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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Rebecca - from Uk: Cavite: by Jo

Rebecca is from London in the U.K. and loves to travel alone.  One day I received an email from her inquring about scuba diving and my reply to her was that there is no diving shop here in our island, but as we are part of the marine sanctuary she can have snorkelling and free diving.  After a few days I got reply from her and she booked last March 24 for an overnight stay.

As soon as she stepped into our resort she just relaxed for few minutes and then went swimming with Dieter and did some snorkelling.  She enjoyed snorkelling for few hours and and when noontime came, she had lunch in the swing by the sea.  As Rebecca is a vegetarian, I cooked special food for her.  She had ginisang monggo (made with sauteed mung beans) and brocolli  with oyster sauce and mangoes.  Then, she took a rest for a while. After an hour Dieter took Rebecca for the short walk to the sandy beach at Mahabang Buhangin for swimming and snorkelling.  They came back at 3 pm and she took a rest in one cottage near the sea, and the gentle sounds of the waves put her to sleep.

When she woke up I offered here a veggie sandwich and hot Japanese tea. While she was enjoying her afternoon in the swing she read her pocketbook which she brought with her, and waited to catch the sunset.

The sunsets here at Isla Verde can be beautiful and they are a great way to end a day.  After the view of the sunset she took a bath and then rested in her kubo.  At 6:30 she had her dinner of potatao salad with beets, chocolate puto, rice delicacies and pineapple, sitting by the bonfire.

After dinner Rebecca, Dieter and Pipoy stayed by the bonfire for a while and had a drink.  She planned to stay only for one night but because she was enjoying our resort and our company she decided to stay for another day.

She went to bed at 9 pm as she would be getting up early for trekking to Mt. Dagit dagit. I gave her a light breakfast when she woke up.  Bread with cheese, sunny side up egg and brewed coffee so she would have energy for trekking for 4 hours, and I packed a sandwich for her too .

After 4 hours of trekking they came back.  She had fun with Pipoy as her tour guide.  She speaks little Tagalog, as Pipoy was suprised to discover.

I gave her lunch of coleslaw, mangoes and puto pau, another rice delicacy with melon juice as she was tired from trekking.  After her lunch she took a rest.  She enjoyed resting in our folding bed facing the the sea as she feels the sea breeze, while reading her pocketbook.  When the sun shone hot, she moved to her kubo and fell asleep.

She got up late in the afternoon, took a bath, and walked towards the sea and started to read her book.

When it was getting dark I gave her dinner for her last day. Stir fried French beans with oyster sauce, and radish salad.  I was pleased when Rebecca told me I'm a good vegetarian cook as she said all the meals I served to her were tasty and delicious.

She went to bed early as she would leave for an early trip to Tabangao.

Rebecca said she will be back again as she had fun with us and loves our place.

See you next time Rebecca!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Vietnamese Guests - by Jo

Tina has been an exchange student from Vietnam and has lived in the Philippines for 6 years while she studied.  She graduated from La Salle University last March 12.  Her parents visited the Philippines to attend her graduation, and she brought them here to our resort.

This is what Tina wrote to us:

I invited my parents to go on a short trip that's not far from Manila.  So I searched for top best places to go in Batangas and I found Isla Verde Island.  The place seems to be interesting and fascinating for me, so I decided to visit here for the first time.  I have also researched for the tips and reminders before commuting to our destination.  Hence, our travel was very fast and smooth which took us 3 hours waiting for the boat because we arrived too early.

Everything was great.  The owners of the resort were very approachable and accommodating to our needs.  Most importantly, we were amazed with the beaches surrounding here because of the clear water and beautiful view of corals.

That's the part that we enjoyed the most and we definitely won't forget the memorable experience.  By any chance, we would love to stay longer and enjoy each moment here in this island and the wonderful people here.

Vo Phuoy Thao

It was so nice to have Tina and her parents here.  Some of my family happened to be staying here also and when we lit the evening bonfire there was a happy group, Tina and her parents, with me and my sons Budoy and Boyboy, and cousins Dieter (who takes our guests on guided tours), Macky and Dimple.

They are a kind and happy family and even invited us to share some of their meals, including rice topped with ground peanuts and sesame seeds and some spam.

Tina would have liked to stay longer, but her father was called back by the Vietnamese Embassy so they had to leave the following day.

They have invited me to visit them in Hanoi, and I hope one day I can go.

