Friday, November 30, 2007

A cool stop-over at Marilog

Up and away.
A scenic hour and a half drive away from the heart of Davao
city will give you a chance to deeply breath the cool mountain breeze of Marilog District, Davao's summer capital which rests at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level.

The place is not only known for its lush vegetation and bountiful flowers but with terrains where one can experience Davao's great outdoors to whet the stimulus of the adventurous.

I instantly said yes to the invitation of friend Manny Quisol to see something of the place last week. We reached sitio Epol and alighted from our vehicle, feasting our eyes on the array of lovely flowers displayed beside the highway.

We stopped by Foggy Mountain Garden owned by Bagahisan barangay kagawad Bilma Fuentes and were treated to a spectacular view of her vegetable, flower and strawberry gardens.

The place is very cool. No, I take that last word back, The right terms are cold and nippy because I was shivering in my thin shirt the whole day we were there.
We took a leisurely lunch at Seagull Mountain Resort and proceeded to Green Valley waterfalls at sitio Epol.
Manny and I had to drag Jojo, our driver to go down to the waterfalls with us instead of nursing his overfed stomach sleeping.

We trekked down a narrow and winding pathway, enjoying the peaceful quiet of the place broken only by the sound of crickets and gushing water until we got to the water falls.

Oh wow! The sight and sound of waterfalls always soothe my being. It made me regret I did not bring extra clothes. Entrance to the Green Valley Waterfalls is P7 for day guests and P12 for overnight guests. An overnight cottage with an attic and porch can be rented at P50 per person or for a fixed price of P1,000.
Tents can be pitched at no additional cost and guests are advised to bring their own baon. However, food can be ordered if reservations are made,

Open cottages can also be rented for P20 each, overlooking the waterfalls. This 2.8 hectare property, owned by Lolita Lopez Tan and Winston Tan started operating in 1993. There is not electricity in the place, giving guests a chance to commune with nature it but resort caretaker Bebeth Abergos said they can assure guests of security in the place. For reservations, you may contact Bebeth at cellphone # 0920-8179325.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beachside Bungalows

The bungalows are set in the ocean’s edge, right in the picturesque traditional fishing village in Melekeok, giving one a complete feeling of ‘getting-away-from-it-all’ and going back to the basics of sun, sand and sea. We arrived at the Palau Beach Bungalows at dusk, breathing in the salty tang of air from the sea and settled in for a relaxing weekend.
This ‘Palauan style’ site for relaxation, as aptly described by owner Palau Community College (PCC) president Patrick Tellei brings you the basics of traditional Palau, far away from traffic and roaring of vehicles, blaring television sets, crowds and your daily routine.
A respite at the Palau Beach Bungalows gives you a chance to do what you want- enjoy the view of the long stretch of green blue sea, surf the huge waves at the edge of the reef about half a mile away from the beach, stretch on the bed in your cottage while sniffing the fresh sea breeze, or be lulled to sleep by the sound of the rolling waves crashing on the breakwater. You can also swim and snorkel, fish for brilliant colored fishes, hike through verdant green jungle to see one of Palau’s meeting houses (bai), walk though the village along the water’s edge to find an ancient stone monolith. Time is never enough before you have to go back to “civilization” once again.
Patrick designed and built the bungalows on weekends or during his spare time until the bungalows were opened for business in July 2005. Patrick said he built the bungalows to help pay the electrical bills of the family, and to give interested family members a way to get their hands into the tourism business.
He also said that since the Capitol was moving to Melekeok, and boats going back & forth to Koror were dwindling, he wanted the place to be there for people working on the construction of the Capitol and for anyone who wants to get away and relax.
Four of the five bungalows have a private bath, a bedroom with an air-conditioner, and living room with a furnished kitchenette, complete with coffee maker, electric burner, toaster, refrigerator, cookware and kitchen utensils
The fifth bungalow has two studio units with an outside bath.
Guests can bring their own groceries, or for a chance to savor delicious Palauan specialties, meals can be ordered from Ubal Tellei’s family living nearby (with 12 hours advance notice).
And oh yes, the place has a signal in case you need to contact somebody via cellular phone.
The rate is only $40 plus 14% tax per night per bungalow ($46.30) but Virginia, Patrick’s wife said weekly and monthly discounts are available. Palau Beach Bungalows is about an hour’s drive away from Koror, passing scenic views and the new Capitol building. For more information, please call 680-587-2533 or email