Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa (Puerto Princesa City, Palawan)

We arrived at the resort by 9 AM and we all offered a relaxing cold face towel and a welcome drink made with fresh cucumber and pineapple.  The very professional, very visible and thoughtful Mike Villegas, the Resident Manager, was on hand to see to it that the needs of guests like us were attended to.

Sheridan Beach Resort

Sheridan Beach Resort and its signature swimming pool

The 95-room Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa, the only luxury resort in the Sabang area on the west coast of Palawan, was built in 2010 and was developed and operated by Jeco Development Corp.  President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III stayed here last February 9, 2011.

Front Desk

Front Desk

This “green” resort is among the seven honored for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy at the recently concluded Energy Smart Forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

Wind turbines cover about 70 to 80% of Sheridan’s electricity requirements. During rainy days or when the solar plant cannot produce or when there is scarce wind to power the wind turbines, the resort has back-up generators.

Solar panels

Solar panels

The resort also has a catch basin for rainwater and a water recycling system in place. They also use LED lighting and their airconditioners use inverters. They also have green landscape features and architecture, so they don’t use air-conditioning in our hallways.

De Luxe Room

De Luxe Pool View Room

We were assigned to spacious and modern De Luxe Pool View rooms located at the second floor.  With an area of 30 sq. m., Minimalist-style our guestrooms were tastefully furnished and decorated in a contemporary Asian style with a touch of local culture.

De Luxe Suite (2)

All have split-type airconditioners, comfortable beds, soft, fluffy pillows, a spacious private ensuite bathroom with hot and cold shower, flat screen cable TV with a DVD player, well-stocked minibar, hair dryer, in-room safe, tea and coffee making facility plus rubber slippers, bathrobes, complimentary bottled water and a large umbrella for the use of guests.  The very nice balcony, from which we enjoyed a panoramic view of the large swimming pool, has a retractable aluminum clothes rack where you can hang your wet clothes and towels.

Sabang Room

Sabang Room

Sabang Room Bath

Sabang Room Bath

There are also 30 sq.m. Superior and De Luxe Mountain View Rooms, the 46 sq. m. Palawan and Sabang Rooms and the 76 sq. m. Junior Suite and Sheridan Suite.  The suites and the Palawan and Sabang Rooms have bathtubs.  For groups and families, there are 13 connecting rooms in the De Luxe category.

Chaise lounges by the pool

Chaise lounges by the pool

Its big, 340 ft. (104 m.) long, architecturally interesting infinity swimming pool, said to be the largest in Palawan, is located tight smacked in the center of the entire establishment.  Open 9 AM to 9 PM, it has a constant depth of 4 ft. throughout its length and is separated into two distinct sections.

Childrens pool

Childrens pool

Here, you can play water basketball. Chaise lounges are actually partly submerged at the pool. The swim up Sip n’ Dip Bar (open till 12 midnight) is located in the middle while 3 jacuzzis are located on the sides.

Jacuzzis

Jacuzzis

There are plenty of dedicated lifeguards on duty here (and the beach) as well as pool attendants. A small but excellent outdoor workout gym, with great, state-of-the-art Sports Art Fitness equipment and weights, overlooks the pool.

Outdoor gym

Outdoor gym

The resort also has a 24-hour, beachfront restaurant (South Sea Restaurant), coffee shop, a bar/lounge by the beach (Blue Bar), kiddie swimming pool, 24-hour front desk, convention center, smoking area, shared lounge/TV area, children’s playground, sauna, a sports bar with darts, billiards, table tennis and a giant chess board game, outdoor sports (Segway, beach bikes, ATV rides), barbecue facilities, library near the lobby, game room, watersport facilities (surfboards, wakeboards, kayaks, body board, etc.) and business center. The first-rate, service-oriented staff, who spoke very good English, were really helpful, very nice and extremely polite and friendly.

Convention Center

Convention Center

Sports bar

Sports bar

The gorgeous, well maintained, gradually sloping, relatively quiet, palm-fringed and sugary fine but not so white Sabang Beach has shallow, crystal clear water but is not ideal for snorkeling or diving. Beware of the undertow at the 6-ft. deep level.

Beach Area

Beach Area

The lifeguards use their whistles or bullhorns to call your attention if you venture beyond the safe zone. Facing the beach are benches, sundeck chairs, small tables and cozy, woven reed hammocks under shady coconut trees where we can sit or lie down, nap, read or listen to the waves crashing around you.

The author relaxing by the beach

The author relaxing by the beach

The resort also offers 24-hour room service, laundry service, shuttle, safety deposit boxes, luggage area, car rental, airport transfer, tours, bicycle rental, babysitting, currency exchange, island hopping and express check-in/check-out.  Wi-fi is offered in public areas (lobby and restaurant) but some rooms, mine included, was within reach of wi-fi.

Nature Spa Village

Nature Spa Village

Come evening of my second day at the resort, after a hectic day of island hopping, snorkelling and ziplining,I availed of the signature Sheridan hilot massage at the intimate Sheridan Nature Spa Village.  Truly healing and relaxing.

Nature Spa Village - Interior

Nature Spa Village – Interior

This resort is just s a stone’s throw away (10-min. walk) from the wharf where boats take you to the Subterranean Underground River. Also nearby is the 800 m. long Sabang X zipline (PhP550/pax) where you zip over the sea.  About 15-20 mins away from the resort is Ugong Rock and the mangroves. It’s also an 1.5 hr drive to Honda Bay. Sabang Waterfalls is about a 2-hour roundtrip trek through a very rocky beach.

All Terrain Vehicles

All Terrain Vehicles

A pair of Xibeihu Amphibious Motorboats

A pair of Xibeihu Amphibious Motorboats

The physical beauty and magnificent sweeping vistas of the surrounding, lush green and uniquely shaped mountains, which serves as the resort’s beautiful backdrop, truly made me feel like I was in paradise. Truly, a a mystical, beautiful vacation hideaway in Palawan where heaven and earth meet …..

