Saturday, May 31, 2014

Amorita in Panglao Bohol is heaven.

heavenly Amorita
Amorita. The first time I heard that name, I thought that I was in for the longest weekend holiday of my life. I was wrong.

Amorita is a magical place. It is a place where everything you ever dream of having in a vacation exist.

Amorita is about 35 minutes from Tagbilaran, in an island called Panglao in a beach front called Alona. Yes, Bohol.

I came late, which is not a fault of my own. I thought that I'm going to another "resort". Every weekend, I spend them most with my family, in an affordable beach resort somewhere near Manila. And every weekend, I'm treated to the usual resort formula of water, sand, and room for the night. I told my wife that I'm looking for a place where there's no more offering of beach. I'm looking for a place where there are caves and falls, so that things would be different.

And being always sold to foreign tourists, I figured that Bohol would be no different. I have been to every single resort out there. I've been to the Northernmost point to the Southernmost. I've seen the Easternmost and Westernmost parts and I've met every offer with either delight or derision.

Panglao is different.

Bohol is more than Chocolate Hills
Bohol has all the things an itchy feet like me wants in a place. It has, of course, its own share of nature--of tall mahogany trees planted by no less than former first Lady and now Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, and of a wide expanse of sea filled with exciting and colorful marine life.

There are caves out there, carved out of limestone mountains. There are small patches of secondary growth rainforests, home to the world famous Philippine Tarsier of the genus Carlito. And there are long expanse of land, home of some of the friendliest people in the world.

The elusive shy tarsier
Boholanos say that their island sprung from the sea, that explains the limestones that make their mountains and their fields. Those hills which Hershey's deprived of vegetation some decades ago, are filled with limestones that the Spanish-era Boholanos used in building those spectacular churches. Of course, the recent earthquake demolished all those ancient churches, some of them considered as world heritage sites.

What is most different here is the fact that Boholanos are the friendliest people in this side of the earth. They greet you every, single time. They even greet you even if you're driving and they'll not flinch a bit even if you're running at 80 kilometers an hour.

fire dance at Panglao
The next best thing here is the Panglao beach. Unlike other beaches in the Philippines, this one pulsates with life, every single time. In the morning, the beach is alive with people enjoying the wonderful expanse of white, powdery sands of Panglao.

In the evening, the entire stretch of beachfront again pulsates with life, with people just lazying, drinking themselves like fishes and enjoy listening to music from bands and just see or observe other people trying to hitch one another for a magical moment in their rooms.

And talking about rooms, this is one thing that I loved in the whole thing. Amorita has these tastefully done rooms that really give me delight.

It has its own small pool. The rooms are Asian and complete with modern facilities. What makes these rooms special is the service. Amorita's hotel staff are the best.

The rooms are so special. The service, great. But the best thing in all of these is the food. Yeah.

When you're in Amorita, order the chicken binakol. Sipping that heavenly brew of ginger, chicken stock with vegetables sums up the entire Bohol experience.