Re-routed to Plantation Bay

I received a call from Cebu Pacific that they cancelled our early morning flight to Caticlan because of typhoon. They gave us options on how to deal with our flight. It’s either in form of full refund or re-booking without fees. I asked the staff if possible to join the flight on the next day but he told that it was already full. Besides, the typhoon was still in the region and flights might be also cancelled.

I decided to change our plan or else all our efforts and time will be wasted. I booked Plantation Bay Spa and Resort through their website, www.plantationbay.com for two nights.

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Comfortable bed of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa

Location: Mactan, Philippines

Where I Stayed: Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, Mactan

Buddies: Family

The resort check in time started at 3pm. They can give room to early arrival if available. We arrived in the resort at 12:30n, and they immediately gave us Windward Room for the resort is not fully book and its non peak season.

The Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is an 11 hectares land developed and having man-made lagoons with fresh and salt water. It also has small beach to cater for those beach lovers. However, the sand is not so white and only covering the beach portion. The sea shore is black as seen during low tide.

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The area was so wide but we managed to walk and have access to all amenities. There was a routine resort cab transporting guests to any part of the resort. The pathway in the middle of lagoons in the center was also a short cut to the beach and restaurant.

The resort is the favorite destination of Korean honeymooners as proof for most of the guests are from there. I also spotted a Korean couple having their wedding pre-nuptial.

The resort also offering indoor/outdoor games, water sports, island hopping, massages, and spa. I tried the kayak and the stand paddle raft.

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FOOD. Aside of having four restaurants to choose from, the resort also has a food buffet every night and with different theme. On our first night, the theme was Spanish, so the food and the graceful performers were also related to Spanish culture. On our second night was From Middle East. So beautiful belly dancers, hot fire dancers and Arab cuisines were expected.

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The buffets and the performances could be experienced by calling the reservation desk and paying 1,250 pesos exclusive of drinks. However, the food for me was considered average in the fact that it was rated five star. I sorted it below my expectation because I worked in an Arab country and tasted most of the Arab foods. On the other hand, the Kilimanjaro Kafe, served the best breakfast buffet in the resort. The Filipino and Mexican breakfast during our stay were both memorable. We really enjoyed it and the foods were all tasty.

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SAFETY. The resort pool has a life guard from 8am to 8pm. Beyond that time, guests using the pool will take their own risks especially those having kids. Rooms also has direct path to water, so guest having small children should understand well all safety precautions.

CONCLUSIONS. The resort was so amazing with traditional and modern twists of culture. All ages will be entertained here because of so many activities they are offering.

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The no tipping policy was unusual but this resort is continuously practicing it. The staffs always greeted us every time we meet. We are also thankful to the nurse on duty when we called her early in the morning to check our son who was suffering from fever.

The rate was expensive for an ordinary local tourist. However, they have a day tour which costs 3,000 pesos per head. These will include a buffet lunch and free use of resort’s amenities.

 

Patrick on the Beach, a family beach in Siargao

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We departed Alpa City Suites in Cebu at 8am. Our flight to Siargao by Cebu Pacific Air is at 9:40am. I was very excited to see and fly in a propeller and small aircraft. Checking in for this flight was different because each passenger passed through a weighing scale. Each passenger should be weighed including the checked-in bag. I noticed that the foreigners on the flight are distributively seated on different rows, though they are in one group. I thought it was a way to balance the aircraft load.

Cebu Pacific Air is the only domestic airline flying to Siargao airport. The smallest airport I’ve been so far. Just sighed when landed seeing that small building. Anyway, I noticed a building constructed near it, maybe it will rise soon to be part of the terminal building.
At the airport, the resort’s car was waiting and brought us to Patrick on the Beach in Gen. Luna. A less than an hour travel from the airport.

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Comfortable Bed of Patrick on the Beach

Location: Siargao Island, Philippines

Where I Stayed: Patrick’s on the Beach

Buddies: Partner

Accommodation. In the beach, I saw two kids bathing and playing. I asked their name and they replied BJ while the youngest named Francis. From the distance, another boy came and called him Patrick. They were sons of the resort’s owner enjoying with us in the beach. Just visit their site, www.patrickonthebeach.com for additional information.

