Oct 2-9, 2013
Fun Times at Jienos Garden Beach Resort, ComVal Coast
GPS waypoint: N 07° 09.649 E125° 53.570
Location: Purok 5, Tunga, Pantukan, ComVal
Home for the Time Being
After checking-out of Magnaga Waters Beach Resort, I had no idea where to go next (Cebu? Siargao? Tagum?) or where I stay for the night. But I was introduced to resort owner Jessa, who liked what I could do for the family business on the internet. Before I knew it, I was unpacking my stuff in my new home - the newly developed Jienos Garden Beach Resort. Like Magnaga Waters, Jienos is an upscale resort for the area with a crocodile-themed swimming pool water slide as a flagship. They also have hotel rooms, beach cottages, pumpboat, resto, wifi, etc.
The first few days at Jienos, I was just working my ass off developing the ComVal Coast travel portal, talking to resort owners and checking out the individual beach resorts. So far, the resorts I've seen compare to the ones I'd been to in Samal Island - which is a good thing. The resorts here can be competitive with other better known places.
||We are 25 here altogether, the staff. 23 live here. It's like Big Brother, but we don't vote each other out. Girl to girl happens. Boy to boy happens. Boy to girl? Not allowed.
Morning Workout by the Beach
Mornings, I either do my yoga or skip rope or just jump in the water before going into my daily routine. With fresh air in my lungs, the open expanse of the sea and the calm serenity of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city lend I get quiet moments and still be productive getting things done on my laptop by the beach.
Battle of the Bands
One night, I was tagged along to Magnaga Waters to chillout for the elimination rounds of the Battle of the Bands. I was even invited to judge the event - cool! 2 bands tried to outdo each other on three genre of music - love song, reggae and rock. It was difficult to judge. How can you say the other singer is better if he sings like James Taylor while another sings like Steven Tyler - and both are competent in their singing? My validation came when the other judges gave the same choice.
Snorkeling the Coral Reef
Again, I was invited by Jessa and the staff to take a boat tour. First stop was the coral reef about 1 km away from the resort. With my snorkeling gear, I did a few free-dives along the drop-off. Even though the visibility was poor this time of the year, I was impressed by what I've seen. The mostly soft spongy coral reef is pristine! I would like to skin dive these waters again during the summer months when visibility is clear. I suggested to Jessa to include a snorkeling tour in their boat tour package, and improvise a glass bottom gadget to enable the boat guests to see the reef from the comfort of the boat.
Boat Ride to Canibad, Samal
With everyone pumped up, they decided to cross the water of Davao Gulf into Samal Island. It was an hour's ride to get to Samal, another 20 minutes coasting along the island perimeter until we reached Canibad to do some swimming and beach bumming. I remember being on this beach in March 2008 - almost 5 years ago!
The staff keep the premises clean - there's 25 of them altogether! At the start of the day, when the resort is empty (except for me), as I do my workout, I see them all attending to the 'behind the scene' tasks of keeping the resort humming like a well-oiled machinery. There are outdoor loud speaker systems placed around the resort where music plays almost all the time. If you like being festive, the looping songs of Rihanna (I noticed because I'd been here a few days already) allude to that. If you like peace and quiet, they'll cut it off for you. To top that, there might be a big group belting out karaoke tunes. Otherwise, on simple days when I have the whole resort to myself, the stillness permeates...but of course, there's Rihanna. They have a fine sandy beach section and a breakwater area where you just jump into the water.
ps - If you want me to objectively cover your resort for this website (beach resort, mountain resort, island resort, etc.), email me.
- Bus - from Davao Ecoland bus terminal, take a bus going to Mati and tell the conductor to drop you off Jienos Garden Beach Resort, 2 kms before Pantukan Poblacion. Less than P185/pax, aircon, 3 hours. It's a short walk to the resort from the highway - no need to take additional transport
- Private Vehicle - take the highway south towards Mati. When you reach Tagum, at the main intersection, (landmark: Jollibee), turn right heading to Pantukan. After 30 minutes from Tagum, you see the "Jienos Garden Beach Resort" sign to your right. It's about 2 kilometer before you reach Pantukan Poblacion
Oct 2-9, 2013
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