Exploring Bohol's Natural Beauty: A Journey to Bayongan Dam and Beyond

Let me introduce Bayongan Dam, a remarkable destination encountered during the journey from Marcela Farm to the town of San Miguel in Bohol. As the travelers embarked on a dirt road, they eagerly made their way towards the captivating Bayongan Dam, leaving behind Alturas' air-conditioned poultry houses.

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The road to Bayongan was a bit rough, adding a touch of excitement to the kids' journey. They couldn't contain their joy, exclaiming with delight whenever the jeep maneuvered around potholes, causing it to sway from side to side. Along the way, they followed a canal connecting Bayongan to the nearby Capayas Dam in Ubay. Despite the narrow road that could accommodate only one vehicle, they reached the dam without any encounters with other vehicles, bringing a sigh of relief.

Upon arriving at Bayongan Dam, the travelers were greeted by a wide and picturesque reservoir. Their initial plan to take a dip in the inviting waters was thwarted by a sign prohibiting swimming. Dried branches barricaded the water's edge, discouraging any temptation to enter. Undeterred, they set out to explore the area in search of a suitable swimming spot.

They came across a portion of the reservoir that was not submerged. It appeared as if the water level had dropped below the spillway, revealing the exposed area. They later discovered that this spot had served as a landing area for helicopters during the dam's inauguration, carrying the President of the Philippines and her entourage.

As the travelers wandered around, the desire to swim faded away. Instead, they marveled at the peaceful and beautiful scenery. Discussions arose about riding speedboats and venturing to the center island, igniting a sense of adventure among the kids.

Their attention then turned to a dike they spotted. One brave soul attempted to climb it, inspiring the rest to follow suit. Overcoming their initial fears, they joyfully went up and down the dike, thoroughly enjoying themselves. The adults, Anding and the narrator, also gathered the courage to ascend to the top, savoring the exhilarating view. However, the height proved a bit overwhelming, so they chose to traverse the dike's summit and head towards the park instead of risking a descent.

The park, situated atop the dike, offered a panoramic view of the reservoir and the rolling terrain below. Three markers stood there, commemorating the dam's inauguration and providing details about the reservoir's size and capacity. Resting on the steps, weary from their explorations, the travelers took a moment to relax. But the energetic boys couldn't resist climbing atop the markers, eager to strike a pose and be captured in photographs.

Amidst their photographic endeavors, they noticed the tiled flooring of the park, revealing a mesmerizing view of the reservoir. An imported statue added to the park's aesthetic appeal, and the travelers, recognizing the significance of the moment, documented their experience for posterity.

After capturing memories with Edgar, the dedicated photographer, the group realized that the boys were still out adventuring, not present in the photographs. They laughed and waited until Anding and Caren joined them at the top of the dike, with Edgar remaining below to attend to the jeep.

Before departing, they took a few pictures of the town church and the municipal hall in San Miguel. The sight of a bakery nearby tempted the hungry kids, and Anding purchased some bread that quickly disappeared.

Returning home on a smooth and uneventful journey along cemented roads, the travelers reminisced about their delightful day at Bayongan Dam, grateful for the memorable experiences and breathtaking scenery they had encountered.

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It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go and visit the famed Bayongan Dam of San Miguel, Bohol in the Philippines.. Many of our friends have visited the place. Church workers of our parish went there on an outing and from their faces; you can really feel that they enjoyed the experience. From that time on, I resolved on my part to visit the place and see it for myself!.

And the opportunity came unexpectedly! We were all at home…relaxing after attending a wedding where me, my husband and my three kids: Totong, Louie and Nelli were part of the entourage. My husband was able to get a layer of wedding cake (No Guts! No Glory!) and we were feasting on it together with my husband’s sister, Anding, and her three kids, and two other nieces: Myling and Renren..

In the milieu, my husband suddenly piped in and said that he is going to his workplace in Ubay to get his salary. Ubay is two towns away from our place in Talibon. Maybe the spirit of the wedding was still with us all . . . excitement….joy….whatever! Everybody was of one mind. In unison we pleaded….”Can we go with you? Papa….Uncle Edgar…..pleeeease…..! Can we visit Bayongan Dam, too?”.

Anding, on her part stated that she had not yet seen the workplace of Edgar and Bayongan Dam. She offered to take care of the gasoline. That clinched it! Edgar had no more reasons to refuse and nodded. We all hurriedly boarded the jeep before he could change his mind. It was a sunny day and so we decided to travel top down to enjoy the breeze and the view..

