A D.A.T.E. with G.R.E.A.T. Catigbian

A date with D.AT.E.
D.A.T.E Park

Bohol would not have been complete without the chocolate hills of Carmen, a glimpse of tarsiers in Loboc, a taste Bohol cuisine and music at Loboc River Cruise, pleasing one’s self with the sweet and delightful peanut kisses and the famous calamay, or perhaps enjoying the sun along the beaches of Panglao.

However, having visited these tourist destinations in the past I hanker more of Bohol. It could be worth the second or even third try. But the traveler in me craves for something different this time. Not that they are too “touristy” but I have found out that one can enjoy Bohol, too, by taking the less popular but equally enjoyable, appealing and charming destinations.

A date with D.AT.E.
Reception Building

Not many know that there are other travel destinations aside from the mainstream tourism areas—and one of this is D.A.T.E. Park (Dogook Adventure Tour Experience) under the ecotourism program of the local government of Catigbian, Bohol dubbed as G.R.E.A.T. (Green Recreational Eco-Adventure Tour).

I promised myself that a date with the D.A.T.E. Park is a must. So, prior arrangements were made and facilitated, and finally, the D.A.T.E. itself!

A date with D.AT.E.
Multi-purpose pavilion

As soon as I jumped into the van that will take me to Catigbian from Tagbilaran City, my heart leaped with excitement and anticipation. I have read about their adventures in their website, but I already pictured in my mind that it would be more fun in when this travel blogger and photography enthusiast would actually try it out—and it actually happened!

Going to Catigbian is already a visual treat in itself. Along the way, one can see several hills jutting out from the plains of Corella, and Balilihan. Apparently, there are also hills in these parts of Bohol akin to chocolate hills, but these have more vegetation and some are even reforested with mahogany trees.

As we get nearer to the town proper, road signs about D.A.T.E. signal the traveler that the destination is already near that had me thrilled and brimming with anticipation. Then the final left-turn from the highway following a dirt road (which is now being cemented) leading to the D.A.T.E Park. In a few minutes, we finally arrived at the destination.

A date with D.AT.E.

The place was unassuming. There are is no welcome arch that will greet you as soon as you enter the place. Save for the tarpaulin banners that will tell you are already in the park. But what is more heartening than the lifeless welcome arch and the fading tarps is the smile of the receptionist and the tour guide who ushered me to the reception area—that is why I love Boholanos!

That very warm welcome made my day! Apparently they were expecting me, and in no time, they ushered me to the reception area, then I signed up the guest log book, and Claire Gandia, a very nice lady who happens to be my tour guide for the entire duration of my stay, oriented me about what the D.A.T.E. park is all about.

She asked if I wanted to go through the adventure right after the short briefing of the packaged adventure activities that includes the canopy walk, monkey bridge, mountain slide (zip line), followed by a river trek and a mountain (or more appropriately called hill) trek, but I begged off for the meantime. I had to save it for the next day.

A date with D.AT.E.

A date with D.AT.E.
Ida and Nenet

Meanwhile, I had to explore the area, photographed every possible angle, played with the roaming macaques and settled down by the river with a pool where I, once again, enjoyed my me-time—away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis—just enjoying the chirping of birds, photographing the rapids at the far end of the pool, and felt the cold afternoon breeze as sun sets in behind me.

A date with D.AT.E.

A date with D.AT.E.

How to commute to Catigbian?
  1. From the Dao Terminal in Tagbilaran City, take the mini-buses going to Danao or Sagbayan via Cortes town. These buses pass through the town of Catigbian.
  2. Get off at FCB (First Consolidated Bank) which is almost across the Barangay Road leading to the DATE Park. This is before the town church which is about a little hundred meters away. Just tell the bus conductor that you will get off at FCB.
  3. From the street corner across, there are motorcycles (habal-habal) that you can ride. The fare is P8.00 or if you are solo and generous enough, you can give more.
  4. Otherwise, if you can hire a van for your group or family, make sure the driver knows the way.
See More Photos of Catigbian's D.A.T.E. Park 


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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

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