BURIAS ISLET: The Secret Gem of Banaybanay

Had I not spent my weekend at Bonhomie Leisure and Resort in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, I would have missed discovering a secret local haven truly a gem of its own – the Burias Islet.

Not known to many, the town of Banaybanay is home to this 8-hectare marine protected area sometimes called Burias Island. Contrary to the locals’ description, Burias Islet is more of a vanishing white sand bar heaving with various untouched corals and rich marine life. Situated in the waters of Davao Gulf, Burias is a marine sanctuary of cultured and endangered Giant Clams locally known as Taklobo, Conch Shell more popularly known as Budyong and the different species of starfish.

When I heard about this place from a friend, I immediately included it on the list of my must-discovered places in Davao Oriental. Thanks Bonhomie Leisure and Resort, seeing it was a real pleasure!

From the beautiful sands of Bonhomie in Puntalinao, we took the resort’s outrigger going to the Burias. I was accompanied by no less than the resort’s Operations Manager Ms. Marietta Andrade-Gantuangco in visiting the place.  Since it was high tide when we left the resort, I was told that the whole sand bar is submerged in waters. I was quite sad when I learned it because I already pictured out myself walking on barefoot on the vanishing sands of Burias. But instead of getting sadder, I soaked myself to the beauty of the vast blue waters surrounding me.

Nearing the Burias Islet, the sea waters turned from the deep blue to turquoise green. Down, I can clearly see the rich marine life thriving abundantly. Different corals of different colors, sizes and species abound the sea bed. Had I known this rich, I could have brought my snorkel set. But seeing them, I came to believe that truly the whole place is protected and preserved.

There are two stilt structures built in Burias Islet. These structures were built as quarters of the local Bantay Dagat that keeps a 24-hour watch over the whole marine protected area. One of the stilt structures also serve as guest house for visitors visiting the Islet. This is where we stayed the whole time we were at Burias.

Since it was high tide and all white sands were submerged, it was a perfect time to swim and enjoy the pristine waters of the Davao Gulf. The charm of the crystal clear sea here is just so irresistible I took a plunge instantly. I swam and dive until I got tired. It was just so awesome.

According to my friends from Bonhomie, there are times the giant taklobos and budyongs can be seen around the sands. Though I wasn’t able to see one, the pristine waters and the rich marine life I saw there were already enough to make me appreciate the beauty and tidiness of this haven.

Having gone romancing the untouched beauty of Burias Islet, I felt there is a need to really protect and preserve marine areas like this. I am pleased to know that somehow the townsfolk of Banaybanay understand the necessity of protecting these sanctuaries. I am looking forward to go back to Burias and hope to see the same unharmed feel like what I just saw in this local haven.

For those who want to visit Burias Islet, Bonhomie Leisure and Resort arranges special boat trip to this sanctuary. At Php 1,000.00 good for 5 persons, guests can already enjoy the pristine waters and encounter the rich marine life of Burias Islet. But please remember, this is a Marine Protected Area. Let us do our share – be responsible! Take nothing but pictures, go home only with unforgettable memories with the Islet.

For guided tour to the Burias Islet, you may contact:

BONHOMIE LEISURE AND RESORT
National Highway, Puntalinao, Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental
Telephone Number:  +6382 284 1847
Mobile Numbers:  +63933 112 3067
Website: www.bonhomie.zetzab.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Bonhomiebanay2davor

BANAYBANAY’S BONHOMIE LEISURE AND RESORT

I was stuck in the city for three weeks away from my usual weekend escapes. The busy days at work coping up with deadlines and obligations made me halt from being a weekend warrior for awhile. And so after those hard days’ work, I simply needed a place to slow down and breathe fresh air – a place where I can simply stay for the whole day, loosen up and chill out.

Bonhomie Leisure and Resort, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental

There’s no other place I can’t think of to give me that pleasant and relaxing stay than this resort I once passed by last summer – the Bonhomie Leisure and Resort. With the help of the resort’s Operations Manager Ms. Marietta Andrade-Gantuangco, I traveled my way back to this place to do nothing but purely unwind for two days – the most sought-after break I needed after three long weeks.