Sunset at Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

Sunset at Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa: Sabang Beach, Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Cabayugan. Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Palawan Sales Office: Jeco Bldg., Rizal Ave. Extn., Puerto Princesa City.  Tel (+63 48) 434 1448 to 49 and 723 7278. Mobile Numbers (+63 917) 308-3245 and (+ 63 917) 308-3245. Cebu Sales Office: Sheridan Bldg., Ouano Ave., NRA, Mandaue City.  Tel: (+63 32) 236-1001. Fax: (+63 32) 345-1000. Mobile number: (+63 917) 306-6984. Manila Sales Office: tel: (+63 2) 939-8888. Mobile number: (+63 917) 726-5224. E-mail: reservations@sheridanbeachresort.com.  Website:www.sheridanbeachresort.com.
Instagram: @sheridanresorts
Instagram official tag: #SheridanPalawan
Twitter: @sheridanresorts
Facebook: facebook.com/sheridanbeachresortandspa

New Year Countdown at the Manila InterContinental (Makati City)

Fireworks (12)

For the third time around (the first was in the iconic Manila Hotel, followed by the Dusit Hotel), my family and I decided to spend New Year’s Eve in a hotel and, this time around, we chose to stay at the nearby InterContinental Manila (colloquially Intercon/ICM).  This 5-star InterContinental hotel, part of the longest operating international chain hotel in the Philippines, holds the distinction of being the first 5-star deluxe hotel in Makati and the second InterContinental hotel to open in Asia.

InterContinental Manila Hotel

InterContinental Manila Hotel

Designed by my uncle, the late National Artist Leandro Locsin, this 14-storey landmark hotel opened on April 11, 1969 as part of the overall redevelopment plan for Makati.It is owned by Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corp., Ayala Land’s wholly owned subsidiary. Conveniently located within Ayala Center (Makati Commercial Center years before), opposite the Glorietta, it is walking distance to 5 big shopping malls (SM, Rustans, Landmark, etc.), great restaurants, an MRT-3 station (Ayala Station) and cinemas. It still exudes the charm and elegant atmosphere of the old Manila I am familiar with.

Cafe Jeepney

Cafe Jeepney

 This old but well-maintained hotel has won numerous awards such as the “Best Hotel Kikay Festival” for “Festival Gastronomique le Kikay Bleu” in 1982 and 1983; the Green Globe Award for Outstanding Environmental Programs in 1998; “Outstanding in Community Involvement for Southern Asia” among InterContinental hotels in 2002; and the TTG (Travel Trade Gazette) Travel Awards as the “Best City Hotel” in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Hotel Lobby

Hotel Lobby

In 1997, the hotel also placed first in Asia Pacific and third in the world in the D’Richey Report and, in 2007, it was voted by readers of Business Traveler Magazine Asia Pacific as one of the three top hotels in the Philippines.

Cafe Jeepney (1)

Cafe Jeepney (2)

Cafe Jeepney dining area

We all checked in at a spacious and comfortable 2-bed De Luxe room (Suite 839), one of 332 guest rooms that were updated in 2006. Incorporating traditional and modern Filipino design infused with a refined European touch, each room had warm earth tones and rich, walnut wood finish. it features individually-controlled airconditioning, flat-screen LCD cable TV, work desk with lamp, in-room safe, IDD/NDD phone, coffee/tea making facility, mini fridge, private bathroom with bathtub and free high-speed wireless internet.

Double Bed De Luxe Suite (Suite 839)

Double Bed De Luxe Suite (Suite 839)

The staff was polite, efficient and attentive to our needs.  The presence of pretty Ambassador ladies greeting guests at the entrance was a nice touch.  They also offer valet, airport transfers, currency exchange, tours, concierge, car rental, laundry and room service.  InterContinental Manila has 4 restaurants and bars that offer a wide selection of food and wines to suit every taste and to match the occasion.

Gambrinus Bar

Gambrinus Bar

The Prince Albert Rotisserie, a fine dining restaurant, offers gourmet French and Continental fare, classic wines and is best known for its tableside preparation of US prime rib and Crepe Suzette. In addition to the main dining section, the restaurant boasts of three dining salons for guests desiring more privacy. During our stay, they offered a special New Year’s Eve set dinner menu (PhP2,990++ per person) which included veal, duckling, and morel terrine and roast prime rib of Aberdeen Angus beef with baked potato, buttered garden vegetables and red wine sauce. A special à la carte menu was likewise be offered. Its impeccable service has reaped prestigious awards and numerous citations including Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Gustateurs ‘Trés Belle Carte” (Best Wine List) Award.

Sol y Sombra

Sol y Sombra

Café Jeepney, a favorite meeting place and watering hole for people in the news and those who write about them, was where we had our breakfast.  The evening of our stay, they offered a buffet for PhP2,000++ per person. Themed around the world famous Filipino jeepney, it features a mouth-watering spread of Filipino and international fare, a la carte and buffet style, including live cooking and carving stations.

Function Room

Function Room

The ground floor Gambrinus Bar, a venue to meet family and friends amongst the view of the poolside garden, offers an appetizing selection of a la carte dishes, bar chows and cocktails while listening to live music in the evening.  Sol y Sombra offers savory snacks, tropical thirst quenchers and cocktails by the poolside or inside one of the “bahay kubos” (nipa huts).

Club Lounge

Club Lounge

The Club Lounge, where we had access, offered breakfast and snacks throughout the day as well as happy hour in the evening.  It had a stunning view of the Makati skyline.  The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool (said to be the largest in Makati), an 800-1,000-pax grand ballroom, 7 meeting rooms (Bahia, San Lorenzo, etc.), business center, full-service spa (Suriya), sauna, gift shop, beauty salon and a gym (Gold’s Gym)..

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

Our room package (PhP9,888 net) also included a New Year’s Countdown for two, which started  8 PM onwards, at its Grand Ballroom, with free-flowing red and white wine, champagne, soda, iced tea, and a buffet spread of holiday favorites.

New Year Countdown (Grand Ballroom) (1)

 

New Year Countdown at the Grand Ballroom

New Year Countdown at the Grand Ballroom

Performing live music on stage was the all-girl (AJ Salvado, Jen Manalac, and Pia Diamante) Silk Band who rendered rhythm & blues and the best of OPM, from the 1970s to the present.  Right after the countdown, we watched the fireworks outside.

Family bonding at the InterContinental Manila

Family bonding at the InterContinental Manila

InterContinental Manila: 1 Ayala Ave., Ayala Center, Makati City, 1226 Metro Manila.  Tel: (632) 793-7000. Website: www.intercontinental.com/Manila.

