Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sumilon Island Getaway

In a tropical country like the Philippines, Summer starts sometime in March and promptly ends at the tail end of May. As an archipelago, we boast of beaches and islands that can accommodate any whims and desire. Naturally, everyone goes on a summer holiday between March and May... including us.

Unfortunately, this year we apparently missed the memo. Ha ha. We made our reservations -- air tickets and hotel sometime in March but set the date towards the end of June. Everyone is aghast. You don't go to the beach in June. Because it's already the start of the rainy season. Awesome!

Yet, we braved the odds. Work schedules did not permit us to frolic in the sun during summer. So, we're bringing the sun in June. We discovered this little piece of paradise named Sumilon Island, in the southernmost tip of the province of Cebu. 

Last Thursday, amidst a weather forecast of a typhoon, we boarded Cebu Pacific's flight to Dumaguete City, our jump-off point to the island. One hour later, we were fetched by the ground staff of the Bluewater Sumilon Resort. We took a 10 minute trip to the Sibulan Pier. There we rode a small passenger ferry to take us to Liloan, Santander. The boat cruised for 30 minutes. 

On board the ferry, our excitement is really building seeing the sun rising hot and the water crystal clear. We can feel it in our bones. The next three days would be amazing. 

From the pier, we were again fetched by the staff of Bluewater Sumilon Resort. We drove for about 10 minutes. We arrived at its inland reception office for briefing and for the final boat ride to the island. 
The private pier of Sumilon.

We learned that the island is a marine sanctuary. There are some guidelines to follow so as not to disturb the habitat of sea-dwelling creatures. 
The destination: Bluewater Sumilon Resort

This greets you upon arrival.

Excited to get settled, we head off to the resort's pavillon for check-in and lunch. 

We learned that the island has 14 villas only. Secluded and not crowded.

For those who wants to curl up with a book while listening to the waves.

The infinity pool has a tree in the middle and the sides. It's unique in a way that it provides shade when the sun is at its hottest and I think the trees were already there when the pool was built. So, 10 points for ecosystem sensibility.

Our unanimous activity of choice was to take a dip at the waters surrounding the sand bar. 
The sand is far from the fine grains of Boracay but boy, this here is exclusive!

The water is breathtakingly clear. On our first day, we had the whole beach by ourselves. 

The obligatory shot! hahaha

We took the second day nice and slow. Woke up to the sound of surf lapping up the low cliff across our villa. 

We have some 'template' shots like floating as a group, jump shots, and other fun moves we try to capture. This year, I cannot swim. I had an ear infection which the EENT told me to be careful with in submerging into the sea. So, all I did in this holiday was wade into the water. Ha ha ha.

We said no to the island trekking but we did try kayaking at the lagoon. Scary and fun. 

We planned to feed the fish but maneuvering the kayak was harder than I thought it would be. We drifted!
They snorkeled. I watched. We saw some flying fish. And school of fish pass by like they have no care in the world. And this is in the part of the sea that is just waist deep. I can't imagine how wonderful it would be if we were more than 10-ft deep. 

You can also watch or swim with the whale shark in Oslob. The resort can arrange it for you. Just a few minutes off the island. We didn't have the time to do this activity. Perhaps next time.

It must be a good diving site as diving boats had been dropping off divers a few meters off the sandbar. 

Of course, we ate. The food though needs to be revisited. Am not sure if they have an in-house chef but the food served was just so-so. Except for the pizza which was really good, everything else was blah. And considering that it's an island, I would have expected succulent seafood fare. 

The idyllic island makes you want to forget the world you left behind and just be totally in the moment. Not a care in the world. I'd say we had a totally awesome vacation. The ten thousand we spent (per person; including air fare) was totally worth the view and the experience and the chance to have peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the metro.

Until the next sand, sea and sun!


Sumilon Island, Bancogon, Oslob,
Cebu, Philippines 6025

Phone: (63 32) 318 3129 / 318 9098
Mobile: 0917 631 7512 / 0999 885 8337



Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer holiday in June

I am counting the days when I would get to walk barefoot in the sand, to sip mimosa while lounging under the parasols and to breathe fresh sea air. I know summer has officially ended but oftentimes life gets in the way so this is the best time we can have our fill of the beach. 

Weather forecast has it that rain will intensify in the next 48-hours. Great. Just the right kind of weather on our day 1. But I don't think anything will and can dampen our spirits when we get stoked in this lovely island. 
Our address over the weekend.
Whether it's rainy or sunny, we're determined to have a great time. Even if you throw in monsoon rains in between. 

We are going to enjoy our own summer on the rainy days of June. 



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Papang!

Where do I begin? There are so many things I want to write about fathers and the role they play in the family, society and the future of their children. 

First off, let me say that a father does not become one by virtue of DNA alone. A father can be someone who took the role of rearing up a child, even if he did not need to. 

A father is a selfless soul who toils hard to provide for his family. 

A father is someone who tends  his own garden to bring fresh produce at home. 

A father is someone who cheered on for his children's dreams. 

A father is someone who carried you on his shoulder because you got tired of walking. 

A father is someone who straps you on his back so you can reach a branch and get that bragging rights to have climbed a tall tree. 

A father is someone who would carry you to sleep at eight years old because you were afraid that a bug or a snake might bite you when you lie in bed. 

