Loboc Church and Bell Tower
The Loboc Church is dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle and is the second oldest church of Bohol. It is a massive stone church originally built in 1602 with attractive murals on its ceilings. The church is located near the river and has survived a number of floods. The stone bell tower is about 100 meters from the church and likewise near the river.
A three storey convent is attached to the church building which houses the parish office, the priest’s quarters and the Museo de Loboc on the 3rd floor. The museum houses a few old statues of saints and other religious artifacts. A small museum also displays the trophies and awards won by the now famous Loboc Children’s Choir. An exhibition is also dedicated to the musical history of Loboc. A Spanish coat of arms can be found in the stone wall near the entrance of the convent.
The Loboc River is now one of the major destinations of tourists, local and foreigners alike. Located in the Municipality of Loboc, a mere 24 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, the winding river plays host to cruisers on board small bancas or floating restaurants.
Loboc now offers both day and night cruises. During the day, visitors are treated to a vista of lush tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes. Night cruises offer the same vista yet more mesmerizing with the display of magical lights along the Loboc River and their shimmering reflection on the waters at 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. daily. The cool and romantic atmosphere at night is an added bonus!
A cruise along the river starts from the Loboc Tourism Complex. Small motorized bancas can be availed of for a minimal fee yet for those who want to eat while cruising, floating restaurants are available offering Filipino cuisine buffet that costs P280 per head or more and local delicacies.
The Busay Falls is 12 meters wide and four meters deep, though at a distance it looks much smaller. The river cruise usually ends at the falls where the boats tarry a little bit to allow the visitors to appreciate the green scenery or to enjoy a short dip near the falls. The falls is a favorite bathing place for the local folks.
The Loboc Children’s Choir has become an attraction for both local and foreign visitors alike. Many who visit and tour Bohol include in their itinerary a schedule (if any) of the group’s concerts. Others content themselves to listening to the group as they practice in Loboc, their
hometown then buying their CD’s which are available at the convent of St. Peter the Apostle Church.
The Loboc Children’s Choir was founded in 1980 under the able tutelage of a 5th grade teacher named Alma Fernando-Taldo who established the choir initially to grace school and community affairs in the town of Loboc. Through selfless dedication, the musically inclined and talented Ma’am Taldo steered the children to unforeseen heights that brought fame and honor, not only to their town, but to the province of Bohol and to the whole Philippine archipelago.
Tarsiers (Tarsius Syrichta) measures 4 to 5 inches and is considered as the world’s smallest primate. Its size is no longer than an adult man’s hand and weigh only about 113 to 142 grams or four to five ounces. With its tail longer than its body, it has large brown eyes, hairless ears and long finger-like claws. It has gray fur and a nearly naked tail. Their long, partly hairless tail arcs over their back when they hop on the ground.
Tarsiers have large mesmerizing eyes, each of which is bigger than its brain. Rotating its head 180º in each direction, the animal can also leap even up to 10 feet and agilely maneuvers itself from tree to tree. This ability may be due to the fact that they have extra-long tarsal bones which form their ankles and enable them to leap so high. The tarsiers name was derived from the word ‘tarsal’.
Tarsiers in captivity are quite tame and are available along the riverbank of Loboc. One can fondle them and allow them to run up ones arms to the shoulders and back. Quite ticklish, yes, but they’re so cute! They easily get scared, though, and scurries back to the shrubs and hide.
Krus Daku features a huge white cross 80 feet in height on top of the highest hill. Pilgrims from far and wide come to commemorate the Stations of the Cross which are placed on small hills with footpaths winding up towards Krus Daku during Holy Week. Many come to petition for graces and others to render thanksgiving for petitions granted. On the highest hill where the great white cross is located, one can enjoy a panoramic view of neighboring towns, including that of Tagbilaran City.
The Mahogany Man-made Forest is located at the outskirts of Loboc town, at its northern point, and up a winding road often called by the locals as “Tinai sa Manok”. The forest is more a part of Bilar than Loboc though. The forest is a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees and before it is Loboc’s naturally grown forest with different species of trees and giant ferns lining the road.
The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Seedlings abound around the older trees. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves.
Loboc has been considered as Bohol’s main heritage town, not only for the church and the old houses that dots the town’s landscape, but also for its long history of creative culture especially in the realm of music. Starting way back from the Spanish colonial period, Loboc reared generations of singers, composers, musicians, and music teachers. The Loboc Children’s Choir, which has gained a name for itself not only in the national and local scene but also abroad, is one major example. Aside from the choir, rondallas, music bands, an adult choir, and a brass symphonic ensemble have also been formed.
The Guimba Cave is located in the town of Loboc, an interior town 24.1 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. The cave used to be the hideout of guerillas during the Japanese invasion. From there, via a tunnel-like structure, one can walk their way to Bilar town. Local folks believe that several treasures are hidden inside the cave yet nobody dares to enter for fear of creatures that have lived there after being abandoned by the war evacuees.
The cave now has been promoted to be one of Loboc’s attractions. Trips to the cave are encouraged and many answered the call and explored the interiors of the cave. The cave is very much accessible though one has to climb up first up a steep mountain to reach it. The entrance is wide and the tunnel-like structure inside, with all the stalactites and stalagmites which are centuries old, are breathtaking to behold.
Traversing the tunnel is easy. The cave’s roof is way up high and the sides are far off with a wide space in the middle. The cave is not totally dark and one should refrain from making too much noise to avoid disturbing the bats that inhabit the inner recesses of the cave.
Horseback Riding in Loboc is a new tourist activity. Trails have been established thru verdant rolling terrain, up steep slopes and under mango orchards, among others. It is an exhilarating activity and more thrilling when done at night.
Tour guides will lead you to explore at most three caves in Loboc, the first and foremost, being the Guimba cave. The 3 caves have been made accessible by crude bamboo steps and bridges. The caves feature tunnels and cave chambers with stalactites and stalagmites that are still growing and are eerie to look at among the shadows.