Sunday 28 May 2017 12:50:09 PHT

A Mystical tour to Lamanoc Point of Anda, Bohol

IJsselstein, Sunday, 2 March 2014 (updated: Wednesday, 17 December 2014)

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
One of the hidden gems of Bohol is the Anda peninsula, in the east of Bohol. Until a few years ago not often frequented by visitors, but this has now changed, and Anda is likely to be the rising star in Bohol tourism in the coming years. Anda has much to offer to visitors. Some world-class white beaches, some still unspoiled forest, numerous hidden waterfalls, intriguing caves, and fascinating overhanging rocks, that sometimes make islet appear to magically hoover above the blue sea. (as close as you can get on earth to those floating mountains from the movie Avatar: you almost wouldn't be surprised if they started to raise and float in mid-air as well.)
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island

One of the top attractions is Lamanoc point in barangay Badiang, the eastern-most cape of Bohol island Philippines (only parts of Lapinig island are further east). This cape with its limestone rocks, caves, and secluded white-sand beaches can be reached via the main town of Anda by following the coastal road (getting narrow from that point onward) towards the North. After a few kilometers, you'll see an entrance on your right hand side, the starting point of the Lamanoc Island Mystic Tour. Here you can walk along a very long bamboo pier, that leads through a large mangrove forest.

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Don't walk too fast here, and take some time to study the fascinating roots of these trees, and try to spot some of the animals that life between them.

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
At the end of this pier, you will reach a waiting shed on poles, where you can wait for one of the small bankas that will bring you to Lamanoc point. These are the same bankas that the local fishermen have been using for centuries, and you will literally sit just a few centimeters above the surface of the sea. After a short trip, you will reach Lamanoc point.

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc point is not just a beautiful nature spot, where you can see various types of plants and animals, including some indigenous monkeys, but also has a long mystical history attached to it. Since pre-colonial times, it has been a holy spot, where local priests and medicine men, called baylan or tambalan, made their offerings to nature spirits, or diwata, who where believed to reside here, and where called upon to provide a bountiful harvest or good catch. These practices continued long after the Spanish had converted the islands to Catholism, with people mixing their ancestral believes with the new teachings. Several balite trees, with their numerous aerial roots add to the mystic atmosphere.

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Some of the caves here served as a burial place, so inside you can find the remains of several wooden lungon or boat coffins, so called because they have been from a dug-out log, similar to the way boats where made, and old earthenware jars. Unfortunately these jars were broken by misguided treasure hunters, believing them to contain gold--all they got was human bones, and they desecrated a human grave and destroyed cultural heritage while doing so.

Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Inside a rock shelter, you can see some prehistoric graffiti.
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
People used hematite (red iron oxide) pigments, found in the hills of barangay Katipunan, to paint on the walls with their fingers. A folk story has it that this paint was the blood of pirates killed by angels. Nature also has worked its art here. Inside the caves you'll see some interesting formations of stalactites and stalagmites, including an entire row of small stalactites that give the impression of shark-teeth. Another curiosity is a giant clam shell embedded in one of the rocks, showing that these rocks have raised from the sea in the past.
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
Lamanoc Island
This process of limestone rocks raising from the sea is still ongoing, as has been dramatically shown during the October 15, 2013 earthquake on the opposite side of Bohol, when Punta Cruz was lifted more than a meter, and as a result the coastline receded some 50 to 100 meters. After such an event, the sea will start eroding the relatively soft rocks, creating the typical overhanging walls you can see here.

How to Get Here

Anda is about 100 kilometers from Tagbilaran, and will take about two hours to reach. Several buses and V-hire vans go there, if you want to go by taxi, it may be better to rent a car with driver for a whole day. From Anda town (Poblacion), it is about five kilometers to the entrance of the Lamanoc Island Mystic Tour. Make sure not to arrive to late, as the facilities close at three o'clock, and the tour takes several hours. Tours cost PHP 300 per person (including entry fee, boat trip, and guided tour) For reservations, you can call (038) 510 8094 or 0917 3245917, or email asimacio_lguanda@yahoo.com.

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Tomas wrote:
Tuesday, 4 March 2014 11:54:11 PHT
WOW! i'm planning to go here this summer..

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