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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's Summer Fun in the Philippines!

Scorching heat of the sun, tormenting weather, blistering temperature even at night! These environmental symptoms only indicate one certain condition --- Summer!

When summer season hits the landscape of the Philippines, the weather is terribly punishing and the atmosphere inside the house is almost as hell, so taking a relaxing escape elsewhere to chill down is definitely on everyone's mind. And where that “else” would be, depends on one’s idea of a soothing getaway.

I've no definite travel plan at the moment, maybe I’ll do another backpacking adventure with friends somewhere else haha!

I want to take a relaxing road trip in the countryside, marvel at the cool shade of nature, trek at the rolling hills, smell the freshness of the lush tropical plants, experience the stillness of the surroundings and feel the smoothness of the afternoon breeze. Serenity at its highest form!

Hot Spring Resorts (especially in Laguna) are good but beach is a tempting option, so maybe a quick trip to Batangas is a good consideration. Though I hate the scourging heat of the summer sun, I love the idea of frolicking in the shoreline than romp off at the pool side with the crowd, the tropical environment of Philippine beaches is so refreshing and soothing plus the bellowing of the waves is a relaxing view to cool down tired senses. 

Practically, I grew up around the shoreline because I lived in a place where houses are nestled by beaches and mountain. I spent my childhood years in the coastline of Surigao del sur, at the outskirt of Mindanao peninsula directly facing the mighty Pacific Ocean so a seaside atmosphere is already a natural feel. Often times when I am visiting a beach resort, it no longer excites me because of its too familiar surroundings, but somehow it gives me enough time to reminisce my sweet childhood memories in the province.

So while contemplating my summer escape, I would like to take a quick trip down memory lane reminiscing my most memorable nature getaways I'd taken so far.

I want also to provide few details on the spots I'd visited just in case you, readers, are on the looks of a holiday escape this summertime.

CAMIGUIN, Camiguin Island (April 2010)

Got to visit the tranquil island of Camiguin in North Mindanao last April 2010 with colleagues in the university, it was part of our side trip after our annual retreat in Cagayan de Oro City. This small island is home to some of the Philippines’s most wonderful tourist landmarks: Mt. Hibok-Hibok (hot spring), Sto. NiƱo Cold Spring, the ruins of the old Church, Katibawasan Falls, Soda Swimming Pool and the famous White Island.

Camiguin, which has a unique and spectacular setting above the sea, is the country's second smallest province next to Batanes. It is strategically located off the coast of Northern Mindanao near Bohol Sea, cradled by several volcanoes and hilltops, the island is surrounded with natural wonders of white beaches, rainforest and mountains, perfect for a relaxing holiday.

Read my post about Camiguin here

ENCHANTED RIVER, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (October 2011)

I came from Surigao del Sur where Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls are located, but it was only in 2011 that I was able to visit these two enchanting mountain landmarks in my home province.

This river partly lived up to the definition of its name “enchanted” due to the mysterious atmosphere of the elongated river in the middle of the rainforest. Cool. Calm. Soothing. The thick vegetation beckons a peaceful respite.

The location is quite far from the national road but the long travel is very rewarding as you will pass through the amazing landscape of the mother nature. It's very relaxing to the eyes. Enchanted River is far from the municipality proper of Hinatuan, it has a different route but you'll not get lost because you'll be pointed to the direction of barangay Talisay the moment you arrive at the intersection separating the town proper.

Visitors are allowed to bring food and drinks but if you want to eat fresh sea foods, there are several fish vendors around the area, they will cook it for you according to your preferences, price is very affordable. In 2011, the entrance fee is only Php 10.00. It opens at 6:00 in the morning. Inside the area, there are several cottages ready for rent.

Read more about my Enchanted River trip here

RMPC Beach, Island Garden City of Samal (May 2010)

RMPC beach resort is located at barangay Camudmud, Babak district, Island Garden City of Samal. It is one of the most magnificent beaches in Mindanao with sunkissed white sand and crystal green water. What I love about this resort is its spacious ground and comfortable cottages at affordable rates. 

This is ideal for groups looking for a beach venue for office parties, special celebration gatherings and team building, because the wide playground can accommodate fun games and sports activities. Unlike other resorts, RMPC allows visitors to bring food and drinks without additional charges.

The relaxing beach atmosphere of RMPC Resort
Cottages at RMPC Beach
This resort offers a relaxing surrounding especially at night. When we had an overnight stay there last May 2010, we enjoyed the night resting in the ground talking with friends under moonlight because cottages are quite far from the beach side so we'd all the freedom to laugh and talk without disturbing other occupants. 

The quiet environment of the resort is very ideal for people who are looking for a perfect holiday get away under a tight budget. There's enough time to loosen up and unwind, the crystal green water is super fabulous and sparkled at the rays of the hot summer sun. The resort can be reached through a bus ride or via ferryboat. Visitors may choose to spend meals either at the lined-up waiting sheds or at the table provided within the ground. Read my full travel blog entry about RMPC Beach here.

