Bohol will always have a special place in my heart. This is the place where all my great adventures started. It didn’t actually started great because the first time I set foot on this beautiful island was after the killer quake that destroyed thousands of possessions and killed hundreds of people. I volunteered to join the relief operation three years ago and it opened my eyes on the beauty of traveling. Upon seeing the destructions caused by the earthquake, I promised to visit as much places as I can – before nature and human beings destroy its natural beauty. I want to partake in the movement of responsible citizenship and sustainable development.
So imagine my disappointment upon hearing this statement from a fellow tourist:
“What a shame. Is this what sea of clouds look like? I woke up early just to see…what? These mountains? Those rice fields? This is a hoax! A waste of time! I shouldn’t have come here.”
Though the sea of clouds has been a normal sight amongst hikers and mountaineers, the recent discovery of the presence of such view in Sitio Puntaas, Danao, Bohol has opened doors for regular tourists and locals to get a glimpse of what the hardcore mountaineers often post on their social media accounts. Because of its close proximity to the highway, the area was immediately flocked with visitors. In less than a month after the posting of Rady of RadySetGo and Aldrich of Bisaya Traveler, people from different places have gathered to witness such magnificent scenery. However, unlike Mt. Pulag, Kiltepan Peak, Mt. Kanlaon and many other mountains in the country that offers that sea of clouds view, this once pasture land for cows and carabaos shows its glorious glory selectively. And by selectively I mean… there could be times when it’s present and there are times when you barely get a hint if the sea of clouds in the area totally exists. It is by timing. Others are saying that if it rained the night prior to the visit, it won’t show. There are also theories that if it would not rain for three consecutive days, the sea of clouds may be visible. But the truth is, nobody can actually predict when it will show. It is by chance, by luck.
For our case, we stayed overnight at Honorable Ponciano Suter’s place and woke early to visit the area. Upon arrival, I was surprised to find out that they already ask for an entrance fee. And mind you, vehicles are already lining up on the main road even if it’s still four in the morning. Going to the area where the sea of clouds show requires a five to ten minute uphill hike. But upon arrival, we didn’t see the thick cloud formation. In fact, it was thinning as time passes by. By six in the morning, what was bestowed in front of us was not the sea of clouds but the grandiose rolling hills perfect for camping and rice terraces that are as equally beautiful as Batad and Ap-ayao of Sagada.
For me, such sight was more than I could ask for. Come to think of it, I have witnessed the sea of clouds a lot of times during my hikes. But this does not hold true to many. Others were complaining. Many went home defeated. While others just made the most of the stay. It was then that I realized the main agenda of most of the visitors – to take photos for Facebook and Instagram purposes. It was never for appreciation and reflection – like what I usually do.
By six thirty, the numbers of guests were thinning. But we are all in for a greater surprise. As the sun casted its natural light to the valleys and rolling hills, the clouds started to thicken. It grew thicker; it was almost possible to touch them. Therefore, you don’t actually need to wake up early to witness such sight. Another hypothesis rejected. HAHA. *I hope you hear the sarcasm*
When we were already contented with what we have witnessed, we decided to leave the area and went on a side trip. Kuya Benoy, our guide and driver, brought us to a nearby waterfall called as Kaw-asan Falls. I remembered our chasing waterfalls adventure in San Fernando and Carcar during the trek. It was five times difficult compared to the trek to Puntaas! It could even pass for a pre-climb! The trek was a combination of downhills and uphills, river trekking, bouldering and rappelling.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed the morning trip. By afternoon we already headed to Tagbilaran to catch the boat ride to Dumaguete and Siquijor. Now what I’m trying to say here is that the sea of clouds in Bohol is more than just relegating to the camera what should be foremost for the eyes. If we focus too much on what we wanted to see, we might neglect the very thing that makes the journey worth taking. Yes, it would be nice to witness the sea of clouds but if such beauty chooses not to show its glory to you, maybe a better activity is installed for you. Maybe the place wants you to visit again. And by that time… you will have a better understanding and appreciation of God’s gift to humanity.
Update on the Sea of Clouds:
- An entrance is required for those who would like to visit the place.
- A guide is optional; but if you are not from Bohol, it’d be better to contact a local guide. You can try contacting Kuya Benoy (0948 – 779 – 9629) for guideship and Ate Donie (0999 – 517 – 0510) for the home stay.
- Ate Donnie can accommodate a total number of seven guests per night as she’s using the rooms of her children as rooms for rent. She charges P500 per room and P750 for the bigger room that can accommodate three people.
- If you are from Cebu, you can take a boat bound for Tubigon and then catch the bus that brings passengers to Sagbayan or directly to Danao.
*PS. I’d like to thank Bisaya Traveler for the suggestions he has given to make the most of this day trip. To Kuya Benoy for assisting us all through the journey and Ate Donnie and family for accommodating us even if we didn’t have any reservations. WAHAHAHA.
And of course to God for showing us Bohol’s exquisiteness and for safely guiding us for our three-day trip from Bohol to Dumaguete to Siquijor then back to Cebu.
Should you want to visit the site, feel free to comment below or message me through Facebook. I’d be more than willing to help.