TOUR CEBU-BOHOL TRIP A few months ago, on September 25 to 30, 2010, we, the students of the STI College of Cotabato, had an educational tour of Cebu and Bohol, both of which are major tourist spots of the country. The given activity was prepared and realized with the purpose of exposing us to two of the most visited places in the Philippines—to let us experience and see for ourselves the feel of the dynamic tourism there and to know about the current trends regarding the field of hotel and restaurant management which, as we know, consists of work that entails lodging and food service, and plays an essential role in the tourism industry.
The trip is considered to be a significant part of our training as aspiring hotel and restaurant managers, owners and/or workforce in the future. The school believed that for us to be effective and efficient members of the hotel industry, we should first be involved in excursions like that in order for us to grasp fully the reality of our chosen future careers and get a clear view of its know-how as well as to learn and obtain new ideas which we could apply in the long run. Being a major tourist destination that they are, Cebu and Bohol’s hotels and restaurants are without a doubt in demand.
The school did not overlook that and made a great decision of choosing the two for it is, nonetheless, one of the best places of exposure. Over the years, with the advancement of technology, new developments are also inevitable and have surface especially in the competitive world of hotel industry which has truly evolved a lot. For that reason, we are truly glad that through the activity that we had, we were able to learn something innovative which we could not do so the other way around and just by being inside the four walls of our classrooms.
We did not only visited the places just for the sake of seeing its physical beauty and take pictures of it like most tourists do but we went there with the very intention of learning especially from the seminars that we attended. The trip that started on the 25th of September 2010 was wisely spent and was efficiently arranged to really fit all the many places that we were able to visit. On the second day, we arrived at Bohol by 6:00am and checked-in at the Bohol Plaza Mountain Resort.
It was a 4-star resort built on a mountain or more appropriately, a hill, hence the name, which has a spectacular view of the mainland of Bohol and faces the city of Tagbilaran. We also went to see the mysterious Chocolate Hills and were truly awed by the beauty it possessed. When noon came, we lunched at the famous restaurant on a boat known as The Floating Restaurant via the Loboc River Cruise and were greeted by a sumptuous and delicious meal. After which, we had the Tarsier encounter at the Corella and Tarsier Visitors Center and saw the extinction-threatened smallest primate on Earth, the Tarsier.
And then we got to the blood compact site, the place where the sanduguan between the Spaniards and our ancestors during the 1500s transpired and were briefly informed about the rich history of Bohol. In line with that, we were made to see some of the ancestral houses in the place that were preserved and stood the test of time. It now operates as a tourist end including the great churches that were also built ages ago, particularly the Baclayon Church which is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
In addition to that, we had a stopover at the other resorts in Bohol and at the Bee Farm which provided us a rare experience of organic delights. Moreover, we were able to see the splendor of Cebu while on tour, including its magnificent ancestral houses and the churches of the Basilica de Sto. Nino and Cathedral Church that significantly mirrored the rich culture and history of the place. In 1521, the Spanish conqueror Ferdinand Magellan arrived there and in that same year, planted a big wooden cross at the place where the first Filipinos were baptized as Christians.
Currently, this place is a big tourist attraction and is called as the Magellan’s Cross. Consequent to that, we set out to see Cebu’s Beverly Hills Subdivision where people could find the affluent gated communities of the place and the idyllic Chinese Taoist Temple that is the center of worship for Taoism open to worshipers and non-worshipers alike. After lunch, we continue to explore Cebu at its best and saw the oldest street there known as the Colon Street.
We likewise went to the University of San Jose-Recoletos, a Catholic private university that is considered to be one of the excellent schools in the land and had a tour of the area. For our next destination, we went to the Mactan Shrine where the statue of our first hero, Lapu-Lapu, could be found and had a souvenir shopping. Cebu, like the other well-developed cities in Manila, is a metropolitan area and branded as the center of business and trade in the Visayas. It is identified for its many skyscrapers that has been scattered all over the place which includes our next stop, to one of Cebu’s finest commercial sites, the Ayala Center.
However, though we really had fun, we were also exhausted from the day’s activity and, as explorers of the place, I think it is important that we have a comfortable place to spend the night and regain our strength for yet another busy day. The Crown Regency Hotel did not disappoint us on that and gave us what we all need after a long day around town. While there, we were able to get what I think all tourists deserve—that ‘home-away-from-home comfort’ through the superb hotel accommodation and service that they have. We spent our fourth day a little bit different from the past three days.
Instead of touring the other landmark of Cebu and Bohol, we attended a seminar on bed-making, flaring and other things involving hotel and restaurant accommodations at the Crown Regency Hotel. Lessons on the hotel’s activity were given to us and before lunchtime, we were escorted up to take a look at their rooms that displayed different themes—depending on the preferences of their customers—and onto the hotel’s roof deck. Afterwards, we went into a beachfront hotel and resort, the Imperial Palace, and had one more seminar regarding the hotel’s services, the silverwares and utensils they are using and so on.
When the seminar ended, we proceeded to go to SM Cebu. Along the way, we were able to pass by an outstanding and splendid hotel, considered to be among the top hotels in Asia—the Plantation Bay—which showcased a variety of fruit plantations along its entrance. Sadly, we were not able to take a look inside. All in all, it was a fun-filled learning experience, with all of us getting along and contributing to the success of the activity. The tour really left a great impact to most of us and, indeed, it was worth all the long time of preparation, expenses and fatigue. …Till then.