Pheasant’s Tears (Sighnaghi, Georgia)

(All photos courtesy of Ms. Riva Galveztan)

The endpoint of our GNTA-sponsored walking tour of Sighnaghi town proper was Pheasant’s Tears where Buddy, Pancho, Riva, Mel and I, together with our Georgian guide Sopho Makashvili, were to have lunch and sample some Georgian wine.  Pheasant’s Tears, a Georgian winery that produces artisanal natural wines according to ancient Georgian traditions, was founded in 2007 by John H. Wurdeman V and Gela Patalishvili.

Pheasant's Tears

Pheasant’s Tears

John, an en plein air painter and the first American graduate of the prestigious Surikov Institute in Moscow, first came to Georgia in 1996 and bought a house in Sighnaghi the following year. In 1998, he relocated to Georgia full time. Gela, a winegrower whose family’s connection with wine goes back 8 generations, met John in 2005 when John was painting in a vineyard near the highway in the Alazani Valley near the village of Tibaani.  They decided to work together and set up Pheasant’s Tears. The name “pheasant’s tears” refers to a Georgian story in which only the very best wines are good enough to make a pheasant cry.  

The restaurant's rustic interior

The restaurant’s rustic interior

An old wine press

An old wine press

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by Mr. Shergil Pirtskhelani, Pheasant’s Tears sommelier (wine steward), who brought us all to the winery’s basement cellar and gave us a brief introduction on ancient Georgian wine making traditions.  All wines are fermented in kvevri, traditional clay amphorae which are lined with organic beeswax and buried into the ground. Kvevri wines seem to age faster than conventional wines.

The wine cellar

The wine cellar

Fermentations using naturally occurring yeast is employed and slightly different techniques are used to make each of the wines. Some have moderate skin contact while others have minimal (3 weeks to 6 months). Stems are included in the wine making process. In 2013, the ancient traditional kvevri wine-making method was inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

Our host Shergil Pirtskhelani

Our host Shergil Pirtskhelani

After this brief introduction, Shergil then toured us around John’s (who was at Tokyo during our visit) studio which houses his books, painting paraphernalia (easels, paint, brushes, etc.) and artwork that reflects John’s overflowing passion and love for Georgia.

Studio of John H. Wurdeman V

Studio of John H. Wurdeman V

It was now time for lunch and we all went down to the private dining room which had a warming fireplace.  The supra (Georgian feast) before us, prepared with fresh ingredients from the local markets by head chef Gia Rokashvili, a local Sighnaghian, was a take on traditional Georgian cuisine with an eye towards wine and food pairings, all designed to accommodate both veggie (Sopho and Riva belonged to this category) and meat lovers.

Kidney beans with wild thyme

Kidney beans with wild thyme

Fresh vegetable salad

Fresh vegetable salad

Stewed veal with vegetables

Stewed veal with vegetables

On the menu was matsoni (strained water buffalo yoghurt with red pepper); curds with black pepper and green onions; fresh vegetable salad, (radish, carrots, arugula, cabbage, onions, olives, tomatoes and cucumber in sunflower seed oil); mushrooms sautéed with garlic; kidney beans with wild thyme; omelet (radish greens, onions, pepper and broccoli); roast potatoes with tkemali (wild plum sauce) and stewed veal with vegetables.

The private dining room

The private dining room

While dining, Shergil poured 3 kinds of Georgian wine in our respective wine glasses for us to taste, helping us understand the roots that these wines came from.  We started with Chinuri 2013, the lightest, crispest white wine in the line-up; followed by Rkatsiteli 2011 which was spicy and exotic on the nose, with warm peachy notes; and Tavkvevri 2013, a vivid, juicy and berryish red wine.  He also assumed the role of tamada (Georgian toastmaster) as we sampled each of these wines.

Chinuri, Rkatsiteli and Tavkvevri wine

Chinuri, Rkatsiteli and Tavkvevri wine

L-R- Mel, Riva, Sopho, the author, Pancho and Buddy

L-R- Mel, Riva, Sopho, the author, Pancho and Buddy

Shergil happened to be a music teacher who teaches folk and sacred songs from Georgia with traditional Georgian stringed instruments. After our magnificent repast, he regaled us by playing the guitar while Ms. Enek Peterson, an American from Boston (Massachusetts), serenaded us with the popular spiritual song “Hallelujah” (written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen in 1984) plus a Georgian song. This capped a wonderful afternoon filled with great art, delightful Georgian cuisine and soul-searching music.

Shergil and Enek serenading us with two songs

Shergil and Enek serenading us with two songs

Pheasant’s Tears: 18 Baratashvili St., Sighnaghi, Georgia 4200.  Tel: 0 355 23 15 56.  Mobile number: +(995 599) 53-44-84. E-mail: jwurdeman@pheasantstears.com. Website: ww.pheasantstears.com.

Georgia National Tourism Administration: 4, Sanapiro St, 0105, Tbilisi, Georgia. Tel: +995 32 43 69 99. E-mail: info@gnta.ge. Website: www.georgia.travel; www.gnta.ge.

Qatar Airways has daily flights from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (Clark, Pampanga) to Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia) with stopovers at Hamad International Airport (Doha, Qatar, 15 hrs.) and Heydar Aliyev International Airport (Baku, Azerbaijan, 1 hr.). Website: www.qatarairways.com.

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort (Oslob, Cebu)

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

I again got an invitation, from Mr. Pete Dacuycuy, to join a media familiarization tour of another Bluewater resort (the first one we visited was the Panglao Bluewater Resort in Bohol), this time to Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.  Joining me was fellow Panglao visitor Ms. Ma. Joy Elaine C. Felizardo (www.gastronomybyjoy.com) and Ms. Lara Louise Gabrielle L. Antonio (Editorial assistant at Mabuhay Magazine) plus Mr. Jimbo Owen B. Gulle (Editor-in-chief of Powerplay Magazine); Ms. Ma. Katrina Camille Cabanos (ZALORA Philippines); Ms. Liana Kathleen Smith-Bautista (www.liveloveblog.com); and Ms. Risa Halaguena and Ms. Rachelle Elaine Mapa (Account Manager), both from Essential Philippines Magazine.

Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island

We all arrived at Sibulan Airport (Negros Oriental) by 3:30 PM via a PAL Express flight. Upon exiting the terminal, we were whisked, via two airconditioned vans, to Sibulan Port where a big 50-pax outrigger boat (Jeffrey) was waiting to bring us to the island.  Normally, to get to the island, visitors usually make a 20-min. land trip to Tampi port, then ride a fast craft going to Oslob on Cebu Island.

