Up Close With The Tarsier of Bohol ( With Raw HD Footage)

Last December 10, 2011, we went on a memorable side trip to Bohol From Mactan, Cebu. It took us almost 45 minutes by car and 1 1/2 hours by ferry before we arrived at the Tagbilaran Port in  Bohol. Since we only had 6 precious hours to complete the Bohol Countryside Package Tour, we asked the tour guide/driver if we could see the trip highlights first. He gladly relented and billeted us to our first stopover: Bohol's Famed Chocolate Hills. 

After an hour or so of simply being enthralled at this natural wonder, we hopped on the van for yet another exciting destination:  The Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc.

For a minimal fee of  PHP 50, we were able to enter the conservation area for the tarsier which is considered to be the smallest primate in the world!  

We first had to sit in for a while and listen to one of the staff members go through the rules. They wanted to  make sure that during our visit, the tarsiers won't be antagonized in any way.  

I can understand their apprehension for a single camera flash can drive the tarsiers to hurt themselves! That's how notoriously evasive they are.

Somehow I wasn't prepared for the rocky hike. I also didn't expect the trail to be so undeveloped. Somehow I had the feeling that some sort of accident was just lurking around the corner.

True enough, one of the foreigners lost his balance and slid down the rocky and muddy trail. I truly hope the powers that be will look into this and come up with concrete solutions pretty soon to keep further accidents at bay. 

Twenty minutes have passed, and the famed tarsier was still nowhere to be found!

                                                                     The Evasive Tarsier of Bohol!

Alas, from among the trees, I saw a lone figure, brown, furry and to my surprise, even smaller than the size of my palm. Was it a bug or a mere bark? And then it dawned on me that it was actually what I was looking for all this time: The famous but highly evasive Tarsier of Bohol! I half expected not to see a pair of eyes that day considering the tarsier's shy nature.

A few minutes later, a pair of grayish brown eyes were looking directly at me! And I'm so glad I caught everything on video. I hope you'll pardon the shaky shot for I didn't bring any tripod during the trip.

Taken from my YouTube Channel

By the way, the staff was kindly reminding two foreign visitors not to go near the tarsier because both of them repeatedly disobeyed the rules. Remember: Flash photography and talking are strictly prohibited in the area for both elements can put undue stress on the tarsiers and I think you already know what will happen when they do experience that. 

     The rugged, undeveloped trail of the Tarsier Conservation Area

After our memorable encounter with the tarsier, we went down the undeveloped trail and found a string of stalls selling souvenir items of all kinds.

            Souvenir market inside the Conservation Area

       Souvenir bags ranging from PHP 500 to PHP 700

     Mini Tarsier Stuff Toys: 3 Pieces for PHP 100

        Tarsier wallets for almost the same price

    Bohol T-Shirts selling from PHP 250

             Me, Moi, Myself and My Tarsier

I decided against buying souvenir items from this place for I heard that the store beside the Blood Compact Shrine gave better deals for visitors. Instead, I had my photo-op behind this huge make-believe tarsier for posterity. I can't fully express how my encounter with the tarsier made our Bohol Countryside Tour truly worthwhile and even more memorable as it already was.

Tarsier Conservation Area
Upper Bonbon Loboc Bohol
6300 Tagbilaran City
Phone: 0920-469-6111
Entrance Fees:
Regular: Php 50
Senior Citizen/Student with ID: Php 40
Free: 12 years old and below