Friday, May 12, 2006

Caylabne Bay

Lovely! I mean I loved it there! There are little issues but just the same, if you get into the place, it’s a haven!

I hear they initially marketed this facility as a members-only place. Thus, the bleak on visitor count. Well, we all know that not so many one-time visitors really entertain the idea of looking for a friend and begging for an endorsement just to be in any place. In earlier times, somebody told me, you even had to have a member-friend also present to gain entry. More like the other members-only resorts that are starting to disappear!

Anyway, they now have a different approach! Well, yes, the memberships are still there but they now cater to all of us who can afford luxury but easily bored at returning to the same place every holiday in our lives! Meaning – it’s open to everyone. Check-out their website, there is even a “barkada-package”! Oh BTW, all pics and graphics here I grabbed from that website. I hope they indulge me in this cuz if they say cease and desist, I will do so and replace them with my ugly pictures hehe!

How did I know about this place?
A friend had been there a long time ago, showed me pictures and being the ultimate “kaladkarin” that is myself, I said yes, let’s go there! So we gathered 5 other friends, picked a “long weekend” and off we went!

Where is it?
It is just in Cavite. Ooops, don’t be too quick! Cavite is one big helluva province so Caylabne is not in the murky Manila Bay that we know! Well, yes, you can see the island of Corregidor from there so it’s not really far hehe. But going there is almost a hundred kilometer drive. And there is no commuter ride!

Going there
If it’s your first time, the drive will be “endless”! You will keep asking “are we there yet”? Wherever you come from, and assuming it’s not via a chopper or a yacht, the way to this paradise is on a sparsely habited road that anywhere you look is an open field, a hilly farm, a plantation and everything else but humanity! So there is that tendency to think either you are driving in the wrong direction or are punishing yourself too much in search of paradise. But do move on and enjoy nature! Paradise is yet to come!

You will know you are “almost there” when you sense that the road seems to be on top of a mountain and your eyes starts opening wide at the views of verdant plains and azure blue-green seas below plus islands nearby! And if you happen to be stopped by a “check-point” in the middle of nothing but greeneries and shrubberies, well, expect a downward slide to Caylabne Bay Resort – your destination, cuz there is nothing else in the nearest vicinity but the resort!

Oh don’t you rush on that downward road. I’ll bet you’ll need to pull over, grab that digicam or videocam and shoot some of the sights before you even negotiate that descending clock-wise u-turn to approach the resort. Why? Because, the views here are just too grand to miss!

When you see a cove hundreds of feet below from where you are; and that the cove is lined by a white-sandy beach; and you see down below a speedboat towing a skier; or when you see a couple of jetskis moving about; and there is a lovely conglomeration of buildings, then you are near your destination, the Caylabne Bay Resort.

The Resort
You enter the place without a grand façade or a grand reception area as you would into Club Morocco or into Club Punta Fuego! The reception area is nothing but simple wooden house. When you emerge from the reception house, voila you look to a lengthy row of high-rise condominiums on the right side of the road hehehe!

High-rise? Well, err, yes! But don’t die yet! This place attempts to maintain a Mediterranean ambience so the “villas” are actually like a stylized BLISS Housing Project hehehe! And Mediterranean whatever it is, the name is oriental – Pearl Condominiums! And there are no elevators to as high as 4 (or is it 5?) tall floors by the way. Ah let’s enter the rooms later. And you know you are in the orient as this place is lined with trees everywhere.

The long row of 4 or 5 level buildings are set amidst the foot of a foresty hill where the sun comes peeping through thick foliage. Thus, the whole row faces the sea side of this cove with a tasteful sunset view. Oh okay, it should be worthy to note that behind these condominiums you hear fresh nature sounds all day and night. Rarely seen birds sometimes even come to everyone’s view. Now if we walked further towards the end of this row – that should be more than a hundred or so meters – we will stumble upon the Marina Bar. Ahh, we’ll go back to that bar later.