Sibulan Port

Sibulan Port

From Oslob (a 3-hour drive from Cebu City), they then make a 10-min. land trip to Bancogon Pavilion, where the private ferry port going to  Sumilon Bluewater Island is located. The free 2-way transfers between the the pavilion and Sumilon Island are scheduled at 1.5 hr. intervals with the first trip at 7 AM and the last at 4:30 PM. We were to forego this tedious land-sea transfer and, instead, directly get to the island via a 1-hr. boat trip.

Arrival at Sumilon Island Wharf

Arrival at Sumilon Island Wharf

We arrived at the island by 4:50 PM and were assigned our respective de luxe rooms in duplex villas.  Jimbo and I stayed at the newly renovated Villa 14-A. Our spacious, tastefully and comfortably decorated airconditioned room had a high ceiling and impressive interiors with 2 very comfortable queen-size beds with many fluffy pillows, a big private bathroom with hot/cold shower and a skylighted ceiling, cable TV with DVD player, a work desk, coffee/tea making facility, sitting area, minibar and a private veranda with lounge chairs.  Glasses of the most refreshing lemongrass-calamansi iced tea and a platter of assorted fruits welcomed us inside our room.

Villa 14-A

Villa 14-A

Sitting area and writing desk

Sitting area and writing desk

Wooden sliding louver doors leading to the bathroom

Wooden sliding louver doors leading to the bathroom

Wi-fi is available in our rooms and public areas (pavilion, the pools, some parts of the beach and the lounge areas along the coastline).  Lounge areas, with seats and hammocks, are located along the seaside and wooden stairs lead guests to a pocket beach. I’ve nothing but praises for the friendly, courteous and efficiently pro-active staff’s hospitality and their earnest desire to fulfill every request.

Al fresco dining at the sandbar

Al fresco dining at the sandbar (photo: Joy Elaine C. Felizardo)

The island's signature shifting sandbar

The island’s signature shifting sandbar

Dinner was prepared, al fresco, along the island’s signature shifting sandbar. After this refreshing repast, we made an ocular tour, using an electric tram, of the resort’s  1 and 2-bedroom villas.

The electric tram

The electric tram

These villas feature, aside from the aforementioned de luxe room amenities, a sitting area, a dipping pool and a free-standing bathtub (also a feature in Panglao Bluewater Resort) for the 2-bedroom villa.

2-Bedroom Villa

2-Bedroom Villa

Interior of 2-Bedroom Villa

Interior of 2-Bedroom Villa

Dipping pool at 1-Bedroom Villa

Dipping pool at 1-Bedroom Villa

Come morning, we had our buffet breakfast at its quiet and lovely, octagonal Island Pavilion restaurant.  It offers assorted breads with orange marmalade, strawberry jam and butter spreads; juice (orange or four seasons); fresh milk; hot chocolate, coffee, hash brown potatoes, crispy bacon, omelet, tocino, noodles, etc.

Pavilion Restaurant

Pavilion Restaurant

Beside the pavilion is an inviting outdoor infinity swimming pool, overlooking Oslob, with loungers and a breathtaking view of the beach.  Just nearby is the resort’s well-stocked bar.

Infinity swimming pool

Infinity swimming pool

Poolside bar

Poolside bar

Up ahead was a full day of resort-sponsored activities at Oslob, starting with a 10 min. boat ride to the mainland where we bonded with butanding (whale sharks) and  frolicked at Tumalog Waterfalls.

The author (left) bonding with a whale shark

The author (left) bonding with a butanding (photo: Ma. Joy C. Felizardo)

The author at Tumalog Falls

The author at Tumalog Falls

We also reminisced the town’s historical past at the poblacion where we visited  the Spanish-era Church of the Immaculate Conception, Cuartel (barracks), baluarte (watchtower), gates and walls.  We returned to the resort via a 15-min. boat ride from Bancogon Pavilion and Wharf.

Bancogon Pavilion

Bancogon Pavilion

Bancogon Wharf

Bancogon Wharf

In the afternoon, we all explored the island via a nicely laid out hiking trail, through lush forests, making stopovers at the lighthouse, a Spanish-era baluarte, Yamashita’s Cave and  Our Lady of Fatima grotto.  Come evening, to refresh their tired bodies, some of the ladies also tried out an outdoor massage at the resort’s Anuma Spa.

Hiking around the island

Hiking around the island

Anuma Spa

Anuma Spa

On our last day at the resort, Joy and I checked out their 3 glamping tents.  Glamping is short for “glamorous camping.” It basically means going camping while trying to make yourself feel that you’re not camping.  The tent has all the other features of a regular room such as 2 single beds, carpeted floor, cabinets, lamps, electric fans and a cooler filled with assorted drinks (beer, soda, juice) and chips, all for free.  The campsite is located near the beach and the natural lagoon and a bathroom and shower room is close by.

A furnished glamping tent

A furnished glamping tent

The natural lagoon

The natural lagoon

The resort also has a children’s playground, library, dive shop (Aquamania Dive Shop), game room and a souvenir shop.   They also offer, airport transfers, 24-hour room service, , kayaking, fish feeding and fishing at the lagoon, Hobie Cat sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, paddle boating and scuba diving.  In the evening, you can join fishermen as they catch krill to feed the butanding the next day.

Aquamania Dive Shop

Aquamania Dive Shop

This highly recommendable resort, an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and the chaos and stresses of the mind and body, is truly a good place for reflection, prayer, rest, relaxation and romance.

The author at Sumilon Island

The author at Sumilon Island

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort: Brgy. Bancogon, Sumilon Island, Oslob, 6025 Cebu.  Tel: (032) 382-0008 and (032) 318-9098. Mobile numbers: (0917) 631-7514 and (0917) 631-7512.  Email: info.sumilon@bluewater.com.ph.

Cebu City booking office: CRM Bldg., Escario cor. Molave Sts., Lahug, 6000 Cebu City. Tel:  (032) 412-2436. Mobile numbers (0917) 631-7508 and (0998) 962-8263. E-mail: sales.sumilon@bluewater.co.ph.

Manila Office: Rm. 1120, Cityland/Herrera Towers, 98 Herrera cor. Valero St. Salcedo Village, Makati City. Tel: (632) 817-5751 and (632) 887-1348. Fax: (632) 893-5391.  E-mail: sumilon@bluewater.com.ph. Website: www.bluewatersumilon.com.ph.

