Seventh Stop: The Loboc River Cruise
I have been on this cruise twice before but there were some new things on this visit.
1 – The Tourism Complex is new and was constructed, if I remember hearing from Janny correctly, two years ago. The rafts dock on the opposite side of the river and it looks better now too. There are also souvenir shops in the complex, and a children’s center. I didn’t get to see what was in the children’s center/hall though.
2 – We noticed flood lights and lampposts lining the length of the river. Those were definitely not there four years ago. Apparently, there are cruises at night too. Next time I’d love to check that out. It must be beautiful.
3 – There are at least two rafts along the river where locals sing and dance for tourists. They don’t ask for a fee but they do welcome donations. There are a lot of women there, ranging from highschool girls to mothers and even gradmothers. There are some men too. One of the rafts I think showcase the women playing banduria. Those seem to be fundraising projects by their barangays (local government unit).
The river cruise and all-you-can-eat lunch costs 300 pesos per person. I particularly liked the steamed fish that they served. A musician goes on board too, his repertoire includes folk songs, oldies and pop. Towards the end of the cruise, on the way back, a hat would be passed around for the singer.
The water, the color of chocolate during our visit, is normally of a lovely blue green color. It rained hard the night before and it stirred the mud at the bottom of the river, turning it to this color. It was still lovely nonetheless.
The photo above is a view of the Loboc Church, the second oldest in the island, from across the dock. The photo next to it is of the same church. Notice the bridge this time? This unfinished bridge has been a fixture in Loboc for some time already. It was a government project foolishly executed because the bridge was constructed where it would hit the church itself. The people refused to have this part of the church taken down to make way for this bridge. It is said that it was constructed as a ruse to have the front of the church excavated to look for the hidden treasure said to be there.
Today there is a much smaller bridge a few meters away that serves the purpose that this big one was supposedly intended for.
There’s a museum in the church but we didn’t visit anymore. We did go inside the church to pray a bit though. Since this is the hometown of the famed Loboc Children’s Choir, I wanted to check if I could get their CD here, but I didn’t get to do that. The Choir performed for us during the conference we had in Tagbilaran four years ago. They were very good.
Here are other shots of the cruise:
The last two photos were of the rafts I mentioned earlier. There’s two of them but we only stopped for this one. There was a boy from our cruise who went down and happily danced with the performers. My camera phone wasn’t powerful enough to capture his happy dance though. Here’s another boy who was generous with his donation, he actually came back to give more:
Oops, I am going to be late for work. Sorry to cut this short. I hope you enjoyed the cruise with us!