At this point, moving anywhere forward would have us jumping to a rocky part of the beach beyond the sea-wall hehehe! I did venture in to that part – which we’ll know later. For now, the most usual (and legal) way to tour this area is to follow the road which turns left just after the marina bar into a pier. A respectable and nice concrete pier ha?! Even better that many a wharf or pantalan in many a seaside town all over the country. That’s it!

Oh, notice that from the reception area, we just kept talking of things to the right or front of us while on the road, right?! What about the left side?

It starts with a helipad. I know you wouldn’t care if there’s a helipad hehe! Okay now, as you move along, the helipad connects to a putting green. So golfers, that is your area. Inyo na! Mine is the Marina Bar cuz I am a “gulper”! Next to the putting green is actually yet everything green. A fairly wide expanse of green grass and trees where kids of all ages can play and romp around. Well, the resort insists this to be a badminton court. Sige na nga! Meron pala open air badminton court! And yes they have a net installed there so that the place looks like a “sepak takraw” playing court. Syempre there is also the basketball court and tennis court. But I think you should now imagine how cool the views would be from the condominiums. Moving onwards, still to the left of the road is another cluster of buildings. They are a conglomeration of about 2 or 3 blocks of something like duplex apartments. No they are not grandiose nor colorful in anyway. In fact these apartments are rather aging if you judge them from the outside. And for obvious reasons, they are not as tall as the condominiums lest they obstruct the view. Everything is just two levels here and they’re called the Waterfront Villas. These are not really by the roadside. These are somewhere a little bit inside than to really hug the road. Still, these are to your left if you are on the main road from the reception hall. Onwards is another kind of golf thingy place, this time for kids. Of course onwards, yes is the marina bar and you head left to the pier – but you already know that!

So where is the beach? Ah don’t be impatient! That exciting part… and definitely others more… just wait beyond everything we have described in the previous paragraph. That means, if you are still on that main road, further left… AND… by the water’s edge syempre! But later na yan!

Let us go see the accommodations just very quickly!

An early evening cursory of the condominiums will make you realize that this place was really well thought of in terms of aesthetic appeal and luxurious endowments. The streetlights are tastefully western and almost like those in the era of Jose Rizal! The design, adornments, plants and trees along pathways, stairways and doors make you realize this place must have had quite an opulent beginning. But looking at them in the mornings would make you realize, you are amidst a row of condominiums that are slowly aging with time and the elements. Must be hard to maintain a grand place like this when there are few takers!

We had a 3-bedroom suite which was located on a top floor. Great challenge walking up and down the stairs. And the flats are Mediterranean style, so each level has a high ceiling – not really just like your BLISS Housing Project. Mataas sya! Great exercise!

Bedrooms are still the way they were when this place started. Only they are a bit old, like there will be an obviously unopened window for a long time, or there will be a little persistent old stain here and there. The general smell is like that of our vacation house in Baguio when we go to visit at least once a year! Halatang hindi masyado nagagamit! The bed “headboards” are the same everywhere – don’t let a child be malikot or he/she might accidentally bang on them steel-meshes designs. Hehehe, siguradong bukol ang aabutin!

The kitchen, the cooking gadgets and everything about cooking are obviously quite unused – as if declaring they seldom see human hands! Ahh, these are luxury apartments or condominiums, right? So don’t be surprised, there are a lot of china and utensils and all kinds of glasses and goblets also seeming to cry out a phrase like “use me please”! There was even a cutlery set. They’re all neatly tucked inside cabinets or bar racks that you will be sure to have enough for a little soiree.

The dining table is tastefully laid and ready if you’re going to have lunch pronto. Placemats are laden with plates, utensils and drinking glasses. Plus a flower arrangement, fruits and candle on the center. Very nice.

The sala will make you think the apartment was meant for you to live here permanently. My favourite place actually. Nice and neat arrangement of sofas and lounges, big TV, elegant corner lights, mini-chandelier and big floor-to-ceiling glass windows! Or is it called door? This is the type that you can slide to the side so you’re out into a little veranda. And you have a romantic view of the sea-side and the sunset – because you are on the top floor! I always joked that we could have brought 12 of our friends and everyone would still have sleeping space in this living room. Very spacious. Imagine the Fontana Villas? Ganyan kaluwag ang sala dito!

