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The Dagook Adventure Tour Experience Park or D.A.T.E. Park as locals often call is in Catigbian, Bohol.  It is situated in Poblacion Weste and Rizal in Catigbian- a municipality in the interior of Bohol Island.  35 kilometers Northeast of Tagbilaran City.

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A 3-hectare natural forest reserve that conserves the swift-running Sampilangon River and lies towards the marvelous cascades of Dagook Falls.  I had the chance to visit the place unfortunately wasn’t able to experience the activities there.  It was a very quick stop so I just took advantage of taking pictures.  The park is owned by the local government unit of Catigbian so I believe they have a very minimal entrance fee or at least none.  The activities were also affordable and if I remember it right, I believe they offer a package of Php700 inclusive of guides, use of equipment, park amenities (50% discount for students, senior citizens and Catigbian locals) for a trail course where you can enjoy most of the activities.

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The activities in DATE Park are with intent ready to test your courage and endurance but less extreme than E.A.T. Danao Park.  So if you’re not yet ready for intense ones, this is perfect for less daring adventure-seekers and for family bonding.

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The park opens from 8am until 5pm.  Visitors are briefed first and armed with safety harness, slider roller, headgear and outsized hooks at the main center. Activities include Canopy Walk, Monkey Bridge, Mountain Slides and Trails.

030913_0818_DATEPark1.jpg(photo from google)

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 Canopy Walk

60-meter canopy walk suspended in 20 meters of 7 high-tension steel cables in about 60 feet above the ground deep.

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 Monkey Bridge

45-meter bridge hanging through 4 cables, one of which the harness will be fastened, walk along in 90-120 feet above the ground deep.  You will be wearing a double harness here attached to a safety cable.

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Mountain Slide

2000-meter zipline negotiates through Sampilangon River and Dagook Falls. This will take you back near the area where you started the activities. So before you do the monkey bridge, be ready for a 25-second slide!

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 Trekking

500-meter ascending trail to get to Dagook Falls.

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Medicinal plants are abundantly found in the area and are labeled with local names and what they’re used for.  Amusingly, monkeys are everywhere which made me so anxious.  They’re creepy.  But the guide said they’re harmless.  Still, I’m reluctant because they love to tease you if they see you scared.

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How to get to Catigbian DATE Park:

From Tagbilaran city, travel by bus bound for Danao or Sagbaan via Cortes Town at Dao Terminal. Ask the driver to drop you at First Consolidated Bank near the Barangay road leading to DATE Park. Across the street are motorcycles (habal-habal) that can take you to DATE Park.  If you’re in a group, getting a van is more convenient.

JMJ Transport is offers a car/van rental service going to this DATE Park.

Available vehicles such as: Toyota Hi Ace Commuter  ( Van) ,Toyota  Vios  (car ), Hyundai Accent (car)

Contact numbers. Mobile numbers 09173043818, 09183348481, Pldt.landline: 03841125271

Or you may visit their website: www.jmj-transport.com.

Address: Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

Source: DATE Park Facebook fanpage

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On our Bohol trip, these two first-timers enjoyed the misty view of the Chocolate Hills.

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Chocolate Hills is not the only feature you can stop by at Carmen, Bohol.  ATV (All-terrain vehicle) Rides are also available just at the foot of the main hill.  It can be easily spotted because it’s just along the road where a big sign is fixed on your way to the top.  For 400 pesos, you can enjoy ATV Rides for 30 minutes (often more).

And what’s so cute about it is you can have your photo taken with the huge hill as a background. 🙂

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Few kilometers from Tagbilaran City, ATV Rides are available for rent in Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines.  The famous Baluarte just across Baclayon Church has ATV’s for rent and kayak and some pedal boats.

kayaks

pedal boat

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These photos are actually more than a year ago and the ATV rental probably are much different now.

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Bohol is known for many caves.  The place where I grew up is just a few steps to a cave.  One cave that is now become a tourist attraction is the underground Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol.

When I was younger, my parents used bring us to beaches and places where we can swim.  Although I never learned how to swim, I enjoyed the cave’s pool.  Being so scared of the deep water; I am equipped with a life ring and just play with the icy cold and chilling water in the shallow side of the underground pool.  I manage to enjoy watching kids diving from the ceiling’s hole above and splurge their way to the middle of the pool.

