Thursday, December 1, 2005

Basking in absolute freedom at Jim's Island

Imagine yourself sprawled on a bench in an unspoiled stretch of shoreline, as if you don't have a care in the world.
Allow yourself to be lulled to sleep by the crashing of the waves on the shore, or the chirping of crickets on the trees.
Light a bonfire at night, gather round it and swap stories with your companions like the old days before electricity existed.
Camp on the shore or sleep under the stars.
Swim, dive or snorkel in the sea's green depths.
Enjoy absolute freedom for a night, weekend or even a whole week.
Absolutely no rules.

Experience all these at Jim's Island Beach Club, a perfect hideaway safely tucked in a cove at Sitio Libod in Barangay Tagbaobo along the coastal areas at the other side of Igacos, directly facing the province of Davao Oriental.At Jim's Island, one gets to experience a totally different resort, as if one is transported back to primordial times where he can bask in the sun and enjoy the sea minus the blaring noise of videoke machines and other modern conveniences that comes with the advent of electricity.It gives one a chance to enjoy a candle-light dinner and be re-acquainted with gas lamps to find to light your way at night.

Jim's Island provides the chance to commune with nature, or simply grab the rare chance to "bond" with your family, friends, co-employees.The Honda car Francis Arji, the son of resort manager Araceli Pe Benito was driving speedily ate up the 17-kilometer stretch of road from Penaplata and in 25 minutes, we were there."Wow!" was all I ever said upon reaching the place. I couldn't stop uttering yet another 'wow' as I ventured into the almost deserted beach. Little did I imagine that behind the developed resorts of Igacos vying and competing against each other lies a fabulous and perfect get-away for a totally different experience.

The feel of the place really got into me that I hated to leave but reality beckons and we have to go. We wrapped up the whole experience by stopping over at Punta del Sol to enjoy the sunset before finally heading back to Davao City.The unique experience that Jim's Island can offer need not remain a figment of your imagination because it's just a phone call or a text message away.Accomodation:Customers can either pitch their tents or rent the two-room apartelle for P2,000 a day good for 10 persons.

The apartelle is equipped with modern bathroom facilities in each room complete with flowing water, a superb porch that lets you inhale the seabreeze but minus the convenience of electricity (the lack of electricity makes your get-away totally different but arrangements could be made if it's that necessary). Entrance fee for day tour is only P20 per person and P40 per person for overnight stay.Visitors can either bring or cook their own food or make other arrangements with the management.Getting there:Jim's Island Beach Club is accessible by car or by boat.

Travel by charter boat takes 2 hours from Sta. Ana wharf, passing through several scenic and breath-taking resorts of Igacos at a very affordable price of P5,000 roundtrip good for 58 persons (or just P86.25/person).For an additional of P3,000, customers can avail of another two-hour trip back to Sta. Ana wharf passing through the other side of Igacos. In short, the whole fee can allow a customer to go island hopping around the whole island.For inquiries and reservation, contact Celi Pe Benito at tel. no. 301-4018, Davao booking office at Tel. nos. 221-2121, 305-3838, 305-2020, or cellphone nos. 0917-7006253 and 0910-2993388.

Night of laughter with Gary and Giselle

One of the country's top comedians, Gary Lising treated Dabawenyos to an hour and a half of diversified comedy during a show tour at the Pagcor-Casino Filipino entertainment plaza of the Grand Regal hotel on February 12. After almost an hour's wait (ticket says show starts at 9 p.m.), Gary sauntered on stage and directed the audience to stand up and put their right hands on the breast---of the person next to them, much to the chagrin of everybody who obeyed thinking the Lupang Hinirang will be played.
Gary's funny rendition of jokes and songs rocked the whole room with laughter.As a comedian, Gary (Edgardo Lising Y Generao) caters to everybody who simply loves fun and laughter for children and adults from all walks of life.Adding more spice to the show is the special participation of sexy comedienne Giselle Sanchez in her funniest self ever.The sexy and foxy Giselle, who is known with her greenish word of mouth sauntered on stage clad in a very tight, hot-red and seductive attire (defined as plunging neckline and high hemline just half an inch below her underwear) captured the ohhhs and ahhhs of the male population and the envy of the female tribe.
Giselle is prominently known for her naughty, scandalous humor, and even more so for her unabashedly sexy image.To quote her, "I'm Gizelle Sanchez, ang babaeng pangit sa TV pero guapa sa personal,"Both Gary and Giselle's performance was definitely worth the five hundred bucks ticket courtesy of Sir Tony Ajero. The show was part of a four-day laughter tour for Gary which kicked off in Bacolod city last Feb. 4, Manila on Feb. 16 and Cebu on Feb. 24 as grand finale.
The event is produced by Philmedia Ads and Promotions Services spearheaded by Bobot Ramos, Reggie Manaloto and Mark Gregorio.Sponsors for the show are Smart Infinity, Pagcor-Casino Filipino, Txt 2 Protect by e-Standard Insurance, Air 21, Premiere Condoms, Nature's Spring, Jack Daniel's, Cebu Pacific, Chivas Regal, Alaska Milk Corp., Cocoplans, Graphicstar, Crunchicken and Crossover Network.The next time Gary or Giselle comes to town, bid goodbye to your P500 and I assure you, its worth it.

Pag-asa Farms: An Oasis Amidst Lush Banana Plants

Fast becoming a famous landmark in the municipality of Kapalong, Davao del Norte is the Pag-asa Farms, an experience of nature conveniently located amidst lush banana plantations just 10 minutes ride away from Kapalong proper.The ranch features a five-hectare orchid garden of varied species, different trees and shrubs, a mini-zoo boasting of exotic birds and animals.The Cabana function hall, an open building which allows the cool breeze to carry the sweet fragrance of the flowers to everyone could accomodate at least 100 people and is ideal for seminars and conferences.

Pag-asa farms has three classy rooms good for three persons each available for overnight accomodations. A very affordable price of P750 per room includes a free breakfast of their specialties like lechon de leche, spare ribs and other mouth-watering cuisine depending on the client's choices.If you're lucky, you might even be fortunate to be served ostrich meat and eggs.

Ms. Evelyn Mercado, the sister of Toy Mercado who owns and manages Pag-asa Farms said they are targetting the Cabana to be fully operational by November this year in time to accomodate the holiday visitors.Pag-asa Farms is also home to the largest of all the bird species in the world, the ostrich. There are about 48 ostriches here and an ostritch egg incubator.Alfonso Bi¤an Jr., a staff of Pag-asa Farms said that an ostrich can lay as many as 30 eggs in a year and these hatches within 42 days in an incubator. Survival rate however is only around 50 percent of the eggs.

The price of ostrich meat hovers from P900 to P1,000 per kilo while an ostrich egg would fetch a market price from P600 to P800 each."You can cook ostrich meat to several recipes like steak, salpicao with mushrooms, adobo, and other ways of cooking it and it is fat-free, definitely no cholesterol," Ms. Evelyn said.An ostrict egg, which is equivalent to 10 or 11 chicken eggs weighs about 1.5 kgs. Hardboiling an ostrich egg though will take more than three hours as the shell is very hard. An ostrich egg omelette would be enough to feed 8 men or 10 women, Ms. Evelyn said.

Pag-asa Farms is worth a visit. It is a place ideal for agro-forestry educational tours, fieldtrips and visits. In fact, a trip to Kapalong won't be complete without dropping by.To get there, one has board an hour's trip in a jeep from Tagum City to Kapalong. From there, get in touch with the Kapalong tourism office at tel. nos. (084) 371-0703 and (084) 371-0661 and contact Ms. Edna Bernardino-Parcon.*