Our destination in the Philippines was Phaidon Beach Resort . It is in a remote area on Panay Island. The main drawback for us was that we could not just run into town to shop for snacks, souvenirs, sunscreen, or to replace the toothpaste that airport security took. 😦 Thankfully they provide a “good morning kit” that covers most needs and I’m pretty sure you can ask for other items if you need to. There is no resort gift shop either, which would have been nice. Still, this is a small resort, continually being improved and the owners, Bernie and his wife (I forgot to write her name down), are helpful and friendly. A couple of things that were unusual to us were the unusual pillows – we learned later that we could have requested a change to a more familiar variety, and that when you want your room cleaned, you need to request it or hang out the door sign requesting it. Otherwise they are uncomfortable disturbing your privacy. I have stayed at several beach locations now, and I must say that at all of them, I wished for a broom and dustpan in the room that I could use just to sweep up the sand that invariably gets tracked in during the course of the day. We stayed in the air conditioned bungalows and quite enjoyed ourselves.
Although remote, the resort offers several tours which are fun and interesting. We went on a short hike up into the mountains to the headwaters of a natural spring. This spring is the water source for the area, including the resort. It is piped into the community and is very clean. It’s the first place I’ve been outside the U.S. where I could drink the water straight from the tap. It was a beautiful hike and I think the resort should promote themselves by mentioning the pure water they have. This is a feature to boast about. Downstream from the spring, the river has been shored up a little to make a nice swimming hole. There are even some diving platforms and the water is quite deep enough not to worry about hurting yourself on the bottom when you dive in. Most of the locals swim in shorts and a t-shirt, so if you are a tourist in a swimming suit that covers less, you might feel a little conspicuous, I did. These days I would not describe myself as svelte and that made me feel even more awkward and exposed.
There was no internet access at this resort, so we felt a little cut off from the world, but it was nice not to have “urgent” work email encroach on our vacation. Amazingly, when we returned home to China, the world was still turning and the work was still there.
I’ve spent 4 bloomin’ hours trying to get photos to post to this blog and have not succeeded yet. I have one last way to try – email. It may be kind of clunky, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep doing some research on how to post some photos. It’s certainly not as intuitive as I’d like it to be – sigh. TTFN
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