The crystal clear water and white sand on Panglao Beach leave Miss Universe 2017 candidates--Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and Miss Malaysia Samantha James—spell-bound as they visited Bohol province on Friday. Leo Udtohan/Inquirer Visayas
3 Miss Universe 2017 beauties enjoy ‘brief’ stay in Bohol
This was the question posed to three Miss Universe 2017 candidates—Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters, Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and Miss Malaysia Samantha James—by tour guide Cristopher Boncales of the Bohol Tourism Office when they visited a tarsier and wildlife sanctuary in Bohol province on Friday.
Bohol is perhaps most famous for the tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world.
The tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is already a tourism symbol on the island-province. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Philippine tarsier as a near threatened species.
Although tarsier is mistaken as a monkey because of its features, Boncales said tarsier is not a monkey per se although it is a primate.
“Wow, it’s so cute,” they said when they saw the timid tarsier hiding in one of the trees inside the 8.4-hectare Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary of Canapnapan in Corella town.
James shared they had a tarsier in Malaysia.
The Philippine tarsier is commonly found on Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao.
“What happened if I will touch a tarsier?” asked Peters.
Boncales said the Miss Universe beauties were so “inquisitive” that they wanted to know more about Bohol.
Peters, Alexandrova and James arrived in Bohol at 10:40 a.m. on Friday. They were met by local officials, staff from the Bohol Tourism Office (BTO) and DOT Central Visayas and fans at the Tagbilaran Airport.
They proceeded to People’s Mansion where they met acting Bohol Vice Governor Benjie Arcamo, Bohol first lady and Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto, provincial administrator Ae Damalerio and provincial legal officer lawyer Mitchell John Boiser.
They were given a raffia, a native product of Bohol and a copy of the book “The Bohol We Love.”
After brunch, the beauties proceeded to tarsier sanctuary in Corella town.
They just stayed there for half an hour and proceeded to Bohol Beach Club on Panglao Island, known for its pristine and white-sandy beaches.
Alexandrova and James were spell-bound as they swam in the crystal blue waters of Panglao.
They also took a banana boat ride.
Although they stayed only for five hours before their 3:30 p.m. private flight to Manila, they said they enjoyed their stay.
“I love it. Really. It’s my first time in Asia and I am so happy that I started in Philippines,” said Alexandrova.
She said she fell in love with the beauty of the Philippines.
“It’s so beautiful. It’s so different in my country. I really enjoyed, I really loved it. It’s so beautiful. People here (are) too kind,” she added.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Samantha told the girls while having her mango shake on the beach.
Peters, who visited Bohol twice, agreed, “The best part after Vegas.”
Boncales said the beauties wanted to see more of Bohol but their time here was limited.
“Unfortunately because of the time element, kinapus ng oras (we ran out of time). Kaya nanghihinayang kasi (They regret having to more time because) they wanted to see more of the island especially the beaches and of course the Chocolate Hills,” said Boncales.
But for Alexandrova, she said she had a good reason to come back.
“I will definitely come back,” she said. /jpv
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