Tarsiers are tiny fist-sized primates with huge eyes, and elongated tarsus (feet) bones, finger and toes. These nocturnal carnivores are found only in southeast Asia. This endangered species is being successfully protected through the conservation efforts of a large semi-wild sanctuary in Loboc, Bohol. For a small fee, visitors are given the opportunity to observe these interesting creatures up close, although under strict guidelines. Tarsiers are sometimes referred to as monkeys, but are really much more like lemurs. I want to say they are cute little animals, but there is something about them that is also a bit haunting and alien looking. See what you think . . .
The road back to Loboc curves through a 2-mile stretch of dense cool forest which looks oddly out of place. It is a man-made forest of mahogany trees imported from Indonesia which students planted about 50 years ago in a government effort to minimize erosion and create a refreshing retreat from the island heat. The result is quite lovely with the artistic growth of tree roots meandering over the hillsides, contrasted by straight and uniform trunks stretching toward the sky.
Stopping at the beautiful Loboc River, we waited in turn for about an hour in order to enjoy a leisurely lunch cruise. Like the other sites we had visited this day, it was another "tourist trap" which is doing well at strengthening the predominantly tourism-based economy. It was actually nice to sample a variety of Filipino cuisine and experience a bit of their culture through music. The turquoise water and lush tropical greenery created desirable river front property. Although we didn't spot the home of our dreams, we saw some adorable "neighbors".
As we awaited our ferry, we snacked on a famous Bohol confectionery made of peanuts and egg whites. What an appropriate sweet reminder of the chocolate hills and our memorable experiences here in Bohol.
We departed content with our adventures, and looking forward to the next three days of relaxation at a posh resort on Mactan Island.