SAN ANTONIO, ZAMBALES: Opening Salvo for 2016

Anawangin!!! Anawangin!!! Anawangin!!!

Among others, this has been what I’ve been seeing on social media these days. Friends heading up north to Zambales to see and frolic in the ashen sands of Anawangin and enjoy the unique coastal feel of this once-a-sleepy beach spot in the town of San Antonio. Those photos online enticed me and my friends to fly from Davao to Manila and head up north to experience it for ourselves. And when we get there, we realized there is more to this town than Anawangin – there’s Capones, there’s Nagsasa.

San Antonio Zambales 10Honestly, Anawangin is more popular to me than its mother town, San Antonio. But what I didn’t know is that San Antonio has already gained its good reputation as holiday destination in Zambales because its beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, rolling hills and scenic coves. Campers and beach lovers living nearby even in Metro Manila considered this as one of top choices.

San Antonio Zambales 2 San Antonio Zambales 3 San Antonio Zambales 18 San Antonio Zambales 20Beach hopping or simply just beach lounging is mainly among the reasons why people flock to San Antonio. Home to secluded yet picturesque coves, this town is undeniably a paradise for beach fanatics. Of course, there is the famous Anawangin, the most popular among the coves in San Antonio. But what impressed me more is the Nagsasa Cove that has become a popular alternative as Anawangin becomes crowded especially during weekends. Nagsasa on the other hand is wider and longer and offers much scenic landscape although about an hour boat ride from Pundaquit, the jump off site to all secluded coves of San Antonio.

San Antonio Zambales 1 San Antonio Zambales 13 San Antonio Zambales 15 San Antonio Zambales 16 San Antonio Zambales 17 San Antonio Zambales 21 San Antonio Zambales 22 San Antonio Zambales 23 San Antonio Zambales 26 San Antonio Zambales 27 San Antonio Zambales 28

Both Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves are crescent shaped coves with pristine ashen sand beach. What makes these beach spots so unique is the unusual presence of tall pine-like trees that grow round there vicinity. These are not actually pine trees; they are Agoho trees said to be endemic to the Philippines and to some Southeast Asian countries.

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

Just like all the photos we’ve seen online, we didn’t miss climbing the hills that embrace these coves and marvel at the stunning view of these beach havens. From the top, the view of the beach and the landscape of agoho trees is remarkable. Maybe, it is one of the reasons why people come back here. The view is incredibly remarkable.

San Antonio Zambales 9 San Antonio Zambales 24 San Antonio Zambales 8Aside from the isolated coves, Capones Island which can be easily accessed the Pundaquit is among the must-visit spots when in San Antonio. The island is to home to the century-old Capones Island Lighthouse which was built 1890 by the Spaniards to guide ships entering Subic Bay and Corregidor. Visitors may enter the building and climb to the top of the tower. Adjacent to Capones Island is the rocky Camara Island. Both are popular island-hopping sidetrip destinations when in this part of Zambales.

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

DCIM101GOPRO

Visiting this popular destinations in San Antonio made me understand why people flock to this part of Zambales especially during weekends. Secluded and semi-private, San Antonio’s pristine coves are worth the long trip. I would say one of the scenic beaches I’ve visited in Luzon. And yes, though from from Davao. I would still come back.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT: Comfort and Leisure at its Best

The Island Garden City of Samal has always been Southern Mindanao’s premier beach and island destination. It is dotted not only with pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters but with eco-adventure destinations one should not miss when visiting the island.

DCIM100GOPRO

The Charm of Island Living

Considered by some as the largest resort city in the country, Samal Island is home to finest beach resorts in the region. Every year new beach resorts even highland and inland resorts are being constructed to cater more visitors flocking the island. The newest addition is the SECDEA Beach Resort. 

DCIM100GOPRO

SECDEA BEACH RESORT: Comfort and Leisure at its Best

SECDEA Beach Resort is conveniently located in San Isidro, Babak District. It is easily accessible whether by a private car or the island’s famed habal-habal ride. It is about 15 minutes travel if you’re coming from Babak proper or 25 minute from Peñaplata. More than the resort’s proximity, SECDEA’s modern facilities and amenities are among the reasons why it should be the place of your choice on your next visit to Samal.

