Alona Beach, on Panglao Island (Bohol Island)

Wednesday 15/11

By Jules:

On s’est réveillé, puis on a fait notre valise et on a dit au revoir à toute la famille. Et puis, on a pris la voiture pour aller à l’aéroport (1h de route). On a mangé à l’aéroport, et puis on a été dans l’avion. Dans l’avion, on n’a pas travaillé, on a fait du chillax tout le temps. On a atterri au milieu de nulle part, dans la nature. Il fallait marcher pour aller dans l’aéroport qui était minuscule. Puis on a pris nos bagages et on est parti. On a attendu quelques minutes la personne qui venait nous chercher avec sa voiture pour aller à l’hôtel. Ce n’était pas très long pour arriver à l’hôtel. Quand on est arrivé, on a directement été dans la piscine pendant que Papa et Maman se sont baladés sur la plage. On a fait beaucoup de chillax (avec la piscine). Papa et Maman sont revenus et on a mangé. Moi, des brochettes avec du riz et tout le monde des brochettes avec du riz, sauf Ludivine de la soupe. Avant de manger, on a vu un spectacle sur le feu. Et puis on a été dormir et on a dormi 13h, c’est mon nouveau record !


By me:

We leave Adeline and Miguel’ house at 10am. We’ve spent a very relaxing and comfortable stay. Their welcome was very warm. We felt totally at home. Kids have enjoyed a lot this “stop”.

We reach Manila airport at 11am. Our flight to Tagbilaran, on Bohol Island, is at 2pm.

At the airport, we eat at Jollibee, the Filipino McDonalds. Not great… A very typical fact: there is a mass in the airport, in the middle of the waiting area.

Arrival in Tagbilaran under the rain. It’s’ very colorful (vehicles of all colours); many sidecars (trisikols) and “jeepneys”, which is the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines, known for their crowded seating and kitsch decorations,.

There is a transfer organized to our hotel, Pyramid Resort, which is located on Alona Beach, on Panglao Island, in the South of Bohol Island. It has a swimming pool. Our 2 one-storey bungalows are very nice. Sebastien, the French manager, is very friendly.

Alona Beach is a beautiful white sand beach with palm trees. There is a very relax atmosphere on this beach.

Isabelle and I go and enquire about the diving possibilities. We learn that the Philippines are in fact the (diving) paradise for small things (muck diving)… We are not fan of small things (we prefer turtles, sharks, rays…). But the programme prepared by Isabelle does include many of the top spots where we’ll see turtles, sardines (it’s the good season for the sardines run)… and even whale sharks!

We eat at the hotel; the tables are on the beach. Nice grill menu.

Kids are in bed at 8pm!! They need to catch up a bit. Victor and Olivia are indeed (very) early birds… so they woke up quite early during the last 5 days and are tired.

I write 2 posts at the bar (the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach the room), till 11:30pm. Nice place, with nice music.


Thursday 16/11

The kids slept more than 12 hours. Great!

The whole family put their thongs (I bought flipflops for the first time of my life for this trip…). Holidays begin!

Nice breakfast at ‘Gavroche’ café, with chocolate breads, fruit salad and juices.

Homeschooling at the bar (with swimming pool breaks).

Patrick, a good friend of Jean (Isabelle’s brother) arrived recently on this island (what a coincidence; we heard about it thanks to Facebook…). He’s here for 4 months, to train in order to beat the (Belgian) national record of freediving (55m, while his personal best is 40m). He comes and joins us at our hotel. We have a drink together and we then go to eat a good wooden-fired pizza at ‘Giuseppe Pizzeria’.

The weather is not good (rain).

It’s already 5pm when we come back.

We work a bit at the bar, Isabelle preparing Australia trip and me trying to catch up with the posts (I’m currently posting about Kyoto, where we were more than 3 weeks ago…).

Back to his freediving centre where he talks about us to the owner, Patrick sent a message with an exciting proposal: we could have a one-day freediving introduction course at the diving centre. The owners proposed to initiate (with a certificate) the kids for free (and each of the parents for 100 Euro) since one of them will be the 500th student that they certify (and also the youngest one, 10 being the minimum age for the certification). It’s apparently one of the top centers for freediving in the world. It’s quite tempting.

We eat again in the hotel; it’s so convenient (and it’s good). We eat “inside” tonight, due to the weather.

The whole family goes to bed at the same time (around 9:30pm), which doesn’t happen often…


Friday 17/11

By Ludivine:

This morning we all woke up before the alarm (7:30ish) then mom, Florence, Jules and I went to the dive shop to get ready for our morning dive! During the dive, we saw turtles, lion fish, many many star fishes, a frog fish, sea cucumbers, a moray eel, and many many more amazing looking fishes! After coming back, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant then had some free time on our devices. Even later, we worked a session of home schooling then went for a walk on the beach. The light was perfect and the weather was nice too. We tried to sneak in a fancy hotel’s infinity pool but unfortunately they didn’t let us in. We took many pictures and drank a coconut before coming to the hotel. It was almost dark but we still worked ANOTHER session of home schooling before attending a fire and drum show. The show was really authentic and the whole family enjoyed it. We even got to go and dance in the middle of the show! Later, we went to eat at a Thai and seafood restaurant where we ordered BBQed fish, prawns, and other things. The food was delicious and we went back to the hotel at 10pm. Before going to bed, we packed our things because we had to wake up early the next morning to go pass free-diving courses!


We wake up before 7am, without alarm clock.

Breakfast of cereals (which we bought yesterday in a small supermarket), on the terrace.

Isabelle and the kids are going to dive this morning. I’m not overly convinced by the diving spots in this place (and I’d like to catch up a bit on the blog).

I stay in the hotel, at the bar; it’s my favourite place: good music (although a bit loud), good Wi-Fi and nice view (beach and sea).

After some hesitation, Pat confirms that it’s possible to do the one-day introduction course to freediving for the whole family. Good news.

So the nice programme that Isabelle has put up for tomorrow is cancelled: no tarsiers (the very peculiar small primate which is only found here), no zip line, no chocolate hills and no stand-up paddle…

Isabelle and the kids come back from their dive very happy. Kids are becoming very comfortable under water (it’s only their 7th dive though).

We eat at the hotel, on the beach. The grilled food is nice. The hummus is also good.

We even do a nap. Real holidays…

Then homeschooling at the bar.

During the break (that lasts 1 hour this time), we jump in the swimming pool and then go for a walk on the beach. We also go and book the tickets for the ferry for Sunday (to Siquijor).

We continue homeschooling, still at the bar. It’s 7pm; (dj’s) music is quite loud. I’m impressed that the kids manage to focus on their work in this environment!

The weather is nice. We are hesitating to go for the fireflies’ tour (on the river) but we prefer to relax. It’s a nice place.

Around 8pm we watch a fire show on the beach, with live music (drums) this time. We therefore go to have dinner quite late. To change a bit, we walk to the end of the beach to eat fish, shrimps and squid on bbq. Good.

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