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Saturday, 29 December 2018

The joy of Christmas 2018

Rhea and her family spent their 2018 Christmas here with us.  They were here last Dec23-25 and spent 3 nights in our resort.

On their first day, as they were tired, after their lunch they slept for long time in the afternoon.  And when they woke Niña, their tour guide , took the family to Sawang, for snorkelling and swimming.  Niña taught the youngest daughter, Sam,  to swim and happily she learned to swim quickly. They enjoyed the white sand in sawang, and loved the marine life under the sea.

When night came and all guests had finished their dinner, they watched Niña with her fire dancing.  Everybody yelled and clappped their hands when Niña blew fire. When the bonfire was started.  They drink a few bottles, sharing stories that made their night fun.

On their second day, Dec. 24, the family woke up early to have breakfast and get ready for a boat tour.  Niña showed them the parts of the island.  They went to San Agapito, Cueva, Mahabang Buhangin and Lalaguyin.  Places they can have snorkelling and swimming and her husband, Bong, who is a free lance Photographer,  had the chance to take photos of  the places they visited.

They came back in the afternoon, and all were happy as it was Rhea's kids first time to have a boat ride. Tired from their boat tour, they slept well and woke up late.

I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, when the couple came to cook for dinner.  I asked them if they would join us for Christmas eve, but Rhea told me that they were going to bed early as they had to get up early tomorrow for trekking to Mt. Dagit-dagit. While we were in the kitchen, talking with each other I learned that her kids don't each much meat.  And, because they won't have their noche buena,  I gave them a free meal a relyenong bangus (stuffed milk fish decorated with fresh vegetables) with sauce and macaroni salad.  Rhea told me that she thinks her kids will ignore the food she prepared.  And she was right her kids finished the food I gave first!  Dinner was done and time for their bedtime.

The family woke up early and we greeted each other "Merry Christmas". All of them were excited for their adventure to Mt.  Dagit- dagit.  They met Mang Winnie, who has a house  where our guests usually stay while they exploring the mountain.  He even picks fruits for the guests to share like pomelo and coconut.  And he shared his horse with Rhea's daughter.  Sam loves horses and enjoyed her riding on the mountain.

They came back to our resort in the afternoon.  Tired but all were happy as they told us its their best Christmas vacation.   And when the night came again, they went to Wangyu's place, one of my workers and they had dinner.  Rhea's daughter, Shelley, said she enjoyed the food very much after trekking to mountain.

When they returned to the resort, they shared their stories with us and this is what Rhea wrote to us:

    Aside from the breath taking place, the warm welcome and awesome service of the resort owner and staff made our stay memorable.  Thank you for helping Bong and I make this vacation memorableand meaningful to our kids.

                                Bong and Rhea

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A note from one of our guests :-)

Recently we received this lovely message from one of our guests - Earl Tan

As the trip ends like the sun sets in a day. We remember those great memories being inside an isolated island. An isolated island seated in the center. The calm, silent island filled with all the beautiful sea creatures and the fresh air from the sea breeze made our trip a romantic vacation.

In addition to the refreshing nature, the staffs of the resort where very accommodating. They gave us more than what is paid for. We had a wonderful stay with the island with their tours plus a tasty food cooked by the owners of the resort.

In every hardship, there is always a good thing at the end. The trip going to the island is rough but the place made it worth every rough wave we experienced.

Attached is our photo together.

Respectfully yours,
Earl Tan

Friday, 26 October 2018

Marie, A Swiss Girl from Taiwan

Marie is a Chinese doctor, who teaches German language in Taiwan.  She always comes to Mnila for her holiday, but this year she didn't realize her passport was due to expire soon.  When she saw that it was close to expiry, she went to the Swiss Embassy in Manila to renew her passport, the Consulate told her she could still stay for a three month holiday in Manila.  So Marie began looking for a place near Manila where she could have a 'staycation'.  After checking Google, she found our resort and sent me an email, then booked a five day stay with us.

