If you are in Bohol and you find Panglao Island getting noisier with the influx of tourists and resorts of every kind, there is another destination worth visiting- Anda. Still pristine in every way and with a few tourists around, Anda brags a natural beach with powdery white sands still pollution-free and open to the public.
About a hundred kilometers from Tagbilaran (almost 3 hours by van for hire), Anda's distance may be a boon, a blessing, to that town. Although resorts have already began sprouting everywhere, still the town is very provincial, a place where people know each other and welcomes you if you are a visitor.
Last year, I made an article about Anda that won me a Lonely Planet Magazine. This was what I've written-
Off the beaten path, somewhere in Anda in the province of Bohol are remnants of a long forgotten history- hanging coffins. Not just your ordinary hanging coffins, I believe.
Several hematite paintings could be seen on the wall of the cave where the remnants are. Facing the Mindanao Sea, could they be ritual symbols for the long voyage? Or some gory acts the details we don't want to know?
Around these islets that is now connected with abundant tropical plants and mangroves good for the next Jurassic Park set, you can visit out of this world coves. A wide cave-like natural structure is now even used for council meetings of hilots and tambalans.
Shhhh, every year, unknown to many, a congregation of herbal doctors and their likes converge at this place in Anda. Go ask your guide about it and they would compare their rituals with that of Siquijor counterparts.
But the excitement starts right when you arrived at the place. You go up to a hilly village before you would be engulfed in a forest full of mangroves and got to taste local cuisine at a station.
Bus and V-Hire for Anda are available at Integrated Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran City. Bus fare is 100 pesos while v-hire is 120 pesos. Please note that trip schedules are limited. However, you can take any bus/v-hire to Ubay via eastern part of Bohol and drop at Guindulman Public Market where habal-habal, tricycles and mini buses are available until 5pm for Anda. Haggling is best advised.
Resorts offer room accommodations. Pension houses are also available in the town proper. Some resorts have Wi-Fi available but some parts of the town have limited access to mobile connection. Globe, Smart and Sun signals however, are strong in the town proper.
For more info, contact Anda Tourist Information Center at telephone (038) 510-8094 or mobile 0948-371-0836, 0999-581-3336, 0917-324-5917. Email them thru their mayor (sosyal!) at email@example.com.
Anda's website is andabohol.gov.ph.
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