Before passengers boarded the boat, the goods were taken aboard for people on Isla Verde.  

After about 45 minutes sailing - Arrival at Isla Verde.

Then into the small banca to be paddled ashore.. Isla Verde Tropical Friendly Resort.

The accommodation is not luxury, just a simple bamboo hut (kubo).
There is a 'Tess Cafe' if you don't want to cook for yourself, with nice meals available.

Around the resort there are simple dirt tracks
And cement paths.
Leading to little villages in the countryside,
And by the seaside.
While the best coral and fish are seen by snorkelling in the shallow waters right in front of the resort, it is only a short walk to sandy beaches.
If you want to rent snorkelling gear for a small fee..
You can snorkel even from the sandy beaches..
or relax with the friendly locals and enjoy the view for a while.
Not all the homes on Isla Verde are simple.  It is an interesting place to explore.
From the fishing beaches.. the mountains.
There's always something to see.
And when you return at the end of the day...
After a pleasant day of exploring..
The sunset..
..changes the colors of the island!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Guests pa more - by Jo

Guests keep coming to our resort from all walks of life.  There are groups who came to spend their holidays with us, couples who celebrated their anniversaries and birthdays at the resort, team building groups and some who are families and friends.  It's fun watching them together, enjoying their moments together and we enjoy exchanging jokes, and stories with them.

Jeff works in Italy, and he came home for a vacation with his Italian friend, Guiliano.  Along with them were Jeff's brother, cousins and their aunt. They brought their food and I helped them to prepare and cook and they had their lunch together in one of our kubos, having their happy meal.

After their lunch they took a rest.  Jeff lay down in our beach bed near the sea while his friend, Guillano, took a nap in our kubo. The others started to swim in front of the resort.  That night they had a bonfire, and sat around with their fine music.

Kerry came to visit our resort with the whole clan.  They only stayed for an overnight but they had fun in their short visit.  After their lunch with the food they brought, and after they had rested, they rented a boat for a tour around Isla.  They enjoyed the trip and were back before sunset to experience the view of the sunset across the passage.

When night came, they had dinner together and they invited Dieter and Pipoy to share a few drinks while having the bonfire.  From my kubo I could hear the laughter and fun they shared together.

Red and friends from Makati came to visit our rocky beach and explore the marine life.  But they're happy to meet new friends - me, Dieter and my staff Jaja, Ninay and Roselle.  They said the services we rendered to them made their stay so comfortable and hassle - free.  And they went home with a big smile and happy.

Noah from Cavite visited us.  Noah is a friend of Ton ton, who has become our regular guest here in our resort.  He came with his group called Team AMA - Noah's Squad.  They brought their own tent to pitch in and food to cook.

They came here for snorkelling and they brought their own gear. The group enjoyed their snorkelling.  The whole afternoon they explored the marine life.  Just a short swim from our sea wall, there are coral canyons with so many different kinds and colors of fish and corals.  It is impossible to describe how surprised some of our guests are when they have seen such beautiful things so close to our shore.  The following day before they left the island, they still found time to go to to the sea to swim and snorkel one last time.  And all of them were thankful for coming here as they love our place.

From New World Manila Bay Hotel, the group of Jonathan came. They wanted to get out from hustle and bustle of city life and found our place so relaxing, a nice place to unwind.  They enjoyed the food that I prepared for them.  They say an overnight is too short time for their stay but worth it to be here.

Rob, who works in a travel agency named 'Experience Philippines', brought his guests to experience the rural bliss of Isla Verde.  They stayed here for 2 days and one night.
On their stay here, Dieter guided them around the island through a boat tour and to different parts of Isla Verde taking pictures, swimming and snorkelling.
They even climbed the light house in Cueva.

When night time came, Rob played guitar while they gathered around the bonfire and shared their own stories.  They left the next afternoon with many happy memories of our resort.

April Edsan's group from BPO came to our resort too.  This is maybe the wackiest group who came to our resort.  They're in Tabangao at 4:30am as they were afraid that they can't catch the boat trip.  They stayed for an overnight but all of them had so much fun in the water, picture taking of the surroundings and chilling in our swing with the drinks they brought along with them, and they were still drinking while having their bonfire.
Edsan promised to come back with his new team for team building.

Watching our guests discover the restful tranquillity of isla Verde, and seeing the wonder when they discover the beauty of the corals at the front of our resort makes me so happy that we can help our guests enjoy this special piece of paradise.