Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Virgin Island – A personal reflection of the Hidden Oasis of Bohol, Philippines

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” - Lin Yutang

The beauty of Virgin Island increases every time I ponder upon my last trip to Bohol. I love Bohol -- the people, the memories, and the scenery. Every remnant in my mind about my time in Bohol is fond. There, I first learned about how small the world is; the genuine joy and cheerfulness of the Filipinos taught me how connected each person is to another. The Virgin Island epitomizes this all.
Near the famous tourist destination Cebu, Bohol is a province of the Philippines, which includes a group of small islands and the main island.  Besides the cute little Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills of Bohol, island hopping earns top place among travel activities in Bohol. In the typical island hopping itinerary, visitor starts the adventure by boarding a boat from the Tagbilaran Bohol Port.

Stop 1 Alona Beach
Located on Panglao Island, Alona Beach offers extensive tourist facilities. Visitors can find various beach resorts and vendors for water activities. Visitors can easily spend an entire day relaxing by the beach with a glass of cocktail and playing volleyball by the beach. Larger in size, Panglao Island definitely should not be missed. Yet, do not stop there! Rent an outrigger boat from Panglao Island to Virgin Island, where the true gem lies.
Stop 2 Virgin Island
Around 20 minutes away, Virgin Island awaits. Upon arrival, visitors will see a long outstretched trail of white sand, connecting to a small cluster of topical trees. No one inhabits this remote island.  During hide tide, Virgin Island disappears from plain sights, leaving only traces of green. During low tide, visitors can walk along the sand, which is soft and pure.  The view looking outward is surreal when you stand in the middle of the sandbar. One can easily forget where he or she has travelled. The sky blends into the vast blue ocean.

For those who enjoy local culture, you can try some of the fresh seafood sold by vendors. Freshness guaranteed, dining on Virgin Island is priceless. Interacting with the local jewelry salesperson, you may find it hard to tell the quality of the pearls. But the eagerness he sells his goods with adds value to this little piece of the Virgin Island which you can bring home to keep forever.

That’s what I appreciate about Virgin Island. The gorgeous and breathtaking views are unparalleled. Growing up in Hong Kong, I have been to many beaches but none could compare to the sand on the Virgin Island. More importantly, being in the Virgin Island, being in Bohol, reminds me of the serenity and delight of simplicity. Untainted by the busyness of a cosmopolitan city, Bohol is not a place without troubles. The people I met there have their shares of difficulty, sometimes much larger than mine. But they always find a way to smile in the most genuine and simple way. Like the Virgin Island, the Bohol people remain beautiful and always ride above the tides.

Note: This article is a guest post contributed by Rachelle Ng. Additionally, the attached photos were submitted by the guest writer for reference. Please check below information about the author.

Author Bio:
Studying hotel administration in the States, Rachelle Ng is spending the summer interning at Klook Hong Kong. An avid traveller, she also enjoys learning about innovative tech, movies, and cultures around the world.

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