TINUY-AN FALLS, Bislig, Surigao del Sur (October 2011)

If you’re in awe with the Niagara Falls in Canada or the Iguazu Falls in the South American jungle (between Paraguay and Argentina), you will surely be mesmerized with the breathtaking splendour of Tinuy-an Falls in Borboanan, Bislig, Surigao del Sur.

Considered as the largest waterfalls in the Philippines, Tinuy-an is a stunning sight to behold. With water curtain dropping 180 feet below the ground and covers five layers of the falls, one should surely be enthralled with its bewitching natural charm.

Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao del Sur

Tinuy-an forms in clusters of water falls beautifully cascading from the mountain, its white curtain water have five levels, but the highest level on the second layer, is the strongest of all where you cannot use your camera for picture taking at close range because the splashing of the water will make it hard to capture the subject.

If you're planning to visit Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls together in one trip, you may hire a van from Davao City, there are lots of vans around Gaisano Mall in Bajada, Davao that accept a one-day rental to these locations, the rate ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 good for 14 passengers. To save time in your travelling, instruct the driver to go to Enchanted River first following the route in Agusan del Sur then to Tinuy-an Falls. When coming back to Davao, you may take the route via Cuevas, it is a shortcut road going to Davao and the travel takes only 4 hours.

Tinuy-an Falls entrance fee is around Php100.00. I'll advise you not to rent a cottage when you go there because it's a lot expensive, around Php 300.00 to Php 400.00, anyway you'll spend more time in the falls haha! So just leave your belongings in the car and if you want to eat after trekking the falls, just spend it around the area. Remember to bring food and drinks when you go to Tinuy-an Falls because there's no available food establishments in the area.

Read my Tinuy-an Falls adventure here

PEARL FARM, Samal Island, Davao (August 2012)

Pearl Farm is a world-class beach resort located in the island garden city of Samal, North of Davao, travellers may get there through a boat ride from Lizada wharf in Lanang, Davao city which caters exclusive boat trips for Pearl Farm guests. The schedule is strictly followed so travellers must be on the wharf approximately 30 minutes before the departure.

 Pearl Farm Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao
 Maranao Swimming Pool, Pearl Farm

It's one of the most stunning beach resorts in the Davao province where guests are treated to a luxury accommodation of leisure, food, fun activities and world-class customer service. The place is fully secured and ultra exclusive. But don't expect too much about spacious shoreline like Boracay. Pearl Farm has no long coastline, it has plenty of breakwater, in fact the beach area is not huge because the resort is just situated at the foot of the mountain and along the slim shoreline, but the place has a terrific view of the sea and the amenities are fantastic! 

With my friends, Juvy and Joice. 
This beach line in Malipano Island is exclusive for its villa guests, 
we only took a quick pose for pictures here then left the area

If you want to enjoy the pleasure of swimming, frolicking in the coast line, stroll around the beach and be captivated with the lush tropical environment, spend time at the Malipano Island, just across Pearl Farm, it is also operated by the Pearl Farm management so going there is free except that you cannot spend extended time at the beach area facing the ocean as it is exclusive for its villa guests.

Pearl Farm has two swimming pools: Maranao and Mandaya, and one restaurant that offers local and international cuisines. If you are under a tight budget, choose the room on top of the hills, the rate is more affordable. But if you want some intimate moments with your sweetheart, choose the Maranao rooms, it is situated above the sea water and directly facing the placid sea, the atmosphere at night is so relaxing and very romantic! Ideal for honeymooners ^____^, normal rate is around Php 10,000.00 per night.

 Read my Pearl Farm and Malipano Island joint adventures here.

BORACAY! (July 2013)

Gorgeous tropical environment, stunning coastline, sparkling water, romantic sunset, fun-filled daytime activities by the sea and vibrant night life, where else to experience it but at the dazzling island of Boracay in the Philippines!

Beautiful island of Boracay! 
The water is crystal clear and the ivory, sugary sand is so amazing you may walk 
without footwear, it doesn't hurt your feet!

Unlike other beach resorts in the country where visitors only enjoy the beauty of the seaside at day time, Boracay offers a unique experience of fun and adventure even at night time. As the sun dramatically goes down, Boracay springs to life and visitors are treated to an ultimate party adventure.

I'm not a party girl and I hate night life, I don't like staying up late and I detested liquors and cigarettes but at Boracay yeah that was so hugely different. The laughter. The vigour. The vibes. I enjoyed watching people dancing, exchanging pleasantries, laughing and singing along. So many tourists from diverse cultural background fidgeted the area!! It looks like Ibiza, a beach party destination in Spain frequently visited by famous celebrities and European royals.

I have been into many islands and beach resorts in the country, but nothing knocks the glamour and magnificence of Boracay. Truly impressive!!

Read more about my BORACAY escape here.

So folks! Take your pick, what destination would you want to choose this summer? Send me a message if you want a detailed information on each of these summer getaways. It's a great pleasure to help your travel adventure ^____^

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