Day 2: MN Farms, Squash Mountain, Lake Apo, Hotel de Susana Resort and Middleton Apartelle

Good morning, Bukidnon!πŸŒžβ›°

Wow! I really love waking up in the province with fresh air, peaceful surrounding and just hearing the dogs barking or the cows mooing or the people talking. No pollution! No traffic! And no noise from the cars. πŸ˜ƒ

We have a lot of activities to do in our Day 2. We started it by harvesting Rambutan from one of the trees in the farm. Everybody was excited and tried doing it (except me because the stick is so heavy for my thin arms 😜).

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The happy kids after harvesting. FarmVille Level 01 Unlocked! πŸ˜›

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But it did not stop there! We just asked permission to get Rambutan but when we saw this tree of Tamarind, we had a stopped and got some. Sorry maize! πŸ™‚βœŒπŸ»

After harvesting, having our breakfast and talking with Maize’s father, Tatay Mario, we went to our first stop for the day and third for the whole trip. It is called the Squash Mountain. If there are lots of squash, we don’t know. But if it is beautiful, we believe so it is a yes! This is what we saw in the FB. Hehehe.

But before we can step on the mountain, we have to travel for about 20 minutes to reach there. The only thing you can see is a field of either sugarcane or rice or pineapple. And it is such a good experience being able to pass the road like this. It is not an everyday opportunity though.πŸ˜‰

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This is Squash Mountain from afar. It looks beautiful and so green. And it seems that it is not a long trek but if the trek is easy or not, let us all find out. πŸ™‚

The trek was not that long. Maybe, it was just 10 minutes. But it is not an easy trek and kinda tiring. It is so steep and there is just a small walkway to take. One missed step and you might end up with a bruise or a wound and have to pick up yourself at the foot of the mountain. πŸ™‚

These photos were taken during the time that we stopped and rested for a little while. Unluckily, we were not able to bring water.πŸ˜“

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This is one of the views from the top. Actually, you can have a 360 degrees view from the top. Unfortunately, I only have a video of it and I cannot upload it here.

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This is our mandatory group picture. πŸ™‚

After a couple of minutes on the top, enjoying the view and taking pictures, we headed back to the house.

If getting to the top is hard, going down is much harder. You have to walk slowly and with care. Or else you will really end up in the finish line the fastest but the most painful way. Howell had wounds because he slipped. Jessie ended up with a damaged slippers. Chinkee sat on the ground a few times. It is just me, Tatay and Toj who did not have any bloopers. πŸ˜› Maybe because Toj was wearing a pair of shoes (the shoes that he bought just for this activity and will throw after! Kidding! Hahaha), Tatay is becoming a mountaineer (with all the lovely ladies accompanying him! :D) and I have a Go Pole that I used as a support when it’s kinda hard (just like the crutch!Poor pole. :P).

So if you are confused why it is called Squash Mountain, we are too. At first! Hahaha. Because there is no squash in the mountain. Not even one. But Howell explained it to us. The form of the mountain is like a squash. It looks more like it when it is summer and the grass becomes brown. Indeed, it is.

When we got back to the house, we then took a bath and prepared our things because we will go to CDO after in Valencia. So we need to bring all our stuff.

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This is Tristan a.k.a Longlong. The nephew of Maizel. He was camera shy. πŸ˜€

Before heading out, we went to thank the family especially the parents of Maizel for the warm welcome and wonderful accommodation. We just asked permission that we will go because we will still see later that afternoon.

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With us here is the loving mother of Maize, Nanay Norma ❀️

We passed lots of like these in going to Lake Apo.

An hour after, we were able to reach our second destination for the day, Lake Apo, timeless distinction place.

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Here’s my trying to be a blogger who is emo pose. πŸ™‚

The entrance fee here is Php 50.00 while the floating cottage costs Php 230 plus Php 100 for the tour guide.

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Let the exploration begin. πŸ™‚

Indeed, this place is wonderful, relaxing (again :D), and instagrammable (so millenial hahaha). I hope my photos can give justice to the beauty of this place.

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The floating cottage that is available for rent.