A father is someone who makes you a glass of milk every single day of high school because you do not have time to eat breakfast anymore. 

A father is someone who knocks on your door incessantly because you will miss your school bus if you do not wake up, right that minute. 

A father is someone who nags at you every morning because you are very inconsiderate waking up the whole house just because your shoes isn't shined or you cannot find your comb or your necktie. 

A father is someone who insisted that you be given extra allowance for bowling sessions because you need it for PE.

A father is someone who beamed at you when you received your diploma. 

A father is someone who is never big on words but looks at you with proud eyes because he knew that you'll make it in the world. 

A father is someone who makes you soup when you're ill thinking you had fever but inwardly you knew that he knew that you were just hungover for the first time at twenty-three.

A father is someone who walks you in the aisle and discreetly wipes away a tear even when you're already thirty-four. 

A father is someone who do not stop providing for his family even if the kids are already grown men and the only girl is now married. 

Thank you, Papang for caring for me and working hard so you can provide for us. For sending me to college. I can still vividly remember how I feared it so much when you threatened not to send me to college because I've worn you out -- I don't wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house, prepare breakfast, iron my clothes -- everything domestic I ran away from. 

I remember that whole summer after high school graduation when I chased all the scholarship grants because I was desperate to go to college. As you have said, I don't know anything but school. I was very afraid that I will spend the rest of my life curled up in my room and you roaring at my ears or at least behind my locked door because am not doing anything. 

Yet you surprised me one night after an exhausting interview from one of those foundations I gingerly went to hoping to cinch the grant -- you gave me an envelope that rendered me speechless. 

You told me to sleep early so we (mama and I) can trek to the city and get enrolled. I sighed. Smiled a little. And rushed to my room. I wanted to cry. But I was too stubborn to show you that I was affected. That my heart was about to burst of happiness and exhilaration. 

I should have known that what you had was an empty threat. Deep down I knew that you will never purposely take away from me my education. 

And so I want to take this opportunity to thank you, big time. Thank you, Papang! I want you to know that your barrio girl of a daughter is enjoying the life of her dreams. Thank you for paving the way to make it real. And you, mama, my siblings and my niece and nephews make dreaming and working hard for them so worth it.

One day, I will give you a surprise, too. Just hold on tight. Am getting to it.

to my father and to all the unsung, unpraised and unnoticed good fathers in the world, 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lorenzo's Way

Dinners during the rainy days are best spent in the company of family and friends with comfort food. To me, comfort food is any Pinoy dish. The metro is peppered with many  restaurants serving variations of Pinoy dishes. One of my favorites though is Lorenzo's Way.

The preparation, the taste, the price points are easy on the palate and on the pocket. 
Onion Soup Gratinee (P145)
Dilis-cious Rice for 2-3 pax (195)

Binukadkad na Pla-Pla(P395)



Rainy night so we chose to sit outside only without the view. Al fresco dining area is drenched :-)
If you like no-frills, savory food I think other than Abe, Lorenzo's Way is the go-to place. Everything on the menu is good. But my ultimate favorite is the adobong baby squids. Too bad, it's too good I've never been able to take a photo.

Its branch at the Bonifacio Global City in High Street Central has a nice al fresco dining area. It's lovely because it overlooks the amphitheater. The wide expanse allows you to enjoy the view -- the surrounding buildings and even the faint twinkling of the stars when you look up.

Lorenzo's Way
Level 2, High Street Central
7th Ave cor 29th Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig  
(02) 621-3163


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Catching up and Poco Deli

You know how it is when you're friends with someone yet you seldom go out with? Or talk with? Yet there was never anything that mired it except that you belong to different circles. And you just know that the friendship is there, firmly rooted. 

I think Mira and I have that. I don't remember exactly when we became friends. But I know that it was in the early part of my transition from the province to the big city. We played badminton, climbed a mountain (once), and had the occasional dinner. And shared many cuppas. And she set me up with my now hubby, Tyrone. Wheee!  

And as always, when we set the time to chat or bump into each other anywhere in the workplace, we just pick up things where we left off. It doesn't matter how long ago the last time we actually had a long chat. 
My pretty and talented friend, Mira.
After so many false starts, missed/tangled schedule, we managed to catch up over lunch at Poco Deli in Ayala Triangle Gardens. I think that it's always a good idea to reconnect over food. 

The first time I was there I was too hungry to take pictures. This time, I didn't want to interrupt our conversation with my constant need to click away. We only have a little over an hour for lunch break :-) (So, I promise to update this post in the next few days with more photos.)
This is Mira's. Australian Steak Sandwich (P220). 
Mine. Bacon Slab (P320).
Let me talk a little bit about the bacon slab. It's only two pieces and yet I was only able to finish one. It's about an inch thick, very juicy and tasty. I realized that this is the second time I ordered this. That good.

Poco Deli is a deli that offers artisanal sausages, comfort breakfast food, pasta, pizza, cakes and wine. 

Reconnecting with friends can be had in this homey restaurant. Unlike other delis, Poco Deli does not come out as a stop-and-go place. It has this certain pull that lets you sit down and talk while you savor your meal.

Poco Deli
Unit 9 Ayala Triangle Gardens
Paseo de Roxas Ave., Makati City

Thanks, Mira for sharing a wonderful meal with me. Great lunch!