Bohol Bee Farm (Dauis, Bohol)

Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm

After breakfast, a dip at the lagoon pool and an ocular inspection, with Rooms Division manager Mr. Leo P. Go,  of the resort’s Honeymoon Villas, it was now time to check out of  Panglao Bluewater Resort.  After thanking our gracious host, Mr. Pete Dacuycuy (who left for Manila ahead of us), we again boarded our airconditioned coach which was to bring us to the next town of Dauis.  Here, we were to have lunch at the homey and relaxing Bohol Bee Farm.

Potted herbs and vegetables

Potted herbs and vegetables

This self-sustaining, nature-themed and eco-friendly resort  is filled with rustic wooden furniture and a unique lush, green environment.  Alugbati vines grow on the trellises while the frontage is filled with small plots of various organic herbs (oregano, dill, fennel, basil, spearmint, pandan, magic rose, thyme, chives, lemon grass, peppermint, parsley, aloe vera, stevia, coriander, rosemary and tarragon) and vegetables (romaine lettuce, celery, eggplant, mustard, etc.), all used as ornamental plants and lining the walkways.

The cliff with the sun deck and swimming area below it

The cliff with the sun deck and swimming area below it

This agricultural haven, situated on top of a cliff that drops dramatically into the sea (the swimming area below it is accessible by a flight of wooden stairs), was once dedicated to bee cultivation but the bees perished and the farm was moved to Inabanga.

The 2wo-tiered swimming pool

The 2-tiered indoor swimming pool

The farm promotes healthy eating and we were here to sample a delicious and unique buffet lunch, which uses organically-grown vegetables, at its restaurant overlooking the sea.  On our way to the restaurant, we passed the resort’s lounge area and two-tiered, indoor swimming pool.

The restaurant

The restaurant

Too bad, resort owner and chef Victoria “Vicky” Wallace-Sandidge, a Bohol-born and New York-based nurse-turned-farmer, wasn’t around to entertain us.  Married to African- American Thomas Edward Wallace, she had two children (Mellanie and Abdul) with him but was widowed in 1988.  In 1991, she bought a 4.8-hectare property and established the Bee Farm two years later. Here, she promotes organic farming which doesn’t use expensive conventional fertilizers and harmful pesticides for the farm’s crops. Vicky sits as an active member of the Bohol Initiatives for Sustainable Agriculture and Development (BIFAD).

Organic garden salad

Organic garden salad. Notice the edible flowers? They say that any flower being sucked by bees is not poisonous and, therefore, is edible

Cabcab with pesto & green tomatoes

Cabcab with pesto & green tomatoes

We started our lunch buffet (reasonably priced at PhP600/pax), amidst the cool sea breeze and stunning ocean view, with glasses of fresh lemongrass juice; a very spicy, colorful and tasty organic garden salad (romaine lettuce, turnips, mustard greens and indigenous flowers topped with honey mustard dressing); an appetizer of light, crisp cabcab (mashed cassava pulp dried and deep fried into thin wafers or crackers) with a dip of pesto & green tomato; and a bowl of seafood soup.

Grilled fish

Grilled marlin

Honey-glazed chicken

Honey-glazed chicken

Spare ribs

Spare ribs

The main dishes consisted of grilled marlin, honey-glazed chicken and spare ribs plus seafood lasagna, organic red rice with camote, and squash bread with homemade spreads. Dessert was healthy and very delicious, homemade ube and malunggay (moringa) ice cream.

Seafood lasagna

Seafood lasagna

Squash bread with homemade spreads

Squash bread with homemade spreads

After lunch, we proceeded to the Buzz Shop, their gift and souvenir shop up front which sells all sorts of organic products.  On sale are various vegetable breads and muffins (squash muffins, carrot muffins, camote bread, honeyed muffins, etc.); fruit and vegetable chips (cassava, banana, etc.); spreads (honey, mango, pesto, choco, etc.); a variety of teas, both in leaf and powdered form (including the very  popular honeyed ginger tea); black berry wine; native vinegar; kape mais (coffee made from roasted corn and wild berries); and dried cabcab.

An array of food products

An array of food products

They also sell wild honey from the farm; bee propolis, pure honeybee pollen, honeyed tableya, honeyed garlic; honeyed mustard salad dressing and honeyed hot sauce.   You can also buy soap (milk, papaya, lemongrass, etc.); buri and raffia woven products; beewax lip balm; virgin coconut oil; and honey or pollen-based shampoos and lotions.

Souvenir shop

Souvenir shop

We have already sampled the homemade ube and malunggay ice cream but we still visited the small Buzzz ice cream shop to check out their other very exotic offerings (PhP40 for 1 scoop and PhP80 for 2 scoops) – chocolate, durian, avocado, pandan, tomato, mango, guyabano, spicy ginger and buko (young coconut). Their ice cream is the star of their very unique and interesting halo-halo.

Buzzz Ice Cream

Buzzz Ice Cream

After our pasalubong shopping and prior to leaving, Mr. Ariel B. Logrono, a staff member of the farm took us on a 30-min. guided tour. He first gave us a lecture on different organic farming methods.  The resort practices vermiculture, mostly using their waste products mixed with animal manure for vermicompost.   After 6 months, it is then used as fertilizer.

Listening to Ariel's lecture on organic farming

Listening to Ariel’s lecture on organic farming

They  also practice the concept of companion planting, a form of polyculture wherein different crops are planted in close proximity to each other.  The theory is that these plants assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary for increasing crop productivity.

Companion planting.

Companion planting at work. Grasshoppers feeding on their favorite leaves but leaving the nearby herbs intact

We were also given a highly educational tour of the Crafts and Livelihood section of the resort, our guide demonstrating and giving inputs on the process involved in each activity. Here, the Bohol Bee Farm staff are encouraged to do livelihood activities such as raffia making, basket making and sewing,  enabling them to give a little back to the community.

Crafts and Livelihood Section

Crafts and Livelihood Section

Seasonal basket and raffia decors

Seasonal basket and raffia decors

At the center, we observed members of the cooperative operating looms and sewing machines as they turned raffia and buri palm leaves into fabric sheets, bags, place mats, purses, slippers, curtains, seasonal decors, table runners, tissue holders, hats and other merchandise.  The loom weavers made it look so easy, their shuttles zipping back and forth without hardly any effort. A 10-foot long sheet of raffia fabric usually takes 3 to 4 days to complete.

