Friday, December 4, 2009

Liberty Community Lodge, Apo Island

My Negros Oriental Tour: Apo Island Accommodations
Booking
I didn’t know anything about this place so I checked the web out and saw that there are only two resorts on the island - Apo Island Beach Resort and Liberty’s Community Lodge & Dive Shop. Called both resorts and learned that the former seems more expensive though more luxurious. Here’s more, during my calls to the former, I could only talk to their Dumaguete landline (Jensen) as the cellphone (at island) was not being answered so they could not firm up any booking. While, for the latter, a certain Liberty received my call and immediately firmed up things. I asked that if by chance she was the owner since her name was Liberty. She said yes she is Liberty Rhodes. Wow!

Arrival
Once the little Perno docked and I got to breathe a big sigh of relief, I was asked by the crews to climb the many steps up to my resort’s lobby. What? Well yes, that’s another thing I did not ask nor was told about during my call yesterday – that the resort actually sits on a cliff! But, being so, you can of course imagine that it has more picturesque views of the sea and beyond (if its not raining hehe). Once at the front desk, Liberty came for some ‘welcome chit-chat’. Then Pinky told me to leave my backpack on the desk so she could take me along for a go-see of their rooms. You see this visit was unique. Though they reserved a standard room for me, I was allowed to check everything and choose my accommodation on arrival since it was lean season.

Rooms
There is a mixed-use dormitory, but out back in the woods and you pass by their kitchen going there hehe. There are wooden rooms that perch just above the restaurant – I could hear when people walked or moved around up there. There are other cottages scattered just about everywhere in the cliff with outside common toilets. And there was my Room 9 hehe. Its just a few climbing steps from the beach, probably equivalent to a 2nd or 3rd floor while the reception and restaurant would probably be a 6th floor hehe.

Ah my room? Big with blue floor tiles and white walls. The bathroom? Its big with white tiles or white paint all over. There is a sink and of course the toilet bowl but no running water. At one corner, there is a big square concrete filled with water. How do they fill it? There is a little hole in the wall where the utility guy inserts a hose to let that tank fill with water. That is what the guest use for bathing, brushing and just about anything. How? There is a tabo (dipper) that you use to scoop water from that vat/tank/whatever hehe!

The big bed has a mosquito net and I got excited as I have last slept under a mosquitero some centuries ago hehe. There is what I call and inverted helicopter hehe – yes, the ceiling fan hanging from the ceiling made of slats of wood! I think my room must have been one of the best at Liberty’s. It has two big wood and glass windows on the side and out front is the veranda with two chairs and a small coffee table, yeah! Oh, there is a sofa-bed that serves as couch but I instead used it to put my things on since there is no other place to do so.

Food
Ah just fine but nothing I will shout to the world about. Because most of the dishes in the menu are tasty, I think Liberty should add more to their cup of rice per serving. Well, the fried bangus for breakfast was tiny and half cooked (which is how some people like it) as I forgot to tell them I wanted it well done. If you need water, you buy their bottled water as they themselves advise guests not to drink from the tap. Technique, buy the big bottles so you can take it anywhere or to your room.

Staff/Crew
Jolly, attentive English-speaking bruhas who are always fun to be with! Ah they never run out of stories or even tsismis – whatever you like! This time I did not say “don’t English me” as I was the only Pinoy speaking bloke amongst their guests hehe! And I like it that they always referred to guests as “Sir ____ “ or “Ma’am ____”. At least one of them would always keep me company whenever I would go visit their restaurant bar, so I was not really alone hehe! Just what it was really that we talked about? Well, anything them or me could think of. Example: “coke for breakfast? Don’t you drink coffee, sir?” and I said no. What followed was “sir, be careful you might become diabetic” and I answered with “I already am”. Her next pronouncement was “see? I told you!”. Ahhehehe, those girls are entertaining.

The male crews are a bit reserved (as all Filipino males are) but they too were fun to be with. The manong who “hosed” water to my room showed me how it was done and how he would know if the tank was already full. The dive shop crew convinced me to snorkel by swimming with me and telling me those things we were seeing. See?! I learned a lot from them and most of these are in the next blog entry!


If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70



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