Regaining Paradise (Post Bohol Quake 2013)

What else is there to look forward to in Bohol, especially after being hit by the quake? To look at the bright side — a lot. Most of the things that people love about Bohol are still around. The temperamental and tarsiers have survived Quake 7.2 and later on Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda to the Filipinos). New vantage points to view the chocolate hills have been set up in Carmen and the Loboc river cruise and floating restaurants are back as well.

Connection to their spiritual roots and a sense of nostalgia are bringing visitors both old and new to visit the church ruins. Baclayon church’s museum is intact and is open to visitors again. They bring back poignant memories of times past and a sobering reality of the destruction.

The churches are now becoming points of interest for their nostalgic value.

Touring used to be mostly for purposes of rest and recreation. Recent visitors however are not exactly tourists. More volunteers, representatives from different causes and charities have take up the mission of rebuilding Bohol and are working with the locals to find ways to help the province.

Schools have long since reopened, many have restructured schedules to maximize the use of structurally sound classrooms while damaged ones undergo rehabilitation as suggested by city and provincial engineers. But lost school days mean an extended school year for the province. Many expect their school year to continue up to mid April of 2014.

The passing of Haiyan over the province has not affected it directly. However Bohol is dependent on Tacloban city for most of its electrical needs. And so the province has gone into power rationing as the supply of electricity has become unreliable since the Typhoon and for a while that has also affected the water supply.

Keeping busy sans electricity

The province has since then accessed formerly deactivated power generators which were in use prior to the integration of Central Visayas power lines. These are proving unstable at present as they have been dormant for years and some of them have been damaged during the past quake. Officials have since then dedicated the bulk of the power produced by these generators to ensure a consistent supply of power to pumping stations to secure the supply of potable drinking water. This has been a big improvement.

Temporary escape to the inconstant supply of power include malls, hotels, and resorts with generators. Many malls and enterprising people have begun to offer cell phone charging stations. Generators have been flying off the floors of hardware and builder supply stores.

Tourists staying in resorts with industrial generators still enjoy a generally hassle free holiday, making Bohol a very viable R&R destination to those who know where to stay.

In classic “Wa’y Kurat” fashion, Boholanos show why they’re only shaken but not stirred.

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