Get this… connecting to the living room from the side is another veranda. But it’s bigger. And you climb two or three tiny steps up a wooden platform to your very own outdoor Jacuzzi! Wow! Its even enormous! But then again, we were told it was “out-of-service” this time. Sira na daw. Kasi nga luma na! So just imagine how great this place was.

Imagine also that this place must be noisy when fully booked as there are just too many flats. But during our stay, the whole staircase was only for us. All other doors did not seem to indicate there were occupants inside. And it turned a bit eerie walking up and down the stairs during evenings where you imagine that the very least you can have as company in your building would be a “momo” or a “multo” hahaha!

Looking down from our veranda, the expansive parking area lining the front of the condominiums looked desolate with just a van or two spoiling the otherwise autumn-lonely effect of a sea of brown leaves that fell from the multitude of trees.

On the other hand, one could actually take the above scenario as romantic! Really, I did!

How about at the Sea front Villas? What were the rooms like? Malay ko! At least we were told that all of them were “permanently owned” by members. And it was easy to discern. Their facades did not have uniform designs like at the condominiums. That only meant that each owner has his own taste and applied it to his very own liking. I could see from many of their windows that they contained various levels of opulence. I hope I was wrong but in front of one of them, I heard something like a piano being tinkered by a kid! Hmm! How’d they ship that to this place?! And it was amusing to watch this area during mornings, there were just too many of them uniformed yayas tending to their rich little alagas or pushing wheelchairs of their wealthy masters!

Breakfast and lunch
My lazy mornings in this resort were best had lounging at that restaurant by the water’s edge. I think they call this the patio restaurant. It actually becomes the center of all activities due to its location and nice views of everything. Coming here you pass via the green grassy lawns or “badminton court” on your left and the sea-front villas on your right. The buffet breakfasts are rather indulging and my companions had to control temptation! How can you resist breakfast here when the buffet table could beckon with not just breads and fruits and noodles and batchoy but even a glimmering chicken-pork-adobo that mightily competes with my favorite sausages and beacon! Ahh and the omelets with everything from mushrooms to onions, bell pepper, ham, beacon etc etc. The hot chocolate was extravagantly thick I had to dilute it with an equal amount of water. And my companions were laughing at me as they sipped their coffee!

Breakfast and lunch? Yes dear. There was a day we seemed to have unconsciously decided to make our breakfast table as our “beach hut” for the day! Ah grabe! The waiters and crews may not have liked it, but they didn’t call our attention to it, so next time we checked the place was already teeming with lunch eaters! And we were still there! You guessed, the waiters just cleaned the table and replenished our plates and utensils while we were still in the very seats that we took at 7AM for breakfast! And almost 6 hours hence, here we were having inihaw na isda, liempo, chicken barbeque, squid etc., for a sumptuous lunch.

Actually we did not literally stick to our table and chairs. This restaurant kasi straddles between the inside of the building and the pathway where you pass going to that smaller swimming pool on the right or that famous landing hut further out. And it also has a very good vantage view of the beach and its nearby bigger swimming pool to the far left. So we liked it here as our “base camp”. One or two of us would stroll to the landing hut while our things were just scattered on the table and another one of us was just there reading her book. After strolling we would be back at our dear table. Same goes when we would go dip in the pool or play at the beach area. After any such activity, we would come home to this table while another of our companions would be busy tinkering on his laptop cum guarding our things. That’s how we hugged and hogged our breakfast table!

We could actually have maintained this “arrangement” until dinner. But we had a 4PM invitation from the resort’s management to go see the other villas that were up for sale. Other villas? Well yes, there are other villas!

The other villas
I am not anymore too sure how they call this conglomeration of 2-level villas tucked deeper into secluded woodland to the left beyond the helipad and way behind the beach. I remember we even crossed a bridge and there was some kind of a river or stream that emptied itself to the sea. And yes, if my coordinates are right, this area of the resort should be already near the main approach to the cove – only that this is on ground/sea level while that main entrance am referring to is way up the hills!

