The Sophomore Slump

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BLUE & Hands: Snorkelling in Balicasag Island


I can’t seem to figure out the highlight of our tours in Bohol, Philippines. Is it my brave instinct of wrapping myself with a python? Ziplining? The Floating Restaurant? We get to see the famous Chocolate Hills and the highly-protected tarsiers. Is it dolphin watching on our way to Balicasag Island? 

Or, is it snorkelling there? The incredibly beautiful beach view of Virgin Island can easily be the highlight. Balicasag is more or less 20-min boat ride away from it.

We hopped out of our boat full of great excitement, but with empty stomachs. It’s was so cool that we can select from the morning catch of fresh seafood and have it grilled while we snorkel. We rented the gears and camera cover for underwater picture-taking, wore our life vests, hopped back in to another boat and off we go with even higher expectation.

Sure, it is fascinating to watch marine life from aquarium tanks. However, having the aquatic animals right at the tip of fingers is even more wonderful, and an absolute fun. Darn great time being my first snorkelling experience.




There was no specific highlight. The highlight of the trips is for the personal reason that I shared all these amazing adventures and beautiful travel destinations with the woman I very much love. I know romanticism comes out every time I post about my visit back to my motherland, and granted the kind of relationship that we are in, I can’t help but go back to that fact that I enjoyed it most because of the people close to me.


We then had another diving experience. This time into a deliciously food. When we headed back to shore, our hot and ready fresh meal was already grilled and served.


Overlooking the beautiful water, we let our savage nature show and had the plate a fishbone finish.

Please check out my It’s More Fun in the Philippines blog post for pictures of me underwater, the fishbone finish and dolphin watching.

Last call …

I asked if it’s okay for me to sit in front of the boat going back to our lodging. I was tippy-toeing getting to it, but it’s fun to play navigator for a little bit.


Going to Cebu?


Here is Arvee. He posts everything and anything about Cebu including travel spots, events (look for Sinulog Festival), hotels, to-do’s and how-to-go-to’s. A great ambassador of his birthplace, make him your virtual tourist guide of Cebu.

My favorite is his escapade to Santa FE, Bantayan Island.


Here’s more of the fishes, the snorkel and the island…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  1. enjoywithjoy says:

    Philippines is the best place ever…I should know because it’s my birth country (not biased) I miss Cebu the most🙂

  2. nelson RN says:

    Amazing captures, Rommel! Frame-perfect photographs!

  3. Gilly Gee says:

    Super photography of this lovely place Rommel!

  4. aRVee says:

    Wow, thanks for the honor my friend. It’s very kind of you to feature my blog here. Thanks for the compliment, I will do my best to live up to everyone’s expectations, hope I won’t fail them, if I do then at least I tried lol.

    Glad you like my post about Santa Fe, I really like that place. Hope to come back there as time permits me to.

    Great post, like always. Stay safe!🙂

  5. getsetandgo says:

    Amazing pics… Just love the blue of the water…. I just love seeing and capturing the blues and greens of water in different places…

  6. Jo Bryant says:

    terrific places and great images of it Rommel

  7. orples says:

    You always do a great job on your posts, Rommel. Thanks for sharing.🙂

  8. Madhu says:

    Awesome shots again Rommel! Fab vistas and a meal that looks like a still life painting🙂

  9. arjungabriel says:

    I always always love blue. my god i am so excited to see these pictures. I love that picture where you are sitting on the corner of the boat. Congratulations

  10. Shofar says:

    Love your photos! Saw Hundred Islands, but had no chance to take the boat there! I love to snorkel, too!
    Have you been to Hawaii to surf and snorkel?

  11. Great pictures Rommel, i love the waters around the Phlippines….so beautiful😉

  12. onestreetshy says:

    And who says romanticism is dead. What a great travel blog. Bravo, bravo.

  13. rommel says:

    It’s amazing how this post never leaves my Top Posts. ???

  14. pochrelucio says:

    Just been to Bohol myself about 3 weeks ago. My second time. And I’m still going for a third one later this year. Amazing place.

  15. […] on the shores of Budyong Beach in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu. Thanks to my blogger friend Rommel at The Sophomore Slump on the special mention of my Sta Fe […]

  16. Lila Johnson says:

    What a peaceful setting. Just what I needed on this hot Sunday evening. Thanks for visiting my site and liking, “Bumpin’ at the Bagdad Cafe.”