WHAT TO DO IN LAKE APO

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  1. Fishing – you just need to rent for the fishing rod (Tatay)
  2. Take pictures – the place is both picturesque and instagrammable so take an unlimited shots as much as you want (Chinkee)
  3. Picnic and some photo under the heat of the sun – you can bring your foods and even grill then enjoy eating while cruising the lake and being surrounded by the beautiful Mother NatureΒ (Howell)
  4. Cruise around the lake – pull the rope in order for your cottage to move. You can either hire a guide to do it for you or do it by yourself for free (Jessie)
  5. Emote and enjoy the moment – you can just sit in the cottage and enjoy the view. Or play some playlist that can let you remember your loved one. Or just cherish the moment to be in this beautiful place once in your life. (Toj)
  6. Rest and relaxation – the place is perfect for everyone to rest and relax. You can even sleep with the cold and fresh air plus it is peaceful.
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Tropang Laagan mandatory group picture. πŸ™‚

Where Lake Apo located?

It is located inΒ Barangay Guinoyoran in the city of Valencia in Bukidnon Province. It can be found in a hilly area which is about 11KM from the city proper of Valencia.

Why it is called Lake Apo?

According to my friend,Β Wikipedia, its name is derived from the bisaya word “Apo” which means elder or grandparent.Β Β According to legend, there was a man living in the mountains who assaulted his granddaughter and was punished by the mountain deities for his disrespectful act by flooding the area forming the Lake Apo.

As of today, no one can determine how deep the lake is as no one has been able to reach it.

We did not stay that long in Lake Apo because Howell needs to be in Hotel de Susana Resort (our next stop) at 2:30PM.

So we went there at around 2PM, and he just dropped us off since he needed to be in the church for their nephew’s baptism. For the 5 of us, we decided to have our lunch in the restaurant. The foods were all delicious. And we stayed their for a couple of minutes before deciding to go out in the pool area for some pictorial (as always hahaha).

The Ontanillas Family was already there when we went out but we still proceeded to the pool because they were still settling down.

This is Hotel de Susana Resort in Valencia.

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They have an amazing pool and garden. πŸ™‚

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And it is instagrammable again. hehe

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Plus the sunset is so lovely here. ❀

Then, Howell called us because it is eating time.

So, we did gatecrash the event plus we were given giveaways. How blessed are we. πŸ˜€

Took these photos while waiting for The Harwarts before heading to CDO. The hotel’s chandelier is beautiful too.

Then, we departed at aroung 6:30PM and arrived in CDO after 3 hours. We directly went to Middleton Apartelle in Carmen, CDO where we will stay for the night.

After arranging our stuff and changing, we went for a night swimming and the continuation of Tatay’s birthday celebration. Another night of Emperador Light plus the Rambutan plus the cake and Tatay ordered Alberto’s pizza. Burp! hahahahaha

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Their pool has 6ft, 5ft and 4ft depth.

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Swimming, drinking and eating while having some chitchat and catch up with Howell’s cousin, Kristian who we first and last met during The Harwarts wedding back in December 2015. πŸ™‚

We ended the session and decided to sleep at around 12MN because we still have an early wake up call for the most exciting and adventurous activity for the whole trip. πŸ˜‰

TIPS

  1. Hire a vehicle for the tour. It is totally difficult to reach there by commuting. You might get lost and end up looking for the place the whole time.
  2. If you want to visit Squash Mountain, it is better if you know someone from the area that can guide you in getting there. It will surely be hard to find and go.
  3. Lake Apo should be spent a longer time than we did. I believe the rent of the floating cottage is maximum of 2 hours. So if possible, use all these hours to make it worthy.
  4. Bring some foods and drinks for you to munch while cruising.
  5. Take as many pictures that you can. Getting there is hard so better take advantage of the chance that you had reached there.
  6. When in Valencia City, you can check in at Hotel de Susana Resort. They offer good foods, service and amenities.
  7. Middleton Apartelle is a perfect place for those people who is visiting CDO but wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is quite far from the city and at least you can really rest.
  8. The Apartelle is perfect for big groups. The unit that we rented have 2 bedrooms.
  9. The Apartelle’s pool only operates until 11AM. After that, the security guard or staff will placed chlorine on the pool whether someone is still swimming or not. Hahaha!
  10. It is better to buy Alberto’s Pizza in their store than ordering and have it delivered. The first is I think much faster. Hahaha. (Sorry iapil na lang sad nih nako!)

Day 1: Dahilayan & Nasuli Spring

On our first day, our itinerary is to visit Dahilayan and Nasuli Spring. Dahilayan is about 3 hours from Cagayan de Oro.

But before reaching the park, we had a stopover at Del Monte in Manolo Fortich and took a photo on the big pineapple and the signage. (This is my first time to stop here and took a photo after a couple of trips here.)

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Thanks to the friendly Guard who took our picture. πŸ™‚

Then, our roadtrip continued…

After travelling for less than an hour, we finally arrived in Dahilayan. Dahilayan is a Barangay in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

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Dahilayan has two parks, the Dahilayan Forest Park wherein you can experience their Luge, ATV & Buggy Ride, Tree Top Adventure, hanging bridge and a park for everyone. They also offer accommodation for an overnight stay and restaurant for guests to dine.

The second park is the Dahilayan Adventure Park that includes the famous Asia’s First Longest Dual Zipline, Drop Zone, Rope Course, Python Roller Zipride and a lot more. There is also a package that includes a round-trip transfer from CDO and water rafting activity. Picnic Grove is located here where guests can rent a room for overnight stay.

You can check their sites for the rate of the rides and the accommodation. They also offer shuttle from CDO for a hassle-free trip via Magnum Express.

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This is the admission ticket to Dahilayan Forest Park that cost Php 100 each. Then, you will be stamped upon entering so that you can get in & out anytime.

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Our mandatory groufie. πŸ˜€

Then we planned to try their Buggy which costs Php 1,200 for 2 persons. As we reached the briefing station, we were asked to weigh. And so, we obliged. Unfortunately, they have a weight requirement of 110 kgs for the two persons. But, we were all overweight. Unfortunately! 😦 #strike01

So we went to the bridge and took a picture until Toj decided to try Zorbit. He really wanted to try it. Then, he went to the cashier booth. A few minutes later, he was running back to us and told us that they need two guests in order to do it. The bad thing is that no one wanted to try it because the rest of us was afraid that we might feel sick after. Too bad! 😦 #strike02

Finally, we all agreed to try the ATV ride since we can all do it except for Maize. We went back to the briefing station, they gave this paper which we need to show to the cashier for the payment and signed the waiver. After that, the staff oriented us on how to use it and the rules. Then, the two guides (one in the front and the other in the back) arrived for the trail which is 3.5KM. With the kind of environment Dahilayan have, it will surely be a wonderful experience.

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After a few minutes, we finished the ride with disappointment. The trail is amazing with all those trees and overlooking view. But, the guides are not that approachable, friendly and helpful. The ATVs are not that well maintained. Toj kept on going to the side but the guides are not that helpful to bring him back to the trail. It came to the point that I shouted for the guide in the front to help him because he just kept on telling Toj to move backwards. But how can he do it if his ATV has powered off. They did not even let us stop to take some pictures. Actually, just once because we kept on nagging the guide in the front. It seems like they are both in a hurry. That’s why we decided to write a comment at their reception. I hope they will take action on it.Β  What can I say! 😦 #strike03

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The only photo that our guide took.

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I took this photo while we stopped because my ATV powered off.

However, we did not let this not good experience ruined our trip. We all travelled far and we won’t let anything destroyed the fun. So, we then headed to Dahilayan Adventure Park.

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It’s my third time visiting this place and I already tried their zipline. But 3 out of 7 are first timers and Toj wanted to try the rides.

When we arrived, Toj & Maize went to the cashier booth. When Toj was about to buy the ticket of the ride he wanted to try, the window was placed with the Lunch Break signage. And so, they both came to us with Toj voicing out his disappointments and the rest of us laughing. That what friends are for, ya know. They will be open again by 1PM which is an hour away and we are all hungry.

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So, we decided to have lunch and proceed to our next stop. With Toj babbling while eating and the rest of us laughing again. Hahaha!

We had our lunch at Pinutos Restaurant. After that, we head to our next stop, Nasuli Spring in Valencia. We travelled for about 1 to 1.5 hours to get there. Since we have not taken a bath the whole day and it was already around 3:30PM, we decided to take a dip in the cold spring (Literally, cold! hehe..).

The entrance fee is Php 50 for adults. Their life jacket is for rent at Php 50 and so their salbabida or lifebuoy.

The place is serene and perfect for some relaxation especially after the disappointments we had and the sweaty feeling of not taking a bath. πŸ˜›

This lovely place welcomed us.

There are only few visitors when we got there. And we have the chance to enjoy the place.

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By the looked of these photos, we really had a great and fun time in the spring. We were able to relax, bond and freshen up at the same time.

The resort is open until 5PM only. So, we decided to just changed to dry clothes and head to our next stop before going to Maizel’s house.

Maize had to do some errands for the baptism of his nephew the next day. And we did some grocery shopping for their vitamins (meaning Emperador and Tequila) and the cake for Tatay.

Since, it will take us about 2 hours to reach MN Farms in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, we stopped in a carenderia for dinner. Their lechon manok and liempo tasted so good.

After dinner, we headed to the farm/hacienda of Maizel’s family where we will be staying. It was around 8PM when we reached there and her family was still awake.

After settling down to our room, we then planned for the surprise for Tatay. Too bad I cannot post here the video of the whole surprise but I can say that it was successful. We brought the cake with magic candles (those candles that keep on lighting unless you will put them in the water) then broke eggs on his head (5 eggs if I am not wrong and that was painful and smelly). Hahaha! But Tatay is so assuming, really assuming that the cake we bought was for him. And it seems he was expecting for the surprise except for the eggs. πŸ˜›

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This photo was taken after he took a bath after we messed up. hahaha

Then, we ended the day with some drinking and eating session while watching IT. πŸ˜€

P.S. Prior to our trip, Maizel told me that the mobile signal in their area is not that good. However, they have a Wi-Fi that we can connect to. But, I told her not to give the password to us so that we won’t be just spending our time on the phone.

And it really did happen. We were just able to use our phones to take photos. But, the good thing was that we were able to talk and bond with each other. Instead of just browsing the net or our social media and chatting or stuff like that. This is a good way to make everyone closer. πŸ™‚

After the IT movie, we decided to head back to our room and sleep. Because we cannot wait for our activity the next day. πŸ˜‰

TIPS!

  1. You can go to Dahilayan through their Shuttle service but better check the schedule and the meeting place ahead. If not, you can commute but it will gonna be hard.
  2. These tips are based on the strikes I put on a hashtag above. πŸ™‚
    1. If you want to try buggy, make sure that you and your partner will weigh 110 kilograms only. So if you have a total weight of 112kg, diet diet lang ng slight bes! hehehe
    2. If you want to try Zorbit, convince someone from your group to try it. Otherwise, convince yourself not to try it. πŸ™‚
    3. If you want to try ATV ride, negotiate with the guides before the ride that you want to have stopovers to take some shots. And that make sure of your safety always. Take it slow but sure. You will pass an area that might let you fall on the cliff or to the road below. I almost fell. Good thing was that there’s a railing. Otherwise, they will pick me up on the road below with maybe a broken leg. πŸ˜› Thanks God we were all safe. ❀
    4. If you are going to Dahilayan Adventure Park, make sure that you were able to buy the tickets and take the rides before or after lunch break. Because all of them are really taking the lunch break.
    5. It is best to plan ahead on what rides you will try. But unplanned things can be fun too. Just make sure that you have enough time to try everything that you want.
  3. Use some sunscreen when you are out. Dahilayan is not so hot but still it can damage your skin being exposed from the heat of the sun.
  4. Prepare a coat or sweater in case it will really be cold.
  5. You can bring foods for lunch and snacks. I am not just sure if there is corkage or none.
  6. It is better to rent a car or van to get there so that you can follow your own time. There are many for rent vehicles in CDO that offer a tour to Dahilayan.
  7. If you are going to visit Nasuli Spring, ask ahead about how to get there. Or use Google Maps. The road going there is kinda confusing especially if it is your first time.
  8. An afternoon visit is a good time since the water is so cold.
  9. Relax and take a good dip.
  10. The roads in Bukidnon are kinda dangerous because there is this zigzag road. So make sure to always be careful when driving and not that fast.

 

And do not forget to enjoy and live the moment! You cannot be there all the time. πŸ˜‰

Tropang Laagan goes to CDO & Bukidnon

One day, Howell posted a photo & video about their farm in Bukidnon. Then, Tropang Laagan started to comment on how nice it is and that if we can go. How & Maizel told us that we can. And so, we then started planning on when to.

Until Cebu PacificΒ had a promo fare where Cagayan to Cebu only costs Php 499.00. That’s so cheap, right? IΒ  messaged my friends if who wants to join and we booked the ticket right there and then. Of course, the seats might be sold out. That was about 2 to 3 months before our scheduled trip.

From 6 to 8 to 9 to 8 to 6 to 5… That is how complicated to organize a trip. When the date is near, you no longer have an idea if you will be travelling with a group or all by yourself. Good thing, 5 of us still pushed through. And we can understand our friends who backed out because of some important matters.

Anyway, we reached Cagayan de Oro City from Cebu City via the Lite Ferries. Their schedule is as follows:

  • Cebu – CDO => Departs at 7PM on Monday, Wednesday & Friday from Pier 1 in Cebu
  • CDO – Cebu => Departs at 7PM on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday from CDO Port

The fare is Php 890 for non air-conditioned room and Php 980 for air-conditioned room.

So, we started our journey by meeting up at 6:30PM in Pier 1. When we got there, it is already boarding and we still need to pay for the Terminal Fee (costs Php 25.00 each). After which, we went inside and fell in line at the gate for CDO Lite Ferries and was taken by a bus to the ship.

At 5AM, I woke up and checked if we were already near, but we are still kinda far. I sawΒ  my friends who were already awake and we decided to head on the 3rd floor of the ship. When we reached, we saw Tatay sitting in the raft. It was his birthday yet no one greeted him because we were planning for a surprise later that night. πŸ˜€

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And when we went out here, the view was totally amazing. It’s sunrise.

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Watching sunrise for me is a rare thing because I am not a morning person. I can only witness its beauty if I have a super early flight. But I have an obsession for both sunrise and sunset. πŸ˜€

We stayed a little longer, taking pictures, talking, and just enjoying the view and the cold air.

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This is us on our just woke up look. πŸ˜›

About 7AM, we saw the port of Cagayan de Oro. Finally, we arrived! πŸ˜€

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We went down after we called Maize & How.


 

 

 

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This is the ship of Lite Ferries.

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Cagayan de Oro City Port

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Toj & Chinkee trying the kart of the porters. While waiting for Maize & How to arrive.

Then, we saw Howell went out of from Moxie, the name of their car. πŸ˜€

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With Howell πŸ™‚ (this photo is grabbed from him :D)

We then headed to D’ Original La Paz Batchoy for our breakfast.

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Another photo grabbed from Howell.

After our breakfast, we headed to our first destination, Dahilayan. πŸ˜‰

I will be sharing our experiences on different posts. For the following:

  • Dahilayan Forest Park and Adventure Park
  • Nasuli Spring
  • Squash Mountain
  • MN Farms
  • Lake Apo
  • Hotel de Susana Resort
  • Advance Water Rafting by Kayak

And I will include our delayed flight from Cagayan de Oro to Cebu. Plus the super unforgettable experience in Dahilayan. πŸ˜€

Day 1 ->Β Dahilayan + Nasuli Spring + Tatay’s Birthday Surprise

Day 2 ->Β MN Farms + Squash Mountain + Lake Apo + Hotel de Susana Resort + Middleton Apartelle

JSJS Mountain Resort

I was invited by my friend for the 1st Birthday Celebration of my goddaughter, Kasandra. It will be held in a resort in Argao, Cebu. It is called JSJS Mountain Resort.

I haven’t heard about it before until this invitation. And so I just asked Lhoven & Kath on how to get there.

But the day before Kasandra’s birthday, my officemate shared a photo in our viber group. And guess what, it is in JSJS Mountain Resort. He shared photos of the swimming pools. The place looks beautiful and the pools are so inviting.

So, let’s find out when we get there if reality is better than expectation. πŸ˜‰

My friend, Toj accompanied me to the party. We met at Cebu South Bus Terminal at around 9:30AM. And departed at 10AM through Ceres Bus with a route of Bato via Liloan. The fare is Php 100 per person. We informed the conductor that we are going to JSJS Mountain Resort. They already know where to drop you.

JSJS Mountain Resort is located in Dob-dob, Talaga, Argao.

After 2 hours of travelling, we reached at the bus station for the resort. A habal-habal driver then approached us and took us there. The fare is Php 20 per person for about 10-15 minutes trip.

We then went to the reception desk and informed that we are guests of the birthday party. She noted then instructed us what cottage number they were renting.

An entrance fee of Php 100 per person is collected at the reception desk.

There were already guests and family of both Lhoven and Kath. After having our lunch with the delicious lechon, me and Toj decided to have some pictorials in the resort.

This is my pretty inaanak, Kasandra! ❀️

This delicious and cute cupcakes are from Baker Buddies. 🍰

The resort has an overlooking view and perfect for relaxation away from the busy and stressful life in the city.

They have 2ft, 4ft, 9ft and 10ft swimming pools in which both the kids and adults can enjoy. There are small slides too.

4 feet pool. 🐳

9 feet pool. 🐬

If you want to stay overnight, they have available rooms for rent. There is also function hall for events and restaurant. You can ask the front desk staff if you want to ride a habal-habal in going back to the bus stop.

Here are some of the photos that Toj and I took! πŸ˜‹πŸšΆπŸΌπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

We really did have a good time in the resort and it is a perfect way to destress and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus we’re able to have our tummy full.

Thanks for the invite Lhoven and Kath. Thanks also to Toj for accompanying me even if we were able to arrive in the city late. 😘

Hope you can visit the resort because indeed, it is β€œA place of serenity and relaxation in Southern Cebu”. Check their Facebook or Website for more details. πŸ˜‰