Observing loom weaving

Observing loom weaving

Bohol Bee Farm: Brgy. Dao, Dauis, Panglao Island, 6339 Bohol.  Tel: (038) 502 2288 and (038) 510-1821 to 22. Mobile number: (0917) 710-1062, (0939) 904-6796 and (0917) 304-1491.  E-mail: vickywallace@boholbeefarm.com.   Website: www.boholbeefarm.com.

Loboc River Cruise (Bohol)

Floating restaurant of Village Floating Resto & Cruises

Floating restaurant of Village Floating Resto & Cruises

Upon arrival at Loboc, we all crossed over to the other bank of the Loboc River, via the Alfonso L. Uy Promenade, to get to the Loboc Tourism Complex where the floating restaurants are docked.  It has been 11 years since the last time I had my first Loboc River Cruise with my family and I was curious as to what’s new with the cruise.

The Loboc Tourism Complex - a tourist attraction by itself

The Loboc Tourism Complex – a tourist attraction by itself

This time, I now notice so many improvements in the area. Well for one the floating restaurant terminal is now concreted, there are now lamp posts along the river banks (for night cruises), helpful directional signage and an orderly parking lot, the restrooms are clean and the complex was wi-fi enabled.  This made the complex an exceptional tourist attraction by itself.

Floating restaurant terminal

Floating restaurant terminal

When we got to the boat terminal, we were all whisked to the waiting double-hulled floating restaurant of Village Floating Resto & Cruises.  The setup this time was different from our past typical boat tour.   Instead of different tables for different groups of guests, a long, flower-bedecked table was instead set up with green table cloth and fresh buco in the shell for each one of us.

Being serenaded with bossa nova songs

Being serenaded with bossa nova songs

Our lunch was also to be something different, not the typical buffet.  When our boat got underway, we were first entertained by a local band with a versatile and talented female lead vocalist singing bossa nova songs for our listening pleasure.  This got us in the mood for lunch, however late it was.

Our media group

Our media group

The food soon started coming in, starting with the appetizers – fish kinilaw, puso salad and summer rolls.  This was followed by law-oi soup.  The main course that followed next was out of the ordinary – a humongous boodle feast, to be eaten kamayan-style

Appetizers – fish kinilaw, puso salad and summer rolls

Appetizers – fish kinilaw, puso salad and summer rolls

Fruit skewers, puto cuchinta, ube pannacotta, banancue

Fruit skewers, puto cuchinta, ube pannacotta, bananacue

It consisted of pork humba, chicken inasal, sisig-stuffed squid, grilled vegetables, pinais na isda and corn on the cob plus steamed rice, all laid out on banana leaves.  Our delightful lunch was capped by a series of desserts consisting of ube pannacotta, bananacue, puto cuchinta and fruit skewers.

Our boodle feast

Our boodle feast

In about an hour, our boat reached the endpoint of our 2-km. cruise – Busay (or Tontonan) Waterfalls.  These series of low waterfalls, used to generate electricity for the town, drops 15 m. in 2 stages.  We were already done with lunch when docked near a floating wooden platform with rope railing.  Alighting here, we had the luck of seeing a rare rainbow beneath a nearby small waterfall.

Busay Falls

Busay Falls

The author at the floating viewing platform

The author at the floating viewing platform

The rainbow uderneath a small waterfall

The rainbow uderneath a small waterfall

After a few minutes at the viewing deck, we again boarded our boat and, when all were accounted for, turned around for our return trip upriver.  Along the river, the boat stopped at a small bamboo and nipa jetty decorated with banderitas and colorful guitars hung on the rafters. Here, some locals, dressed in apple-green filipiniana outfits, provided us a culture show, dancing the kuradang and the tinikling.

A kuradang dance performed for us at a riverbank jetty

A kuradang dance performed for us at a riverbank jetty

Tinikling dancers in action

Tinikling dancers in action

Continuing on our return cruise, our band, not to be outdone, also regaled us with a modern dance number. Soon enough, we back at the boat terminal by 3:30 PM, totally refreshed by this showcase of Boholono hospitality, cuisine and culture and quite ready for our next adventure.

The band and staff of Village Floating Resto & Cruises

The band and staff of Village Floating Resto & Cruises

Village Floating Resto & Cruises: Brgy. Valladolid, Loboc, Bohol. Tel: (038) 537-9223  and (038) 501-8078. Mobile number: (0928) 507-7627. E-mail: villagefloatingresto@yahoo.com.

Sorya Shopping Center (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

After our National Museum and Royal Palace tour, Osang, Violet, Jandy and I made our way, on foot, back to our respective hotels to rest and freshen up.  After an hour, we again met up, this time to go shopping for souvenirs at the nearby Central Market.  Again, we made our way on foot.  Along the way, we decided to make a short stopover at the 8-storey, Western-style Sorya Shopping Center, located just one block south of the Central Market.

Sorya Shopping Center

Sorya Shopping Center

The first real mall in the city, this 40,000 sq. m. airconditioned shopping oasis, the largest in the city, was quite large, with passenger elevators and escalators (then a strange novelty when it opened in 2003).  Inside were a number of Western fastfood restaurants at every level ( Pizza Co., Master Grill, Kentucky Fried Chicken,  BBQ Chicken, BBWorld, Lucky Burger, etc.) plus a a variety of shops selling clothes, shoes, jewelry, toys, imitation watches, latest release DVD copies and some electronics and appliances.

Osang and Violet trying out the foot massage demo

Osang and Violet trying out the foot massage demo

As we entered the lobby, we encountered a lot of “demo” booths promoting products such as a stainless steel multi-tiered steamer; a stride-glide exerciser; a hand-held vacuum and recliner-massage-chairs.  Osang and Violet each tried out the foot massager.We  also each tried out a sundae treat (US$2.30 each), with many premium quality toppings such as Mars, Snicker, Oreo Cookie, etc., at Swensen’s, a premium ice cream parlor which originated from the U.S.A.  It opened its first branch in Sorya Shopping Center in September 2007.

"Cooling off" at Swensen's

“Cooling off” at Swensen’s

The well-stocked Lucky Supermarket, the first supermarket set up in Phnom Penh (and now the city’s largest supermarket chain), has a branch at the ground floor. On the upper floors there  a 3D cinema complex (Sabay Cineplex, Level 5), roller skating rink, sporting goods store (City Mart Sports Supply, Level 4) and games arcade.

Swensen's sundaes

Swensen’s sundaes

After shopping at Central Mall, we all had dinner at the  local food court at Level 4. Virtually all varieties of dishes were available at very reasonably prices of US$2.00 to 5.00. However, their coupon system was a hassle as we had to buy a ticket first before ordering food from any outlet.

Food Court

Food Court

Though less colorful than the traditional markets, Sorya Mall was still a such a good place to cool down, hang out or simply to take a break from the ‘culture shock’ that hit us when we arrived in Phnom Penh.

Food court fare

Food court fare

Sorya Shopping Center: 11-13 Preah Trasak Paem (Street 63),  Phsar Thmei 2 Commune , Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh.  Tel: +855 23 210 018 and +855 16 700 001. Open daily, 9 AM to 9 PM.

Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant (Pagbilao, Quezon)

Our final stop on our Appsline Travel-sponsored Lucena City/Pagbilao tour was the Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant where we were to have dinner.  From Pagbilao Wharf, we followed Lurhen as we drove to this popular destination and quiet retreat which is a 25-min. drive from Lucena City.  From the Maharlika Highway, we turned right and drove 6.5 kms. inland before reaching the resort.  It was just about dusk when we arrived and we were welcomed by general  manager Ms. Mary Ann Padilla who asked us to proceed to its floating restaurant.

Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant

Silangang Nayon Park and Restaurant

We descended down a series of paved walkways with dining cottages, nestled along the edge of cliffs, on either side.  At the base of the cliff, we next had  to cross a long footbridge with a sturdy  foundation of concrete stilts, passing two other dining cottages, before reaching the larger, boat-shaped restaurant at its end which overlooks Tayabas Bay, Pagbilao Grande Island and Patayan Island.

The footbridge and floating restaurant

The footbridge and floating restaurant

Ms. Padilla soon joined us at the table and we proceeded to interview her, at length, about the resort. The resort first opened in 2003 with just one seaside cottage. As the years went by it slowly grew into a cozy park with a  main restaurant (a very nice place to view the sunrise and feel the cool sea breeze while dining); bamboo dining cottages, function hall; a mini-zoo and a children’s playground.

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The resort also has a bed and breakfast, on top of a cliff and overlooking the sea, with affordable room rates: PhP2,500 (good for 2-4 persons with free breakfast for 2), Php4,000 ( good for 8 persons with free breakfast for 4) and PhP5,000 (good for 8-10 persons).  Each spacious, clean airconditioned cottage has a TV and a private bath with hot and cold shower.  They also offer boat trips or kayaking to Patayan Island Puting Buhangin Beach and Kwebang Lampas.

Interior of restaurant

Interior of restaurant

The place also had its share of misfortunes, being almost reduced to rubble by the wrath of typhoons, notably Milenyo. From the ruins, it slowly rebuilt, replacing the bamboo and thatch main restaurant and the bamboo bridge with sturdy concrete.  It also closed down a not so successful second branch at SM City Lucena.  Even with the same cooks preparing the same food at both branches, the SM branch simply could never relicate the ambiance of the original.

L-R: Lurhen, Mary Ann, Mel, the author and Rannie

L-R: Lurhen, Mary Ann, Mel, the author and Rannie

Even as we were interviewing her, our cooked food slowly arrived, delivered to the restaurant from the main kitchen/grilling area on the mainland via a helicopter-shaped dumbwaiter running along a steel cable, truly an attraction by itself. The restaurant serves very affordable and great tasting Filipino and Chinese seafood dishes and we got to sample a number of their signature dishes.

Seafood Cream Soup

Seafood Cream Soup

Beef with Broccoli

Beef with Broccoli

First up was the filling seafood cream soup (PhP340 for medium and PhP500 for large) followed by the green mango encelada, beef with broccoli, calamares and crab szechuan (PhP100/100 gms.). The ostrich with mushroom sauce (PhP415 for medium and PhP615 for large), its meat sourced all the way from Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, was really tender and tasted like beef.  The piece de resistance was the grilled oysters .  These oysters are first steamed, then grilled and flavored with garlic and butter.  For dessert, we had the not so sweet but still great tasting buchi plus brewed coffee.

Camaron Rebosado

Calamares

Ostrich with Mushroom Sauce

Ostrich with Mushroom Sauce

It was now late in the evening when we finished dinner and, as we had a long 3.5-hour drive back to Manila, we said our thanks and goodbye to our gracious host Mary Ann as well as Ms. Lurhen.  With me at the wheel of the car, traffic was almost non-existent but we were sometimes traveling at a snail’s pace because of slow-moving trucks.  We arrived in Manila past midnight.

Grilled Oysters

Grilled Oysters

Silangang Nayon Park and RestaurantBrgy. Bantigue, Pagbilao 4302, Quezon. Tel: (042) 716-0077 and (042) 622-2173. Mobile no.: (0922) 886-7677, (0920) 813-2324 and (0919) 442-0042. Contact Person: Ms. Mary Ann Padilla.  Email:  silangang_nayon@yahoo.com.ph

Appsline Travel Services and Consultancy: Phase 2, Krisanta Village, Brgy. Bukal, Maharlika Village, Pagbilao, Quezon.  Tel: (042) 716-0067.  Mobile number: (0922) 633-0363 (Ms. Lurhen T. Cortes). E-mail: yvette_24@yahoo.com and appsline0305@gmail.com.

Cortijo de Palsabangon Farm Park and Restaurant (Pagbilao, Quezon)

From Ouan’s The Farm Resort in Lucena City, we proceeded to the next destination in Appsline Travel-sponsored tour, this time traveling to the next town of Pagbilao where we were to have lunch at the 5.1-hectare Cortijo de Palsabangon Farm Park and Restaurant.  As we neared the restaurant, we passed by its organic farm planted to fruit trees and pesticide-free vegetables.

The native-style restaurant

The native-style restaurant

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by owner Ms. Ayrin Llorin at the native-style restaurant. The place looked very relaxing, with its lush greenery and backdrop of mountain scenery. Built with bamboo, hardwood and sawali, the restaurant is furnished with tables and chairs made with bamboo or hardwood and accented with large and small cart wheels.  Within is a billiard table and a bar stocked with regular wines and spirits.