  17. Wish I were there! ThanQ!

  18. mariannegv says:

    Hi! Thanks for liking my post “One Way to Rock and Roll…”. I really like your “Blue” post, the colors of the water and sky looks amazing.
    Kind greetings,

    • rommel says:

      I’ve been to Venice Beach twice this year. I didn’t see that huge wall art at wall. I guess you have better eye than I have. Thanks for visiting.

  19. Your killing me with these photos!! They are amazing and make me long to go there more and more every time I look at them!

  20. Linda Kat says:

    Great photos! The water looks so cool and inviting…can’t wait to go there one day!

  21. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful photos. It looks like a great place for a vacation.

  22. mhdriver says:

    Pictures are awesome! I lived in Southern California for 49 years . All these photos are places that are close to my heart. Thank You for showing them.

  23. thelighttraveler says:

    The marine sanctuary at Balicasag Island is one of the best places I’ve snorkeled so far. =)

  24. mein27 says:

    lovely pictures. i like the dolphin most.🙂 well done..

  25. Thank you for visiting my site, rommel! Hope you caught my pictures of the whale sharks in Oslob. Yes, Bohol is a beautiful place. Your pictures are great!🙂

  26. Extaizi says:

    Liked your blog a lot : )
    and the subtitle too: “Read it, like it, reply to it, reblog it, or follow it. Just please don’t steal it.” congrats

  27. Beautiful, beautiful post Rommel. Makes me miss the ocean. Locked in the mountains now. Are you certified to scuba? NOW that is a splendid experience. D.

  28. Yvonne Acosta says:

    Beautiful photos! I’m new to wordpress😀 thnx for the like!

  29. runningcorgi says:

    Great pics! Your pictures made me miss ocean. I got my scuba license in Philippines.

  30. leamuse says:

    Stunning! It reminds me of snorkelling in the Gulf of Thailand. A former Californian transplanted to the south of France. Thanks for checking out one of my blogs.

  31. fgassette says:

    Enjoyed you post. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for visiting my blog.


  32. bmpiller says:

    Great pictures! And I love your romantic side. You are a blessed couple.

  33. mhdriver says:

    Super exciting pictures and adventures. Thanks for giving me a like on post a week purple. I spent 6 1/2 in the philippines when I was in the navy but I never got do the things you did in these photos. Jim

    • rommel says:

      Hi mhdriver. 6 and a half, Aye. That’s about the usual deployment length, eh. It’s okay, a lot of military servicemen have better things to offer to the country anyway.😀

  34. rommel says:

    This post is surprisingly inching up as the most viewed and extremely most liked post other than my Freshly Pressed entry.
    Thank You so much to everyone who viewed, liked and/or commented on this post.
    Keep it coming!😀

  35. csheila says:

    Love your pictures. Never seen such blues. Also love the layout

  36. Les Kerr says:

    Sounds like a great trip – really like the photos.

  37. bucketdave says:

    It’s always better to share great experiences with someone you love. I’m glad you had a good time.

  38. […] includes a church, exotic animals, a beach and an underground cave. Our third day is a Sea Tour in Balicasag Island, Dolphin Watching and Virgin Island. Hope you can understand now how we did it the tuck and roll […]

  39. nice..bohol is my first out of town trip in 2006?…and your pictures make me want to go back there…nice shot..i would try to be a navigator too in my upcoming trips..=p

  40. Melanie says:

    I have went to Balicasag Island before and I wasn’t able to capture nice shots like yours! Great job!

  41. Penny Lane says:

    Aloha. Your post makes me want to add the Philippines to my list of places to explore.

  42. shammee says:

    oh man , you travel a lot , and your photos are pursuing me to travel .
    so wonderfully captured ….🙂

  43. That blue sky is unbelievable. Not enhanced, right?

    • rommel says:

      If it’s enhanced, I would’ve changed the gloomy parts of the clouds and made it all bright. If you look closely at the pictures in the slideshow, you’ll see how the sky is changing from having cotton-candy cloud to clouds of farrow. I can’t exactly remember but it might had drizzle just a tad. Thanks for noticing.