The entrance of the cave is narrow that only one person at a time can fit in. Today, the cave’s entrance has improved. They constructed a rounded steel hand rail and the stairs are conveniently cemented. Yet, visitors should be extra cautious to watch their head and their steps.  The steps are slippery because of the cave’s humid temperature and people come up and down with wet soles.

The cave is dark so it is only open when the sun is already up.  Although lights are now installed, it cannot suffice the darkness inside it so it’s best to visit this underground cavern during daylight.  The two holes aboveground give a streak of light towards inside the cave.

The large underground cavern has a pond, looking dark yet alluring. As far as I remember, the pond is deep and the water icy cool and fresh.

Getting inside the cave is very captivating.  It has a huge pool of water that stretches up to 10 feet deep at the middle portion.  Unfortunately today, swimmers cannot experience the water anymore because it is now filthy and I don’t know…perhaps not safe any longer (for sanitation sake).

The cave is filled stalactites hanging from the ceiling.  Although, you can barely see anything but if one takes a photo, you’ll see bats hanging.  It explains the unending squeaking noise.

History of Hinagdanan Cave

The barrio of Bingag was once covered by thick untilled vegetation. In the 16th century, people slowly came to settle in the surrounding area and cleared most portions for tilling.

One day, while the owner of this land was clearing the area for a farm and the far ridge as a look-out, he discovered two holes on the ground, adjacent to each other. The holes were found after decayed trunks of trees were removed from the ground.

To determine the depth of the hole, he threw a stone down the hole and was surprised to hear a splash. Intrigued, he further explored the inside of the caves and found to his delight a beautiful sight of stone formations hanging from the ceiling and some protruding from the ground.

A pond is in the center of the cavern. The cave is full of bats and smells bad. The news of the discovery spread. Adventurous people entered and swam in the pond. It eventually became a swimming pool for the local folks.

Eventually a ladder was improvised down a small hole at the side of the cave. In the local dialect, “hagdan” means ladder so the cave became known as Hinagdanan Cave.

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panoramic view of the cave

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Cafe Lawis

Cafe Lawis is an outdoor restaurant in Dauis, Bohol.  It’s conveniently found beside Our Lady of Assumption Church in Dauis.  It offers a magnificent view of the distant harbor lights of Tagbilaran City and the sea which separates the island of Panglao from its main province of Bohol.  The two causeways that connects it from the mainland are now suitably reconstructed, thanks to the people responsible.  The town of Dauis, about 3 kilometers southwest of Tagbilaran City, is one of the two towns in the island of Panglao facing the city.

Tables and chairs and nicely lied under a big mahogany tree that sits at the middle of the place spreading its branches to cover most of the it underneath.  They also have a souvenir shop where tourists can have a wide and diverse selection to choose from.  The place is also a wifi hotspot so one cannot worry about tweeting or posting or perhaps, bragging about the bliss they are enjoying right at that moment.

Cafe Lawis offers an ample amount of choices from meals to pastas to dessert to salads and a lot more.  My favorite is their tuna salad.

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website http://www.cafelawis.com/

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May 1st is Tagbilaran City’s fiesta.  We honor this day to our patron saint, St. Joseph, the worker.  It falls on a Labor Day– the title our patron saint is taken from.  We all know that St. Joseph is the hardworking foster-father of Jesus Christ.

St. Joseph Cathedral is the main cathedral of Tagbilaran City– named after the patron saint, St. Joseph, the worker.  The Cathedral has a very old Bell tower and the statue of the St. Joseph carry the baby Jesus.

It is one of the 12 Cathedrals that was founded by the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines. The 55-year old Diocese of Tagbilaran, that is one of the 2 archdiocese in the province of Bohol, was established on November 8, 1941.

Across this cathedral is the Rizal Park where most kids grew visiting this park.  I was one of them.  I used to feed the city pigeons with uncooked rice grains and chasing them as they took the bait.

Inside St. Joseph Cathedral.  Above the alter is the statue of St. Joseph, the Worker.

Just within the Cathedral ground is the schedule for mass.

St. Joseph Cathedral

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