The Entrance

Barely three-hour drive from Metropolitan City of Davao, Bonhomie Leisure and Resort is the newest addition to the leisure destinations in the Davao Region. It is conveniently located along the national highway in Puntalinao in the Municipality of Banaybanay, Province of Davao Oriental.

The Resort Amenities

I was genially welcomed by the friendly staffs as I arrived at the resort. As they ushered me going my room, the unique architectural design of the place immediately tickled my interest. The fusion of modern and Asian architectural designs abound the place. They were meticulously planned and neatly constructed complimenting each design. The structure where the rooms are situated has an Asian-country theme. As I looked at it from the outside, these rooms vary from Thai House, Bali House, Chinese House and a modern Filipino House. This fusion ingeniously made this structure so unique and appealing. At Php 2,200.00 with breakfast for two, these rooms are worth the stay.

The Asian Inspired Rooms

Bonhomie Leisure and Resort takes pride being the first and the only first class beach resort in the town of Banaybanay frequented not only by locals but also from nearby towns of the provinces of Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte and Compostela Valley. It features different facilities and amenities that guarantee comfort, fun and excitement for its valued guests. It has outdoor infinity pool for kids and adults, beautifully constructed open cottages, native beach huts, sports facilities and trimly manicured lawns.

The Infinity Pool
The Kiddie Pool
The Open Cottages
The Beach Hut
The Furnitures
The Furnishings

On the top of these special features and amenities, Bonhomie Leisure and Resort takes pleasure having the finest white sand beach in the area facing the Davao Gulf. Resort guests who are up for swimming are protected by a perimeter of large boulders that serve as boundary at the beach. I felt so safe and secured swimming even at night on my first day. Like I saw on https://www.globosurf.com, I will try out the beginner paddle boards tomorrow!

The Beach Front
The Serene Waters of the Davao Gulf

Talking about good food, Bonhomie features an elegant open restaurant that serves delectable dishes at affordable prices. It is a dining experience with fresh air amid a charming tropical ambience.  My favorites were Mixed Seafood Salad and Alfredo. Until now I still drool thinking how delectable they were. I also have to mention that breakfast at Bonhomie is just so delightful one would crave for more.

The Restaurant
The Asian Theme Restaurant
…and the delectable FOOD!

During weekends, resort guests are entertained by Acoustic Band that plays great music. Guests are welcomed to sing and dance with them. At night, the resort turned into a romantic rendezvous as different lights charmingly light up the whole environs. I can’t help but photographed every inch of it. Just beautiful.

Bonhomie By Night
Acoustic Nights On Weekends

Not known to all, the town of Banaybanay is home to the 8-hectare marine protected area the locals called Burias Islet. Contrary to the locals’ description, Burias Islet is more of a vanishing white sand bar heaving with various virgin corals on the sides. It is also a marine sanctuary of endangered giant taklobo and budyong. Bonhomie Leisure and Resort arranges special boat trip to this sanctuary. At Php 1,000.00 good for 5 persons, guests can already enjoy the pristine waters and encounter the rich marine life of Burias Islet.

The Pristine Waters of Burias Islet
Bonhomie arranges special boat trip to this Vanishing Sand Bar

I am so used with travels packed with different day tours and adventures. But this time, I slowed down and chose to contain myself only at one place all day long. And it was really worth it. Staying for two days at Bonhomie Leisure and Resort is like savoring the privacy and the luxury of true tropical leisure destination. Indulging oneself in an atmosphere of comfort and slow travel defines the essence what I called sweet staycation away from a real home.

Bonhomie Leisure and Resort as viewed from the Davao Gulf

Thank you BONHOMIE LEISURE AND RESORT for giving me such a great time! This is a sweet weekend escape I will truly not forget.

The Travel Teller with Bonhomie’s Operations Manager Ms. Marietta Andrade-Gantuangco
The friendly staffs of Bonhomie Leisure and Resort together with their Operations Manager Marietta Andrade-Gantuangco.

For more information and reservation, please contact:

BONHOMIE LEISURE AND RESORT

National Highway, Puntalinao, Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental

Telephone Number:  +6382 284 1847

Mobile Numbers:  +63933 112 3067

Website: www.bonhomie.zetzab.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Bonhomiebanay2davor

This Blogger with Bonhomie’s cordial staffs.