DCIM100GOPRO

The Open Lobby.

DCIM100GOPRO

SECDEA’s reception building

DCIM100GOPRO

Well manicured lawns sit contemporary-designed villas

SECDEA Beach Resort boasts a stunning beach atmosphere with state-of-the-art amenities and facilities, contemporary-designed beach villas and cottages, and uniquely-designed architecture. It is ideally designed to provide convenience and recreation whether basking on the beach, frolicking in the sand or just roaming around the 56-hectare property.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT SAMAL 25

WELCOME TO SECDEA.

WELCOME TO SECDEA.

One of the most recommended things to do while in SECDEA is the Mangrove Walk. It features wooden and concrete bridges perfect to stroll around the mangrove mini-forest. Inside the area is a mangrove nursery where Patapat and Bakhaw are grown.

Mangrove Walk is a must-experience thing when in SECDEA.

Mangrove Walk is a must-experience thing when in SECDEA.

Mangrove Walk is a must-experience thing when in SECDEA.

Mangrove Walk is a must-experience thing when in SECDEA.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT SAMAL 17

Mangrove nursery where Patapat and Bakhaw are grown.

Another feature of this first class resort is the huge Lagoon and Fish Pond perfectly built near the main entrance. It serves as a charming welcoming sight upon entering the vicinity of the resort. Here, fishing is allowed where one can catch Tilapia and Bangus – and yes, you can have them cooked fresh for you.

DCIM100GOPRO

Another feature of this first class resort is this huge Lagoon and Fish Pond.

DCIM100GOPRO

It is a welcoming sight upon entering the vicinity of the resort.

SECDEA’s infinity pool by the restaurant is a charmer. It offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Davao Gulf and the two famous Liguid Islands – a very therapeutic and relaxing sight to behold. In addition to that are the enticing colors of the white shoreline, the azure skies and the blue seawaters that perfectly blend to define a perfect tropical haven.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT 3

Just beautiful!

SECDEA BEACH RESORT 4

…so they say LIFE IS A BEACH!

The Infinity Pool.

SECDEA’s Infinity Pool.

SECDEA’s villas, lodges and seaside cottages are designed with coziness and comfort – all comes with clean, spacious and modern bathrooms. For those who wish to stay, there are seaside cottages for couples, spacious lodges for a family of four and comfy villas for bigger groups or families. Room rates ranges to from Php 3,500.00 to Php 12,000.00.

DCIM100GOPRO

Our lovely Seashell Room

DCIM100GOPRO

Me and my travel buddy IDA of ChoosePhilippines enjoying our spacious room at SECDEA

DCIM100GOPRO

Clean contemporary bathrooms

DCIM100GOPRO

SECDEA Selfie. A must.

DCIM100GOPRO

SECDEA’s Lodge can accommodate up to 4 persons.

DCIM100GOPRO

These villas can accommodate up to 12 persons. Really worth it.

There are so many things one can do here at SECDEA. You can sweat out and climb up the 124-steps stairway that will lead you to the hill overlooking the view of Davao Gulf and the entire Resort. Trust me, the view from the top is just breathtaking.

DCIM100GOPRO

The view of SECDEA and Davao Gulf

DCIM100GOPRO

124-steps stairway. Yes, 214 steps.

You can also roam around the entire property by riding or driving a golf cart. Vehicles are not allowed inside the main resort but spacious parking area are located just beside the main entrance, they also have a Valet Parking Solution service. Golf carting around SECDEA is an amazing experience. But wait, they too have bicycles, you can borrow from them and go wander around the property.

DCIM100GOPRO

Golf carting is fun in SECDEA.

DCIM100GOPRO

And biking too!

What about the food? They serve oh-so-delectable dishes that will make you feel like you’re in the comfort of your home. I’m highly recommending their own version of Bagnet Pinakbet and Adobo. Get yourself a refreshing Guyabano shake too – just perfect for a sunny beach day.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT SAMAL 26

This is lip-smacking – SECDEA’s own version of BAGNET PINAKBET.