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photo by lenmarbun

In less than 30 minutes we were at Trinidad. Its junction is wide. The crossroad leads to San Miguel and the one straight from Talibon leads to Ubay. The Trinidad public market building is at the junction’s corner and across it is a bakery. .

On the other corner is the Trinidad Plaza with the municipal hall and the police precinct situated a bit inland fronted by the plaza. The wet market where fishes and meat are being sold lies next to the Ipil River. So going to Ubay, we have to cross the bridge above the river..

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The Trinidad Plaza and Hall

The road from Talibon to Ubay is fully cemented and well maintained. In between clusters of residences, travelers are treated to wide open spaces made up of rice fields and views of distant mountains. Going towards Ubay, we passed by mango groves and more rice fields. The terrain is virtually flat on both sides of the road and stretches far back..

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Ubay Airport…..photo by Ragde Starr

Next stop is the Ubay Airport. This is only a few minutes from Trinidad and still far from the Poblacion of Ubay. The kids willingly posed for pictures of the airport after I told them that the same will be placed in the internet for the world to see..

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Louie, Myling, Joyjoy and Renren….by Ragde Starr

It is a small airport with no buildings whatsoever. It has only a short cemented strip serving as the landing area. Only helicopters have used this landing strip and most often than not, it is used as grazing land for cows. The view is superb, though!.

Before entering the town center of Ubay for a refill of gas, we passed by a Wedding Planner’s residence. We took pictures of their signboard but it did not turn out well. Maybe I can post another later. This is to show to the world that even in a small town such as Ubay, it has a Wedding Planner and the best to boot! It took charge of the church decors, gowns and reception of the wedding we attended that day. The wedding was simple yet grand and well taken cared of. Cheers to Noel and Jeanette Villanueva, the owners!.

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Claraville Subdivision at Ubay…..photo by Ragde Starr

Edgar took pictures of a subdivision (very colorful!) and a skeleton of a “bodega” of Alturas. The picture was taken only a few steps away from the Villanueva’s. From the looks of it, the bodega would be the biggest in Bohol when it would be operational. By the way, the Plant where Edgar is working is owned by the Alturas Group of Companies..

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Alturas bodega on the making….

And now look at one of Ubay’s gasoline stations. It is modern and spacious. There are other gasoline stations but I think that this is the newest and the best. The town of Ubay is really in progress! In fact, our governor has in his mind to make Ubay the second city of Bohol! .

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the newest gasoline station in Ubay

Though a bit out-of-the-way from the road that leads straight to the Alturas Plant, we went towards the Poblacion just to take pictures of the Church and the market..

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the Ubay Church

It was getting late and the church was closed when we got there so we were not able to get any pictures of its interior. The Ubay market though was only a few steps away from the church so Edgar was able to get a few pics..

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the Ubay market….

In front of the market building is a wide open space used as a parking lot for buses and other public rides plying different routes. Some travel to Talibon; others ply the eastern route passing by Guindulman and on towards Jagna up to Tagbilaran City..

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the parking lot in front of the market building

Finally on our way out from the Poblacion, we passed by Ubay’s municipal hall and the Pres. Magsaysay Center. Unfortunately, it started to drizzle then and before we reached Capayas Dam, it poured! Edgar stopped by a waiting shed and asked those at the back to take shelter but they refused. They enjoyed the rain!.

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The Municipal Hall of Ubay Town

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the Pres. Magsaysay Center Building

From there, we now traveled straight and stopped at the Capayas Dam and took some pictures. Thank God the rain stopped pouring then. Though wet to the core, the kids did not mind and scampered up the dam and enjoyed the view. The cool expanse of the water at the reservoir and the mountains in the background was totally breathtaking to look at!.

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on Capayas Dam…..

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And now we have only to travel for a few kilometers more to reach the Plant. Before turning on a dirt road that leads to it, we dropped by the Ubay Agri Park and took some pics. The kids clamored for ice cream which was one of the products that the Park produces from carabao milk, but unfortunately at that time, there was none available.

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Ubay Agri Park and Stock Farm

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in quest for ice cream…..

Nearing the Plant, we have to content ourselves with taking pictures of it from afar. Taking of pictures inside the complex is not allowed. It took only a few minutes for Edgar to get his salary yet in spite of that the kids were impatient….itching to go. Finally …..to Bayongan Dam!

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Marcela Farm Complex of Alturas

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