These are the “for sale” villas. Yes, the attempt here is also to make the place look Mediterranean. So buildings look like blocks of rowhouses or townhouses but with generally “rusty” colors like brown and orange or gold or olive and those rather earthy tones. Only they are old looking. And that means, these villas – habited or not – had been here for sometime now.

The front and back of each row of houses are tastefully lined with walkways made of enormous slabs of concrete arranged sparsely like tiles where grass or earth covered the space between them. That is apart from the little roads that led into parking spaces. And there was even a small fountain (or the hint of it anyway) in one of the open spaces. If you imagined the concept of this place, you’d really find this is one cute tiny village of and for the affluent. But…

Am not sure the time of our visit (about 4PM) was the perfect way to do it. What prevailed in me was an eerie feeling that I was being toured around an abandoned village. How can I not feel that way when there were only a few units occupied? Most of the apartments, grand maybe in concept and livability design, were empty. And this being in a secluded part of the resort, the whole place was too eerily silent, quieter than a church yard or cemetery! Crickets and other forest creatures added to my uncomfortable feeling that I was roaming around a ghost town.

Some units were obviously still fresh – meaning not yet occupied, while some were like abandoned or forgotten by their owners. In one unit where the previous occupant stripped it of all fixtures except for a hanger and some dirt, I asked myself “why would they leave and sell this unit if indeed it was a grand place to be”! Good thing we left this area before the summer sun got any lower down the horizon for I would have asked that we do so anyway!

Dinner place
This can be from anywhere to everywhere!

Many a group would have their buffet dinner right on the sand celebrating and merry making like in a luau. And they are fun to watch. The food even looking sumptuous. Not that I didn’t eat any dinner in Caylabne, its just that I did not experience these beach-side parties as my group was not keen on that kind of event during our stay. Plus our breakfasts and lunches were “glutonically” packed that we all didn’t have the stomach to take more food even at nighttime hehe! But I watched and passed by those beach-side parties and they looked fun!

Of course dinner was also available at the patio! But we wouldn’t want to take our third meal of the day also in the same breakfast table. We do appreciate variety hehe! Oh, a little buffet at the poolside was equally a lovely sight. It was probably a family or clan reunion. I saw a lot of little children romping amidst that faintly lighted area accented by torches.

I say, our choice was far more than those. After an afternoon of sight-seeing to early evening banter, we thought having light dinner and cocktails at the lookout bar were way perfect. Very nice views it even controlled our behaviour! As we sipped cocktails looking out at the fading horizon, our conversations became devoid of the usual boisterous laughter! This café with its mostly-wood design has a nice ambience with only tiny little candle jars illuminating most of our food and our faces. Cool place!

Well, dinner on our second night was a fine fare after chaos descended upon our flat! We decided to cook for ourselves and assigned each of us a task from planning the food down to cleaning the table. Ah what a riot! But this was a nice bonding activity with valuable lessons like why we must remove the kaliskis from tuyo or how to quickly and easily remove the mata of the pinya, even how to properly crack a crab without crushing and deforming it. Oh my!

And on our third night, dinner was actually lots of pulutan or appetizers, fruits and pasta as we started early on beer and cocktail drinks at the marina bar. Gosh! At 6PM I was already belting out songs via the videoke! Fun!

The Marina Bar was one of my fondest tambayans especially at night. You can just sit the whole afternoon lounging in this little place. And when evening befalls, you can have a light dinner here and enjoy the sounds as this is the only place (far enough from the buildings) where you are allowed to hear blaring and pumping sounds of everything from club to cabaret. There is even a sing-along videoke, a pool table and a dart playing area and magazines. It has a cozy informal setting where seats are low like those of little children and there are cushions that you can use to sit on the floor. Ah the designs of their tables, bar, wall hangings etc are of the sea-life motif. The bar is well stacked but the receipts, I noticed, had to come from somewhere far at the main restaurant area! This is actually a tiny hut of watering hole! It’s more like an expanded guard-house and opened on all sides. It has a wooden floor (just about a foot or two from the ground) has tin roof, no walls and probably just about six meters wide on each side. And this is where most of the younger folks converge from dusk till dawn hehe! Good place to know other visitors and socialize with just about everyone around. Not hard to do since the place is rather tiny so you easily physically bump into one another! Then you have no choice but to apologize and strike up a conversation!

