Our work as a special travel organiser is to visit the most enchanting places of the Philippines at regular intervals and to take a closer look at the most beautiful sights, leisure and above all accommodation possibilities. So in October 2016, our team decided to visit Anda municipality in the eastern part of Bohol for the fourth time.
If you don’t have an idea about Anda yet, let’s just put it like this: Anda is definitely one of the most beautiful regions of the Philippines and is waiting for you with nothing but bright white beaches, fantastic landscapes, wonderful snorkel spots and breathtaking diving spots. It is also quiet in Anda, not the uncomfortable quiet but rather the pleasant vibe of solitude.
Arrival from Cordova (Mactan Island, Cebu) to Anda
Our trip to Anda started from our office which is located in Cordova on Mactan Island, Cebu. So we drove in the morning at half past nine with the Sikad-sikad (local transportation; a bicycle with a sidecar) from Buagsong to the Parola Pier in Cordova to reach the daily Clemer Lines ferry from Cordova to Getafe.
In general, Clemer Lines currently runs three times a day from Cordova to Getafe at 9:30 A.M., 11:30 A.M., and 2:00 P.M. (as of 10 October 2016). The ferry is a larger, motorized bangka, which is estimated to be able to transport up to 80 people and is equipped with sufficient life jackets in case of emergency.
From our point of view, the ferry is perfectly suited to bring a more adventurous traveler, who would like to experience the everyday life of the Filipinos, from Cebu to Bohol. Mainly the ferry service is used by local people who live in Cebu and work in Bohol or vice versa.
Before the trip started, we bought a lot of snacks and drinks in a Sari-sari store, a typical Philippine kiosk. Among other things, we bought several pieces of Binangkal, a sweet sesame-covered, tabletennisball-sized bun, which is very popular as a snack intercourse, especially in Cebu. If you have the opportunity, you should try these sweet “balls” at times. They are delicious!
The journey from Cordova to Getafe lasted for an hour. After half an hour waiting at the main road we drove in a van (in the Philippines also known as V-hire or GT Express) first to Talibon, then in an equally full Jeepney from Talibon to Ubay, then in a – miracle oh wonder – again full van from Ubay to Guindulman and finally with the Habal-Habal (motorcycle taxi) from Guindulman to the charming J & R Residence in Anda, run by Jilo and Ralf.
When we arrived from Cordova to Anda, we deliberately chose the typical Philippines transport to just feel how it is to deal with these long distance travel locally. It is indeed always funny, cheap and rich in nice experience and impressions. However, it is more pleasant and above all, much faster, if a reliable driver takes you with a van from Getafe directly to the desired destination in Anda.
We needed a total of five and a half hours (8:30 – 14:00) and 760 PHP (travel costs for two people) to travel from Buagsong, Cordova to J & R Residence in Anda.
Costs and travel times for the individual routes
* Flat rate for us both. If only one of us had driven, the price would also amount to 50 PHP.
If we had booked a “special trip” in Getafe or used the travel service of the J & R Residence, the journey would have been more expensive, but at least two hours shorter.
We therefore recommend, even if we have exclusively used the typical Philippine Transport in our own trip to Anda, the “special trip” with a booked driving service, especially because most Filipino travelers often do not exceed two or three weeks.
Arrival from Cebu to Anda
In addition to arriving from Cordova/ Mactan Island via Getafe to Anda, it is also possible to arrive from Cordova/ Mactan Island via Cebu City and Tagbilaran. However, since we don’t want to deal with the often very heavy traffic in Cebu City and our journey already in the immediate vicinity of the Parola Pier in Cordova began, we decide to go via Getafe.
Arrival from Mactan Island via Cebu City and Tagbilaran to Anda
Also here, of course, if transports such as V-hire, Jeepney, Buses, Tricycles and Co. are used, the cost of the journey is certainly lower, but the journey takes much longer and can not be described as particularly comfortable. Especially when a lot of bulky luggage is in the game…
J & R Residence and other resorts in Anda at the J & R Residence, Ralf and Jilo were already waiting to welcome us. We like to work together with the two owners of the “Royal Residence,” since the service is simply right and the resort has a beautiful, almost family atmosphere sprayed. A detailed article about the J & R Residence, where there are also attractions like a singing and tango dancing dog and where the “blowjob” is just “orgiastic” well (it is a drink, so please do not misunderstand!).
Other resorts in Anda, which we highly recommend are the Casa Amihan, the Blue Star Dive and Resort, the East Coast White Sand Resort, the Anda Cove Beach Resort, the Anda White Beach Resort, the Island View Beachfront Resort as well – for the especially exclusive Anda stay – the Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa.
Excursion to Can-umantad Falls in Candijay, Bohol
After a very tasty dinner at the J & R Residence’s “Sea Breeze” restaurant (we both had the Bohol classic Chicken Halang-Halang) and a quiet and relaxing night at the “Beach Villa” (From our point of view, the best rooms in J & R Residence), we went after the breakfast on the trip to the Can-umantad Falls in the town of Candijay, some 20 km from Anda. Ralf was kind enough to provide us with his driver Lando, who brought us safely to the Can-umantad Falls. The Ride was about 1 hour because of the somewhat bumpy tail of the route.