SECDEA BEACH RESORT SAMAL 41

Tuna belly in coconut milk – just so heavenly!

What about day-tour tripping? Worry not, SECDEA offers day tour trip for only Php 750.00 pesos and that comes with a sumptuous buffet lunch, free use of the pool, mangrove walk and tour around the resort.

DCIM100GOPRO

Mangrove walk is my personal favorite here in SECDEA.

Never leave SECDEA without dropping by the resort's CHAPEL. Better yet say a prayer.

Never leave SECDEA without dropping by at the resort’s CHAPEL. Better yet say a prayer.

Whether you’re here for a day tour, for a night or two, SECDEA Beach Resort will embrace you with warmth and comfort giving you another feel of that so called “charm of Tropical Island Living”. After all, SECDEA is Samal Island ‘s newest Comfort and Relaxation Destination.

DAY TOUR RATES AND ROOM RATES AT SECDEA BEACH RESORT

ROOM RATES AND DAY TOUR RATES AT SECDEA BEACH RESORT

SECDEA BEACH RESORT UPDATED RATES

For more information, you may check the details and related information below. 

SECDEA Beach Resort
San Isidro, Babak District
Island Garden City of Samal
Telephone Numbers: (082) 305 2774 / 305-4028 / 295-7912
Mobile Numbers: 0932-868-0887 / 0925-892-6072
https://www.facebook.com/secdeabeachresort

 

SAMALAN CAMP AND SEA: Samal Island’s Southernmost Jewel

If you think you’ve been around the whole Samal Island and have seen all that comprise to make it the Island Jewel of Davao Region, wait until your feet bring you to the southernmost portion of this island city and see the pristine side of the Davao Gulf. I tell you, it will leave you dumbfounded.

Samalan Camp COVERThink of a dreamy beach where the waves never get tired kissing the shores. Imagine a long stretch of white sand luring you to find ways to bask around for hours even under the scorching sun. Think of that crystal clear blue water enticing you to take a dip or to even go underwater discovering an amazing world as interesting as everything above the ground. This is the kind of tropical charm that SAMALAN CAMP & SEA promises to take you.

Samalan Camp 42 Samalan Camp and Sea 76Nestled in the southernmost part of the Island Garden City of Samal, Samalan Camp and Sea boasts not only of its pristine white sand beach and its crystal clear blue waters, it also takes pride with its lush verdant forest teeming with some remaining wildlife in the island. Yes, a green forest so close to the beach. Thus, giving its guests an ample variety of activities to do while taking their vacation or short escape there.

Samalan Camp and Sea 80 Samalan Camp and Sea 83

As holiday destination, Samalan Camp & Sea offers a wide array of accommodation to choose from ideal for all types of holiday seekers looking for a worthy place to stay. Whether you are a traveler who wants to bring comforts of the urban life to the island; or a posh traveler dreaming to experience glamping or glamorous camping with a dedicated butler on the side; or a gypsy-like adventurer who finds comfort pitching a tent under the talisay trees, this quaint camping charmer is just so ideal for you.

Samalan Camp 28 Samalan Camp 29 Samalan Camp 30 Samalan Camp and Sea 87 Samalan Camp and Sea 89

They have cottages equipped with modern amenities, nipa houses that can accommodated a family of eight, deluxe gazebos for “luxurious” glamorous camping, pretty-looking nipa and coco tents that come with sleeping mats, pillows and blankets, nipa huts by the sea perfect for vacationing couple and spacious camping grounds for campers who would like to bring and use their own camping gears. They have it all – designed for you!

Samalan Camp & Sea (20) Samalan Camp & Sea (26) Samalan Camp & Sea (27)

Samalan Camp & Sea’s 2-hectare forest is home to Philippine macaque monkeys. Here, they are protected and guests are discouraged to feed them. Green towering trees abound the forest and they are home to a flock of crows. You will see them flying from branches to branches. Sightings of the very rare Philippine megapode also known as the Tabon scrubfowl have also been recorded. In fact, these birds lay eggs in Samalan’s ground.