Just walking around this big facility was already a refreshing leisurely activity, enough for me to call it a good weekend hideaway. You could go chase a bird or two with your camera until they fly off beyond the tall fences that limit you from moving up the hill and deep into the forest!

In this resort with not too many people around, the basketball court is one place to socialize and even sweat it out with everyone who may care to do the same. And we got to know many co-visitors young and old alike when we went there even for just a few minutes.

Fishing can also be an option (that we did not do) and it can be had just a stone’s throw from the Marina Bar, the pier (if allowed) or down at the other end of this cove – beyond the beach at the mouth of that river emptying itself to the sea. This is proof that I must be a social (not sosyal ha?!) kind of person! Fishing for me is solitary confinement where you very silently commune with nothing but your line and bait. Oh punishment!

Swimming. Well, there are choices here. You can wade and still have a chat with anyone at the small swimming pool near the patio. This is a big enough pool but usually called “small” to identify it from the other pool which is enormously bigger.

This other pool is at the far side and right on the beach. And many would actually keep darting from this pool to the sea water. Of course swimming in the blue-green sea water was rather fun. Together with water sports thingies, I unconsciously baked myself under the sun’s mighty heat! Whew!

Watersports? For the non-adventurous, there are those aquabikes and aquatrikes where you can pedal around the calm waters of this cove. The waters here are calm than many other beaches – because it is partly covered (or protected?) up front by the pier at the other end of this cove! The geography in this area is such that the hills and beaches form some kind of a letter U, where the resort built a long pier at the other tip. Thus, the white sand beach is in the concave of the letter U protected from waves by the pier. And in here, I paddled in kayaks, rode in (borrowed) jetskis, attempted and mightily failed at board-sailing, rode in boats and cruisers and burned my skin further at the big white sandy beach. I say “big white sandy beach” since the natural shades from trees are rather far from the water’s edge – such that the resort even installed open tents or canopies so swimmers could have at least an artificial shade nearer the water. These tents are what you see in outdoor restaurants. Here, they are mainly used to dump your things on, and most especially for mommy or yaya to perch-on while looking out as kids swim and play in the water! I enjoyed it here!

The Landing Hut. Apart from the marina bar, this was my next favourite tambayan in Caylabne. And of course you know it has become the “trademark” of this resort. Anybody who sees a picture of this famous structure would readily recognize “Caylabne Bay Resort”. The hut is really a landing for boats, but its sides are lined with seats (benches) made of bamboo. So you can spend a lazy day just sitting here. Of course you may even opt to lie and stretch your body on these benches. Early morning, noontime, afternoon, evening… whatever time of day… this place is just a good place to be! I had even lazed in this place at dawn. Yes, a bit tipsy from SanMigLight, I walked to this hut at about 1AM, just stayed there until it was about 4AM. [blink blink]

Strolling was one my greatest discoveries in this place! You can stroll in this almost 200 hectare property to your heart’s desire - anytime. And you can stroll “for a purpose” or “for nothing at all”. I did both! Morning walks are good. And you get to see, even chat with other early risers who also go walking around or jogging and savouring the freshness of early morning forest and sea breezes. You can decide on a certain strolling pattern to check-out things around or you can walk aimlessly and marvel at whatever you stumble upon!

Strolling for a purpose was the best. For a purpose? Well, yeah, just discover for yourself at my “vivid recollections” in succeeding paragraphs!

