March 16, 2012
While everyone else got busy strutting on the streets and squeezing themselves to watch parades and mall shows and celebrate Araw ng Dabaw in Davao City (of course), Arbie’s workmates and I got extremely excited “crossing the waters” and “facing the dust” to a resort in the Island Garden City of Samal to unwind, have fun and enjoy.
Arbie and I arrived at Sasa 11 overpass at exactly 8:30 AM – our assembly time. I thought we were already that late because when we disembarked from the jeepney, a few of Arbie’s workmates were already there. Good thing though that we were still waiting for the others (thus making us not the last to come, yipee!), and Sir Excel was still buying fish in the market. We waited for several minutes, and while waiting, they got busy chatting and sharing stories about anything and everything under the sun. Finally, after two of the teachers came, we started walking on our way to the port.
When we reached the port, we paid Php 13.00 as fare for the boat from Sasa to Babak. We got in the boat, wrote our names, age, gender, and address on a sheet of paper (for insurance purposes perhaps) then waited for the boat to depart. After a few minutes, the boat departed as well as how we departed from work, stress and the like!
After about 10-15 minutes boat ride, we docked to Samal port. We were supposed to ride a multicab, but since a tricycle driver told us that it would be difficult for us to look for two multicabs for the twenty of us, and the highway is not quite a walking distance from the port, we then decided to ride the tricycles instead for Php 30.00 each.
When I learned that our fare would be Php 30.00 each, I thought it was too expensive. But after passing by banana plantations, several beach resorts, and dusty concrete then cratered then concrete then cratered roads, then I said to myself “OK! Php 30.00!” After 52 years (actually after 20 to 25 minutes), we reached the resort that we had been longing much — VILLA AMPARO!
Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort is situated in Sitio Dasag, Barangay Camudmud, Island Garden City of Samal. Upon entering the gate of the resort, you can see the wide and spacious parking lot, which can accommodate 20 or more cars. For you to enter the resort proper, you have to take the stairs going down to their reception area where you have to pay for the entrance fee of Php 100.00 (day tour) or Php 200.00 (overnight) and if you have brought food and drinks with you, you have to pay Php 50.00 per head for the corkage.
As you enter the resort, you will take the stairs again going down. You will be passing by their penthouse, native cottages, function hall, canteen, a bridge or boardwalk leading to the islet huts and islet gazebo and finally, the beach! Our group decided to rent and stay in their only unit of islet gazebo for Php 600.00. The resort that time was very windy which made the waves got wild. Even the people from the resort got fazed because usually, it does not get too windy and the waves do not really get mad at all. Despite these things though, we had never gone hopeless that we would still enjoy after all.
While the gentlemen were busy grilling the pork and fish at the grilling area, we, the ladies were also busy — busy eating for most of us had not taken breakfast yet. While others were busy filling their hungry tummies, others were taking pictures and some even were changing clothes into their swimming attires. Others also set the table for our small banquet. After the pork and fish were finally grilled and set on the table together with the rice, bam-i, adobo, chiffon cakes, bread, and sapin-sapin, we then altogether took our lunch.
We finally had a fill! After our sumptuous lunch, they had their games (I did not join the games. I was their photographer. Hehe!) They played “Make the Prince/Princess Wet”, the ‘bone breaking’ “Bottle Relay” (which is played by partner), and the “Basketball Game”. They played as if they went back to their childhood stage! No games then followed, so, the group decided to take a plunge into the sea!
In spite of the strong wind that made the waves wild, we still swam into the sea, chased one another, jumped high as waves approached us and even tried their swings beneath the bridge. After spending some time in the beach, we rose up and took a break. We took snacks and they played “Pinoy Henyo”. Then, once again, we went back to the beach to take our final plunge and battle with the waves.
The fun did not end there yet. When a group of students (I think) was finally over with their videoke sessions at the videoke gazebo, we hurriedly went there and took our turn. For Php 150.00, we were able to sing our lungs and hearts out for an hour. Also, my satisfaction was ultimately met when I was already able to sing! (Do I sound that anxious just to sing?)
An hour finally passed and it was about five in the afternoon. It was already time for us to leave. Our tricycles were already waiting at the parking area. With faces turned red but glowed with smiles, bodies gotten weak but strengthened with camaraderie, and eyes grown tired but mesmerized with the beautiful scenery, for sure everyone had left Villa Amparo happily. Indeed, it was a fun-filled day. Surely, everyone enjoyed as much as the waves enjoyed striking us ferociously! Thanks to my husband for inviting me and thanks to the Meno people for accommodating me. Of course, thank you Lord God for giving us wonderful weather, enthusiastic company, mesmerizing scenery and a safe, sound and unforgettable trip. ‘Til next time!