Fitness Goes Mainstream


If you intend to stay in Bohol for an extended period of time, you might want to catch up on your workout. If you’re into anything that requires running, the city has a sports complex with a 400m track oval, locally known as the Grandstand.  (Make sure you say “grandstand” when you ask public transport like a taxi or a tricycle to take you there.)

For a nominal entrance fee of 10 pesos you can workout there for as long as you like between 5am and 9:30pm. The young and old, athletes and  enthusiasts or just friends having all have fun enjoying the facilities of the Grandstand.

Obviously you can run laps around the track oval. Stick a music player in your ear and you’re set, no cars, no irritating hecklers by the roadside. It’s the easiest workout to pick up there and almost everyone does it. Marathoners in singlets, grandparents in sweatshirts and jogging pants, grade school children in their flip flops, ramp models in their daisy dukes and hanging blouses and hounded by their managers (I’m not kidding!) and everyone else in between go and walk, stroll, jog, and sprint, to work up a sweat or just plain have fun.

There are also other things to do than just plain old running around. Inside the track itself is a huge field which works double duty as a field for football and Ultimate Frisbee or just a good place to play tag for the kids.

Rubberized track and green patches all around
Rubberized track and green patches all around

But running isn’t all there is at the sports complex,  there are two basketball/volleyball courts, a tennis court and lots of empty grassy places for other calisthenics. These spaces are used by boxers, karatekas, arnisadors and MMAers. You can find them practicing, sparring, and  shadowboxing. Other cross trainers do shuttle runs, crunches, other calisthenics. If you find a group you like you could gather some guts introduce yourself and join in.

If road running is more your thing just go for it. There is hardly any pollution in Tagbilaran City, so take every breath with confidence,  run where you wish just avoid busy traffic (which is still light traffic compared to Manila). For suggested routes, there are two bridges that link Bohol and Panglao that form a natural 7km circuit. Or you may want to start from the Rizal plaza in the middle of town and run to Baclayon Church and back, that’s about 16km give or take. There’s also a hill in town called Banat-e that serves as a good spot for a trail run.

Two bridges circuit and the road to Baclayon church
Two bridges circuit and the road to Baclayon church (click to see larger image)

If you wanna have people to run with, you may catch the local group of runners called the Daganistas de Bohol meeting up at a Dunkin Donuts shop around the city plaza.

So if you intend to stay long don’t forget to pack your exercise gear because there’s no better place to do your workout.

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