When curiosity gets me itchy to discover something, I find many ways to do so. I think I am creative in this field hehehe! During an afternoon stroll, I clambered down and jumped from the “sea-wall” unto the rocky beach beyond the marina bar. This part of the property looks like a sea-wall protecting the road and the marina bar from being eroded by sea waves. But if you follow the entire length of this “sea-wall” towards the left, it is actually the side of the pier. Anyway, now already hopping and striding amidst the little rocks on the beach, an employee (not sure if he was a guard or waiter or utility crew) called out to me saying that area was not anymore part of the resort and it could be dangerous going farther if I did not have the company of a “guide” who knows the place. I called out to say, “can you send a guide out here and how much it costs”?! He responded saying the resort does not allow that. And I reverted with “so just stay there and watch me, sandali lang ako to take pictures of that area over there”. Then he came nearer the edge of the sea-wall and avoiding being overheard by other people, he told me in a hushed voice, “sir bawal yan sa resort, pero kung gusto nyo talaga pumunta, magsama kayo ng nakaka-alam sa lugar na yan para safe”. I asked who could accompany me. Hesitating he said “magtatanong ako sir”.

Not long enough another guy in casual clothes (not a resort uniform) came by the ledge and asked me, “sir, pupunta ba kayo dun?” I immediately said “tara samahan mo ako”. And he said “pero sandali lang sir ha, kasi bla bla bla….” He was still saying things but I went off to that rough part that looked like sharp rockier cliffs kissing the sea. But he followed me. And golly, those cliffs are quite a view and from those cliffs is also quite a view of the resort. As I looked around, I was sure not too many humans have come this way. Moss was the most abundant habitué in this area so my “guide” was always pelting me with “dito kayo dumaan”, “’wag po dyan”, and so on! After I was contented taking pictures of, and from the place, we rested a while beside some boulders before heading back to the marina bar. [blink blink] of course I strolled with a purpose!

Here is another stroll: I am a night person, and being so, I never wish my nights spent in front of a television when I am in a place that I think a lot needs to be experienced or discovered. Reason why I loved the Marina Bar cuz during the night, it was the only place with “public” activity I could find in Caylabne! We came to know and befriend virtually everyone at the place and in no time, we were already passing the microphone to each and everyone; singing duets with newly found friends; fighting it out in friendly billiards or dart games! I told one of my companions this marina bar must be the only place where people who seek people can comfortably come to inside the resort!

When my friends and newly-found friends were still busy with various activities at the marina bar, I thought of strolling to the beach area. Hmm, I did not go far, for when I passed by the small pool near the patio. The lounge chairs were somehow inviting so I rested there for a while just smoking with my bottle of SanMigLight in tow! A few minutes later, two strangers also strolling passed by where I was and one said “hi, good evening”! I lazily answered “hello, good evening” and went back to day-dreaming… just looking at the moon and some stars. Yes, day-dreaming at night. Oh yes, the patio has just closed so this must have been about past 11PM. Other strollers came and go, some also lounging by the poolside others probably going to the beach area or the landing hut. Then back came one of the two strangers who greeted me earlier and took position at the lounge chair beside me. So chat chat chat about anything and everything. Thankfully everywhere in Caylabne is a scattering of trees and plants and bushes and the likes so the breeze is really cool even on summer nights. [blink blink] strolling towards this area, I had a purpose, and it was successful hehehe! We discovered we both had friends over at the marina bar. And we went back together to join them.

Another stroll: One midmorning when I didn’t feel like hitting the waters, I lugged the digicam along and just walked aimlessly around the resort’s grounds. There was a time I marveled at the gathering of withered leaves along the parking lots. Some were generally brown, others were a bit orange and yet others were a bit red or maroon while others still had a little bit of green in them. I thought they were nice subjects to shoot.

After the leaves, I got curios at what else might be around the helipad area. So I strolled towards that end and found it hard trying to shoot some birds that quickly departed even before I got some good shooting distance enough for the zoom lens to take a respectable view. Barely noticed that I was already moving inwards to a more foresty side of a hill until a bicycle riding guard told me “sir masyado nang masukal yan pupuntahan nyo, baka me mga ahas at ibang hayop dyan”! I hesitated for a while then engaged him in some kind of an instant interview about the place. Questions were as weird as “meron bang ahas dito?” And I was sure the guard was thinking “kung di ka ba naman tanga e gubat kaya ito, syempre meron din ahas dito at sana tuklawin ka” hehehe! But he was quite helpful. Like he advised me to be careful of “higad” that if I touched them it would be quite an irritation on the skin. As the talk went on, I continued to walk and he kind of followed me since he was replying to my barrage of questions. So I instead asked him “samahan mo nalang ako ha?” He did not say yes but just the same he followed me. At some point, he even laid his bike beside a tree and went walking with me as I shot pics and we talked. And I learned so many things here. [blink blink] my stroll had a purpose!

