Sumilon Glamping: A Family Affair

The beautiful shifting sand bar. 
“Are you sure you know how to paddle?” Basty glanced
nervously at me while clutching tightly at Dale’s arms, droplets of sweat
soiling his bright orange life vest. “Why are we headed to the trees?”
Okay, so I haven’t really kayaked in a while, and the mangroves
seemed to mysteriously gravitate towards us. I never had the chance to exhibit
my island-girl instincts while I was away in landlocked Ethiopia and South
Sudan. I was here to chill—and no poor paddling skills and magnetic mangroves
could spoil the vibe.
When I arrived in Cebu from a 22-hour intercontinental trip,
it took me barely a week to recover from the jetlag and embark on another
trip—this time, a relaxing one with the ones dearest to me. Since my mom and
dad (Nanay and Tatay) are not really the backpacking types, my sisters and I
decided to treat them to the irresistibly luxurious Sumilon Bluewater Resort,
just a 2- or 3-our bus ride from Cebu City.

But being the third-class traveler that I am, I had to
request that we sprinkle a dash of backpacking character to our getaway.  So we opted for the Glamping Package, a
convenient alternative to camping but without the hassle of pitching tents, cooking
on stones, or sleeping on thin mats. Tatay calls it luxurious camping. Nanay says
it’s camping with class. I say, it’s a welcome relief from my mud hut in South
Sudan.

Our home for the weekend.

 At 7 AM, my sisters
and I suited up in beach/camping style, grabbed a cab from Mandaue to the City
Link terminal to catch a mini-van to Oslob. We were supposed to leave at 5 AM
so we could meet our parents, our nephew Basty, and our sister Dale in Oslob,
as they were coming from Amlan in Negros. Disciplined as they were (with our
retired police dad giving orders), they were able to reach Oslob at 7 AM as
planned while the Mandaue bunch was stuck in a half-full van that was
obviously  not leaving in the next hour
or so. We paid for the empty seats so the mini-van
could get going.  

The ride was smooth and rather too fast, but after an hour and a half of ambulance-speed cruising Manong Driver
deposited us safely in Bancogon, where our boat to the island paradise, Sumilon,
awaited us and other groups that came trickling as soon as we’ve arrived. As we
waited for the go-signal to board, the staff on the mainland served us fresh
lemon juice drinks, which did us good considering that in the five minutes that
followed we were rocked sideways and back and forth by the stubborn waves for
about twenty minutes! The lemon juice held my food down, I must say.

A rocky ride, but well worth it!

In paradise finally, greeted by our fantastic and ever-patient
camp assistant, William, with his newly found chatterbox friend Basty tagging
along.  William ushered us to our
tents—a heaven of a place equipped with comfy beds and fluffy pillows, a fan,
a cooler with a good choice of beverages, and a snack bar. The tents were pitched
just a few meters from the beach and just beside the lagoon where we spent some
time kayaking and getting lost in the mangroves. The crashing of the waves
provided the sound track to our first family adventure since I left Cebu for
South Sudan.

Some of the things to keep you busy.
Since the Glamping package came with a full set of three
sumptuous meals and afternoon tea, all we had to worry about was what activity
to start with. Should we soak in the Jacuzzi, enjoy the infinity pool, go
snorkeling, trek around the island, get a massage, just while the time away
reading a book on a swing, or simply let the cool sea breeze lull us to sleep? There
were so many things to do, but what topped it all was the Filipino dinner at
the sandbar and the entertaining show of Philippine folk dances to aid our
digestion, as it was very much possible to overeat in that “bottomless” buffet.
Basty even gobbled two slices of cake and five servings of
leche flan, and with his lips sticky with caramelized sugar was still able to
say, “But I don’t eat that much.”
PS: Basty’s meals were free. Thank you, Sumilon Bluewater Resort!
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1 Comment

  1. What a wonderful read! I'm enjoying your blogs. MUCH. I think I'd be busy in the next few days. Keep writing!

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