Sunday, August 28, 2011

Peninsula De Punta Fuego

“Hello ‘pre, I need your help, please” said the friend
“Anytime as long as its not cash” said me, myself and I
“Help me plan to propose, gusto ko nang pakasal".
"Oh okay, yun lang pala", I said
"And, I need your endorsement to fuego, please”.
“Ha? what made you think I can do that?” said I hehe

So went my conversation with a friend sometime ago. That reminded me, I haven’t yet shared a story about Punta Fuego. I really thought I have already blogged about this place. Only to find out there was none yet hehe. But as many say, “better late than never”! And here I go…

It’s a wonderful place! There are not too many such places in this country. And if there is anything similar, this one, though already a bit old, still emerges one of the best. At least for me, in terms of location, amenities and nature’s endowments. I have been popping at this place many times for various reasons or purposes since the late 90s. Reason probably why some friends think I am a member! Well yeah, its been there since 1995 or therearounds. I even already have my very own story about how this place has grown into what it is now – a place called Club Punta Fuego composed of two different and separate, but luxurious resorts plus a yacht club. But no, I am not a member. ‘kala nyo sa akin, rich?!

Let me do the original facility called Peninsula De Punta Fuego, aight?! The Terrazas can come later, probably in another story.
Where is this scenic Peninsula with beautiful vistas from sunrise to sunset? Its in Nasugbu, Batangas. Actually far with a tricky route, but easier to find now, as you just follow the road with visible signage leading to it. Just onwards of Tali Beach actually. Peninsula De Punta Fuego is a very nice destination that you will hate and love. Why? Just read the rest of my story hehe.

It is supposedly an exclusive village where there are high-end residences designed and constructed by each of the owners. So, if you haven’t been there, don’t imagine it as a Fontana, Club Morocco or a Caylabne thing. Not even Anvaya! Fuego (as many fondly call the place), though old, is waaaay too far ahead than any of those three. It’s an exclusive ‘community’ of/for the wealthy with a golf course at center of town and residents who are mostly ‘in absentia’! The roll of residents (house owners I mean) will have your eyelids flickering fast and your earlobes standing tall. Many are the who’s who in their respective fields or even the whole country. Well yes, while some houses are like palaces, some are so-so, some look small from the front but actually 4 or 5 floors viewed from the water, some look fantastically modern, some are splendid architectural signatures, some are big but simple, some are small but grand, and some are downright big and ugly! You’ll be entertained imagining the taste and/or character of each owner. But you’ll have to be clever on how to identify them or chance upon them. Am not telling hehe!

Then there are the paid accommodations (for those like us who don’t have houses there). They are called casitas and there are only about 30 or so of them. So, you can imagine, the place (bigger than many towns I know) won’t really get that crowded. Go to their website for descriptions. Ah, the toilet and bath areas alone are bigger in size than many a living area of your single-detached village house! And you shower literally with the birds and bees plus the tree leaves above fanning your fat ugly body with a cool breeze hahaha! You get a double shower when it rains, so choose wisely, or choose booth – who cares, right?! Hint: about 12 of us one time had a party just around my bed. That’s how spacious the rooms are. Shhh, don’t tell management, they might start researching how we did that hehehe!

These are members-only accommodations that, actually, are ‘really not’! Confusing? Well, yes, it really is so and that is the beginning of what becomes your love-hate attitude towards this grand vacation paradise. But let’s describe how you can get in there as a non-member or non-resident.

Call up their offices and the dear ladies will be all too willing and accommodating to help you with your grand plan for a grand escapade. Tell them outright you are not a member, instead of waiting for them to ask for a membership ID or name. At first they will tell you ‘you have to be endorsed by a member’. If you don’t know any, be direct but plead for help. Wag kang magmayabang, this is not a time to be boastful even if you have bags of cash. Beg if you must. All of a sudden the sweet lady might just tell you there is Mr. or Ms. so and so who can endorse you. You are supposed to get in touch with that member and seek the endorsement. But if you will act cute like a friend of mine does, the helpful ladies of the house can even do that for you. Hint: most members who do not know you but just the same dare make that endorsement will ask for some kind of remuneration. Oo mayaman sila but… *wink wink*…, *wink*! Remember still, you are the wealthy beggar at this point hehe, so be humble even if you’re at the moment sitting in bundles of cash! You are not a member, remember?!

