Unless one is health conscious, the best form of exercise an urbanite gets is when he goes walking in malls or rides up and down the escalators and elevators in offices and buildings in the metropolis. Two to four hours sitting in rush hour traffic along EDSA every day does not help anyone’s health either.
It is therefore not a surprise that the average urbanite’s counterpart who lives in the province and is used to walking and hiking rugged terrains far outlives him by a number of years.
The Municipality of Alicia in Bohol is described as an interior town whose topography is mostly elevated. Located 103 kilometers from the capital of Tagbilaran City, it has an abundance of rolling hills and mountains.
The Alicia Panoramic Park, better known as Binabaje Hills among the locals, located in Brgy. Cambaol recently hosted the 2nd Mountain Bike Fest in February 11-12, 2017.
photo credit: www.iboholana.com/alicia unfolds
According to Ms. Godelia Lumugdang, Alicia’s Municipal Tourism and Information Officer, the uphill and downhill trails of Binabaje Hills in Alicia pose a rather masculine test of fire for the mountain bikers such that they (organizers) have put up a liability waiver and race agreement that indicate the participants’ full understanding that the race is hazardous and that being physically and mentally fit as well as being adequately trained are required before a registrant can join the race.
The mountain bike race had several categories: beginners, open, elite category and for age group 45 and above.
After going through the challenging trails, successful bikers were able to enjoy the panoramic hilltop view of Alicia and the surrounding towns.
Mahayag Hill, an undeveloped eco-tourism site in Alicia, has the potential for outdoor adventure activities.
From the barangay hall, you can hike up a rugged mountain trail for an hour until you reach the threshold of Batong Puti Cliff which offers a view of the 150-foot sheer drop. Rock climbing on the cliff wall is still being explored as tests have yet to be conducted if the wall is sturdy enough to hold the weight of rock climbers.
photo credit: Marco Sumargo @whatsupmarky
An area on the hilltop has been designated for camping. There are plans to purchase several All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as there is an access road from the town center to the campsite.
Boho or Inahagan Cave & Spring in Brgy. La Hacienda, 15 minutes away from the town center, is already a popular destination for locals especially during the hot summer months. Inahagan Cave is a wet cave and the source of the spring that flows into the pool.
According to Ms. Lumugdang, a team of four that included a cave expert and herself had once tried to go into the cave to trace the source of the spring. They donned wet suits as some of the inner chambers were partially submerged and spent a couple of hours inside until they reached a dead end where you have to fully submerge in the water to look for an opening. As they were not equipped for that, they came back out.
Climbing up the slopes to the right of Inahagan Cave around 10 minutes away is a large dry cave chamber. It is home to a number of bats.
As the entry point requires a bit of hiking where you have to pass through vegetation and foliage, the cave is relatively unspoiled and in pristine condition.
To the left of Inahagan Cave after a shorter amount of hiking is the Twin Window Cave. You have to do a bit of wall climbing though as the cave entrance is on the wall of a hillside. Huge roots of a tree serve as footholds. Once inside the cave, the chambers become smaller as you crawl your way towards another opening that shows a view of the vegetation below.
Sincere gratitude to the Bohol Tourism Office, Alicia Municipal Mayor Marnilou S. Ayuban, Municipal Tourism Officer Godelia Lumugdang, and the barangay captains who facilitated our media coverage of Alicia.