I met her in Tabangao, and while waiting for the boat we had an interesting conversation.  She is a cheerful person and not shy, so there were no no dull moments when we were together.

On her first day, after having her lunch she took a walk in the local community with Hikaru as her guide.  Hikaru showed to her the rural life in Isla.  When they were in Mahabang Buhangin, they passed the house of Gean, who is celebrating her birthday and she invited  them to eat and since Marie doesn't eat red meat Gean offered her a cake.

Marie does not eat red meat, but does eat fish so because she loves fish, I prepared some special food for her.  Stuffed milkfish with green veggie salad, tuna cooked in cocunut milk with radish salad, grilled cunning fish with Japanese sauce, sarciado, a fish fried and sauteed with tomatoes, onions and eggs, fried fish with eggplant salad, carbonara with deep fried fillet and the Isla Verde express, its a seafood prawns, squid, clams with cocunut milk hot and spicy.  For veggies she had a taste of sauteed mixed veggies, brocolli with mushroom and oyster sauce, Sayote with tomatoes and she likes miso soup very much. Marie said that the food at our resord was delicious.

Marie, brought a diary with her, where she writes her daily activities.  She even showed to me some paintings of a few of the fishes she saw while snorkelling and of the boat she had in coming here, the St. Paul.

She was fond of snorkelling with Niña and Hikaru.  They went different spots for snorkelling and never tired of swimming everyday and enjoyed watching schools of fish and star fish among the rocks and corals.

Niña took Marie to visit their place. While she was there, Marie had a taste of coconut. It was a new experience for her and happily  she liked the coconut juice and ate the coconut meat  She even asked Niña to bring some back to the resort.

And before she left, she wrote something in our Visitor's Book:

"I stayed on Isla Verde for five days and I enjoyed it so much

Tita Jo's food is delicious and everyday I went snorkelling with Niña.  Jaka alwaya set a very romantuc table and the sunsets are stunning.  When I woke up  at night I saw the milkyway and little Jaro who is still a puppy but who guarded my tent very well.

I will dream of yhe blue, blue sea and the colorful fish when I'm back in Taiwan anf hope I can come back next year.

Marie Louisr Martina Marbach

Monday, 6 August 2018

Habagat - 2018 - Isla Verde Resort

As the summer ends, the wet season 'Habagat' arrives.  It is a month when the sea is rough on the west coast of Isla Verde, and even though it is the beginning of out monsoon and typhoon season, we still have groups and couples of guests arriving from foreign countries and also from other parts of the Philippines.

Recently we had a guest from Germany, Adeline, who came here from an event set by Yellen.  While she was here, she taught me my first yoga session.  It was an interesting experience, and at the end I felt quite relaxed.

During Habagat there are still times when the sea is calm, and the guests often still have the chance for free diving and snorkelling and exploring the underwater coral gardens in front of our resort.  If the sea is rough near the resort, often it is calm enough to snorkel just a short walk away at Mahabang Buhangin, or at Sawang Sampalukan or in Patong.

Mostly, visitors who come here are looking for a chance to get away from the stress of their daily work in the city.  Because our place is quiet and peaceful, they feel relaxed and they enjoy the chance to sleep in for long hours with no traffic noise or loud clubs and street sounds.  Sometimes I even have to knock on their door to wake them so they can have their meals :-)

Often, if it is raining, I see my guests outside just relaxing in the rain as they say it is so clean compared to the city.  We have a small infinity pool which they also enjoy playing annd splashing in, and they often just relax there swimming and taking pictures.  The sides of the infinity pool are also popular as an easy way to get in and out of the water for snorkelling to the coral gardens.

Even in Habagat, it is not boring at the resort.  No matter how bad the weather is, the guests find things to do.  Often they like to play indoor games including card games like Uno, Tong its, Pusoy and Crazy Ace.  We also have Scrabble and Chess.  Often I sit happily listening to them teasing and cheating each other.

At night if the rain has stopped, we still set a bonfire for the guests so they can enjoy their bonding, sharing a few bottles of drinks and some finger foods.