In the excursion to the Can-umantad Falls, not only the falls is the real highlight, but also the Rice Terraces and the landscape around the waterfalls around.
In general, visitors can reach the Can-umantad Falls via two routes: a shorter or the longer one. The shorter one is steeper and slimmer, while the longer one is time-intensive but considerably safer. For safety reasons, we advise you to choose the longer route.
Pictures of the Can-umantad Falls in Candijay, Bohol
Here’s also a short video of how the falls flows so magnificently!
The Can-umantad Falls and the Rice Terraces in Candijay are definitely worth a trip. You usually start the trip in the morning after breakfast and plans 3 – 4 hours. On the way back to Anda it is possible to make a little detour to a typical Philippines furniture manufacturer and / or a guitar maker.
Most tour operators in Anda offer the excursion to Can-umantad Falls as a half-day tour with lunch. It would also be possible to make a full-day sightseeing tour with lunch that includes not only the Rice Terraces and Can-umantad Falls in Candijay but also the mystical Eiland Lamanoc and as well as the Inday Potenciana Chapel in Anda.
Lamanoc Island and Lamanoc Caves near Anda
Visiting the mystical island of Lamanoc, travelers can get a nice insight into the Philippine culture and history of Anda. First you walk over an approximately 300 meters long mangrove-skinned Bamboo-Steg and finally with a small Bangka to the legendary island of Lamanoc.
Arrived on the island, a knowledgeable guide brings the visitors to the caves, tombs and murals, and tells mystical and fascinating stories about the mysterious place and shamanism in and around Anda.
Inday Potenciana Chapel in Anda
The Inday Potenciana Chapel in Anda is the shrine of a woman named Inday Potenciana Saranza who died on April 1, 1953. First, the teacher, who was born in Anda on May 19, 1925 but was working in Misamis Oriental, was buried after tragic truck accident in Gingoog City in the north of Mindanao. However, when several family members, nine year after Inday’s funeral, realized that they were independently asked in Inday’s dreams to take her body to Anda, her coffin was finally transported to her birthplace.
When the coffin was opened, amazement was great. For the body of Inday Potenciana Saranza looked as if he had been buried only a few days ago.
Even today, many believers are pilgrimages to the Inday Potenciana Chapel in Anda to see the deceased through a window on the laid coffin and buy candles and a special oil to help against all sorts of complaints.
Snorkeling in Anda
After our trip to the Can-umantad Falls in Candijay and the Inday Potenciana Chapel in Anda – Lamanoc Island, Siegfried and Josephine Rueth from Philippines Tours visited as early as April 2016 – we strengthened ourselves in the J & R Residence with food, drink and a good bag of sleep to prepare ourselves for snorkeling tomorrow in Anda.
The snorkel tour, starting at 10am, was organized gladly by Dive Center of Amun Ini for us, a resort that we highly appreciate because of its exclusivity and its charming ambience and they are also on the list of our official partner resorts. We got a briefing from the two guides, Jossi and Leo, after we got our right snorkel equipments. Then we set off to explore the the wonderful, 15 kilometers long and especially intact Reef before we went snorkelling.
Versatile and beautiful, we found the so-called coral garden. Though it’s a shame that we were not able to see the turtles, but the good two-hour snorkeling, where we visited several great spots, was indeed very impressive. After the snorkeling tour, Fred, the owner of Amun Ini Resort & Spa, invited us to a great lunch.
Here are some nice impressions from the most exclusive resort in Anda:
After the snorkel tour and the lunch in the Amun Ini, Michael and I unfortunately have to head back to Cebu again. 3 days in Anda, which is mainly known for the seahorses and the wonderful corals, are surely not enough to explore the entire municipality and the underwater world. You should spend at least 5 days or more in order to get an accurate picture of the most important spots in Anda.
Conclusion to the Destination Anda
If you are looking for a nice spot in the Philippines, where you can relax, snorkel, dive and discover some great places to go, in the east of Bohol is certainly not the wrong spot. Unlike in much more famous areas such as Panglao Island, Boracay and Palawan, it is very quiet in Anda – which sure to appreciate recreation seekers.
The most interesting sightseeing destinations near Anda include the Can-umantad Falls and the Rice Terraces in Candijay, Lamanoc Island with the mystic Lamanoc Caves as well as the Inday Potenciana Chapel.
The beautiful public beach in Anda is also worth the visit, which almost reminds you of the White Beach in Boracay, where weekly live bands play. Also interesting is the walk to the market, which is built on Tuesdays near the Public Beach.
Of course, the Chocolate Hills and many other famous sights in Bohol are also accessible form Anda.
Finally, a few more travel impressions from Anda Adventures – we have also been working with James till for some time, tune in for more adventures!