When you have been to Davao city recently, it makes sense to say that President Duterte’s hometown is championing its campaign to be the country’s top “Bleisure” destination (Business and Leisure). Acacia, a world class homegrown hotel brand with branches in Manila and Bacolod could not agree more to this. The hotel brand is expected to greet its guests “Madayaw!” with its heartfelt stroke of hospitality this November.
Acacia Hotel Davao adds to the charming bustling stretch of JP Laurel street as you traverse Lanang area. It is across the Carmelite church, sandwiched by SM Lanang Premier Mall and Davao-grown CrossFit gym, Madayaw North. The Tim Tebow CURE Hospital, Lanang Premiere Doctors Hospital, Inc. (opens soon) and seafood haven, Blue Post Boiling Crabs & Shrimps are just three buildings away. The Davao Museum of History and Ethnography at Insular Village is just a five-minute-ride away. The Island Garden City of Samal is just 15 minutes away. It takes 20 minutes to Francisco Bangoy International Airport.
Acacia Hotel Davao offers exclusive benefits and privileges in the Club Lounge when you stay in one of the premier rooms and suites for a more unique and personalized experience.
The hotel offers impressive views of the north. Fill your eyes with astonishment when you witness the immersive ocean view of Samal Islands from some of the 260-well appointed guest rooms.
Local and international cuisine with regional flavors await to both local and foreign guests. The Waling-Waling Cafe offers a wide selection of freshly cooked local cuisine and regional classics. Luk Foo Palace Chinese Restaurant serves high-end Cantonese specialties with distinct flavors.
Acacia Fit, the hotel’s gym is geared with updated equipment centered around wellness. The Venado Pool Bar at the 3rd floor serves refreshments and cocktails while enjoying the swimming pool for a perfect getaway.
Acacia Hotel Davao owns a Grand Ballroom which can accommodate up to 350 persons with convenient and functional facilities. There are also 9 smaller event venues perfect for memorable and intimate celebrations or even for business events.
Built with world class facilities, surely “Acacia” is soon to be a term used by the Davaoenos and Davao visitors to refer not just to that enchanting, colossal, endemic, shade-providing tree.
“Acacia” in Davao, pertains to that colossal hotel in front of SM Lanang Premier, with enchanting interiors and facilities, serving international dishes with endemic to Davao flavors. Uniquely, it bears a brand of hospitality that nurtures ultimate metropolitan rest and relaxation like a shade an urban tree gives on an extremely hot day for business, leisure or both.
Eden is also now an adventure seeker’s natural playground.
Life’s unicycle where we simultaneously juggle work, personal affairs and sanity, causes us to faint sometimes. If you happen to be in that part of your routine where you are losing balance, startle more that adventurous soul and try daring your circus skills. Get out from the unicycle for a while and treat yourself to face-warpingrides.
How about teasing your circus skills of balance, agility, motor coordination as well as showmanship and physical comedy? Yes, you can not control those funny facial grimaces from the extreme stimuli when suspended at a 60 feet high cable, from a tower in an elevation 3,000 feet above sea level. All these in a day at one of the most popular and most visited mountain resorts in the Philippines today!
Eden Nature Park and Resort, or more commonly known as Eden, is a member of the JVA Group of Companies based in the Davao Region. It is located in Barangay Eden, Toril, Davao City, about 30 kilometers from the city proper and is situated at around 3,000 feet above sea level. A superb tourist attraction that offers tons of activities and amenities for all ages.
The moment you enter the Eden Adventure Park, the topography and the horizon you behold add to the thrill, where the sky rides are seem theatrically arranged. It is like a natural amphitheater where the towers of the rides are constructed at the lower part of the property. When someone is trying any of the extreme sky rides, a majestic horizon is on the backdrop while the spectators from the higher part of the park watch the rider at eye level.
It is like entering a outdoor circus venue where you can be one of the performers of the daring acts at some part of the show or just one of the contagiously thrilled audience watching the other day tour goers trying the rides. The spectators scream with you especially when the 90-degree Skywing is released.
Extreme Sky Experience Rides
Safety is Eden’s paramount concern. Trained attendants and operators ensure your safety. Your safety is significantly enhanced by securing you a body harness and safety gears especially ordered in France.
SKYWHEEL : The “German wheel”-like ride you see from the circus.
You should be atleast 50 kilos. Three wheels are available to travel at the same time.
SKYSWING: It is like flying trapeze, only with harness because you are not a pro.
“After Eco-tourism and Agri-tourism, a third leg – what we call as Adventure Tourism – was added to the resort’s activities. This was to make Eden also cater to the younger and more adventurous generation.” -Brenda Ocampo, Director of Sales and Marketing
SKYCYCLE : Artistic cycling and Slackwire balancing acts combined!
With 6 more lines from 2 when it opened in 2013, this ride is obviously a hit where artistic cycling and slackwire balancing skills are combined.
SKYRIDER: An aerial straps act without the acrobatics.
Since it started operations in October 1997, Eden has evolved from a simple nature park to a Davao destination offering a spectrum of relaxing things to do to heart pumping rides to overcome. It is definitely not just a nature lover’s paradise but also now an adventure seeker’s natural playground or contextually, an aspiring circus performer’s safely harnessed theater. Dangle safely before going back to life’s unicycle!
I am comparing my extreme sky experience to several circus acts to let the readers feel more how every ride feels. This does not necessarily mean that you have to try these like a circus performer. Dangle safely.
Aside from the villas and casitas, Avara members will also have an exclusive access to a two-bedroom yacht with crew for an overnight stay or for cruising around the island and nearby areas.
Imagine this: The sound of waves crashing on the shore and the sunlight peeking through the window wake you up on a lazy Saturday morning. You slowly open your eyes, afraid that you’re just in the middle of a dream. But you’re not. You stand up as you feel the gentle sea breeze touch your face. You go out of the porch and look at the horizon. You take your time to enjoy the beauty of the blue skies and the deep sea. The yacht will be waiting for you whenever you’re ready, anyway. That’s the promise of Avara Nature & Yacht Club—the easy life of the seaside.
Established by the Seaside Premier Development Corporation, Avara is the first of its kind nature and yacht club located at Calauag Bay in Taytay, which was Palawan’s first capital.
The plan for the exclusive resort was formally unveiled at the Grand Hyatt Manila led by its President and CEO Ms. Veronica C. Young, Nov. 13, 2018.
“After many months of sailing and voyaging aboard bangkas and riding waves, we found the perfect island in Taytay, Palawan to be the home of our pioneering project. It is with a great pleasure to present to you tonight, Avara Nature and Yacht Club – the first of its kind in the Philippines, bridging the middle class to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. As Seaside Premier Development Corporation’s flagship project, we aim to redefine seaside living, where nature meets luxury,” she said in her opening remarks.
Coastal living redefined
Avara, which means Sunshine Island, is an eco-luxurious resort that use solar panels as a source of renewable energy, utilize a recycled water treatment system, maximize a hydroponic garden, and take advantage of other eco-materials available.
Its accommodation is inspired by the Maldivian architecture. Members can choose to stay in a one-bedroom Water Villa with jacuzzi, two-bedroom Water Villa with private infinity pool, or one- or two-bedroom Beach Casitas.
Aside from the villas and casitas, Avara members will also have an exclusive access to a two-bedroom yacht with crew for an overnight stay or for cruising around the island and nearby areas. Avara’s yacht features two cabins and a family room in the lower deck; a living room, a kitchen and dining area, and a plunge pool in the main deck; and an open dining space and a sun deck in the fly bridge.
The Avara Island has nothing but the best facilities for its members. Guests will first experience the Avara service upon their arrival at the dock or the harbor. But the ultra-luxurious resort also has a helipad for those who will be coming in by air. VIPs also have the option to skip the reception and go straight to their accommodation.
There will also be a boardwalk open for development to the entrepreneurial Avara members. Meaning, Avara members can also be concessionaires to open their own business—it could be a coffee shop, a grocery store, a bakery, a souvenir stop, and similar ventures. As support to the member-concessionaires, Avara will ensure that the business will be the island’s lone supplier for the specific product.
The island can also accommodate as many as 100 guests at their main dining area and at the grill restaurant. But guests will have more dining options since Avara includes a poolside bar, a seaside bar and lounge, picnic areas, and private dining venues.
Avara is fully equipped with a gym, a water sports center, a tennis court, and a golf course to those who want to keep up with their fitness routine.
The island also has a playroom and nursery, spa and massage cabanas, a bonfire area, a clinic with an in-house doctor and nurse, and a gaming area for the enjoyment of the Avara members.
At any given time, Avara will host up to 300 members to ensure quality service.
As a promised paradise for those who love the beach, Avara offers a myriad of water action such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boat riding, stand-up paddle boarding, wind surfing, scuba diving, island hopping, and fishing in coordination with neighbor islands. The resort also provides options for on land activities like trekking, biking, and vegetable picking.
There are also a lot of activities that Avara members can enjoy outside its vicinity. After all, Taytay, Palawan boasts of picturesque sites like the Canique Waterfalls, the Lake Manguao, the Irrawaddy Dolphins in Malampaya Sound, the Fuerza de Santa Isabel, and the Church of Santa Monica. Taytay is also hope to a paradise-like hidden valley that gives tourists a bird’s eye view of the pristine, idyllic coastal areas of the municipality.
Board of advisors
To ensure nothing but the best of services and facilities at Avara, Seaside Premier Development Corporation tapped some of the industry’s most respected personalities for the resort.
Its board of advisors include the following:
• National Coast Watch Center Executive Director Rear Admiral Joel S. Garcia for Coastal and Marine Management
• Cebu Port Authority Commissioner for the Shipping Sector Ms. Regina Barleta for Port Management and Shipping
• Incoming Manila Board of Realtors, Inc. President Ma. Teresa R. Bigornia for Marketing
• Motivational speaker John Anthony Calub for Sales
• The Manor’s Le Chef Executive Chef William “Billy” King for Culinary Arts
“We thank these distinguished personalities for believing in our idea. We can’t wait to show you the beauty of Avara,” Ms. Young said.
Avara Nature & Yacht Club will formally open its shores in the summer of 2020. #
About Avara Nature & Yacht Club
Avara Nature and Yacht Club redefines seaside lifestyle by combining beach living and seafaring. It is the first harbor-front town in Palawan as launched by the Seaside Premier Development Corporation. It offers access to a world-class resort with customized yachts.
Luxury seaside community developer Seaside Premier Development Corporation was established in 2018. It kickstarted its year by launching its flagship project, the Avara Nature & Yacht Club in Taytay, Palawan. It plans to develop harbor-front townships in the different seaside areas in the Philippines to bring the best beaches and coastal living to every Filipino’s doorstep.
Two scenarios. First, you are one of the Sarangani Bay Festival goers. After the 2-night beach party, the 360-degree view of the beach venue, Gumasa, had teased you so intensely which triggered you to give in and discover what is more in Glan. What is one sunset to extend the trip that culminates your summer?
Second, you did not make it for this year’s biggest beach party in the Philippines. But the itch still persists – You have heard your office mates talking about Glan. Your friends have uploaded marvelous photos geo-tagged to Glan or yet, you just finished reading this travel post all about Glan.
Discover the glistens of Glan!
The southernmost municipality of the Sarangani Province, Glan owns the Earth’s deepest cove with the horizon featuring the Celebes sea, heritage structures and that grilled chicken the locals love to eat with a homemade condiment. It is forty-five minutes via van away from General Santos City (the nearest airport).
Apart from the scenic cove after cove view, there is that unique charm when you are able to feel the spatial stimuli of exactly where a historical event took place.
The Chicken-Ala-Bukid is marinated from the inside out by injecting a special sauce made from the cooked spices and herbs. These ingredients are those which are just typically found in a townsman’s backyard.
It is your choice. The chicken could be fried or grilled. Then, it is eaten with “Dabo”. It is the locals’ favorite condiment when eating the Chicken Ala Bukid. It is a sweet and spicy dried fish with tomatoes, garlic and onions. One of the locals told that it is an Indonesian recipe. It resembles the Escabeche. You will love the succulence especially of the grilled version of the Chicken-Ala-Bukid, as you partake it with freshly steamed rice slathered with the chili oil from the Dabo.
Head over to “Freddos Chicken Ala Bukid” at the town’s Poblacion to try this. This is 20 minutes from Gumasa Beach where the Sarangani Bay Fest is held.
Antonio Pigafetta is actually Ferdinand Magellan’s on-board travel blogger. I would recommend reading some of his historical accounts especially the part where they have reached the Sarangani and Balut (Candigar) Islands in 1521. Read it before your Glan trip. If not because of his epic diaries, Philippine history is not as vivid as it seems written in our grade school textbooks.
Besides the Sarangani Bay being a witness of several voyages, Sumbang Point, which is about 45 minutes from the SarBay Fest venue, is reportedly the forced landing site of the fourth expedition in 1543 lead by Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Villalobos. His team failed to sail on to Mazaua to look for food because of the low-winds.
Apart from the scenic cove after cove view, there is that unique charm when you are able to feel the spatial stimuli of exactly where a historical event took place. Not just then for the beach lovers, Glan, with the Sarangani Bay and the Sumbang point, is also an ideal destination for educational trips for History and Anthropology.
Stay at the villas of Belimac. It is exactly along the shores of Sumbang point.
You could choose either or both the heritage houses at the town’s Poblacion or the 80-year-old ancestral house of Don Juan at the Hacienda Don Juan Resort.
Carved window frames and ceiling moldings as old as the Commonwealth era are still so defined among the neighboring heritage houses. These details make Glan’s heritage houses unique from those found in Vigan. Indeed, a living architectural museum.
The ancestral house at the Hacienda Don Juan offers a distinct kind of antiquity from those found at the Poblacion. The vintage spirit of the interiors and the sea breeze through its wide windows make you feel like basking your vacation days at your own grandparent’s home. You will love to stay for a while here. Explore the whole resort with their uniquely designed cottages too. The resort is 30 minutes away from the heritage houses which are at the town center.
COVE AFTER COVE HORIZONS
Glam is one of those quaint places where picturesque views of the horizon are omnipresent throughout your trip – from the dawn of your day 1 until the dusk of your departing day.
