Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Camayan Beach Resort & Ocean Adventure

Cool reception area is cool.

I was invited by Camayan Beach Resort for a 3D2N stay in one of their Beach View Superior Room. God really works in mysterious ways because the invitation arrived in preparation for a very stressful period of my life (AKA the wedding preparation). Since the room with 2 queen-size beds would fit 4 pax, and Ralph & I are not married yet to be doing sleepovers alone, we went there last weekend with his eldest brother Kuya Ryan, his wife Ate Len and 4-year old daughter Sophia. Bummer, I just realized we have not a single photo together.

Our only decent photo together
(c) Adrian-Len Marigmen

Yes, Beach View from our room at 2nd floor. The photo on the right actually serves as roof for the walkway below AND  bridge for the monkeys as well! Too bad I didn't get to take a photo of them marching from the trees towards our building.
Despite the fact that we stayed in a 3-storey building called Beach View (while there's Garden View & Baybreeze Building), I still saw more greens than blues because the area is practically situated in the outskirts of the forest.


The food was superb. Since we're only entitled to free breakfast, we initially planned to eat outside of the hotel for lunch and dinner. However, when we arrived in the resort after approximately 3.5hrs of travel from Manila, we learned that there was no outside. Only forest, empty roads, and monkeys -- lots of them. The nearest restaurants are 30-min drive away from the resort. We wouldn't want to risk killing a monkey along the way so we stayed in instead. Good thing The Reef serves good food. Their breakfast buffet table offers a wide variety of dishes such as tinapa, fried danggit, scrambled egg, pancakes, chicken franks, pork sausages, sauteed cabbage, mixed veggies, pandesal, tomato and cucumber in thousand island dressing, sliced bread (which you have an option to toast), fruit dessert (consists of papaya, watermelon, and pineapple slices), cornflakes and koko crunch in fresh milk, chicken lomi, & creamy macaroni soup. I'm not a fan of drinks other than water but I was forced to try their apple juice so I looked like drinking beer in the morning.

See what I did here? :P

For lunch and dinner, we got to try almost all their viands which are good for sharing (for 2-3 pax) and are very much affordable, too! Price ranges from 150Php to 500Php per order. Some of the food we tried are Sizzling Bangus ala Pobre (who can go wrong with a belly showered by crispy toasted garlic?), Gising-gising (this was love at first taste), Chopsuey (I don't eat veggies but theirs was too good not to eat), Seafood Kare-kare (this was heavenly), Sizzling Liempo (which I eat in all types of occasion, never fails) and Lechon Kawali (the ultimate food for the big guys).  If you have read my last entry, you would know why I have not taken pictures of these foods. Moving forward, I promise to be better in documentation. Food is the hardest to document because it's easier to eat them than to take pictures of them. LOL. To make up for the un-captured moments though, you may view some here.


The shoreline was not that long but because the resort was not crowded at all, it looked like we owned the place. More people lingered in The Reef and The Sandbar than in the beach. This could be considered a glaring evidence that they boast of good food more than good beach.  Their beach reminds me of that of La Luz in Laiya, Batangas (which I failed to blog because I literally didn't know how to put into words the amazing-ness of that place), only Camayan Beach has finer sand. The sand in La Luz's shore are almost pebble-ish it hurts to walk on them. Both beaches offer a sanctuary not too far from the shoreline. Too bad I'm not a fan of swimming with fishes so I did not stay much in the waters. For those who are not checked-in in the resort, cabanas by the beach are available for rental. Usually day-trippers avail of these. Other water activities they offer are kayaking and diving.

Ralph trying to be cute in the cold sunless morning
the shore, the grayish sand, baby's beach body (haha!), my nails, and the cabanas

On top of the free accommodation, we were also provided passes to the Ocean Adventure, thanks to Ms. May, the Marketing Manager who invited me. This was another realization of dream to me as I have been wanting to go to Manila Ocean Park just to see those aquatic creatures that our awesome God has made. God never gave me the time and budget to go to MOP for the simplest reason that He wants me to go here instead. OA is just a parking area away from Camayan (ok, a very wide parking lot for that matter). Be prepared because more than the distance, it's the heat of the sun that killed us while we walked our way to and fro OA (this isn't exactly the cutest acronym but who cares? haha). The tour starts at 9:30am but because we were all lazy bodies and sleepy heads, we didn't make it on time. We missed the Eco Walk part and so we proceeded to the second part of the tour which they call the Balancing Act. My jaws, and everyone else's, dropped big time due to these amazing Kenyan guys' act. You may check this video for a portion of their unbelievable performance.

Sea creatures are fun to watch.  And so was Ralph trying to mimic them. Lol.
The third and fourth part are basically the sea lion and the dolphin shows, respectively. Intriguingly, our Sophia got bored while the rest of us really enjoyed the show. After the scheduled presentations, we toured their aquariums which, I guess, just became Sophia's favorite part of the day. By 3pm, we're back in our room. All five of us dosed off til dinner.

love them monkeys! I promise to take real pictures of them when I get back.

This, by far, was the closest experience I had with so many monkeys. They are almost everywhere that the resort had to make a sign for the guests to be guided. While we were still on our way from NLEX, Ralph already gave me a heads up that we might see monkeys either crossing the streets by foot or by jumping from the trees on one side of the road to the other. He was right. And like a child, I was so fascinated. I love the many greens we passed by. For someone who lives in the city and experiences the traffic and pollution of the Metro everyday, this vacation was really and literally a breath of fresh air. Yes, sitting in the car for hours could be a little exhausting but who wouldn't enjoy travelling the countryside? First, there's not your regular heavy traffic and air and noise pollution. Second, you rarely see other cars travelling the same road. Third, the idea that you might kill a monkey (not your ordinary pedestrian) if you drive for more than 40kph is plain thrilling.


If given a chance, will I get back to this resort? A big YES! I'm actually already making a presentation for our Board of Directors to see. Who knows, we might end up having our yearly company summer getaway here? ♥

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