Welcome to Bohol! After two days, we finely made it out of Manila arriving in Bohol at 6:30AM. Our good friends with whom we will be staying with met us at the airport and 1 hour later we are in our home town of Calape.
Bohol is located between Mindanao to the south, Cebu to the north and Leyte to the west in the southern part of the Philippines in the area knows as the Visaysa’s. Much has changed here since I last visited in 2009, the tourists trade has become big business! but tot the credit of the Boholano’s they have maintained a balance not allowing this wonderful small island to become over run. There is still much damage to the roads and buildings from the 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake that hit in October of 2013. The trip from the Airport to Calape before the earthquake damage would take 40minutes no it takes between an hour to an hour and one half.
Our home municipality of Calape is made up of 33 Barangays. May is Festa time in Calape so there will be many activities but May is also the hottest time of year which has made running a new challenge for me.
In yesterdays run of 6.73miles/10.8km I traversed the Barangays of Santa Cruz and San Isidro on my way to and from Pangangan, a small island connected by a landbrige to the main island. I have give props to the runner’s in the Philippines, running in this humidity is a big challenge. I was struggling running 10K I don’t know how they can manage to run anything more then that here! Marathons seem to be the only races I can find here and I honestly can’t even fathom the idea of running that distance in the heat and humidity.
At 5:15am I arrived at my starting point, the bridge at the edge of town. Heading north/east on Tagbilaran North Road, the main highway, I reached the city center in less then a quarter mile. The city center is the focal point of Calape for it is where city hall and a magnificent church stands. The church, St. Vincent Ferrer was built between 1932 and 1954 on the same site were the original church in Calape was built during Spain’s rule. Not far from the church my run took me though the downtown area of Calape. The largest of the buildings here is the market. Once you leave the downtown you enter (again) the rural areas of Calape.
Like other parts of the Philippines; the homes of the people vary and although not always true, are for the most part constructed in a manner which reflects the family income. You can see some samples in the pictures below.
By the time I reached San Isidro Barangay Road it was 79f/26c, the sun was starting to get higher in the sky and I began to wish that I had stated running when it was still dark as the heat of day was on its way. It still wasn’t too bad yet for this section of the road was shaded. I noted a saw mill to my left that I plan to return to during my trip. People we already up and about trending to morning chores. Two young boys about 8 and 10 greeted me with huge bright smiles and waves as I ran past. I made a mental not to bring them candy my next time though.
Out of the populated areas into the mangroves I ran, well not literally, but down the roads with mangrove to both my left and right. Soon the right side of the road opened to fish ponds where Tilapia is farmed, I could start feeling the heat of the sun on my skin.
Though the mangroves into an unbelievable heat! I was on an open stretch to road, the land bridge that connects the main land to Pangangan Island. The view was spectacular you could see the shoreline of Calape and the church far off in the distance; I had wished I was at this spot at sunrise for in the morning light this view would be magical.
I was only just past the 2 mile point in my run and I was already getting to be tough to run. The sun on my skin felt stinging hot, the humidity now at 83 percent, more likely higher since I was out in the bay water on all sides. I kept running for the island still confident that I would be able to circle it and make it back to my starting point.
By the time I reached the three mile mark I realized that if I didn’t turn around and head back soon I wouldn’t have the energy to need to complete my run. So I decided to run to the end of the land bridge where it connected to the island and turn back.
I made it back to my starting point and by that time I was spent, the heat and humidity was over whelming; maybe at some point my body will adjust, but for now it is kicking my butt. There was not a dry spot on me sweat was dripping off me in buckets and I was so glad that I decided to being my 16oz. hydration bottle and belt – This is not a place to run without water.
Well my friends that was yesterdays adventure! I was disappointed that I didn’t make it around Pangangan Island, but on the upside I’ll be able to try again soon. Ill just make my starting point the place I left off.
Please enjoy the pictures from my run! Bill