The bridge and the church are the two imposing structures in the landscape opposite the raft jetty. The Church of San Pedro (more commonly known as Loboc Church) stands proudly by the river. It is widely considered as the second oldest church in the province, next to Baclayon. The original church was constructed in 1602 but was replaced with the present church 35 years later. It has two faces: one side boasts a Baroque facade (built by the Jesuits) and the other bears a neoclassical porch (installed by the Recollects).

Loboc Church
Loboc Church
The unfinished Loboc Bridge
The unfinished Loboc Bridge

Beside the church is an unfinished bridge, the Loboc Bridge, that looks like a threatening storm that froze in the nick of time, just when it was about to demolish it.  For the 20 minutes that I waited for our turn to board the raft, all I did was stare at it.

Too much thinking must have been exhausting because I just found myself by the buffet table as soon as we were called for boarding. The staff started loading the dishes and I was more than happy to dig in. They were the usual Pinoy dishes and there was nothing spectacular about them but the hunger was making me think like I was having the tastiest lunch ever. After all, the food wasn’t really the highlight of that hour; it was the cruise.

Fiesta! All the great Pinoy dishes and desserts on one table!
Fiesta! All the great Pinoy dishes and desserts on one table!

Our raft glided across the water as a band began performing old love songs. Even when I was gorging on a plateful of pork humba, I could not help stopping to appreciate the rustic charm of the place. Loboc River gives off a verdant glimmer, adding to the greenery that borders it left and right.

Along the way, locals live their lives as they normally do. Children are jumping from a tree branch, teenage boys are swimming on one side, and adults work by the river. Our boat stopped at a station where a group of people in light green — children and old folks alike — performed native Filipino songs and dances. It was delighting to see them showcase these dances and reintroduce them to us. It’s another proof of how the local community benefits from a booming tourism.

Members of the community performing Filipino songs and dances
Members of the community performing Filipino songs and dances
A local fishing
A local fishing
A duo performing ballads
A duo performing ballads
Another raft.
Another raft.
Ah, I envy this guy!
Ah, I envy this guy!
Busay Falls
Busay Falls

The sight of Busay Falls made everyone stand up to take the obligatory photos. It’s not a big waterfall, not at all. To be honest, it can be a little underwhelming especially if you’re expecting a grand finale to the cruise. But it is a good enough marker for the end of the trip. The raft turned around and we started our trip back to where we came from — the port adjacent Loboc Bridge.

It’s a curious thing, almost funny. It’s been known by many names. “Bridge to Nowhere” is one. One public official called it a “Monument to Stupidity.” How in the world did they allow the construction — or even the planning — of a bridge with a heritage treasure directly on its path? There’s plenty of space left and right; was it just a coincidence? Did they realize too late that the threatening bridge happened to be stemming to the wrong direction? Or were they planning to demolish the church? It just doesn’t make sense at all.

The longer I looked at it, the more questions kept popping in my head. I have asked our driver and a few other locals but almost everyone gave me vague answers, if not non-answers. Some blame corruption. Some say that part of the initial plan was to destroy the church but they didn’t have enough budget to do so. Others claim that there was gold buried underneath the church and the project was started to destroy it, thereby concealing a treasure hunt.

Whatever the score really is, it surely adds intrigue to the already fascinating town of Loboc.

How to get to Loboc: From Tagbilaran airport, you can take a tricycle to the Bus Terminal and board a bus to Loboc. If you’re taking a tour (offered by hotels and travel agencies), the Loboc River Cruise is usually one of the stops of the Countryside Tour. You may just ask your contact to stop here for lunch.
Buffet lunch: P300-P400 depending on your chosen floating restaurant.
Entrance Fee: P150


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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Was there last dec. 26. It was short, i think, but that’s just me. The scenery was ok. It would be more incredible if it wasn’t raining hard. There where a few stops where locals, young and old, sing and dance for the guests. True that people wave at each other from different bangkas. It was a fun experience and the food was delish!

  2. we did, august of last year. it was a great experience! Its not everyday that we get to see such natural wonders. Most of the time, it requires hard work, patience and the strong will and determination to see nature at its best :-)

  3. Gem Cortez says:

    love d river itself,d scenery..just dat d f0od were n0t impressive.i think they shud also make it w0rth eating n0t just en0ugh to satisfy one’s hunger.

  4. For me and my wife, we really enjoyed our cruise and our tour guide Daboy… We enjoyed watching the folk dances and most especially eating the buffet that were served. Thanks and God bless!

  5. Yes,we did try this cruise along Loboc River last year with my whole family,8 of us,3 were Swiss.we loved the food,and the music in d boat,the scenery,and then there s those folk dancers..,it was really an unforgettable experience.Hindi kami napahiya sa bisita naming mga Swiss.

  6. We did.. The food was great, and the locals were very accomodating.. One of them sang “balik,balik s bohol” until going home were singing that song ^^, i will be back again

  7. @james, maybe food at loboc river, but you can try other places like bohol bee farm..food was realy great.. Organic food..
    But all bohol experience was great..

  8. One of the best places to go in the Philippines. People are very warm, the place is peaceful, free from pollution. Actually, I’ll be coming back with my entire family this February.

  9. rjuana says:

    i agree, the trip was quick and the food wasn’t so great. but all in all, it was a great experience. i want to try the cruise on a Friday/Saturday night tho!

  10. maan aguila says:

    id been there last oct.6,2010 so far i enjoyed a lot,the place is good but we didnt try the LOBOC cruise since we learned that there are many crocodiles in the river.so we were afraid it might not turned to enjoyment,but we are very thankful for our tourist guide they made our visit easy and the time was maximized so we had a lot of chance to round every beautiful place of bohol…

  11. Kerry Audet says:

    The food was fine and unlimited. It is a buffet, not a 5 star restaurant. The cruise was great, beautiful scenery. My family loved it.

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