Samalan Camp & Sea (13) Samalan Camp & Sea (14) Samalan Camp & Sea (15)

Samalan Camp & Sea is also a nesting ground of sea turtles like the hawksbill and the loggerhead. They have recorded sea turtles laying eggs on the property’s shore for more than ten times already this year. The management along with the community of San Remigio have been in the frontline in the conservation of these sea turtles. Something that I found so commendable.

Samalan Camp and Sea 3 Samalan Camp and Sea 20

A perfect escape from the earsplitting noise of the concrete jungle, Samalan Camp & Sea is an ideal place to break the monotony of fast-paced urban living. Here, you can just sit or lay on the sand all day and just feel the nature’s sweet embrace. You can walk on the shores unshod letting the waves kiss your feet. It’s refreshing – rejuvenating. And when you retire to your bed or to your camp, you’ll sleep the night away swayed by the roaring sound of the waves – roaring it may seemed but I tell you they’re sweet lullabies putting you gently to sleep.

Samalan Camp and Sea 33 Samalan Camp and Sea 35 Samalan Camp and Sea 48

And next day when you wake up, a magnificently brilliant sunrise awaits for you – go out, worship it. It will definitely stun you and make you embrace the life of the Samalan – simple, natural and worry-free. 

HOW TO GET THERE:

SAMALAN CAMP & SEA is situated in San Remigio, Kaputian District in the Island Garden City of Samal. From Davao City, take the barge from Sta. Ana Wharf to Kaputian Wharf. From there, you may hire the services of a habal-habal to take you all the way to Barangay San Remigio, Kaputian District. When you get to Barangay San Remigio, just follow the Samalan diretional road sign. The trip from Sta. Anan Wharf to Kaputian Wharf should take around 90 minute; the motorcycle ride to Samala should take another 20 minutes. Barge fee for passengers is Php 50.00; habal-habal is Php 60.00 – 80.00.

SAMALAN CAMP & SEA
San Remigio, Kaputian District
Island Garden City of Samal
Telephone Number : +63 82 233 2557
Mobile Number: +63 925 311 1011
Email Address: [email protected]
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/samalancampandsea

COME AND SEE SAMALAN!!! Samal Island’s Southernmost Jewel!

Samalan Camp & Sea (2) Samalan Camp & Sea (3) Samalan Camp & Sea (4) Samalan Camp & Sea (5) Samalan Camp & Sea (6) Samalan Camp & Sea (7) Samalan Camp & Sea (8) Samalan Camp & Sea (9) Samalan Camp & Sea (11) Samalan Camp & Sea (12) Samalan Camp & Sea (17) Samalan Camp & Sea (18) Samalan Camp & Sea (19) Samalan Camp & Sea (24) Samalan Camp & Sea (25)

 

THE PARADISE ISLANDS OF BUCAS GRANDE

When God shaped the 7,107 Islands of the Philippines, He favored the province of Surigao Del Norte to be the home of some of the finest and most gorgeous islands and islets in the country. This include pristine lagoons and untouched coves that made up the reason why this is one of the most beautiful places in this tropical paradise. A paradise for lovers of island life.

21Bucas Grande Islands SurigaoIt was love at first sight. It was three years ago when I first marveled at its magnificent beauty that is entirely different from all the places that I’ve visited. As a self-proclaimed son of the beach, I’ve been to various island destinations in the country but this perfect picture tropical haven possesses an enigmatic charm that is so hard to resist. I’m talking about the Bucas Grande Islands of Socorro, Surigao Del Note, my personal favorite in my island Mindanao.

247Bucas Grande Islands SurigaoThe Bucas Grande Islands are pristine island jewels of Surigao Province and the whole CARAGA Region. It is situated in the vast waters of Siargao Islands and belongs to the Municipality of Socorro. Endowed by Mother Nature with such untainted magnificence, it is groomed today to become one of the finest eco-tourism destinations not only in the region but the whole country.