Patrick on the Beach is a resort owned by a German named Andreas who is married to a Filipina. It seems that his family is also living here. It’s a family resort after all. I really loved the privacy of the place. He offered to accommodate us in a tree house for its very romantic but we preferred the big beachfront house as stated in my reservation. He offered me a good package for couple for four nights worth P20,+++, with full meals, surfing lessons, trip to Cloud 9, island hopping, and unlimited use of water gadgets and water sports.

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DAY TWO

Island hopping to three islands; Naked, Dako, and Guyam. At 8am, we took our breakfast. The resort’s staffs prepared the boat including a small kayak. They also prepared snorkeling sets and picnic lunch. At, 9am, the activity started. Before going to the first island, I did snorkeling while my wife on kayaking. Though I’m afraid to be alone in the water, still I tried just to see the underwater creatures on this part of the island. Snorkeling in Siargao was incomparable to other snorkeling sites in the country. Less corals, less fishes but more grasses. The sea grasses made the beach colored green during high tide and the locals here caught strange lobsters, (look like mixed shrimp and lobster).

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We headed to Naked Island. It was raining but it didn’t stop us to see the famous fantasy island which they said without any plant. We explored the small white island by only two of us. Nobody there, just us. There are few plants on it but for me, it still naked. We stayed there for an hour.

Dako island is the next stop. It was a big island with community on it, so many people. We stayed for just five minutes.

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Guyam island, the island seen from Patrick’s beach, for me is paradise. The Siargao’s Garden of Eden. The place was amazing. There are rock formations seen during low tide (we’re lucky!). From there, we’ve seen surfers playing with big waves from the distance.
We controlled the time, so at 1pm we headed back to the resort. We couldn’t surf for it was low tide so we reserved the activity for the next day.

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DAY THREE

Surfing at Cloud 9 started at 7am on high tide. I stopped the surfing session after two hours because I was already tired and exhausted. Learning basic and standing on board for few seconds while the waves pushed the board was not easy. Paddling again, waiting for bigger waves, and standing on board repeatedly loosened energy but I really enjoyed it. We spent the entire afternoon for sleeping. We learned basic surfing and body pain in returned.

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Food at Patrick. Nothing to say. Everyday, we woke up and ordered delicious meals at the restaurant from selection of American, Asian, and European cuisines. Returned back to the room and waited a staff knocks on the door to tell us, “Your food is ready”.

Missed Tours. Sohoton and Yohoho tours. These trips are best in a big group.

Boracay Excape

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Boracay island is a 10-minute boat ride from Caticlan port. Most of the flights dropped off are either in Caticlan Airport or in Kalibo which is two hours away by car.

July 4-6, 2007, Boracay Island, Malay, Philippines. The group separately arrived in Boracay. Me and two friends were on the same Manila to Kalibo bound flight together. We arrived in the island at 6:30pm and checked-in at La Carmela de Boracay in station 2. We reunited with the group, took dinner and had early rest for the activity next day.

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DAY ONE
7am, a chicken barbecue breakfast at Andok (fast and cheap)
10am, Crystal Cove island hopping and snorkeling (boat rental was negotiable)
1pm, lunch of delicious prawns and squids at Puka beach
3pm, back to the main beach
5pm, parasailing with a negotiable fee of P1,100
7pm, back to the hotel
8pm, seafoods buffet dinner at Bamboo Restaurant, a Filipino style
10pm, entered Cocomangas bar and back to hotel at 11pm.

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DAY TWO
Filipino style breakfast at Jonah Shake Place, the best seller is Banana-Mango Shake
Mesmerizing the white sand and blue waters of station 1
Selected best bargains for gifts and souveniers
Enjoyed the facilities and pool of La Carmela de Boracay
6pm, looked out for the best sunset view in the island
9pm, Mongolian buffet dinner at La Carmela
10pm, enjoyed the beat of a disco music and live band at Boracay Regency 2
Back to the hotel at 1am.

DAY THREE
Buffet breakfast in La Carmela and checked out at 9am