Anda… Apparently, it’s a place, a town in Bohol. I usually associate this term to moolah, blame it to my gay friends.
|Hello there Mr.Sunshine!|
Very young talents from the town offered us a welcome dance. A traditional dance was performed for the group and everyone seemed hyped up for the day’s activities. The program was perfectly set on the shore alongside the municipal hall which is so cool (imagine your town hall located right off the beach).
|Lovely grade-schoolers/folk dancers.|
The public beach is phenomenal. We couldn’t resist the clean blue waters and the white sand of Anda’s shore which almost feels like flour (and so you thought that Boracay has the finest eh?). And everyone agreed that it is, indeed, the finest white sand they ever saw and felt.
|I envy their playground|
The town mayor, Dodong Amper, was very aggressive in promoting the town as the next tourism destination in Bohol as perceived from his welcome remarks. A promise of a fun nature trip from the nice beaches to the mystic islands surrounding the town was promised afterwards.
|Anda Mayor Dodong Amper|
And off we go to start our jam-packed day.
Lamanoc Island is considered to be mystical for some reason. Stories of witchcraft and some haunting spirits on the island are widespread. Locals can testify about the mystery surrounding the island. Hmmm. I can hear some protests from the Island Province of Siquijor.
Located at Barangay Badiang, Lamanoc Island can be reached in two ways; you can either ride an outrigger boat straight to the island or do a land trip plus a 10-minute boat ride. We did the latter and together with Mayor Dodong, we started the journey to the mystic island of Lamanoc.
We first went inside this mangrove forest using a narrow bridge made of bamboo stilts. The long stretch was not a bore because of the fascinating sight of the vegetation along the way. We then reached a native hut on stilts that serves as the docking area for the small boats.
The small boat can load up to 3 persons. The water was almost waist-deep at noontime and if you’re adventurous enough you could probably swim your way to the island. There’s this certain stillness on the way to the island on board that small boat. We reached the island in batches and were given last minute instructions on the do’s and don’ts during the tour.
We trekked into different caves where we spotted some human relics, secondary burial coffins, a place where the diwatas and other spirits dwelled centuries back and the area where the hematite (red iron oxide) paintings on the rock formations are found. Much more than the sights to see on the tour, the feeling of mystery (some even had their own goose bumps moment) on everyone was the remarkable thing.
|Hematite/Red Iron Oxide paintings on rock formations|
After two hours of exploring the island, we went back to the native hut and a festive lunch of Boholano favorites were served. Fresh seafood and native desserts were notable but what stood out for me was the Sinuglaw (Sinugba/Grilled Pork plus Kinilaw/Raw Fish).
|Sinuglaw is love!|
Next stop was the resort inspection on the different beachfront resorts in Anda.
Anda de Boracay Beach Resort
Anda, being a peninsula, houses numerous beach resorts. For bargain-hunters out there, check out Anda de Boracay in Poblacion (check rates).
Anda de Boracay offers low-cost room rates on their fan and air-conditioned rooms. The swimming pool and the bar lounge are some of the selling points in the resort. The view from the lounging areas with hammocks and beach chairs is lovely.
|Just the perfect view|
Anda White Beach Resort
The next resort is quite far from the Poblacion. Anda White Beach Resort (check rates) is located at Barangay Bacong in Anda. The place is nice with the tropical feel in it, thanks to the huge coconut trees lining the shore.
We went down a few flights to check out the beachfront accommodations. I love the private veranda of the rooms and the open feel of the glass doors. I could imagine myself wasting all day just resting on this spot.
Another few flights and then we reached the beach. The fine white sand was evident, the tranquillity was deafening and the tropical feel was achieved. What I love most about this place is the close proximity to local community of fisher folks; just a few minutes’ walk from the resort.
Amun Ini Beach Resort and Spa
Amun Ini means This is ours in Ilonggo dialect... Everyone was so excited realizing this snippet of fact about the next resort. The signage on the pathway is promising, my buddy went on. And then we reached the Amun Ini Beach Resort and Spa (check rates).
|Amun Ini's Beach Cove|
We were welcomed by the gracious staff and went straight ahead to the resort inspection. The resort has 16 identical rooms (take it or leave it) under cogon thatched roof longhouses.
Gasps and tones of amazement echoed as we checked out one of the rooms. The king-sized bed looked comfy and the sleek furniture complimented the overall tropical feel to the room.
The bathroom is spacious and clean with modern fixtures and a pocket garden. The huge glass windows also added an open-air feel to it.
And then the veranda. This is the veranda of all verandas. This veranda has a pebble floor; such an innovative way to perfectly feel that tropical vibe. Might as well leave your shoes and flip flops inside the vault and feel the pebbles on the veranda and the finest white sand on the beach.
|Pebble floor is love!|
After the resort inspections, we hopped on the bus again and travelled back to Panglao in style – in videoke style. Yes, our party bus also has a built-in videoke system and as if we weren’t tired yet, microphones and song books scattered all around the bus. It was one hella ride to Panglao.
|Videoke party bus|
After 2 hours, we’re back again in Panglao Island. Although some wouldn’t want to leave the bus because of the videoke, we needed some nourishment for our weary souls.
A lovely dinner was waiting for us as we arrived at the renowned Amorita Resort in Panglao (check rates). The buffet spread included some nice appetizers, meat and vegetable dishes and some lovely desserts.
Afterwards, we headed straight to a quick view of the rooms they’re offering. First stop was the Villa.
Oh, where do I start? I love their Villa, it’s like having your own holiday house. The Villa has its own gate, a plunge pool, lounge chairs on the grass overlooking the beach, an outdoor shower (which I totally dig) and the room with a comfy bed which you wouldn’t probably use that much.
I also adore the Suite Rooms on their new wing. The “unfinished” effect was achieved for that Industrial look (pardon my architectural and design terms). The walls and flooring seemed to have that “unpolished” look which works out perfectly. The openness of the room and the placement of the furniture and amenities are just impeccable (me wishing that we have an extra night to experience a night’s stay there).
Bellevue Resort Panglao
After a very hectic day, the group retired at Bellevue Resort in Panglao and enjoyed the cocktail party they prepared for us (check out my resort review on Bellevue Resort Panglao).
I love Anda and it came as a surprise for all of us; the warm people, the finest white sand, the clear blue waters and its close proximity to Camiguin. Some birdie told me that you could use Anda as the jump-off point to Camiguin Island. Now I must try this route eh?
Municipality of Anda
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tour rate: 300 pesos (inclusive of guide and boat fee)
Contact Numbers: (+63) 38.510.8094 | (+63) 917.324.5917
Anda de Boracay Beach Resort (book online)
Contact Numbers: (+63) 917.826.2665 | (+63) 918.963.1759
Anda White Beach Resort (book online)
Sitio Dagohoy, Barangay Bacong, Anda,
Contact Numbers: (+63) 917.700.0507 | (+63) 920.946.8127
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amun Ini Beach Resort and Spa (book online)
Sitio Bas Dako, Barangay Candabong, Anda,
Contact Numbers: (+63) 38.510.6230 | (+63) 917.796.5412
Email Address: email@example.com
Amorita Resort (book online)
Barangay Tawala, Alona Beach, Panglao Island,
Contact Numbers: (+63) 38.502.9002 – 03
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org