The road seemed to stretch farther and deeper as the afternoon. We’ve been on the road since mid-morning. While we had a welcome respite from the road travel at Aloguinsan for the Bojo River Cruise, I must admit I was getting a bit antsy to reach our home for the night in Moalboal. Though the ride was roughly an hour and a half long, the road became narrower and dustier as we left the highway. We were looking for Hale Manna Beach Resort and Coastal Garden, located almost at the tip of this short protrusion of a land southwest of Cebu. There was surprise in seclusion as we found out as Hale Manna is bursting with good vibes and energy.
It was the blue hour when we checked in at Hale Manna. I couldn’t help but walk across the garden from the main building and look at the promontory to see the Tañon Strait reflecting the purplish residual light. Lanterns lit up as I walk back to the main building where most of the lodgings are located. The common reception area as well as the living room with veranda at the second floor has elegant furnishings, very Filipino in character with touches of oriental elements.
The rooms are enormous! We had a room with four beds but still have space enough for a couple more. Bathroom is a room on its own by its sheer size. During mealtimes service was a little laid back as expected but the food we tried, mostly Filipinos food were done well and worth the wait.
A mixture of chirps and tweets from a variety of birds can be heard through the closed capiz windows. Something of a luxury for city folks who find joy and amuse waking up at nature’s natural discorded tune. Seeing the coastal garden in bright light deepened my appreciation on the resort. Malabato trees cling on the cliff walls and occasional chairs, benches and lounge beds scattered on the grounds, each an idyllic spot for solitude.
Afternoons are magical at Hale Manna. After a day of exploring fringed reefs and marvelling at the underwater denizens of Tañon Strait, the coastal garden is a felicitous spot to spend the end of the day watching the sunset. Perhaps comfortably sitting on one of the Adirondack chairs at the Inspiration Point and feel the good energy flowing through the garden. Hale Manna in Hawaiian means “House of Good Energy” and it is definitely flowing boundlessly beyond the main houses’s corridor and expanding through the garden towards the sea.
Hale Manna is an eden. A haven for writers and artist. For weary souls seeking healing. And for us travelers, a place to stop for a while, rest our feet and align our energies.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.