  44. amira says:

    snorkeling is just the simple most amazing experience …
    I only started recently and I scolded myself for not having done it sooner.
    I mean right here in the Maldives, we are surrounded with all this beautiful ocean full of colorful creatures and I have been living on land most of my life. the underworld is amazing.
    Nice post and picture🙂

  45. This made me want to go to Bohol right now.. Amazing pics.

  46. L O V E your photos!😀 And of course i envy you sooooooooooo much!😛

  47. What an amazing blog you have it’s amazing! You have been to so many wonderful places. I am a traveler myself, nice to see and read other people’s traveling stories. Glad I cam across your page!

  48. cocomino says:

    What a cool place to travel.🙂

  49. Reena says:

    Hi, I’ve nominated you for the Adventurous Blogger Award. Please follow the link for more info:

  50. Amy says:

    Thank you for touring us to Bohol! Fresh fish and rice, yummm. Love the “last call” shot!

  51. These pictures are gorgeous! It doesn’t make me want to snorkel, but I’d be happy to sit on the edge of the boat.🙂

    • rommel says:

      Ahihihi I do look like a voyager there. I was looking for Pleasure Island. Hahaha. Joke. My girlfriend would’ve killed me there.
      Well, just get to a wooden boat and ask if you can sit on the front. It would be the most amazing if you do it in the Philippines. Hehehe😀

  52. sightseerchronicles says:

    Wow!! Amazing pics!😉

  53. Beautiful pics! What camera do you use?

  54. The PI. Truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived, with the most wonderful people. I am proud that it is part of my heritage.

  55. Beautiful pictures! You always capture them well.

  56. jenicejoy says:

    Been here 2 year ago, Balicasag is the best snorkelling place for me so far! nice blog🙂

  57. youtheeverydaysuperhero says:

    amazing pic, especially the one of you sitting at the tip of the boat, amazing one! we will be in Philippines helping kids soon, maybe you can drop by!

    • rommel says:

      That is amazing, what you will be doing. Glad for the awesome invitation. But sadly, I’m in California now. How I wish to do the same thing you are doing. Have fun and travel safe.

      Your bloglink?

  58. fgassette says:

    Awesome photos! Welcome! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and enjoy the photos I take of life events as seen through the lens of my camera.

  59. Nativegrl77 says:

    have family ties … great photos ! more photos of food please …

  60. Sony Fugaban says:

    The photographs are simply disarming. I so envy you, ROM.

  61. Mazigrace says:

    Beautiful photography. I’d like to visit there someday. And thanks for the likes on my blog. Much appreciated.

  62. hi, rommel. thank you for sharing.

  63. spencercourt says:

    Guess I left the PI too early (1970); I don’t think these destinations had been “discovered” yet. Baguio was the “top” destination for me….and I hear you can’t even rent motorcycles at Burnham Park anymore. Sayang…

  64. Beautiful images… I was supposed to go to the Phillipines years ago, but was in the military at the time and due to regime changes the trip got cancelled… I think perhaps I will put it on my bucketlist after seeing your beautiful images. Thanks for visiting and liking my blog recently as well!

    • rommel says:

      Awful! I guess because of the kidnapping issues. It dissipates now, but still possible. I, myself, don’t plan in those area where terrorism is high, Mindanao area.
      This one is terrorism free area.

  65. Your experience sounds and looks amazing! Have you been to Boracay, by any chance? I’ve heard amazing things about Boracay and am wondering how it compares.

    • rommel says:

      Boracay is popular, and for a reason. No, I haven’t gone there. I like it here because we have the beach right outside our hotel and we have it for ourselves. Any Philippines common summer spots is good anyway.😉

  66. One of my dreams, to one day go back to the many beautiful islands of the Philippines. Snorkeling opens a magical world under the sea and now that my son is bigger, I wish to share that adventure with him. Amazing images Bro. You have a gift and we are lucky to see them through your blog. Happy New Year. Best wishes to your family.

  67. […] – Thank you for all those who pinnedterest/pinterested this post. 2. Most Popular: – BLUE & Hands: Snorkeling in Balicasag Island – This is like a freshly pressed post. At one good period, it never left my Top Posts and Pages. It […]

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