The dining area

The dining area

Cart wheels provide a nice touch

Cart wheels provide a nice touch

The well-stocked bar

The well-stocked bar

Ms. Ayrin prepared for us Filipino dishes that included  pork sisig and baked tahong (mussels baked with cheese), both popular appetizers, and seafood kare-kare (using shrimp instead of stewed beef or pork and cooked with some of their organically grown vegetables), all served with steamed rice, plus pancit canton.

Shrimp kare-kare

Shrimp kare-kare

Pancit canton

Pancit canton

Pork sisig and baked tahong

Pork sisig and baked tahong

After this very filling and delicious meal, we also tried out the local, coconut-based lambanog (the Philippine version of vodka) spiked with liputi, a local wild blackberry which adds a slightly sweet, tangy taste. Lambanog’s other flavors include grapefruit, bubble gum, pineapple, prunes among others. Though fiery tasting, it is said not to produce a hangover.

Trying out the local liputi lambanog

Trying out the local liputi lambanog

Near the restaurant are 3 native-style bamboo cottages named after vegetables – singkamas (jicama root), sigarilyas (winged bean) and talong (eggplant).  They each have their own dining and sleeping area and is rented out for PhP500 for an overnight stay. Aside from the restaurant, customers can dine al fresco or in a picnic cottage.Come Friday evening, a local band provides a night life party. Cold nights are warmed with a bonfire.

L-R: Melissa, Lurhen, Ayrin, Rannie and the author

L-R: Melissa, Lurhen, Ayrin, Rannie and the author

Diners here can also play billiards or sing their hearts out with their videoke.   The place is ideal for camping; team building; agricultural and organic farming tours (you pick and pay for the fresh fruits and vegetables which they cook); and horse and pony riding.  Come November to January, a rainbow usually appears during the day.

Cottages for overnight stays

Cottages for overnight stays

Cortijo de Palsabangon Farm Park and Restaurant: Brgy. Ibabang Palsabangon, Pagbilao, Quezon. Mobile number: (0999) 513-4730 (Ms. Ayrin Llorin), (0923) 517-7001 (Ms. Ayrin Llorin) and (0917) 719-5184 (Ms. Noriko Usui).  E-mail:cortijodepalsabangon@yahoo.com.ph.

Appsline Travel Services and Consultancy: Phase 2, Krisanta Village, Brgy. Bukal, Maharlika Village, Pagbilao, Quezon.  Tel: (042) 716-0067.  Mobile number: (0922) 633-0363 (Ms. Lurhen T. Cortes). E-mail: yvette_24@yahoo.com andappsline0305@gmail.com.

R&R at Pandan Beach Resort (Antique)

From Sebaste, we boarded our van for the short, 14-km. drive to Pandan town.  Here, we were going to stay at the upscale Pandan Beach Resort, our home for the 2 remaining days of our Antique Tour.  On hand to welcome us was Ms. Gigi Bautista, the resort’s owner and Gen. Manager.  Too bad we arrived late to catch the sunset.

Pandan Beach Resort

Pandan Beach Resort

Upon our arrival, Gigi booked all of us in single, twin and triple-sharing suites complete with all the modern conveniences hotel rooms in the city carry – airconditioning; combinations of queen, double and single beds; private bathrooms with hot and cold showers; and flat-screen cable TVs.  Some have refrigerators.

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DSC_0906

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All 7 rooms were named after the 5 Antique (Culasi, Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste and Tibiao) and 2 Aklan (Buruanga and Malay) towns that comprise the Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park.  Outside each suite was a tastefully furnished sitting area.  Jandy and I stayed at the Sebaste Suite which had 1 queen-size and 2 single beds, actually good for 4 persons.

Sebaste Suite

Sebaste Suite

A sitting area outside the suites

A sitting area outside the suites

Marquesa’s Bistro Bar & Restaurant

Marquesa’s Bistro Bar & Restaurant

After checking in, what awaited us at Marquesa’s Bistro Bar & Restaurant was an array of Filipino dishes, prepared by house chef Leo de Guzman, for dinner – binabak, freshwater river shrimps (patuyaw) pounded and then steamed with onions, ginger and buko (tender young coconut meat); inubarang manok, a hearty mix of native chicken and chopped ubud (core of a banana stalk); buttered shrimps; grilled marlin; and adobong pusit (squid) plus a dessert of pinais (cassava suman).

Adobong pusit

Adobong pusit

Binaba (freshwater shrimps)

Buttered freshwater shrimps

Grilled marlin

Grilled marlin

The bar offers a wide selection of cocktails, beer, mixes and wines.  After dinner, we had an audience with young Pandan Mayor Jonathan D. Tan who gave us an overview on what Pandan town has to offer to tourists – trekking, bamboo rafting along the Bugang River, one of the cleanest inland bodies of water in the Philippines; swimming at Malumpati Spring; beachcombing on Antique’s only stretch of white sand beach on the mainland and, now, scuba diving.

Gigi Bautista with Pandan Mayor Jonathan D. Tan

Gigi Bautista with Pandan Mayor Jonathan D. Tan

After dining, some of us, including me, squeezed in a little work on our blogs (the resort provides wi-fi internet access) while others just opted to relax their tired muscles with a delightful and soothing massage at the gazebo.

The gazebo

The gazebo

A garden setting

A garden setting

Regine tries out the cozy and colorful hammock

Regine tries out the cozy and colorful hammock

The private beach area

The private beach area

Pandan Beach Resort: Brgy. Dionela, Pandan, Antique. Tel: (036) 278-9379.  Mobile numbers: (0922) 812-7906 and (0917) 580-9648.  E-mail: info@pandanbeachresort.com and pbrpandan@gmail.com.  Website: www.pandanbeachresort.com.

How To Get There: Pandan is located 123.7 kms. from San Jose de Buenavista, 35 kms. from Brgy. Lipata (Culasi), 30 kms. (a 45-min. drive) from Brgy. Caticlan (Malay, Aklan), 55 kms, (a 1.5-hr. drive) from Kalibo (Aklan), 65 kms. (a 1.75-hr. drive) from Dumaguit Port (Aklan) and 223 kms. from Iloilo City (Iloilo). About 3 kms. north of the town, a road forks, one to Libertad and the other to Kalibo (Aklan).