One of the main attractions of Bohol in the Philippines is the Loboc River and its Floating Restaurants. Loboc River is also known as Loay River, situated in Poblacion Ondol, Loboc, Bohol and is 15-20 minutes away from the Blood Compact Site. The long Loboc River is a host to many small bancas and floating restaurants. Visitors, both locals and foreigners are treated with utmost care and foods being served are mainly Filipino cuisine and local delicacies.
A cruise along the river starts either from the Loay Bridge or at the Poblacion of Loboc. The Loay Bridge is 20 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, the main city of Bohol while the Poblacion is 25 kilometers away. In Loay, the floating restaurant travels upstream from the starting point and at Poblacion the resto travels downstream. The Loay starting point is preferable as the stretch is longer.
There are several Souvenir Shops and Restaurants in the area of Loboc River. Shirts, bracelets, delicacies, bags and many others are sold at a very affordable price. The development is gradual and there will be several other amenities and stores later this year.
For those who want to cruise while eating, the floating restaurants are available at P280 per person. A P100 fee is also collected by the City Government which serves as maintenance, safety and security charges. The floating restaurant can accommodate 40-50 person but if you want to go alone or with your loved ones, you can do so but the price will be according to negotiations.
Before reaching the stairs going to the Floating Restaurant, a group of locals with the name of Loboc Ambassador Rondalla is performing Bohalano and other local songs. Donations are very much welcome as they needed it to help raise their foundation and music ministry. The waiting lounge has a free Wi-Fi or Wireless Internet Access which makes it cool if you have your own gadget with Wi-Fi while waiting before boarding. Once on board, the crew starts to prepare the tropical drinks and fruits for desert. This includes coconuts, bananas, watermelons and pineapples depending on the season. Foods being served are already prepared early in the morning but continue to be warm as they store it using food warmers and it is being served in a buffet style.
While in Loboc River’s Floating Restaurant, we enjoyed hearing some unwinding country music played solo by a local guitar man while other floating restaurants have an acoustic band with 2-4 members. Some Visayan and Tagalog Music were presented as well. We saw some local kids who enjoyed dipping into the clean, unpolluted waters of Loboc River. The trip ends in Busay Falls which is about 1 meter in height. In the area near Busay Falls, visitors were being entertained by some local kids who jumped off the coconut trees leaning towards the Loboc River.
Before going back to the starting point, the crew took us to a Rondalla and Dance Group housed in a Nipa Hut along the river. They played a couple of popular local songs and dances such as the Kuradang and Tinikling. Everyone enjoyed the 10 minute show and happily showed their support by giving donations to this group. The group also sells small souvenir guitars and honeys.
Loboc River is a major tourist destination and is continually developed by the City Government. Cruising at night is more spectacular than cruising at day. Lights are installed on the riverside and peace is really experienced during night time. When you’re in Bohol, never forget to visit Loboc River and its Floating Restaurants. The price you’re going to pay is less than what you’re going to eat and experience in a world-class, fine-dining, floating restaurant and with awesome surroundings.