Pandas are not aquatic bears, but we decided to go on a stand up paddling (SUP) tour of the scenic Loboc river in bohol just because we felt we needed a relaxing break. Three of us thought it was going to be an easy one, okay, forget “relaxing”. We paddled about 12.5 kilometers with 3.75 km going up stream, against the water flow up to the source of the river.
We started at about 8am with an orientation and while 8 of the other participants got up easily on their paddle boards, it took me three attempts and getting an early morning dunk in the river before i decided i was just going to do my own SUP, sitting up paddling ha ha ha.
The first half of the tour was arduous, but we were rewarded by scenic views of houses, the bridges and the occasional falling coconut, prompting our guide to tell us not to stay too close to the shore.
That means of course we have to paddle fast when one of the floating restaurants trundled our way, unless we want to be run over ha ha ha.
The natives, specially kids, enjoyed their early morning swim, some of them doing a tarzan swing using ropes tied to tree branches before landing in the water, in some places, natives washed their clothes, so much for being environmentally friendly.
Along the way you would spot floating entertainment decks, usually reserved for the floating restaurant tourists who do a quick stop over to observe young kids do traditional Filipino dances, much to the amusement of the foreigners who would then give money as donations or some sort of token for the effort, the river has become truly a source of income for the residents of Loboc.
The advantage of doing the SUP is that you can pause in some places to admire the views, we have done the floating restaurant thing before and frankly we were not that impressed with the food or the view as the boat usually goes fast before you can really see details of the river.
The best part is we get to take a plunge at the river source, where a mini waterfall feeds the river and we get to rest ourselves and cool our warm bodies. The paddle going back to the river is not that hard anymore, as you are mostly going downstream but by the time you head back to the starting point, the sun is already beating down on you. Good thig we had overcast skies and even had a brief downpour, a welcome respite from the heat.
In total we paddled 7.5 kilometers, just enough to build a ravenous appetite by the time we docked in the resort by about 12 noon. Do we want to go back? Probably not so soon, but it is something that we can definitely do again 🙂
And by the way, just in case you get tired standing up, you can also sit down, or if you are lazy like our friend, you can even lie down on the paddle board ha ha ha.
If you are interested, google SUP Philippines and look for the one based out of Loboc river, Bohol in the Philippines.
Up next, is the second half of the tour, a 7km paddle on the same river but ending up in another town. Stay tuned to this blog!
the opinions expressed by the pandas is neither an endorsement or an official review of a place, establishment or service. the Pandas are just very opinionated.