So here we were, in front of the ‘Veranda’ where the big signage above declares that it is EWP Island Beach Resort. We were ushered in, and that was the first thing I asked. Why is it that our friend and even the habal-habal drivers kept referring to a ‘Veranda’, when this is EWP Island Beach Resort. Hesumalusep! ‘Veranda’ pala, is the name of their little restaurant by the reception area.
Let’s wander about, shall we?
This is THE Veranda! Yep, the restaurant/coffee shop near reception desk.
Where is reception desk? Ah, that counter by the door before the sala/lounge:
And here is some kind of a bar area where drinks and snacks are on display:
Oh, here's the resort's menu - the reason why many folks call this place "Veranda"!
It was mid-afternoon, and our friend asked what local snack can we have. The reply was an immediate and excited "we can cook Sinapot for you". I wondered a bit what "Sinapot" would be, but hearing one of the friends say its good paired with Coke, ah... I already got excited!
After a short wait, there came Banana Fritters!
Hmm, they were probably already cooking this even before we asked for it. It was fast!
They told me that in the past, our forebears would grind rice to powdery consistency, that becomes the coating of each slice when fried. Now, people use commercial flour.
Anyway... let's go to the rooms, shall we?
Room C, our room, good for 6 adults - they call this "dormitory room".
The towels... Valentines Day? hehe
Behind that wall is the comfort room (w/ hot & cold shower)
The long wall after a wide space across our beds:
I opened the door and that is what I saw...
So, let's go out there?!
Ilang-Ilang Cottage. Just like the one above, an ordinary rural beach cottage, right?
Beside is this smaller cottage. I didn't see a name, but inside, it has 3 hammocks:
This next cottage (Camia) is the more ordinary type like we see at many rural resorts:
The next three cottages (below) are replications of all three I described above:
Here's all of them 6 daytime cottages in a row facing the water:
Yes they have this boat. It can fetch you from mainland (Allen, Victoria or San Isidro):
From the boat area, when I looked back, there's even this cottage at their other gate:
But here's a shot of the resort's main areas. Rooms at left, cottages at right:
Do take note of this wide expanse of grass (mostly brown due to summer), as this will 're-appear' in the darkness hehe, when I start telling about dinner! Meanwhile, let's go to the beach, shall we?!
Okay now, this is why I said "my best may not be yours" over at my arrival story on this island. The sand area is not what many would think as 'the best' like Boracay's. But my travels taught me, that the best unadulterated beaches are those that are still strewn with natural things like seaweeds, rocks and stones. These are not raked away (by some resort crews) because these are part of the natural composition of a seashore, they are part of the ecosystem, and they help maintain 'real life' of a beach itself - so that the water is not yellow-greenish in color! Hey I learned about all these from trusted experts from all over this planet so I believe them. And I see proof, when I encounter one!
That is what I thought about this "other side" of San Antonio - unadulterated.
Anyway, on closer look, the real sandbase on this strip of beach is fantastic real fine.
See?! Like I did, Bantay (that's his name) & friend likes the sand just the way it is!
What I liked most - and this is where I probably differ with what many Filipinos think about a good beach - is that there are lots of aquatic flora and fauna in the shallows up to knee-deep and onwards. Like I took this photo above-water and at sheen-deep:
A baby star-fish. Saw this near a baby sea-urchin about the size of a pingpong ball!
And those are my friends "walking around"! Wasn't this such a nice afternoon stroll?
Back on shore, another treat awaited. Whipped up by our friend/guide and the manager of this resort - who incidentally was his student at, ah read the shirt hehe!
A better-tasting alternative that costs just about 7% of what I would spend at CBTL!
As this is a western side, we spent most of the afternoon here, waiting for the sunset:
The nearer island is Capul, the little haze on the right is Matnog, Sorsogon (already)!
That is Capul, its entire length. And, hmmm... why not coconut, right?!
That smaller island far beyond is San Vicente. Hmmm too! Okay, listed!
Hey, the skies just kept getting gold...
But the clouds won't go away...
But something was burning in my mind...
Okay Capul, see you tomorrow!
Ah the life! At this point, I was already more than happy about this roam. But I was sure 'tomorrow was another day' hahaha! I knew at this point I was going to see more than I hoped for. The mental calculations began...
Oh, getting out of the beach we passed by the pool (the only in San Antonio)!:
And as we walked towards our Room C, the crews asked where we wanted to have dinner. At first I thought of their question as as if they were asking about places - like if we would like to have dinner in their resort (at The Veranda), or some restaurant in other parts of the island (if any), or probably another resort (gosh, we'd go habal-habal in the dark?). Ridiculous things already started running through my lowly brain... Good I was not the one who answered them. Because I found out, they were only asking at which area of the resort we wanted our dinner served - The Veranda? The cottages? Which one of the 7? Our room? The poolside? The beach? Ganun!
When I looked up, oh hey Mr. Moonie-moon Dela Luna was already up and about!
I asked you earlier to remember that picture with the big grassy lawn in the middle, right? This is it! Without any questions, the resort's crews obliged when we said we will have our dinner in the very middle of it! Whoa!
We were in the room, it was already dark, so we did not really see how they did what they did. But when someone knocked on the door to announce dinner was served, oh my lalalalala! A candle-lit dinner table al fresco, in the middle of the grass! Yeah, under the moon and the stars!
Like what did we really have for me to say "awesomized"?
Well, how about this mere malunggay (horseradish) for a main veggie fare?! Carry?!
There was also this ordinary-sounding grilled pork belly (liempo)...
And then there was this 'whateverized' (I don't know cooking terms) Camote Tops!
Then this lowly GG! Yep, galunggong LANG, maliliit pa! But it tasted well grilled!
Finally, first time I encountered grilled pusit stuffed with carrots and other things!
Hah! What can you say about 'more than 3 cups of rice'? That's what I had. For dinner hehehe. And they have Coke! Burp! And they also have SanMigLight! Ah, the life!!!
I'll tell you the 'probable' reason why we had such a fantastic fare with a few simple foods they had in their kitchen (we came without reservation, remember?). These kids, yep the crew, all young and eager, were actually students of the friend/guide over at TESDA! So they naturally showed-off what they learned! No wonder the friend kept darting from us to the kitchen, even while those coffee and iba-shake were being concocted! I think he coached them through. Outstanding Miguel, outstanding!
Oh ha, we even also flew sky lanterns! Yeah, one friend bought those in Calbayog.
Am not done just yet... Here are more pics of the morning after...
Breakfast - at another location, still in the wide grassy area of the resort!
That, before we sailed on to Capul Island. That's next!
For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers: