Being Off the Grid

As Filipinos (need I say citizens of the world), we value our voice in society, even if the scope of the people we influence are limited to our families and a few friends. We need to be heard, seen and witnessed live on social media.

But this small, piece of tropical land eliminates all that – in a good way at the very least. It is after all a good excuse to bid your responsibilities good bye for a few days. *wink*

U-Busuan-Gani-ng-pera gyud!

I call this my cannot-be-reached experience haha.

Cannot be reached again because it will take a long time before André and I can save up and journey to Coron soon enough. And cannot be reached via calls and messages because there was hardly any signal!

Ahh but all is good! We all got our much-deserved Vitamin Seaaaa and sun!

This journey to Busuanga (the largest largest island in the Calamian Group of islands in the province of Palawan) came as a surprise when one night André told me he was being sent to Coron (the nearby island which is popular for it’s lakes and lagoons) for a business trip. You can imagine how our conversation went from there; it was a leap of faith from a permission to a prayer that God will help us find seats for the flight and rooms for accommodation.

I tagged my dad along with us to the trip because he wanted to witness Busuanga in all its glory. He has been going places, I tell you! I love his life and I am happy he is enjoying it.

After searching for an ideal resort (money-wise and relaxation-wise), I booked two rooms in Busuanga Bay Lodge! And I never regretted a single day while we were there. We were well taken care of and the food they prepared during our stay was amazing. André flew ahead of us down south, while my dad and I followed him the day after. Besides, he went there for business so he could not really enjoy a full day until he finishes his tasks. (Good job, baby! You are doing so well. I really admire your determination to provide for us and to make sure we live a comfy life.)

(I love taking photos of him hahaha my apologies! He would often say, ako nanaman! bakit ganyan!)

The Welcome

The friendly workers of BBL gleefully welcomed their guests with a quartet of what appears to be a Pinoy Rondalla ( bandurria, the laúd, the octavina, the Twelve-string guitar and the double bass) as ladies of the front desk placed handmade leaf necklaces around our necks. As we settled our documents in exchange for room assignments, people from the kitchen staff handed us a welcome drink.

The best part of traveling is knowing that “flying” is over and you are on your way to tasting what you actually paid for. I do not know how and when Welcome Drinks in hotels started but one thing’s for sure, they can make a good first impression! In this case, BBL made a lasting good impression from start to finish.

The Scene

Upon arriving, the picture that welcomed us was an infinity pool against the background of the sea. The ambiance gave off a tropical vibe (alohaaaa oe) that made me want to slump myself on a rattan chair, order a virgin Piña Colada (emphasis on the virgin, haha yeeeees! new life) and stretch my legs to the end of summer. I got a glimpse of the guestrooms from the pool area when I looked across the direction of the villas – it was a mix of Satorini and the jungle (haha do I make sense?). White houses popped out like mushrooms amidst a blanket of trees.

The Room

When we finally got inside our room, I was delighted that it was bigger than I imagined it would be. It was a spacious room! Both the bedroom and the bath were generously sized. I usually pay attention to the details of the bathroom since I spend a long time in it, and it did not disappoint. They also had a food bar that had a coffee press, electric kettle and selection of coffees and teas.

The only disadvantage was that there was no signal (you cannot even make a call or send a message to anyone) while inside the rooms, you must go to the lobby to receive a faint connection. Before you give a negative reaction, sometimes these occasions are a must haha, I actually enjoyed it…you know, being off the grid.

The Service

was spectacular even before we got to the island. You see, I have been having difficulties using online booking services when it comes to paying them hence I had to ask for assistance from one of their reservations personnel. Ms. Felma was so kind of walking me through each process and making sure that I am updated whenever there are changes to our billing. Ah, it was a breeze! (Thank you so much, BBL!).

One of the things that I found sweet was their nightly delivery of sweet treats to our bedrooms. Each delicacy came with a quote from prominent people (i.e Helen Keller etc) complemented by a good night greeting from the staff. I found it to be going the extra mile for a personal touch and I truly appreciated that gesture.

An unforgettable experience was how they catered to us while we were in South Cay, a private beach for BBL guests. This is the reason why we did not get to see most of Coron haha, we decided to do an R & R along the shore while sipping unlimited drinks and listening to Etta James croon on a Spotify playlist. We were very much introverted and tried our very best to avoid the crowds, which became a good decision! (My special thank yous to Kuya Rolly, Ate Matet, Kuya Dante and the rest of the team for valuing our needs!) 

I praise God for lovely weather and good food that day! OH MY GOODNESS! I feel like I was sinning for enjoying too much haha (but I still did my quiet time even on vacation haha, guilty eh). I CAN JUST REALLY THANK THE LORD for a nice time to end the summer.

For BTS (the Korean group) fans, I met this cat named Bradley! Our guides mentioned that this kitty was featured in one of their videos! haha He is famous! Buti pa siya, peymous! haha I KID!

When André flew back home ahead of us (because it was his client who fixed his airline tickets. I kinda protested in a loving manner haha), my dad and I discovered a quaint restaurant in a hotel across us called Al Faro Hotel. We took a speedboat to get across and it was really something else (have you been to a backpacker hostel? it seems like that and then turn it into a restaurant haha). It has this reggae feel to it and was perfect to view the sunset! The only downside is that going up to view that sunset meant facing a steep pathway! I really lost my breath a few times (huhu I need to exercise more, I guess). 

Feasting on his sunset years is the best way to put this.

Fun Finds

I got to buy the famous cashews! The nuts can be a bit pricey but I love cashews so I had take some home with me! Also, I was able to find Palawan coffee in Epic! THEY HAVE EPIC AND POCO DELI in Palawan! Hello, Manila haha! I was trying to find a hint of our hometown but I could not find any establishment that spells home! Not even Jollibee haha till I saw Poco Deli. Of all the restaurants, yun pa talaga!

 

As a verdict, I will definitely go back if God provides us the finances to bask in all its beauty again!

So, thank you dad for being with us! Having you around truly feels like home. AND thank you, Andre for the best summer ever! My super duper big heart loves you more than you will ever know! (even if I tell you this every single day, and almost fives times a day hahaha. I JUST DO!) 

That’s all, folks!

(Does it look like I am two shades darker? HAHA BECAUSE I AM! Goodness, I got burned from having too much fun haha my husband was poking me and making fun…”ang itim mo, babe!” he’d say. THANKS A LOT. )


Lica