Friday, November 25, 2011

Cordova Reef Village Resort

I now know its just in Mactan. Just a jeep ride away even. But I had no idea! I just went wandering around the town of Cordova and stumbled upon this resort. Nice find!

How did that happen? While at center of town, I wandered and wondered what might be by the water’s edge because I knew this was the other, and not ’yet’ that popular, end of Mactan. I mean, who does not know Shang, Hilton and all those other boutique resorts at the northern end called Punta EngaƱo, right? But on this southernmost tip, I see or hear nothing much from the media or the web. So, curious, I continued roaming. Just a bit beyond the municipal hall area, I saw some boats on shallow waters amidst patches of mangroves. I thought I might check that out. Reaching that area I saw a gate on the left and read this signage announcing a resort. Two resorts, in fact. I smiled and thought… wheh, di nga?!

I approached the smiling guard who told me to walk onwards and turn left to find the lobby. Looking at the surroundings, I was already saying to myself “hmm, this here is a promising vacation spot“! Clean, orderly, uncluttered, serene, not so tall buildings, well-tended plants and flowers, the works! Everything looked lovely and so I readily anticipated, this must be an expensive resort. Garden in front of the lobby has a circular fountain area, the foyer has an elegant looking trike (not the way our pedicabs are made), all buildings are circular and awash with glass panels, lighting fixtures are not so-so, even the lamp posts and clay pots are not of the simple (a.k.a. haphazardly designed) family run resorts. Lovely!

“Good morning sir, welcome to Cordova Reef Village Resort, how can we help you today?”! So said the beautiful uniformed front office girl standing beside a guy who also was in uniform. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I did not like their uniforms, they looked like airline employees clad in 3-piece outfits on such a warm sunny day in Mactan hehehe. I thought those executive-looking uniforms must be uncomfortably warm. Anyway, I told them I just happened to have walked on by and would like to know more about the resort. In an instant, both fished various glossy brochures and pamphlets, like those that you get from 5-star hotels or realty companies during a trade fair. Golly! They attempted to discuss with me various vacation ownership schemes! So I said ho ho hoooaa, wait, am not a wealthy old man, am just asking if this is some kind of a “normal” resort that I can recommend to friends and family!

Well, it is! And so the two eager staff ‘educated’ me that Cordova Reef Village Resort is one luxurious resort, the most luxurious one in the area, in fact. And all I could think of was “hindi ba obvious?!”! If they’d ask me, I can even say, the resort does not at all belong in this town after what I have seen earlier. Its too damn luxurious that I did not get any hint it was this affluent since I based everything from what I saw at center of town. I looked at their “normal” resort rates. Expensive but I guess worth it since its such a fine resort. I said maybe I’ll recommend this to some of my overly picky friends who even bring Lysol and their own pillows when going out of town. I asked if I could go around to see the place and the two said yes with one even asking if I wanted them to tour me around. I said I’d be fine alone.

There is a gazebo style restaurant/ballroom open on all sides and wonderfully appointed. Must be a nice place for parties and big celebrations. But who comes to Cordova for such?! I liked this big rounded hut anyway. Its breezy! Nearby is another circular building, also open on all sides with a big circular bar at center. Ah, so they call it their bar and restaurant. Big and open-air too! I asked if I could take my lunch here. Waiter said they don’t serve lunch to ‘outsiders’. Nge! I clarified what he meant by that and told me that they only serve food to the resort’s guests. I thought that was ridiculously weird. Anyway, I moved around and had a time teasing a caged mynah bird that was talkative on its own terms. I mean, I talk to it, it wont make a sound, I turn around and all of a sudden it’d be exclaiming a repetitive “hello” in various tones from high-pitched to guttural. I thought that was weird too!

So I went onwards to the pool area. Nice big and clean irregularly shaped pool. It seems to skirt the central portion of the resort from some of the cottages to the kiosks, restaurants and function areas. Hmm, nice place. The male front-staff followed me with their menu telling me they decided they’ll cook up anything I order so I could tell my future guests how their food is. I declined saying I have already set my taste-buds for some turo-turo food when their waiter denied me to have my lunch here. Just the same I looked at their menu. Awrrr, good I decided for the turo-turo, its expensive hehe! Since he was still tailing me, I asked how much would be a daytour in this place. He said they don’t have that service. Gosh, it got me thinking if I was really in the Philippines! Then again, wasn’t Shangri-la like that years ago before they heeded my suggestion?!

Looking at the waterfront, I asked “is the beach full of those mangrove trees?” He said yes, though there is a white sand area. But he was oh so honest telling me they don’t suggest their guests go into the mangroves for swimming during low tide. Ah alright… I know how that is. Mangrove areas are muddy so that aside from some who may not like the yucky feel of it, the resort is careful their guests don’t carry the dirt/mud around to their sand area, the manicured gardens and definitely not the pool hahaha! Mind you, I learned sometime ago that those muddy mangroves are where little fishies and other sea creatures start out on life! Anyway, I was told they do have kayaks, but also best during hightide. Okay, fine!

Staff did tell me they have a very good beach area over at Island & Sun Resort. So I craned my neck towards the far side of the resort perchance to see it. He smiled and said “its on an island, a few kilometers from this place” Awk! So I asked if I can go there and he said “of course sir, but…”

Ah, let’s continue that topic in my next story. You’ll like it folks! I promise!


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