Sometimes the weather isn’t all that great or your sunburn to much to have another beach-day. And once you have seen the Chocolate Hills, the Tarsiers, the Loboc River Cruise and all the other fun things to do on Bohol, you wonder what is left to see.
Than there is Nova’s Shell Museum in the Poblacion Panglao, only 15 minutes by tricycle from Alona Beach.
When I went there I expected a room with shells, few cabinets nothing more. Boy was I wrong! The amount of shells os somewhat overwhelming. Specially when you realise that that which is on display is only a small part of what you see. There are unpacked boxes filled whit shells and drawers with even more shells, everywhere through the numerous buildings. There is a share of antiques as well, and a Bamboo Treehouse, that offers you a fine overview over the numerous rooftops that make the museum.
The lady showing me around knew a lot about shells and with pride she pointed out the worlds smallest shell (how did they ever find that?) and the most poisonous, the most colourful and the most rare shell in the world. The museum,which is owned and run by Mr. Quirino Hora, seems to go on and on, one room after another to end in a souvenir shop with nice shell art.,
He has become a compulsive collector of shells. His enthusiasm has driven others to do the same, and the guide told me that he receives shell collectors from all over the world. What once was a hobby has converted into a business, providing a source of income and employment opportunities to the local community.
According to some scientists who happened to came on Bohol, Panglao Island probably has the biggest variety of shells in the South Pacific. And many of those are on display in the museum.
Here are some pictures of my visit:
Entrance fee: 50 pesos per person and you get a guided tour.
Opening Hours 8.00 am to 5 pm and you can find the museum in the center of Panglao.
TIP: grab a bite to eat at La Familia restaurant in Panglao, opposite of the Church. Great place for a bite, a lot cheaper and a better quality than the food at Alona Beach.