Another stroll was just after our group went back to our room from the marina bar and I did not feel like sleeping at all so I told my friends I would just go out to walk around and breathe fresh air. So they left me to it as everyone prepared to hit the pillows. I walked to the patio area. Knowing this was already about 1:30AM, I was sure the place will be deserted or devoid of the crowds. True. While there were still quite a few souls lounging at the poolside, the place was generally quiet. And there was a nice evening breeze from the hills. I opted to walk towards the beach area. It was dark but a faint wash of light from the now-closed patio restaurant somehow illuminated it. Sat on the sand and just thought of whatever it was coming to my mind. Almost like a meditation I guess – even if I don’t know how to meditate! It was such a nice feeling being there and alone and just either humming songs or just thinking about anything and everything while the sounds around me were just the stillness of the night, some nocturnal creatures deep in the woods and the lapping of little waves on the sand. Oh yes, some distance from where I was, I could discern shadows of at least two pairs of lovers on the sand – probably just there to savour the stillness of the night together.

Still with a SanMigLight bottle in one hand and cigarette in the other, I did not realize I slid down to actually lie on the sand and was just there with eyes wide open looking at the starry sky. A few minutes later, I heard footsteps on the sand and I didn’t bother to check even if I knew it was coming in my direction. I was sure it was a guard! Then… “sir baka makatulog kayo…” came a soft whisper-like admonition as he kind of half-kneeled beside me. “Magha-high-tide na sir, baka mabasa kayo dyan”! So I sat on the sand, looked at him and said “ok lang, gising-na-gising pa ako, ano ka ba dito? The quick reply was “ako po ang night-duty (guard) na naka-assign dito ngayon”! And I said “wow, night guard, so I am safe here, at ang galing naman, naka-shorts na macho ang ganda pa ng boses”! Oh yes I was more than bitchy! And I continued with, “boss guard, dalawa lang ang choice mo ngayon… one, panoorin mo ako at bantayan dahil guard ka naman dito, or two, umupo ka dito sa tabi ko nang magkaroon naman ako ng kausap”!

And he sat beside me… then very courteously said “parang di kayo masaya na nandito kayo sir, iniwan mo kasamo mo sa room?” I leveraged on this question to cook up a topic! And I said “parang ganun na nga, tulog na mga kasama ko e”! And we talked about life being on this resort as a guard (his life) and about how people stay on this beach even at such an unholy hour like now! And we talked about the area, about the islands across, and just about everything. [blink blink blink] so my coming here had a purpose! Hmm… and the rest is history… a beachy story really! I dipped in the water at such an unholy hour and realized that the sea water was actually warm and quite refreshing! Ahh, I was back into our flat at 5:30AM!

Homeward bound
Departing from the Caylabne Bay Resort will be a bit of a feeling that you are dragging your reluctant self! It is a good hideaway, with little extra discoveries, after all. And as you leave the place, you once again get a last glimpse of the grand views from above the cove.

Just make sure you are out of this resort while it is still daytime as you will once again traverse that silent road back to the city – and we wouldn’t know what might be lurking by the roadside when evening falls!

1 comment :

  1. Wow, that was a long, good read! I have long been interested in going to the resort but never had the chance. Reading your blog gave me the vicarious experience of having been there. I also visited their website once but never had a glimpse of Caylabne as much as I had gotten here. At least now I know more what to expect. As you described the empty villas, I was wondering why they didn't put the resort under timesharing.

    I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing it at VT. I look forward to visiting the resort one of these days.

    Juds from VT