The Barn in Alona, Panglao
It felt like summer in July. With a face sparkling in sweat and a grumbling stomach, I hopped on a tricycle to Panglao Island. I could’ve taken the more convenient taxi from Tagbilaran, but that could cost me more than P500. So, I closed the deal for a tricycle at half that price, and we roared through the 20-kilometer highway to Alona. Finally, after 30 minutes, we reached our destination—D’ Backpackers’ Barn or The Barn. I could finally freshen up before running to Bohol Bee Farm for a rewarding buffet lunch.

The busy Panglao area has many options for accommodation ranging from luxury hotels (say, Amorita, Eskaya, Tarsier Botanika, and more) to the equally popular B&Bs along Alona Beach. If you’re not smart enough in your choices, your expenses can blow up to thousands and even ruin your Panglao Island vacation.


M O B I L E     P H O T O G R A P  H Y
All photos in this article, unless otherwise captioned, were taken with a smartphone. For this post, we banked on the power of Huawei Mate S, which is a super phone for both outdoor and indoor photography. Visit Huawei’s Facebook page for more details about their products.


The Barn Staff House

The Barn, budget accommodation in Alona, Panglao
Of course, you’ll spend for the boat trip to the dive spots in Balicasag or Pamilacan. You’ll spend for transportation in going around the island (you can rent a motorbike to save, but if you can’t drive, take the tricycles and habal-habal that seem to charge a lot). And you have to pamper yourself in a good spa, a restaurant, or a bar.

Good thing, there are low-cost accommodations that don’t ask much of your hard-earned money while robbing you of comfort and fun. In this area, our choice is The Barn.

“We want to provide affordable but comfortable accommodation near Alona Beach, where all the action is. Our guests appreciate the affordable prices, and many love the charming theme,” shares Quenie, who works round the clock in attending to the concerns of her guests.

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The Barn, which opened in January 2016, is not a barn. It’s a hostel, without hay and horses and cowboys. It just happened that its owners had a farmhouse which they planned to develop into a resort and name it The Barn. But, realizing it won’t make a good business because of the location, the owners decided put up a hostel instead, a short walk to Alona Beach, while remaining faithful to the barn concept.


No Frills Accommodation

The Barn has a total of 10 rooms, each of which are called a stable. It’s basic accommodation for the traveler on the go. No frills, and no fanfare. The private rooms can fit two to three guests, while the dormitory rooms are good for four. The rate includes a towel, fresh linen, basic toiletries, and breakfast if preferred.

Private Room for Two
Stables 5, 6, 7, 8

Airconditioned, Queen or Twin Beds, Private Bathroom
With breakfast for two. P1,500
Without breakfast: P1,299

the-barn-bohol
Dormitory for Four
Stables 1, 2, 3, 4

Fans, Double-deck Beds, Common Bathroom
Without breakfast: P399 per guest
With breakfast: P519 per guest

dorm

Photo Credit: The Barn

Recently, two more rooms were added: Stable 9, which is a dorm for two; and Stable 10,  a private room that can hold a maximum of 3 guests. I also learned that if guests are on a tight budget, they can slash a few hundreds from the rate to give up aircon while staying in the private rooms. What a flexible choice for the budget-conscious!

At the end of the stables, close to the staff house, there’s an open-air common area where guests can take their meals, read books, play board games or darts, or just spend time planning the group’s itinerary.

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barn-bohol

barn-breakfast

barn-homey
I’m glad I stayed at The Barn on the first day of my Bohol Tour. Had I settled for a three-star accommodation, I would’ve run short of money for the long vacation. Or, had I gone to another bed-for-rent in the neighborhood, I probably would’ve gotten a less presentable room.

And missed the birthday surprise from their staffs, MJ and Jovy. The two ladies learned that it was my birthday, so they bought me a cake. It was a funny surprise because they didn’t sing Happy Birthday, they just kept giggling as I approached them at the reception area and—surprise! (Thank you, MJ and Jovy.)

PROS
+ Budget accommodation, no frills
+ Walking distance to Alona Beach

+ By the road, accessible to public transport
+ Serves breakfast

+ Approachable and friendly staff

CONS
– Can get noisy, depending on guests
– Tasty faucet water (filtered drinking water is free for guests)

barn-home

D’ Backpackers’ Barn

Panglao Island Circumferential Road
Alona District, Panglao Island, Bohol
Facebook: D’ Backpackers’ Barn
Mobile: 0948-531-8005 / 0936-224-6195


M O B I L E     P H O T O G R A P  H Y

All photos in this article, unless otherwise captioned, were taken with a smartphone. For this post, we banked on the power of Huawei Mate S, which is a super phone for both outdoor and indoor photography. Visit Huawei’s Facebook page for more details about their products.

ArisMape

ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.