Day 3: Manila – Bohol
We were in Tagbilaran in no time. It already looked great from the air, a lot of green, water, and mountainous landscape. The airport is pleasantly small compared to the chaotic Manila. After getting our luggage, we just got out and immediately got a shuttle van that drove us for about 20 minutes directly to Alona Beach in Panglao Island. We paid 600 pesos for this bit of comfort and were brought straight to our hotel, the Flower Garden Resort.
This was our favourite place during our internet research of places to stay in Panglao, at least in this price category. As walk-in guests, we were lucky enough to have an apartment with our own kitchen, refrigerator, a ceiling fan and a functioning new digital air-conditioning unit. It was indeed searing hot in the island, and my body was in trouble acclimatising to the 30-40°C tropical climate. I have to tell you that I haven’t been back in the country for 9 years, so that explains it I hope. There was a swimming pool in the garden which is 1.6 m at its deepest. We’re allowed to use it 24 hours as long as we don’t make noise at late hours. That was perfect since I’ve always needed to cool myself off.
We didn’t book the flower garden beforehand because they needed some deposit and we didn’t want to do it. It was good since our itinerary was messed up due to the typhoon in Legazpi City (Albay). There was already a reservation for the last good room at the gardens, but they also didn’t pay a deposit fee and did not confirm their reservation, so we got the room. An alternative was a smaller room at the main house. During the lean season, I guess you don’t really need a reservation in Panglao. There are some excellent hotels next to where we stayed in the same price category like the Regents Park Resort or the very artsy ChArts Resort. It is really worth it to check out TripAdvisor for what other guests say.
Alona Beach is a well-known stretch of white sand beach in Panglao Island, where most of the tourists come. It was named after the Filipina actress, Alona Alegre who was the first to wear a swimsuit at this beach!