Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sipaway Tour Continued

My Negros Oriental Tour: Sipaway Island, San Carlos City, NegOcc
As we cruised along, my habal-habal driver vented some more about his/our experience over at whispering palms. Mind you, he even apologized to me for the seemingly unreasonable "rules" over at that resort. But he pointed to me a private beach (Lopez?) and a bigger wider public one that he said have definitely better real white beach areas than over at whispering palms. He attempted going there but I told him to move on since they looked fairly regular to me. I took note of those though and told myself I shall view them on google maps. Again, I think he had a point!

Good we were already passing by the San Juan Elementary and High School. Where the kids on my boat went, remember?! And my driver pointed to me that big big tree so we both forgot about the 'blistering fangs' oops 'glowering qualms' oops 'whispering palms' hehe. The tree couldn’t fit on my camera’s range and as we moved further, other trees and structures already blocked the view. They call it a century tree and it is supposed to be one of the tourist attractions on the island. I think they also call it a "dakit", whatever.

He pointed other beach and mangrove places where there were also some smaller resorts, until we reached a gate that seemed to be of some residence located southeast of the island. There was signage that said “Dulay Cottage Beach Resort, Entrance: P50 per head”. From the outside, as we waited for someone to come open the gate for us, and as two dogs incessantly barked at us, the place looked like a rich man’s residential abode and far from being a resort. But I had to wait-and-see as there looked like other structures in the compound that did not seem to be residential.

A caretaker let us in and we walked to the first building from the gate. Yes building! It is a multi-purpose thing about as big as you would see in many towns. There is a big stage and there are dining/party/banquet paraphernalia on the sides. But I was wondering why a wide portion of the floor was covered with rubber pads like it was a gymnastics practice floor. And there were a lot of dumbbells and weights and other things that it seemed the place too was a work-out gym. Tehy told me the place also doubles as a martial arts center. The lady-owner (yes, a Pinay) is into such things and I could see on the walls that she has earned awards on foreign lands being a martial arts expert. Husband (a foreigner) is also into it but it is the ‘missus’ who is more active, so I was told. And that they were somewhere in Europe and/or Africa for the moment.

Paid my P50 entrance and caretaker asked if he should tour us around. My driver said he’d do ‘the honors’ as he already knows the place. Yep, they know each other. So off to the rest of the compound we went. A big, single level (is that called 'sprawling'?) central house caught our sights – where one dog rightfully positioned himself barking on the porch as we neared. A beautiful modern house! Via its glass windows and doors, I could see a bit of the inside and the house is rather fully equipped. I was told that one is the residence of the owners but some rooms are at times rented during peak season. Yes, that is where the owners live when not roaming other parts of the world, that is.

Nice gardens, though a more dedicated and watchful eye maybe needed to arrest overgrowth of some grasses and weeds. There is a row of three big day-use cottages on one side and I was sure those are what make this place a ‘resort’. They’re big, each probably can hold up to 30 folks in one sitting. Over near the water’s edge is the sandy area, concreted on the stairs portion. Stairs? Yep, there are concrete steps that lead down to some kind of a resting hut that probably doubles as a dock during high tide. Its nice and breezy there. Then the concrete steps continues down to the ‘beach’ where the white sand is disturbed by rocks on many parts (am not sure if those are called limestone). For a private hideaway, I think it is beautiful enough.

Oh, on the right side corner of the compound is a an attractive “tower” structure, so I went there. At ground floor, tiles everywhere, the place also serves as yet another ‘cottage’ for picnickers. It’s a big verandah-like foyer-like area where tables can be spread for a feast. Ah, the second level of this ‘tower’ is the killer of them all! It’s a beautiful bedroom with wide glass windows on all side, complete with a bathroom and everything you might need as in a resort’s air-conditioned room. The sides imitate the baluustered porch of ground level and also a nice place to hang around. Up on 3rd level is similar to ground level, an open area but this time the place has lounging chairs instead of tables. Nice views of the sea and surrounding areas. There’s one more, the 4th level or roof deck, and that is the best view deck with a 360 view. Everything there still follows the design and material used from ground level. And this ‘balcony’ makes you feel like you’re in one of the Mediterranean resorts looking out to sea! Splendid! Yep, I stayed around a bit just to savor the views and the breeze, imagining it would be fantastic to have breakfast, lunch or dinner on this ‘tower’. Driver tells me indeed it is possible, if requested – during peak season, that is. As for now, we were the only two guests romping around the facility!

After Dulay, we went off driving onwards and I could sense we were alredy circling the southern tip of the island. Then there was Crystal Beach Resort. Ah it sits amidst little seaside fisherfolk homes and looks like it started small then slowly grew into all directions – reason why there seem to be no planned landscape or spectacular frontage (there is no space hehe). But this one inn is very comely and folks are real warm as opposed to the rigid whispering palms. Probably because Crystal Beach is more family-run and not just family-owned. The pink building of a pension does not look much but when I was showed the rooms, wow! Clean and neat, with shining tiles all over. Plus a good vantage from roof-deck area. There is even a netcafe and wifi to boot! Ah the restaurant/bar area is another pink building but a nice place to hang around (if no one is croaking over at the karaoke hehe). There are 5 or so nipa cottages standing on stilts by the waters and they’re a cozier place to be. But those are open cottages for day-use only. Sandy beach? Technically none!

Oops, it was already past 9AM, and per my schedule I should have been back over at San Carlos city proper. Still needed to hit my last 3 towns of Negros Oriental, remember? Just breezed through another resort called ‘basilia’ and off to the wharf, I went. Paid my dear habla-habal driver cum tour guide the agreed P150 plus a tip of P50, so if we recall the story two blogs ago, his initial quote of P200 prevailed! Happy him, happy me hehe! He delivered me to a boat about to depart and off I went - with my knee millimeters away from a curious youngish goat as the 10-minute boat ride ambled along. I said to myself… “the minute this animal licks my knee I’ll get it a whack it won’t ever forget” hehehe. It did not!

I think that was a fair enough cursory look around Sipaway. And having seen most of it, I will probably… Whatever hehe!

So, I was back in San Carlos City proper and headed to Jimalalud, Tayasan and Ayungon - and you probably have come across those stories #47, 48 and 49 below!

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

1 comment :

  1. Hi,

    Following your Sipaway, San Carlos trip. Cannot help but dream to visit the place myself.