“You know, this beach was named after Alona Alegre.”
Grace told me with her sweet smile and enthusiasm. I was about to ask her, who is Alona Alegre? I had this idea that she must probably be an actress from the past because I am aware that Filipinos are crazy for celebrities!
Huh? Alona… who? But it wasn’t necessary because Grace shared the whole story.
It was in the 70’s when Alona Alegre, an actress at that time, shot a film at this beach. Still, locals didn’t have a name for the beach yet. There were still no hotels nor any establishments at that time, a virgin beach untouched by commercialism.
Filipinos as being fanatics of movies flocked to the beach to get a glimpse of the shooting, as well as the celebrities there. Grace continued her story that of all the actors there it was Alona who was the most accommodating to the fans and supporters. She was sweet and charming, and the locals loved her.
Grace said that Alona would really take time to go out and mingle with the locals during breaks. While other celebrities managed to give the usual wave and smile, Alona interacted, and talked to people.
“She was the darling of the people, and of the press.” She added.
Alona was so loved that by the time the filming ended, people still talked about her. When a tourist from other parts of Bohol or the Philippines asked about the white beach, the locals would answer, “Ah That’s the beach where Alona filmed her movie!”
As time goes by, the beach where Alona shot her movie has become the Alona Beach of Panglao, Bohol.
We didn’t really get the chance to explore the 1.5 kilometers stretch of the beach but we felt its vibe and immense beauty.
Alona Beach is probably one of the most popular spots in Panglao because of its pristine beach and sand, and it is surrounded by small islands which have the best diving sites and reefs in the country.
But aside from that, the one that really appealed to me was the beach’s story. When I posted about Alona Beach on social media, a traveler friend messaged me on Facebook. He said he knew Alona Alegre haha! which by the way gave me an idea about his age. Hahaha!
So, I did my research. And I found out that Alona was actually a pretty popular actress at that time, and she also did some sexy themed films. Here is her photo.
Alona Beach has become a tourism gem of Bohol. And it all started when an actress shot a film on its fine sand. As a way to pay tribute to the woman behind its name, Grace said that there was a plan in the past from the resort owners to invite Alona Alegre. She isn’t active in the business now, but that would be a nice move.
It is important that beyond the great experiences shared, it is good that we are aware of the stories behind the destinations we visit. Just like Alona Beach, a named rooted from an actress’ warmth to the locals, something we can all learn from.
Note: Grace is a native of Bohol. She was our tour guide in our two day stay in Bohol as part of the TBEX tour by Tourism Promotions Board. Thank you TPB!
Where to Stay at Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol
There are a lot of options for hotels and accomodations in Pangalo from Backpackers, divers to luxury travelers. As for us, we stayed at the fancy and beautiful Amorita Resort (Bookings and rates here!).
Check out this list for the best hotels and accommodations at Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol!