Anda’s Quinale Beach is such a gorgeous beach. I knew the moment I saw its stretch of white sand I didn’t go wrong on choosing an accommodation just a stone’s throw away to the inviting sea and to the attractive shores. Little Miami Beach Resort is a small 9-cottage resort along Quinale Beach and served as my home in Anda for a couple of nights. I wasn’t expecting much at first but the cottages were a surprise and the location very pleasant.
While I enjoy Hanoi’s old world architecture and bustling city streets. Sometimes the crowd and constant noise of speeding cyclos can get tiring especially when one has to deal with the daily routines of urban life and work. A change of pace and a new environment is a welcome change to recharge and find solace in a hectic environment. Just an hour away from Hanoi is the province Vinh Phuc where the Flamingo Dai Lai Resort is located. I may not live in Hanoi, but as a tourist, I found this immense resort with well-maintained gardens, established pathways, scenic lakes, elegant villas and top-notch staff and ideal peaceful getaway near the city.
“Oooh! I got my own water dispenser in the room. That’s something new and unexpected for a place like this.” That was my first reaction when I saw my room at Sandbar Lepa Beach Hotel and Restaurant. Back in 2008, when I first visited Tawi-tawi, there were no cottages in this Sandbar Lepa beach. Only the lepa-styled (a house boat by the native Sama people) restaurant stood there since year 2000. Almost six years after, they now have a hotel and a huge convention hall.
If you have ever seen Christian Bautista’s music video “Masusulan Tawi-tawi” and wondered where that picturesque beach was where most of the budding romance scenes from the video were shot? Look no further than in Pahut, Bongao in Tawi-tawi. This is the famous Dr Ibbo’s Beach now known as Almari Beach Resort. The landmark mangrove tree, the white beach, clear sea waters, peaceful garden and native cottages makes this a local favorite in Tawi-tawi.
The “Joy Of Quiet”. I remember reading Pico Iyer’s New York Time’s article on black-hole resorts, where people are now paying a premium do get disconnected and having their mobile gadgets tucked away on their duration of stay. It seems that with some people, the more ways we have to connect the more people seem desperate to unplug. Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan in IGACOS (Island Garden City of Samal), Davao del Norte somehow reminds me of this article. Not entirely a black-hole resort, but the limited internet and cellular coverage gives visitors a choice to enjoy nature more. Which honestly was a personal struggle but later I fully embraced for this much deserved quiet getaway.
I will never get tired of this place. The nippy air, the sight of canoes slowly cutting through the placid waters of the lake, some egrets and other bird species suddenly landing on a leafy branch nearby and catching the changing hues during sunrise. Marvelling on how the light falls on the water and spread into the low mountains and hills. It is mornings like this, sitting by the porch in front of our room at Punta Isla Lake Resort, I’m at the front seat as nature unfolds before me. It’s no surprise I would be back in Lake Sebu for the third time. On this trip, I’m accompanied by my #TravelMindanao buddies.
It was an unforeseen disaster when Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged the Philippines early November 2013. My Cebu Pacific Air cancelled flight to Surigao City is so petty a problem compared to what happened to the cities in the typhoon’s path. It was a storm the world was watching and the rest of the TravelMindanao team felt a portion of its wrath in Surigao City. Everything went to a sudden stop as we weathered the storm, Cebu Pacific Air easily rebooked my flight for Butuan on another date to catch up with the rest of the TravelMindanao team. Circumstances however led us to Cathe Pacific in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur prematurely for a much-needed downtime.