Monday, September 21, 2009

Mangodlong Rock Resort

Approaching the resort from Lake Danao is via the well-paved highway that comes from San Francisco town proper circling the island. When we veered right from that highway towards the resort though, the area seemed cluttery with fallen coconut leaves strewn all over the area, the parking area is beside some houses, the gravel path turns to wherever and everything just looked haphazard. There is a dilapidating archway made of bamboo to welcome guests of a previous suroy-suroy sugbo activity. Unattractive actually.

But when we entered the main area of the resort, the picture radically changed! And I said… wow! The gate or archway is concrete and made to look like two coconut trunks. Atop is another coconut-trunk-looking concrete with the word “welcome” painted in pink and white! To its left is the reception area / front desk, while to the right is a big and colorful fish (concrete) that seemed to be feeding via an oxygen tube or dextrose hehehe! Well, okay, you can imagine that as the fish just got caught by a hook too! But actually, I think it really is an electrical wire that connects from the main building towards the picnic huts beyond the fish!

Rock Resort. It probably was named so because the place is a rocky area with patches of white sand. But the makers of this resort were ingenious. Instead of blasting the rocky formations, they took advantage of them by building huts on top of each rock and connecting them by bamboo, wood or concrete bridges. Total effect, a breezy hub of nice nipa huts perching on the rocks with a grand view of the sea, the resort and the beach. Beach?! Yep, that’s between the resort’s main building and the huts on the rocks. White sandy beach probably half the size of a football field. Not sure whether its all natural or they imported white sand, but it is a really wide beach. On my visit, there was nothing on that expansive white sand but a standard beach volleyball net that looked like a miniature due to the expanse of the sandy area.

Oh, one rock with a fine hut with newly rebuilt roof seemed to be standing tall on the shallow water and I couldn’t make out how anyone could go up there. A crew told me that the “hanging bridge” that crumbled to the elements sometime ago is yet to be rebuilt. Hehe, as of my visit, if you wanted to go up there, you may have had to call Rapunzel hehehe! I like this place. Easy to fall in love with!

Ah the main building? Where the rooms are? Well, there is a fancily odd=shaped swimming pool overlooking the sand and rocky areas. Couldn’t make out what is that shape supposed to be. Not even sure if that shape was a splendid idea since there are sharp and pointed corners that I thought might just be something to watch out for if there are kids. Anyway, it still looks, well, intriguing!

I was showed to some rooms… none in the entire resort by the way was occupied at the time of my visit. For the price, they were good enough and I think even a better deal compared to the luxurious My Little Island Hotel… if only because there is a beach with huts on the rocks! Plus, Mangodlong is nearer civilization hehe! Then again, My Little Island Hotel is a real hotel. Oh, visiting Mangodlong, yep even just to peep in you pay 15 pesos that they call an entrance fee! That’s P10 for children – just so you know hehe!

Alright, I have seen everything and have talked to virtually everyone manning Mangodlong. Why? Because they were all hubbed at the reception area, and huddled around me when I arrived. Why? Because I was the only guest. And there were more crews than usual as practicum students from a university were also on duty. OMG how they made fuss about me! Everyone was eager to answer any question I asked or show me anything in the resort that I wanted to see. They even bantered with Randy and they compared notes and joked telling him that “at least, you have one guest today” (referring to me)! The kids (okay, the students) invited me to stay for a while and maybe order drinks and a sandwich, but I was not yet hungry. So we moved on for Santiago Bay Resort.

Hah, I enjoyed bantering with those kids and the manager and everyone else. I even bothered those men working to refurbish the huts on the rocks, the bridges and stairs. Oh, didn’t I plan to transfer to this place after staying overnight at My Little Island Hotel? As of that time, it was still an option!

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