Anda, truly a paradise

Tagbilaran, Saturday, 25 November 2006 23:47:15

In Anda, visitors can discover a world of earth and sea so elemental it fills you with a deep sense of belonging to the infinite.

Anda is located at the eastern tip of Bohol. Like other towns in Bohol it is rich in history and culture, but natureís drama prevails most completely over the imagination.

Virtually at every turn, you'll encounter a stunning prospect of heathered hills, sparkling river, or the all-embracing white sandy beaches.

Why go to Palawan and other places when in fact we have it here in Anda? Visitors can discover the white sands and take dive in barangay Candabong, Virgen, Bacongand Poblacion.

There are unexplored caves in Candabong, Bacong, Virgen, Tawid, Casica and Talisay. Barangay Casica has the Anda Falls and in barangaysTanod and Linawan one can find the mountain paradise "Blue Heaven."

Interesting things to see is the shrine of Potenciana Saranza popularly known as Inday Potenciana. She is said to be a miraculous woman healing and granting wishes to those who believed in her. Inday Potenciana's body is preserved even at the passing of times.

Inday Potenciana was a teacher in Gingoog City and after her death in 1953, she performed miracles where many people are healed of their sickness and ailments. To those who want to go abroad, pass the exams, believers shared she granted wishes. Locals here venerated her as a saint.

I have had heard spooky stories about Inday Potenciana when I was a kid. My mama Inday visited Inday's remains when she was 3 years old. According to my Mama, people from different parts of the Philippines paid homage to Inday Potenciana.

People would offer candles and flowers. They would touch the glass cover of the tomb and made a symbol of the cross. They even wiped the glass with their handkerchiefs because they believe that the "moist" from the glass would heal them.

Also an interesting place to visit is the Lamanok Point in barangay Badiang to see the "rock painting." The place is so isolated as to be inaccessible except by boat or on foot. Huge fruit bats and other birds circle the cliffs where visitors bask in the wild beauty of moor and heath. Keen-eyed visitors (like me) may spot indigenous orchids and many species of plants.

Cave paintings can be found in Lascaux, France and some parts in Spain. In the Philippines, it can be found in Bohol. The rock painting is an evidence of civilization during the Paleolithic or Stone Age era. The rock painting in Anda is different from the Lascaux because there were no images of bison, horses and cattle. However, the "art" here is abstract were made such attention to detail subtle shading that they seem to confer a kind of power and dignity giving a pictorial narration by the ancient Boholanos. The ancient people here used the so-called red hematite painting (with the use of stones as tools and blood from animals) to create hand paintings as if giving messages that "we are here..."

Why not visit Anda, the cradle of civilization?

Many thanks to Anda Tourism Officer Arvin Rubillos for his assistance. He is an amazing host. Arvin grew up in Cebu City and graduated from San Jose Recoletos. Where home is where the heart is, life brought him back to Anda (his motherís hometown) and he instantly fall in love with the place and accepted the job as tourism officer. He is an ambassador of Anda promoting the town he called "paradise" possibly he can even without the support of the LGU. I met also his angels: Annabel Jandayan and Jackielyn Peligrino (who has a multitasking jobs like our driver, beauty queen, story teller....etc).

Arvin, Annabel and Jackie are members of the group called FRIENDS (Federation of Responsible and Intimate Envoys for Non-violence and Disciplined Society of Anda. The group was established on June 18, 2004 for public service.

The bottom line here is: if only people know how to value their past... then, they can move on to the future.

For Anda tours, contact Arvin Rubillos at (038) 528-2009 or 0906-733-1168.

Leo P. Udtohan