Location: Wildcard Fitness Gym, E Butalid St, Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol
Google maps: Click here
Opening hours: 6.30am to 10pm
Price: 50 pesos (approx £0.80)
Having left the magical island of Cebu, we headed to Bohol on what would turn out to be one of the worst Boat rides of our entire trip. Despite having been promised that we had booked tickets on the "big boat" what turned up at the dock was a small to medium sized fishing boat, known locally as a bunka. Not what we hoped for given that it was a 4 hour open sea crossing from Cebu to Bohol, but hey, this is South East Asia and things don't always go as planned.
So at 6am, and being slightly apprehensive, we boarded the boat with about 18 other equally sceptical looking tourists and left port. Port being a generous way to describe the small concrete shelf we had boarded the boat from. But even before we set sail, there were omens of what was to come. It started when the guys loading the boat dropped Emily's backpack in the sea. Not a great start, but all the electronics were in our day packs and everything in the pack could be washed when we arrived in Bohol. I decided to try and keep a positive mental attitude at this stage.
So off we set and everything seemed to be going ok at first after this little slip up. The only seats left on the boat had been the ones at the front and we soon realised why. As we got further from the shore, and the seas got a little rougher, we realised we were sitting very much in the "splash zone." Again, these things happen and at least it was still warm.
However, as we sailed further out to sea, it continued to get rougher and it soon became apparent we were going to sail into a storm. Then the heavens opened. We tried to cover the bags as best we could using the life vests on the boat, but we got soaked to the skin. Then the boat caught on fire. Then we had to swim to shore. All in all, a pretty grim four hours. But hey, these things happen, right? Right?
Eventually, we made it to our hotel, alive and with all of our possessions intact. I showered and decided to hit the gym as therapy for the days events. The first place that I found was Wildcard Fitness Gym. This gym was another colourful local gym, although much nicer than the ones in Cebu. It was set across two rooms in the ground floor of a large local house and the owner was a lovely Filipino guy.
The gym was spacious and pretty clean, with free weights, machines and a few items of cardio equipment. Overall I would say this is a lifters gym, but there is enough here for anyone to get a decent workout. This gym had:
- Dumbbells up to 30kg
- Adjustable benches
- Flat barbell bench (non-olympic bar)
- Decline barbell bench (non-olympic bar)
- Squat rack
- Smith machine
- Shoulder press machine
- Pull up bar
- Lat pulldown
- T-bar row machine
- Seated low row machine
- Preacher curl bench
- Easy bars
- Hammer curl bar
- Dips / leg raise platform
- Chest press / fly machine
- Leg press machine
- Leg extension machine
- Leg curl machine
- Calf raise machine
- Swiss ball
- Manual treadmill
- Static bikes
- Non-secure lockers
Whilst the gym doesn't seem to sell bottled water, they do have a cool water dispenser which will give you a cups worth of water in exchange for a one pesos coin. Plastic cups are available from reception, so don't forget to bring some coins!
The gym does have some storage space for your bags but these do not lock, so you may want to leave your valuables locked in your hotel room.
As well as this, the gym seemed to sell a pretty good selection of supplements, including BCAA's, whey protein, pre-workout and weight gainer. One of the nice things about the gyms in the Philippines is that all sell everything by the serving. Quite a few times I have been able to buy individual baggies of protein or single amino acid tablets. These actually work out to be cheaper than buying tubs, if you can even find anywhere selling tubs. So stock up if you are heading to the islands!
Who is this gym for? Whilst I was here I saw local guys and women training here together. Whilst I was here during the day, it seemed like a pretty professional place with a nice atmosphere. The cardio equipment is old, but functional. The area the gym is in was ok, but you should take care walking on your own in any city in the Philippines. The gym seems suitable for everyone, so enjoy your workout here!
Tips: The gym is located behind a wooden fence and it looks like its closed most of the time. Use the gate to the left hand side of the gym to gain entry. The gym is often unmanned, so use the bell by the reception desk to notify the owner that you are there and pay your entrance fee.
Read about other gyms in Bohol here