This was to be my first and only lunch in the city since early following day I would head onwards for Dakak - and after two days there and a day in Dapitan, I would zoom through Dipolog again on the way to the airport. So I was all set to taste, see, hear and experience the best. That meant I did not imagine I would have lunch at my very own hotel. I was more of bent on finding some turo-turo style joints frequented by the locals. But I was probably already real hungry (at 1234NN), or I enjoyed the merry service of the people at Hotel Camila 2, or I smelled something familiar (fried chicken), or all of the above hehe! So, I stepped unto the hotel’s restaurant that had my eyes growing wide at the sight of their menu. I asked where was Sunburst Restaurant in this city, and the waitress, uniformed like a city hall employee, smilingly said this was one of them and the only other is at their Hotel Camila 1.
Ows?! The menu said Turnpike Resto, so it was not Sunburst, I protested. And she clarified that their hotel holds a franchise of the Sunburst Fried Chicken Restaurant. Wohoa! I quickly scanned the menu looking for the chicken recipes. Hmm, not quite a Sunburst menu I am familiar with, but the lady was still saying things and she was mentioning their fried chicken recipe is authentically Sunburst. I believed her since the logo is in their menu and so I went for a two-piece budget meal. Five minutes and it was in front of me, looking and smelling like Sunburst Fried Chicken. Even the plate and the condiments are the same as my usual delightful chicken when in Cebu and elsewhere! But as usual, I asked for soy sauce, yes that Knorr seasoning on the left (which the AS Fortuna branch in Mandaue does not have, argh)!. Silence… I got busy with the chicken hehehe!
Elsewhere in the hotel
Lunch over and I thought it was still rather a bit too hot a day for me to roam – even if it was cloudy gloomy. I stayed a while looking around. First were those guitars and other instruments at a small stage inside the restaurant. Waitress told me they have an acoustics band at night and those are their instruments. Hmm, alright I said, that meant I did not have to go far tonight for some entertainment. Girl said that Turnpike Resto is a favorite hangout of businessmen like me. Wheh, who told her am a businessman? Am just another bum bumming around, aren’t I?! And her colleague butted-in that I can even jam with the singers or sing in their videoke – that as he pointed at the wide-screen TVs on the wall broadcasting ESPN. I assured them I would try my best to pop in later in the evening. Yey!
There’s a swimming pool! Three of them actually! And I could see it from my room! Well, its not that big for those who think of swimming pools as something to do their '10 laps a day' thing. In hotel Camila 2, theirs are round pools fashioned to imitate Mickey Mouse’s head. The two smaller pools are I think kiddie pools that form like Mickey’s ears. The bigger pool’s floor even has some fantasy castle graphic at its bottom. Enchanted Kingdom? No, Disney nga eh?! And I liked the poolside showers (probably cum engine & filter room), which they also fashioned to come out as a castle. Kudos for the effort hehe! Kids would already have a grand time in this place for sure. Oh hey, I think that other smaller pool, the one on the left, is a Jacuzzi. Yeah, I think it is!
Well, good enough. Nothing to shout about with amazement, but nothing to complain about either. I thought the bed covers were too old and worn faded. But on closer look, they’re really just in that color… faded hehe. I smiled at the ‘style’ how they make beds. The bed covers are placed literally covering the whole bed including pillows. So at first glance those beds looked like there were persons (dead or alive) under those covers. Duu hehe! But come to think of it, a bed cover should cover the bed, right? Right, but we are all used to seeing the pillows up at the headboard area a bit exposed for some aesthetic whatever, right? Well, yes too! Two beds, one royal self… I opted for that one on the right, farther away from the aircon box. An taga iraya!
There’s a big silvery metallic ashtray. That only meant guests may smoke in their rooms. Yuck! Well, am a smoker. “Chain-smoker” if you may. But one of my pet peeves is smelling cigarette smoke in enclosed places, like cars, toilets, especially bedrooms. I just hate the smell of smoke coming from a burning cigarette stick – regardless if its mine or someone else’s. Hep hep hep, hold your carabaos, to hate the smell of a burning cigarette and to puff smoke from it are two distinctly different matters. You can’t compare them ‘apples-to-apples’. Smell is different from taste, y’know! I know someone is itching to make me ‘sabunot’… but try comparing this situation to your attitude towards Durian and/or Bagoong and/or Vieux Boulogne. Ganun! Anyway, hate the cig smell I may, I am ‘law-abiding’ and ‘socially conformist’, so I opened the window (am not a fan of air-conditioners anyway) with a view of the pool, opened the door ajar, placed the ash-tray near the sill and lighted up a stick! Nice room hehe! Lesson: When there’s no ashtray, don’t smoke… but when there is, say thank you! Whaahehehe!
There’s something interesting in the bathroom. While the 2 complimentary bath soaps (bioderm) came bare, the complimentary toothbrush comes in a box labeled “Hotel Camila Bonifacio St., Pagadian City”. Wheh?! I paused a second there trying to check where I might be. Yes, I was in Mindanao, but was I in Pagadian? Ah I knew I was in Dipolog. Next second I thought “hmm, maybe they ran out of supplies and instead used those from their Pagadian Branch, that happens”. But come to think of it… why not coconut?! It serves a purpose the hotel management may have unknowingly just done – advertising! As I paused there, I told myself, okay, I now have a target place to stay when I go to Pagadian next month. See?!
Let’s leave my wonderful hotel and start roaming around the city, shall we? Next story please…