Day trips to and around the different towns of Bohol are much more convenient using a rented car or van.
But in those cases when you just need to get around Tagbilaran proper, the cheapest and easiest way is to ride a tricycle. Tagbilaran has its own amusing versions of these.
Standard fare is from Php 7 to Php 10 for the shorter regular routes, while special trips to nearby places out of the city can be arranged, with or without the sidecar.
Price depends on how far or how long you intend to use the trike (or just the motorbike, known locally as habal-habal).
For instance, I paid Php 120 round-trip from Tagbilaran to Bikini Beach somewhere in Dauis to shoot the sunrise, and made a brief stop on my way back to Sitio Ubos to shoot some ancestral houses. Time spent was a little over an hour and a half.
Maybe not that cheap, but that early, it would be very difficult to get a ride back to the city so I figured that was fair enough. For one, the beach is about half a kilometer from the main road. You wouldn't want to be walking back with your camera and gear bag alone on a dirt road, right?
Besides, it really is a lot safer to have a local take you around places you've never been to, especially during the still dim hours of dawn. :)
By the way, public utility jeepneys, more like mini mini-busses, also regularly ply routes to and from Tagbilaran to nearby towns, though I can't say much as I haven't really tried them. :)
Tagbilaran City is accessible by air directly from Manila, with a flight time of about an hour and fifteen minutes.
As of this writing, Philipine Airlines has three flights to and from Tagbilaran daily, while Cebu Pacific Air has two.
I usually take the earliest flight in, and the late afternoon flight out, as I am a sucker for sunrises and sunsets, even when onboard a plane. :)
More importantly, though, getting early to one's destination means having the entire first day of your holiday to do what you intend to . . . travel. :)
Before we went to Tagbilaran City & Panglao Island, I already researched re: rented car/van through blogs and reviews. We were very happy with our choice, and many of my contacts whom I referred were satisfied of the service and price.
Our contact is Rj Intano, a tour coordinator who impressed us with his good customer relations, flexibility in preparing the itinerary, and well-maintained vehicles.
Travelling around the City of Tagbilaran and the nearer towns is less tedious. There is public transporation which is less expensive than the taxicabs. You may choose from either the motorcycle, tricycle, mutticabs, jeepneys, mini buses or buses.
The 'motorela' (or 'rela') is a very popular mode of transportation within Tagbilaran City. It's basically a motorcycle with a customized passenger cab attached to it. The maximum capacity is 4 adults, one sitting behind the driver.
It's very convenient, you can hail one at practically every corner in the city. There's no prescribed route (unlike jeepneys) so you can get to your inter-city destinations faster.
One interesting thing about the 'rela' is that they have Christian/religious sayings at the back... :)
Tagbilaran City has rehabilitated its port and it has improved a lot. The port serves as the gateway to Bohol for tourists and locals travelly by sea. The port services the ships, regular ferry boats and fast ferry boats coming in and out of Tagbilaran City.
The port is clean and it is now systematic or less chaotic. The vehicles are required to observe the loading/unloading zone and there is ample parking space for vehicles.
Another plus point for Bohol's tourism industry.
The fastest way to get to Tagbilaran City is by plane. It is also the most expensive.
There are two carriers which fly the Manila-Tagbilaran route.
One is the Philippine Airlines which flies there seven days a week. It has one flight, back and forth, during weekdays and two flights on weekend. the regular flight departs from the Centenial Airport at 8 a.m. and arrives at Tagbilaran at around 9:10 a.m. The plane will leave Tagbilaran going back to Manila at 9:40 a.m. The afternoon flights on week ends leave Manila at 3 pm and leave Tagbilaran at 4:40 pm
Cebu Pacific is the other carrier. It flies to Tagbilaran and back to Manila everyday. During peak seasons they add an afternoon flight. The regular morning flights leave Manila through Domestic Airport at 7 a.m. and arrives at Tagibilran after an hour. The plane leaves Tagbilaran en route Manila at 8:40 a.m. The afternoon flights leave Manila at 2 pm and leaves Tagbilaran at 2:40 pm
There are air conditioned taxis in Tagbilaran City taking you around the city and to any point in Bohol. The taxis are very helpful for business trips in Bohol. It is very easy to take a taxi in the city, either you hail one plying the road or call the taxi company.
Within the city, the fare is the one reflected on the taxi meter. If it is beyond city limit, the fare is the amount reflected on the taxi meter plus 50% of the amount. The extra amount is to cover the cost of going back to the city as there is no assurance that the taxi will pick up passengers along the way.
Tipping is not required but it is always good to tip the driver and you will feel his genuine gratitude.
This is a common public transpo in Tagbilaran City going to the municipalities and vice-versa. It's like the jeepney, but smaller and less 'flamboyant.'
Lou Square, J.C. Borja cnr M. Parras Sts., Tagbilaran City, Philippines
Good for: Business