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Are you in the mood for a delightful outdoor picnic? Look no further than Baclayon Park or Baywalk, a charming destination located just across the street from the magnificent Baclayon Church, the oldest church in Bohol. This park offers a perfect setting for a dry picnic, allowing you to bask in the cool sea breeze while enjoying a stunning view of the ocean.
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As you relax in the park, you have the option to face the church and the nearby school premises, observing the various modes of transportation that pass by. It's fascinating to see visitors from all over the world, with their unique features and backgrounds, stopping by the church for a visit.
From the park, you can also catch a glimpse of the town's pier or wharf stretching out into the deep blue sea. This is where many outrigger boats dock, eagerly waiting to transport tourists to Pamilacan Island. The island is renowned for its abundant dolphins and whale sharks, offering an incredible opportunity for marine wildlife enthusiasts.
Looking towards the sea, you'll notice the presence of mangroves on the right-hand side. Some of these trees are old, while others have been recently planted. The mangroves exhibit small branches that stretch outward, adorned with small, oblong leaves. However, the main attraction lies in their intricate root systems. The roots extend towards the seabed, intertwining and creating a strong grip on the ocean floor.
The significance of mangroves becomes evident when you understand their role in protecting the shore from waves and preventing erosion. They serve as a natural barrier, safeguarding the land along the coastline. Additionally, these mangroves provide a habitat for small mammals and crustaceans, contributing to the region's ecological diversity.
As you explore the park, you'll encounter numerous small crabs crawling upon the mangrove roots. Among them, you'll spot red and black crabs, their vibrant colors contrasting against the backdrop of nature. The labyrinth of roots also hosts an abundance of small fishes darting in and out, creating a lively underwater spectacle.
Once you've found a comfortable spot, you can settle down on one of the stone seats provided in the park. This is where you can enjoy your picnic, unpacking your "baon" or food. Whether it's adobong manok, pansit, humbang baboy, or even refreshing bottles of Coca-Cola, Baclayon Park is the ideal spot to indulge in a feast. If you're visiting with a group, pooling your resources will ensure an ample supply of food to last the entire day.
If you find yourself famished after a day of exploration, Baclayon Park is the perfect place to satisfy your hunger. After visiting Sagbayan Peak, Chocolate Hills, Loboc Church, and Albur Zoo, you'll appreciate the opportunity to unwind and indulge in a delightful picnic. The cold soft drinks will surely quench your thirst and leave you feeling refreshed. Just a word of caution: reminiscing about food and drinks may make you realize it's already past 12 p.m., and you haven't had lunch yet!
While the adults choose to occupy the stone seats, the kids can opt to sit on the stone wall, with their feet dangling down, eagerly devouring their food. Taking your time to savor the meal amidst the fresh air and lovely views adds an extra touch of enjoyment to your dining experience.
Adjacent to the park, you'll find a tennis court, providing an opportunity for some active recreation. If you're up for it, bring along your tennis rackets and balls, and enjoy a brisk game or two. It's an excellent way to work up a sweat and make the most of your visit. Moreover, beside the tennis court, you'll notice the Baclayon Municipal Hall, showcasing the town's administrative center. Across from it lies the town market, where you can immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and perhaps even discover some unique souvenirs or local produce to take home.
Baclayon itself is a town steeped in history and offers several other attractions worth exploring. One of the highlights is the Baclayon Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Its construction began in 1717, and the coral blocks used to build it were meticulously transported and positioned by around 200 native laborers. Visiting this church is a must for first-time visitors to Baclayon, providing a glimpse into the region's rich heritage.
Adjacent to the church, you'll find the Baclayon Museum, a destination not to be missed. The museum houses an array of religious artifacts that beautifully showcase the legacy left by the Spaniards on this beloved island. The vestments, embroidered with gold, transport you to a time when they were worn with elegance and reverence.
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to indulge in Baclayon's famous pastries. The town is locally known as the pastry capital of Bohol, and the tradition of pastry-making here dates back to the Spanish colonial era. Legend has it that the surplus of egg whites used in the construction of the church led to the locals being taught how to make cookies and pastries, using the egg yolks. Sampling these delectable treats is a delightful way to experience Baclayon's culinary heritage.
For those interested in heritage houses, a visit to the Malon House is highly recommended. This ancestral home, dating back to the late 19th century, is the largest heritage house in Baclayon. It has been passed down through six generations of the prominent Malon family and provides a fascinating glimpse into the town's architectural history.
As you explore Baclayon and its various attractions, keep in mind that the town's historical significance goes beyond its individual landmarks. Baclayon played a prominent role in the history of Bohol as the first municipality established by the Spaniards on the island. Its rich heritage and cultural heritage make it a captivating destination for history buffs and curious travelers alike.
In conclusion, a visit to Baclayon Park or Baywalk is an excellent addition to your itinerary when exploring Bohol. After immersing yourself in the history and beauty of the Baclayon Church, take a moment to enjoy a dry picnic in the park, surrounded by the cool sea breeze and breathtaking views. Whether you're captivated by the mangroves, tempted by the local pastries, or eager to explore the town's other attractions, Baclayon offers a delightful blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures. Embrace the relaxed atmosphere, savor the flavors, and appreciate the countless gifts that Bohol's little island has to offer.