Cristopher Boncales felt nervous when he was tasked to give tour to the countryâ€™s second highest official who visited Bohol last Wednesday.
â€œI was speechless because I was nervous,â€ he toldÂ VRS.Â He admitted that he was at a loss for words when he came face-to-face with Vice President elect Leni Robredo. He was relieved when the soft-spoken Robredo was smiling to him asking him simple inquiries on the places they went on Bohol.
Boncales, 40, a tour guide of 22 years, has been guiding VIPs, ambassadors and other high ranking officials to Bohol. He said it was a privilege guiding the Robredo and her family of their Bohol countryside tour.
â€œShe was very much interested on Bohol. She was interested about the Chocolate Hills, tarsier and Loboc River River,â€ said Boncales.
With only two weeks before she assumes office as the land’s second highest official, Robredo and her three daughters- Aika, Trisha at Jillian- were visiting Bohol last Monday.
Robredo took a break from work for some quality time with her daughters. She said her vacation was a family bonding because she missed taking care of her daughters during her poll campaign in the last 10 months.
â€œIto kasi bakayon sa mga bata. Iniwasan ko talaga magtrabaho kasi halos na-neglect ko sila halos ng 10 months. Â Eh, ngayon ito talaga para sa kanila,â€ Robredo toldÂ VRSÂ in an interview in Loboc town.
Although Robredo was visiting Bohol thrice, it was this vacation she was able to explore the provinceâ€™s tourist attractions.
â€œMasaya ako..ilang beses na dinÂ akong nakapunta pero ngayon lang yata ako makakaikot. Â Lahat na punta ko lahat trabaho. Ngayon lang talaga kasama ang mga anak ko ko na bibisita sa mga must- see na mga sight dito sa Bohol,â€ she said.
The family went toÂ Oslob, Cebu for whale shark watching last Tuesday morning.Â After Oslob, they went to Balicasag Island off Panglao town for snorkelling. Balicasag Island is a known world-class diving site.
Last Wednesday, they visited the Chocolate Hills in Carmen town. TheyÂ also visited the man-made LobocÂ andÂ posed with the tarsier considered the smallest primate in the world.Â At 11 a.m., they had lunch at Loboc River together with Loboc Mayor Helen Calipusan-Alaba, provincial administrator Alfonso Ae Damalerio, Benjie Oliva and tour operator Lourdes Sultan.
During a stopover at the end of Loboc River for a cruise, the Robredo family joined with a local dance group which entertains the â€œcruisers.â€
Robredo said she was not able to thank some Boholanos who voted for her last May 9 elections. She garnered 272, 649 votes in Bohol.
â€œHindi pa lahat. Babalik ako,â€ she said.
For Â Damalerio, Â the visit ofÂ Robredo can help boost the tourism ofÂ Bohol. Â He said Robredo has recognized Boholâ€™s huge potentials in making a substantial contribution to national economic growth.
â€œWell, she assured she will promote Bohol,â€ said Damalerio who accompanied Robredo in her countryside tour.
â€œIt was her first time to see Bohol, almost all the tourist attractions in Bohol. When she was here it was purely campaign. Now, she saw the wealth and wonder of Bohol,â€ added Damalerio.
The annual tourist arrival in Bohol is pegged at 500,000, a report from the Bohol Tourism Office. But the figure is expected to increase to 1.7 million per year once construction of the new P7.14-billion Bohol airport on Panglao Island is completed.
Robredo was mobbed by supporters during her stopovers. She gamely mingled with supporters and fans and participated in some photo opportunities.
Robredo said she has yet to talk with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte regarding her possible appointment to the incoming Cabinet.
Duterte and Robredo will holdÂ separate inaugurationÂ ceremonies on June 30.
Robredo would be in Cebu City on June 28 to administer the oath of CebuÂ City Mayor-elect Tomas OsmeÃ±a, a good friend of her husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo who died of plane crash in Masbate in August 2012.