Thinking about Bohol can automatically invoke memories of vast areas with chocolate hills.  Sometimes, there are memories of seeing the world’s smallest primate. Other times, there are recollections of the native food served at floating restaurants while cruising through rivers.

For my fourth time in Bohol, I stayed away from the tourist traps and went to see the sleepy side of the island—Anda. The hidden gem is found at the eastern part of the island so going there means skipping most attractions and surviving a four-hour drive. With the place all by myself, (by myself, I mean me and a few other people who will not photobomb into my Instagram photos, ha!) I checked in at Anda Cove Beach Retreat.

True to its name, the place provided me the serenity that I need, far from all the rush of my city life routine. It was silent, most of the time, except for the occasional croaking of frogs and chirping of crickets. Except, too, for the heartfelt laughter in the company of their staff and crews. The moment I arrived at the reception area, a staff initiated to carry my things to my room. The room was spacious, clean, and most importantly, the WiFi connection was strong (just kidding, or not?).

When I went out to eat in their restaurant, they offered the most intriguing food in the menu. Not only that, they actually invited me to see the whole process of preparing it. I mean, where on Earth do people eat sea urchins? Here in Bohol, apparently.

We went to the nearest sea food market, where an array of fresh seafood is available for the lowest price. After buying the sea urchins, the staff went on to open it and spooned its edible part. This time, I was already over the thought of eating a sea urchin; I was just curious of black stuff there . Sea urchin’s bff food, they said.

The chefs prepared the soup and served it after a few minutes. From the looks of it, it could have passed as a mushroom soup, right?

I didn’t know what to expect of the soup, so when I tried it, it surprisingly tasted like a salty with a tinge of sweet ocean. Creamy, too, like a good kind of strange that I couldn’t put into words. Is it good? I’d say it is. Do you recommend it? It may not be for everyone, but it should be something you should taste for yourself to know if you like it or not.

The experience was such a ride, and that was just my first day at Anda Cove Beach Retreat. I’m so excited to share my adventures for the coming days!