The enchanting blues of the beaches. The flavors of the townsmen’s food. The juxtaposition of the heritage and recent structures. The dissociative charm of modern existence in an unsophisticated daily dealings. – All a tourist would wander for. I am happy for you if you can make it for SarBay Fest this year, But if unfortunately you can not, Glan would just keep on glistening.
DATES TO VISIT
OCTOBER : Lubi-Lubi sa Glan Festival I APRIL : Mahin Festival I MAY: Sarangani Bay Festival
A vast playground every hardworking Yuppie deserves for rest, active lifestyle and leisure.
If you have been really working hard, I am certain that by now, in this coexistent life of the online and offline You, you already have acquired that skill of gleaning unique, instagrammable yet reasonably priced getaway to achieve a work-life harmony.
Have you tried spending the weekend at a plantation? How is it living inside the breathing banana plantation of Hijo Resorts Davao?
An hour shuttle ride from Davao City, Hijo Resorts Davao is a tourism estate in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Besides the robustly functioning 177-hectare banana plantation, the expanse also stretches through a 92-hectare coconut plantation, 60-hectare forest and 4.5-kilometer river.
Indeed, such a vast playground every hardworking Yuppie deserves for rest, active lifestyle and leisure.
YOGA AT THE HEART OF DAVAO GULF
This is the most relaxing thing I tried here. Tuned up my soul, enjoying the resort just light and slow. Taking in, breathing out as naturally rhythmic as it should be. You can either take a refreshing cold tea after or a short dip at the infinity pool. Absolute relaxation on the first morning.
BANANA PLANTATION TO BANANA DESSERTS
The guided tour inside the banana packing house is one of the “only in Hijo” memories. Bananas are picked and transported manually to the packing house. Then, are checked for export quality, packed and loaded directly to the refrigerated trucks waiting at the tail of the packing cascade. All, in less than four hours.
Hijo is the first Philippine-based grower to export Cavendish banana in Japan. Impressively, you too are assured that every banana served while staying here is of same universal quality. Try some of the banana and coco sugar made desserts served at the Banana Beach restaurant after the plantation tour.
MORNINGS AT THE PLANTATION HOUSE
You may choose either the breezy ecstasy of the Banana Beach Casitas or the American colonial embrace of the Tuason Family’s ancestral house – the Plantation House. Every morning is just serene here. You are woke up with the chirping of the birds. Grab a book. Get a cup of coffee and ask some coco sugar. The poolside is the spot.
The interiors from the lanai to the rooms are adorned with paintings from the famous artist Kublai Milan. These are pieces depicting the merry living of Mindanao tribes like Maranao and Bagobo.
The complementary toiletries are all organic, fresh from Hijo’s farm. You are asked to choose which bath soap you would love to use during your stay, choices derived from the various parts of a coconut.
FOREST TOUR WITH “DUYDUY” AND FRIENDS
Such a paradise for ecologic coalescence, Hijo actually preserves an endemic family of monkeys. Along with local wild boars, these natural inhabitants inside Hijo estate are considered part of the hospitality team. Stop over at the Monkey avenue and take a photo with “Duy-duy” and friends. He snubbed me at first try.
TRIBAL CUISINES AFTER THE RIVER CRUISE
You appreciate topography on a different angle when you behold it from a body of water. This is what this experience taught me. After several tours through wheels, I only had the whole virtual map of the resort clearly displayed on my spatial memory during the river cruise. You have to experience that too.
Just after the peaceful cruise through the Madaum river, break the day to halves with a Halal lunch spread at The Spot. I have always been an evangelist for Pinoy local food and Tribal cuisines. The spectrum of palate memories from the Kalagan and Mandaya cuisines is actually the most memorable for me. The Ipasagan Pagkalagan na Manok has a taste that lingers.
We have all been tired from work. But not all have truly rested from that exhaustion. How rested are you?
The plantation life is easy yet fun. It is light yet satiates.
Fall into a Halloween trance with soulful music resonating around a spooky fun festival.
Fall into a Halloween trance with soulful music resonating around a spooky fun festival. Malagos Garden Resort hosts an enchanting party for the whole family, “Mga Handuraw sa Baul” this Oct 28.
Apart from the resort’s exciting facilities, Horror house, bazaar, fun games and workshops, “ngilngig” Pinoy indie movies, and food stalls are just some spell-binding enthrallment for this until-midnight-only Halloween party.
A line-up of local EDM-ish soul music artists is set to daze your Handuraw sa Baul experience. These are Crwn, Clara Benin, RJ Manulid, She’s Only Sixteen, Jensen and the Flips, BP Valenzuela and Anne Mendoza.
Planning to stay overnight?
How to be there?
You never had this kind of Halloween yet. When you’ll be there, you’ll never be alone. You are never alone. Access at P600.