The Loboc river lunch cruse is one of places I tend to visit each time I visit Bohol. It’s is truly a ‘touristy’ destination and although I tend to avoid the tourist spots, this is one place I really don’t mind going too. I place it in the category of going to a restaurant that that you enjoy taking company too, although the food on these river cruses is not the best tasting or prepared.
It’s is however, a lunch cruse that will make you smile, one that relaxes your mind and stimulates your senses; I would take this cruse even without the food. Entering the port where you will board the river craft you are greeted by a small band of four elderly gentlemen playing and singing traditional Filipino music on what are stringed instruments worn from time and use, instruments that have seen better days. This doesn’t take away, but adds to the experience as you sit in the receiving area awaiting your boarding time.
The cruse takes place on what is more of a covered barrage then a boat. Lining the left and right (Port and Starboard) sides of the barrage are four tables, eight in total and in the center resides the buffet. As you cruse up the river and back you can enjoy the sites while eating as much as you like from the buffet. On this cruse the buffet had soups, crabs, fish, spaghetti (Filipino style), salads and a verity of deserts to choose from. For drinks you were offered sodas, water, juices and ice tea. As a matter of fact once seated you were brought a glass of ice tea.
The ice tea would prove to be the one item that I would drink that would be my undoing for the rest of the trip. My wife and friend asked the server if the ice tea was made from filtered water and filtered ice; the server assured us that it was. This would turnout to be false as I would end up sick the rest of our trip from drinking it and the dehydration that would follow; if I hadn’t have drank four servings perhaps I wouldn’t have gotten so ill. So if you ever take this cruse, do yourself a favor, drink only soda and bottled water without ice!
Each cruse I have been on has provided different entertainment; each time it consisted of a singer that serenades you during the trip. Last time it was a gentleman playing a acoustic guitar singing mostly traditional music and a self composed song of Bohol which was my favorite, this time it was a young lady singing mostly popular music accompanied by two young men playing a keyboard and electric guitar. The young ladies voice was really nice but I still preferred the gentleman from cruses prior.
As I stated before the cruse will go up the river and back, as you follow the river you will pass wonderful natural river scenery, small villages where you will see the local children jumping and swinging from trees into the river. At some of the villages you will stop to watch the locals put on a singing and dancing show in the traditional outfits of their Barangay. They put on the show for ‘tips’ that you leave in boxes they have placed at each side of their floating stage. I’ve placed a link to a video I took of the show we saw on this trip . I was surprised though that there was only one Barangay performing this time; in prior visits we were able to see three such shows two going up the river and one going back down.
At the point in the river where the barrage turns to go back down you will have reached 4 small waterfalls; more spills than waterfalls I guess because none have more then 4 or 5 foot drop. What was new this time than in prior visits is that the barrage docked at a small floating pier that you could get on to take pictures.
Once you head back down river you begin to realize that the trip was all to short and that you could remain on the river all day. This is one of those trips that you will remember fondly, forever.