251Bucas Grande Islands SurigaoSince my first visit to the Islands, Bucas Grande has become my favorite among the many places I’ve visited in Mindanao. To be fair, there are countless of stunning places in the country that have wowed me in so many ways but there is something in this breathtaking group of islands that make it so exceptional among others. The transcending tranquility of the whole environ is so enchanting that I feel like I’m in a magical world of all that is beautiful. Perhaps, it is designed by God to be a sanctuary of those who long to find peace and quiet in nature. And I must say – it is communing with nature at its best!

47Bucas Grande Islands Surigao98Bucas Grande Islands Surigao211Bucas Grande Islands SurigaoThe group of beautiful islands and islets are beautifully scattered in the tranquil clear blue waters of Siargao. The abundant verdant vegetations that cover the mountains are thick and untrimmed. The coves are mystical and enchantingly mesmerizing. All that comprise the Bucas Grande Islands are glorious natural wonders.

69Bucas Grande Islands Surigao 89Bucas Grande Islands Surigao 103Bucas Grande Islands Surigao 110Bucas Grande Islands Surigao Among those extraordinary attractions in the Islands that offer exciting things to see, Sohoton National Park tops the list. Declared by the Philippine Government as a National Park, it covers a total area of 70 hectares featuring mystical coves, blue lagoons, underwater caves, and the picturesque seven Islets. To reach the Park, one must pass through a 60-meter cave-like entrance which can only be accessed by boat during low tide. The cave-like entrance looks like an underground river. That alone is a thrilling experience.

Bucas Grande Islands 5 Bucas Grande Islands 8 Bucas Grande Islands 9 Bucas Grande Islands 10 Bucas Grande Islands 11 Bucas Grande Islands 12 Bucas Grande Islands 14 Bucas Grande Islands 16Adding to the many wonders of this paradise is the Jellyfish Kingdom. Perhaps it is this one that makes Bucas Grande Islands out of the ordinary. It is one surreal place that bedazzled me until now. Among the number of lagoons there, one seemed to possess an enchanting magic that makes it the only lagoon in the Islands where millions of non-stinging jellyfish abound. Imagine you diving and swimming in body of water filled with friendly jellyfish. You just don’t swim, you swim with them. What a surreal experience.

Bucas Grande Islands 40 Bucas Grande Islands 41 Bucas Grande Islands 42Bucas Grande Island for me is a destination I will never get tired of coming back again. Everything in the island is a beautiful work of nature and experiencing every bit of it is truly special. Such unspoiled, it a rare beauty so immaculate and magnificent. It is like journeying to another world – a world of enchantment.

29Bucas Grande Islands SurigaoAnd wherever I’m there, I always muttered this to myself, “I must have done something right that I deserve to see this kind of place – a paradise on earth”. And yes, I’ve been to a paradise – the Paradise Islands of Bucas Grande. WHY I LOVE BUCAS GRANDE ISLANDS? It’s worth all my LOVE! 

FALLING IN LOVE WITH OLANIBAN ISLAND

It was the reverberating sounds of flying fox bats that wakened me up that early dawn as they all flew back to the tall old trees in the hillside of Tuke Maklang in Sarangani Island. It lasted for almost an hour I couldn’t go back to sleep. Hence, I got up, fixed my things and readied myself for our final day at the seemingly enchanting Islands of Sarangani, Davao Del Sur, the southernmost town of the whole Davao Region.

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (151)As settled, our last day at Sarangani will be spent at most prized Island gem of this island town – the sparkling Island of Olaniban. I was as excited as everybody else for this Island is known for its powdery pearl white sand beach and vast shoreline the encircled the whole oval-shaped island. What’s more, the name of the island sounded clearly like my first name and the thought of it got me more excited.

“My name is OLAN and I am at OLANIBAN ISLAND.”
Sounds cool, I thought

It was still early when we left Tuke Maklang. The waters were gentle and quite friendly this time. Olaniban Island is quite far from where we stayed but the boat ride didn’t bore us because to we got see other interesting places that this island town boasts. We got to glimpse the view of the scenic Bolae Cove, some quiescent coastal villages and long stretch of white sand beaches nearby.

