Nabatukan,” the festival aims to celebrate the root crop that has become an agro-historical-geographical-religious symbol for the province and highlight the impact and contributions of ubi farmers.
Photo from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist – Bohol
As part of the festival, a showcase of a variety of Ubi products like ube jams and ube-based bibingka, ice cream, and bread can be found at the Old City Airport in Tagbilaran City. The venue strictly implements health and safety protocols to assure festival-goers of an easy and memorable experience. Other cultural activities, exhibits, and seminars are also held to honor the root crop this month.
From festivals, gorgeous sights, and fun-filled activities, there’s definitely a Bohol destination for everyone. While it is famous for the Chocolate Hills, Bohol also offers other attractions that families, groups, and even solo travelers can enjoy.
Scenic views and ecotourism sites
Photo courtesy of Paul Gotiong
When one speaks of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills cannot be left out. These 1,776 individual hills spread across six towns have attracted tourists from many generations for their uniqueness and vastness. The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, a place dedicated to saving the lives of endangered tarsiers, is also open for those who want to learn more about these small nocturnal primates.
Photo courtesy of Nataniel Luperte
Bohol also has something for adrenaline junkies. If you prefer seeing the Chocolate Hills up close, ATV rentals are available in the Carmen area. Those who want more action-packed activities can head to the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park for zipline and cable car rides. If you prefer water activities, you can also opt for stand-up paddle boarding tours or experience a water bike adventure.
Bohol is also known for its white-sand beaches and clear waters. The Alona beach is a stunning 1.5km stretch of white-sand beach famous for being a must-visit spot for those who love snorkeling, scuba diving, or even those who just like to relax and watch the sunset. Travelers can also island-hop to Balicasag and Virgin islands to explore Bohol’s marine life. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of dolphins in the area.
Variety of accommodations
Tourism comprises 70% of the livelihood in Bohol, so there is no wonder that several hotels and resorts are available in the area. Whether you choose accommodations in the municipality of Panglao or Dauis, these hotels are committed to providing top-notch service and hospitality, especially during these times. Temperature checks, QR code scanning, plated meals, and rearranged eating areas are just some of the adjustments made by accommodations to ensure that travelers are assured of a safe environment during their stay.
Do-it-yourself travels are currently not allowed in Bohol. This means that everything you plan to do while on the island should be pre-booked–from accommodations and transportation to tour arrangements. This makes sightseeing around the island hassle-free. This also makes it easier for the provincial government to implement systems to curb the virus’s spread while ensuring that tourists get to fully enjoy the island’s beauty.
Before planning a visit to Bohol, travelers must have a negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival, pre-booked accommodations at a DOT/LGU-accredited establishment, travel itinerary, and registration in the Province of Bohol website at tourism.bohol.gov.ph for the issuance of personal QR codes that will serve as electronic IDs.
Tourists coming from Metro Manila are encouraged to apply for the subsidized RT-PCR test at the UP-Philippine General or Philippine Children’s Medical Center for as low as PHP900 and PHP750, respectively. To avail of the 50% discount from either of the two medical institutions, visit the Tourism Promotions Board website at www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel.
As of February 2, 2021, Bohol allows the use of saliva RT-PCR tests in place of nasal and throat swabs.
For more information on traveling to Bohol, contact the Department of Tourism or visit philippines.travel/safetrip/bohol.