Endorsement done, you now get to use your bagsful of cash. Why? Fuego is a luxurious town, THEREFORE expensive than usual, the endorsement notwithstanding whehehehe! But at least, you’ll have a grand time of your life, and I assure you, it will be an unforgettable escapade – if for once you forget how to count your money or forget how to use the calculator! Warning: you’d be a fool seeking such endorsements during summer vacation, sem breaks or holidays as members themselves are in a mad scramble to grab every available room.

Back to me, myself and I… I said above I’ve been popping at this place many times for various reasons or purposes since the late 90s. Just what were the ‘various reasons’ and how many were we that we were able to grab accoms? Well, I started with… I was invited by a member-friend to this hideaway for a weekend away form it all. Easy, right?! We booked just a room and the rest is history! Other times, there were birthdays, anniversaries, there were even spur of the moment weekend escapades straight from parties in the metropolis, and convoys of us went there with no member in tow! How did those happen? How about… I twice conducted team buildings at the Peninsula De Punta Fuego, one was a group of 15, another was a group of 35! How was I able to pull that through?! How about, I attended a friend’s wedding and there were more than 200 of us guests excluding the entourage, the couples’ families and the event organizers’ crews?! Just where the hell did we all cram ourselves into when there are only 30+ casitas?!

The residences are the saviour! Did you guess that?

Here’s the deal… I said the residents are mostly ‘in absentia’, right?! Very! So, many of them are letting their rooms, houses or palaces to all of us ‘mere outsiders’. Why? Because they hate the expenses even if they’re wealthy! Imagine, maintenance overheads, fees and caretaker expenses are just piling up when they mostly get to see those abodes just once a year – if at all! Gosh, once I talked to one dear fine lady who for 3 years, has not even been to her ‘little paradise’ of 9 rooms excluding maids’ and drivers’ quarters! And she worried about her orchids. I told her “don’t worry, when you go visit next year, the orchids will have grown into a forest and the vines have all crawled up to the doors and windows, jamming everything so you won’t anymore be able to enter”! She paused awhile, squirmed and threw her newspaper at me! Hahaha, I call her mommy, and I can proudly say, I know every inch of her ‘little paradise’ more than she does. Hi Mommy G, peace!

So you got it folks? If you get endorsed by a member to grab a room in those casitas, you can also be endorsed by a “resident” (actually more proper to call them homeowners) to use their houses for the duration of your intended stay. And when there, you get to enjoy the house (usually with all the expensive linens and cookware) plus the caretakers who automatically become your househelp! Expensive, but cheaper than the casitas, if there were many of you going for a visit. Hep hep hep, all such houses have a cap as to the number of humans and animals that must occupy the abode at any given time. And that is according to each owner’s preference, So, if there was like a battalion of you swooping down there, try a number of houses. Then you suddenly become a crazy neighborhood in a wealthy spot of this country. At least for a weekend!

How’s that done by the way? Ah, the owner simply faxes his endorsement to the fuego offices detailing your name, the number of people with you and vehicles with their plate numbers. Then you bring along the original or another faxed copy of that endorsement which you present to the guards over at that lovely entrance gate to the village! Don’t worry, those guards are used to seeing cars and AUVs bringing coolers full of raw food, sacks of charcoal, 11kg cooking gas tanks, cases of beer and mountains of chichirya. Well, some even have TVs, electric fans, stoves, bikes, motorbikes, kayaks and even jetskis in tow. And what startled me one afternoon was an E150 that had the whole damn videoke machine on board. Gosh! Lipat bahay gang? Ahhehehe!

Magyayabang… one time, I had the rare chance of slipping into fuego from Manila Bay via a convoy of 2 yachts! Whohoa! Well, while the other was rented, one was a pasaway member of the yacht-club and we also rented his dying neighbor’s house that had been empty for so many years!

Isn’t the Peninsula De Punta Fuego just a different kind of ‘fantastic’?

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