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The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, often referred to as the "Loboc Hanging Bridge," is one of the fascinating attractions in the town of Sevilla, Bohol.
These bamboo bridges, suspended over the scenic Loboc River, provide not just a means of transportation, but also a unique tourist experience with picturesque views.
Originally made solely of bamboo, the single bridge crossing the Sipatan River has undergone significant transformation to accommodate the growing number of tourists and locals.
Reinforced with sturdy steel cables, the bridge has now doubled (twins) in size, stretching 40 meters in length and towering 20 meters above the ground.
Its deck is constructed with interwoven bamboo slats, offering a picturesque view of the flowing Sipatan River below.
While the bridges are secure, they still possess a slight element of thrill as they sway under the weight of pedestrians, making it an exciting experience for thrill-seekers.
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, which now connects the neighboring Barangays of Poblacion and Calinga-an in Sevilla, has become the preferred alternative to the previous practice of hiking down the cliff and crossing the river by boat.
With the increased foot traffic, small souvenir shops have emerged on the far side of the bridge, catering to the needs and interests of visitors.
These bridges not only serve as functional pathways but have also become iconic attractions, allowing people to appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings while enjoying an adventurous crossing.
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Constructed mainly from bamboo and steel cables for support, the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge present an interesting crossing.
Originally built using just bamboo and rope, the bridges were reconstructed for safety reasons but have maintained their traditional appeal.
The two bridges offer a two-way traffic system: one for going to the other side and one for coming back, which helps avoid congestion.
As you cross the bridges, you'll notice a slight sway, adding an element of adventure to your walk.
From the bridge, you'll have a fantastic view of the emerald-green Loboc River and its surrounding lush vegetation. The experience gives you a snapshot of rural life in Bohol.
Below, you may see small bancas (local canoes) paddling along the river and locals going about their daily routines.
Nearby, there are souvenir shops where you can buy local crafts and delicacies. There's also a riverside restaurant where you can sample local cuisine.
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, like all bamboo bridges in the Philippines, have long been an integral part of the country's cultural and architectural heritage. These bridges, also known as "hangging," are constructed using sturdy bamboo poles, woven bamboo slats, and natural fiber ropes or vines.
They serve as important transportation links, allowing people to cross rivers, streams, and other bodies of water in rural areas where infrastructure may be limited.
The use of bamboo in bridge construction is not only practical but also sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Bamboo is a fast-growing and renewable resource, known for its strength and durability. The flexibility of bamboo makes it suitable for withstanding the natural movements and forces of water bodies, ensuring the stability and resilience of the bridges.
These bamboo bridges are typically constructed by local communities, employing traditional building techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Skilled craftsmen carefully select and treat the bamboo poles to enhance their longevity, often utilizing natural substances like tree sap or traditional preservation methods.
Bamboo bridges not only provide a means of transportation but also serve as gathering places and meeting points for communities.
They are often adorned with colorful decorations and symbolic elements, reflecting the local culture and traditions of the area.
Crossing the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge can be a unique and immersive experience, immersing individuals in the natural surroundings and connecting them with the local way of life.
While modern infrastructure has been developed in many parts of the Philippines, bamboo bridges like the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge continue to play a significant role in connecting remote communities and preserving cultural heritage.
They serve as a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Filipino people, showcasing their ability to adapt to their environment and create sustainable solutions for everyday needs.
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridges are located about 31 KM from Tagbilaran City. From the city, tourists can take a car, bus, or jeep to the bridges by passing by the Loay interior road.
If you’re taking public transportation, make sure to get off at Barangay Poblacion. Ask the driver to drop you off at the Twin Hanging Bridge.
You could also rent a car or motorcycle for more flexibility. The journey takes about an hour.
Best time to visit
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridges can be accessed all year round. Since no roofs cover the bridges, it is best to visit between November to April when there are fewer chances of rain in the Philippines.
Even though the bridges have been reinforced, always be mindful of safety precautions. Keep a safe distance from others and avoid abrupt movements that could cause the bridge to sway excessively.
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, with the Loboc River as a backdrop, are a fantastic spot for photography. However, be mindful of others crossing and avoid blocking the way.
Support the local community by purchasing souvenirs or trying out local food at the stalls at either end of the bridge.
The Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge is more than just a means to cross the Loboc River; it's a charming experience offering you the opportunity to enjoy the simple beauty of Bohol's rural landscapes.
It's a must-visit when you're in the area!
Beyond the charming Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, there are plenty of other attractions and activities to explore in and around Sevilla, Bohol:
1. Loboc River Cruise: One of the top attractions in Bohol is the Loboc River Cruise. Hop on a floating restaurant and enjoy a buffet meal while you cruise along the Loboc River. Along the way, you'll be treated to live music and cultural performances.
2. Tarsier Sanctuary: A visit to the Tarsier Sanctuary in nearby Corella offers the opportunity to see one of the world's smallest primates in its natural habitat. Remember to keep quiet and avoid flash photography to not disturb these adorable creatures.
3. Man-Made Forest: Take a drive through the Bilar Man-Made Forest, a two-kilometer stretch of mahogany forest that provides a cool and peaceful respite. It's an excellent spot for photo ops.
4. Adventure Park: Thrill-seekers can head to Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park. This adventure park offers a zip-line and cable car ride across the Loboc River, providing panoramic views of the lush surroundings.
5. Historical Sites: Check out the Sevilla Church, also known as the St. Augustine Parish. This old church presents an opportunity to appreciate the Spanish-influenced architecture and learn about the local history.
6. Local Cuisine: Don't forget to taste some local delicacies from the roadside stalls or nearby restaurants. Try out Bohol's special peanut kisses, calamay (sticky sweet delicacy), and fresh seafood dishes.
7. Souvenir Shopping: There are several small shops around where you can buy handmade crafts, local products, and souvenirs to take back home.
Whether you're looking for an adrenaline rush, a cultural experience, or simply a good meal, the area around the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge has something to offer everyone. Enjoy exploring, Kaibigan!