Olaniban Island From Afar

Olaniban Island From Afar

As we sailed further, the tiny view of Olaniban Island became clearer. Seeing it, I rushed to the edge of the boat to get a closer look and hoped to capture its enticing view.  And it didn’t fail me. The oval shaped island is just so striking we wanted the boat to get there straight away. Its white sand beach sparkled luring us to bask and frolic on it.

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (24)

“My name is OLAN and I am at OLANIBAN ISLAND.”

When we finally reached the island, I was the first one to go down from vessel and immediately hurried to the white sand shore and yelled at the top of lungs the line I had been rehearsing in the boat. “My name is OLAN and I am at OLANIBAN ISLAND”, I shouted. I was like a little kid thrilled by sheer excitement. Finally, my feet touched the sparkling sands charming us from afar. And at one moment, I fell in love with the island.

The White Sand and Turquoise Sea

The White Sand and Turquoise Sea

Sarangani Island as seen from Olaniban

Sarangani Island as seen from Olaniban

It was high tide when we docked at Olaniban. I learned that the best way to enjoy the waters of the island is to go there during high tide as water level reaches the powdery white sand shores. At an instant, the call of the sea became so irresistible I wanted to soak to the waters but the view of the beach was most appealing I ended up photographing every captivating sight instead.

Powdery White Sands encircle the whole Olaniban Island

Powdery White Sands encircle the whole Olaniban Island

The Powdery White Sand Beach

The Powdery White Sand Beach

I walked around the 24-hectare island for two hours enjoying the powdery white sand that encircled the whole island. It is covered thickly by coconut trees although some mangrove trees of different species also abound the side. Talisay trees and dwarf coconut trees on the other hand are planted near the shores making it the best spot to just sit and enjoy the scenic view around.

Scenic View of Olaniban

These abound at the Island

The Greens of the Island

The Greens of the Island

As I walked further, I was amazed to see the powdery white sands slowly turning pinkish. I have been to a few pink sand beaches in the country but I didn’t know I can see one here at Olaniban. Red pipe organ corals abound at the island. The presence of these corals when mixed with white sands made the sands pinkish in color. Seeing this made me admire the island more.

Red Pipe Organ Corals abound at the shores of Olaniban

Red Pipe Organ Corals abound at the shores of Olaniban

Another photogenic site at Olaniban is the White Lighthouse built few meters from the shoreline. It was built in the area facing the great Sarangani Strait. I learned that the old lighthouse was built by the Americans during the American regime in the country to guide their ships en route to Australia. Today, the old lighthouse is an added attraction when visiting Olaniban Island.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

The sun was high and scorching but I couldn’t care less. The island is just so perfect I could bask there for the whole day under the sun. And though the mighty sun was shining down pitilessly upon my sun-kissed skin, sea breeze in contrast was fanning the heat away. And the best way to cool down is to simply dip into the enticing waters of the island. And one second, I found myself rushing to the turquoise waters luxuriating in Olaniban’s own charm of island living.

MORE PHOTOS OLANIBAN PHOTOS

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (39)

The Obligatory Jump Shot

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (64)

Dwarf Coconut Trees

The Island Worshiper

The Island Worshiper

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (80)

The Island’s Charm of Island Living

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (82)

Beach Life

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (115)

The Travel Teller and Drift Woods

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (142)

Frolic in the Sands

OLANIBAN ISLAND, BALUT ISLAND (128)

Drift Woods

Olaniban Island is truly Saragani’s precious gem. Every visitor – beach lover or not – would certainly fall in love with island’s fascinating charm. Staying there for one day is not enough. I left the island along with my equally-adventurous friends filled with hope of coming back here and perhaps stay longer to relish its incomparable allure.

My name is OLAN and I fell in love with OLANIBAN ISLAND!

"...and my name is OLAN and I've been to OLANIBAN ISLAND!"

“…and my name is OLAN and I’ve been to OLANIBAN ISLAND!”