Your guide getting serious face time with a tarsier in Bohol, Philippines. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com.
CNN's travel site got it right this week: the Philippines' wildlife is worth checking out. CNN listed the Philippines' best "wild dates", and it's no surprise that Bohol and Davao each came up twice on the list. (We have an animal-experience list of our own - check out our run-down of Southeast Asia's weirdest wildlife finds.)
Bohol - long famous for its unnatural-looking Chocolate Hills - got called out for its population of tarsiers - tiny, bug-eyed primates - and whale and dolphin watching at Pamilacan Island off of Panglao Island. Of the former, the CNN article mentions that
...enterprising Filipinos display the tiny primate for tourists to photograph near the Loboc River. But it is even better to encounter them at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary at the foothills of the forest in the town of Corella, Bohol, where you can see them in their natural habitat.
I myself visited one such Loboc river tarsier enclosure - the Rio Verde Tarsier Place is an open-air, roofed marketplace-like venue centered around a kiosk bearing trees, which in turn bear several sleepy specimens of tarsier. It was hard to know if they were terrified, bored, or hungry... if you feel viewing them in this environment is bad for them, visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary (tarsierfoundation.org), in Corella town instead.
Davao was recognized by CNN for its Philippine eagle preserve and the fruit bat sanctuary on Samal Island (more info on both places in our entry on bats, eagles and other animal adventures in Davao. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Philippine Eagle Center (www.philippineeagle.org), the site of many a field trip in my youth. Of the Center, the CNN article has this to say:
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, they have successfully captive-bred 18 eagles. Thirty-six eagles are housed at the Philippine Eagle Center, at the foothills of Mount Apo in Davao, before being reintroduced back to the wild.
When visiting either Bohol or Davao, peruse these hotel lists to find the right room for your budget and other needs: