Tag Archives: Beach

Ronda, Cebu: Les Maisons D’Itac

We stayed here for three nights in January this year and during our visit, had the whole place to ourselves.  

The rustic and tranquil ambiance was what made me choose Les Maisons for my first out-of-town trip for 2021. Isn’t this inviting?

Our room
I booked the Maison Ulysse because I fell in love with it when I saw its photo on Airbnb. I love homey accommodations, and the room’s distinctly Filipino touches added to its charm. 

Of course, the four-poster bed is another plus point for this room.  

It had a spacious couch, too, that’s perfect for lounging, especially during high tide since it’s right in front of the window that opened straight to views of the beach.

I love listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, and because Maison Ulysse is by the beach, throughout our entire stay, the sound of the sea was my lullaby every day.   

The bathroom was spacious, with native décor and shell accent. There was no hot water, though, and the toilet would not flush on our second day.  Good thing they fixed it promptly. 

Maison Ulysse has two floors, with the bedroom on the second floor and a spacious living room on the ground floor. 

The al fresco ground floor living room was my favorite spot in the afternoon since it’s perfect for sunset-watching and listening to the sound of the crashing waves. Its couch was also so comfy that on my second night, I slept here after dinner and woke up late in the evening only because it’s gotten cold.    

The food  
Breakfast is included in the room rate, and here’s a photo of my set Filipino breakfast

Over-all, the food here was good and the serving generous. I’ll just make a separate post about Les Maison’s home-cooked meals next time.   

The Pool
Les Maisons had one freshwater pool that overlooked the sea.  

It’s a little small and deep, so if you have small children with you, make sure to watch them. 

As we were the only guests during our stay, we had the pool for ourselves. On the third day, however, about 5 people visited the resort to check the place, and their voices could be heard all the way to my room. I surmise that when the resort is full, the pool gets crowded and its tranquility compromised.  

The Beach 
The resort had a private and well-maintained beach. 

Though their beachfront was rocky.

The water was also brackish, and the seafloor even felt mucky sometimes, especially during lowe tide, so make sure to bring beach sandals when swimming here.

This was my favorite part of their beach because of the sandy shoreline. 

Other Room Types
Uphill, the resort had two villas that could accommodate bigger groups. Each villa had its owns swimming pools, too. 

The smaller rooms were located near the lobby. There’s one room, too, on the second floor of the lobby, but I forgot to take its photo.  

While I still felt our room, Maison Ulysse was the loveliest of all the rooms in Les Maisons, if you are a couple who want a smaller room than the villas, choose these ones. They’re air-conditioned, too.  

The Hammocks
Hammocks were strategically placed around the resort, and my favorites were the ones by the pool and the one on the ground floor of Maison Ulysse.  

Here’s Hobbes chillin’ like a boss.  Ha ha!

Sunsets
The resort had excellent views of the sunset (but not of the sunrise). Here are some of my favorites.

The best vantage point for sunset-watching was by the beach or pool, though on my second day, I was rewarded with this view of the yet-to-sen sun while chasing Hobbes on the hills.

At Night
It’s very quiet here in the evening, especially considering that we were their only guests during our stay. But the pool was perfect for night swimming.  

At Dawn 
We were here in January, so mornings were always chilly. But the cold weather was perfect for a stroll, especially by the beach because it was the high tide, so the sound of the crashing waves was incredibly soothing. 

The Gardens
Les Maisons’ gardens and landscape were well-tended.  

Every morning, the staff were consistent in sweeping the lawns and watering the plants. Everyone was so polite and would always greet us.

Here’s a photo of my favorite flower in the resort. 

Pet-Friendly
Aside from the rustic ambiance, my other factor for choosing Les Maisons D’Itac was that they’re pet-friendly. They were also not strict with their guidelines as they let Hobbes roam the resort without a leash. A friend who stayed just this month was even able to have her dog swim on the beach. (Hobbes didn’t because he hates the water.)

Random Photos
These are just some random photos I took at Les Maisons. As the weather was mostly cloudy, even rainy, during our stay, most of these photos look bleak.

Minor Refurbishments Needed
I’ll end this point by pointing out that while generally well-maintained, it’s still evident that the resort was undergoing some difficulty because of the pandemic. It’s understandable, though, for establishments to put off some refurbishments to save resources during this time.

As examples, the mosquito net in my room had holes and needed replacement and so does one of the window stands.

But what I found really inspiring about the resort, its management, and owners was that even during the pandemic, all the staff were on duty; if they had no guests, they were asked to till the lands of the owner and their friends. As per the manager, this is something that they made sure so that people would have a source of income during these trying times. Isn’t that heartwarming?

For its ambience, service, and excellent management, I highly recommend Les Maisons D’Itac.

At Sea

I love the sea.  I love seeing shades of blue against an azure sky.

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Or shades of blue against an azure sky with cottony clouds.

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I love how it evokes feelings of calmness and tranquility and at the same time, shrouds itself in mystery. Really, who knows how deep these tranquil waters run?

The photos were taken during one of our cruises from Cebu to Bohol.  That’s one of the perks of being an island lass.  I get to fall in love with the sea over and over again.

Don’t you just love this view?

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On this cruise, we passed by this island, which was beautifully surrounded by blue-green waters.  Unfortunately, the island itself was not developed properly.

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Sigh.

As we cruised near this mostly fishing village, we were greeted with views of either men fishing or locals heading to another island.

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Imagine having to ride a banca just so you can buy necessities from another island or to go to school or work.  And yet, these people weren’t complaining.  They were so smiling and kept on waving at us when we passed by their banca…

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I’ll end this post with one of my favorite photos from this set.

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So. Tranquil.

Summer’s Here (2015 Edition)

I’m officially welcoming summer 2015 with snapshots of my workplace-cum-home in Cebu, the Queen City of the South.

Galapagos Beach
The above is a photo of Plantation Bay’s beachfront taken just last Monday.

I love how the water looked light blue by the beachfront but darkened to deeper shades of blue when farther out.  And the clouds looked so defined.

Next I have a photo taken from the second floor of one of my favorite buildings: Edo Hall.

view from Edo 2F
The resort has only three floors so each room has really good views of our man-made saltwater lagoons.

Since it is summer already, Frangipani flowers are also in bloom, and I love how they make a perfect frame for this photo.

On the ground floor, Frangipani, which we locals call calachuchi, also framed my view of the East Lagoon and Peninsula Beach.

view from Edo GF
The room where this was taken is called Lagoon Side because it’s only a few steps from the water (I just zoomed in this shot thus it looked so close).

I am blessed to be living inside the resort so I have daily access to this paradise and get to use its facilities for free.  Always.

And when there are moments when the view is more stunning than the usual, I only have to whip out my phone to capture it.

Kilimanjaro Kafe
The above was taken after I had my breakfast at Kilimanjaro Kafé, our main restaurant.  I took this because I got so fascinated with the clouds.

Kilimanjaro Kafé is surrounded by Kilimanjaro freshwater pool, which is our main freshwater pool and we recently refurbished it.  Here’s how it looks like now from the third floor:

view from Alien Abduction
Doesn’t the water look so inviting?

Here’s a panoramic shot, still taken from the third floor.  Note the clouds.

panoramic view from Alien Abduction
Now, isn’t my workplace and Cebu home a paradise?  It is specifically a photographer’s haven because anywhere you look, the view is beautiful.

What more, it has everything a water baby like me loves – beachfront, saltwater lagoons, plus 4 freshwater pools of varying designs.

I’ll end this post with a photo of my favorite building.

Chenonceaux and Dune
That’s our Chenonceaux House (farther out are Dune and Edo).  Chenonceaux and Dune house our Water’s Edge rooms.  Water’s Edge is our most sought-after room category because from the balcony, a guest can jump straight into the water.

Now, excuse me while I don my suit and enjoy summer in my tropical corner of the world.

All photos taken using just an iPhone 6.

Camiguin: Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort

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stunning sunset at Camiguin Action Geckos

This was where I spent my third and fourth night in Camiguin.  As I had already toured the island’s attractions on my first two (2) days in the province, my stay at the Action Geckos was purely for leisure.  That is, I spent my 3 days here doing nothing but sleep in my room, or read a book while listening to the crashing waves, walk along its beachfront, or just laze at one of its hammocks without a care in the world.

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the entrance and the resort’s main building that serves as its front desk and restaurant

Accommodations
I booked via Agoda, since the rates I got here were cheaper than what I saw on Action Geckos’ website.   I specifically chose their Beach Bungalow because of its beachfront location.  It’s expensive at Php 2,150 per night for a solo traveler, but it was worth it.

I especially appreciated their warm welcome.  I was charmed when I opened the door and saw the bed canopied with an intricately-made mosquito net.

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I was even more charmed when I saw the welcome note with flowers.  Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.

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And I loved my room’s furnishing too!  Who knew you could make beautiful ceiling lamps from a bulb and strainer?

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And the bathroom was beautiful!  I loved the mosaic of colorful tiles on the vanity and the floor.

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And yes, after making do with just cold water and using dipper at Enigmata, it was nice to finally have access to a shower with strong water pressure and hot water.

My room was called Ardent, which is named after one of Camiguin’s hot springs as featured on this blog.  It has a hammock and wooden loungers right at its doorstep, which offers me a good view of the sea.

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I loved that my room was right by the beach.  Even when I chose to stay in my room as it was too hot outside, I could hear the waves crashing against the shore.

Aside from the hammock right in front of my room, there were hammocks too beside the bungalow where my room was located.

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Dining
The resort’s restaurant is called Tuko (Gecko) and serves local and international cuisine.  I loved its very native ambience.

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My first meal here was the dinner I had on my first night.  I ordered their specials for the day, which was Meatballs with potato chips and garlic mayo and mango shake (sorry I forgot to take its photo).  I did not like it.  The garlic mayo was too garlicky and the mango shake was bland.

The following day, I had Filipino breakfast, which consisted of tocino, egg, and tea.  Yikes!  It was the worst tocino I’ve ever had.  It was too salty.  I told one of the staff and they said it’s homemade.

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Since the food I had so far were not good, I opted to go out for lunch but come dinner, I had no choice but to again dine at Tuko as there were no other resorts or restaurants near Action Geckos.  I had  Spaghetti Action Geckos, which was described as Asian style spaghetti with chicken and vegetables.  It sounded interesting, but I found it weird.  It’s like pancit, but with pasta.  And it’s again too salty.  By this time, I was convinced of the resort having expensive but so-so food.

The next morning, I ordered Helvetia for breakfast, which is a combination of grated potato fried with onion, topped with melted cheese and bacon bits.  Tuko’s menu specifically mentioned that it had a 20-minute preparation time and the staff who took my order said so too, but added that it’s a specialty so I took her word and was not disappointed as it was the only food I liked here.  For my drinks, I upgraded my regular coffee to Latte Machiato.

Beachfront

Unlike White Island’s white-sand beach, the beach here has black sand.  Though this is something not new to me as we also had black-sand beaches in Aklan (I’ve even blogged about one of them HERE), I found the black sand here to be the finest.


It was nice to walk barefoot on it and watch my feet create footprints, or just sit and watch the horizon while squishing the fine sand between my toes.

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On Action Geckos’ photo gallery, they had photos of their beachfront with volcanoes (or mountain range?) as its backdrop, but I did not see such a view.  Instead, I chanced on these sights, but the volcanoes/mountain range were not right in front of the resort, but about a dozen meters from it.

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Too bad the towering coconut trees were blocking the views (or perhaps when the photos were taken, the coconuts were still not that tall so the mountain range was very visible from the beachfront).

While walking along the beachfront, I also chanced upon these fishermen.

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You may have noticed that my beach photos so far had overcast skies, and that’s because the weather was pretty bad on my second day here.  Thankfully, the weather improved on my third and last day.

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Note the bluer sky and the sea.

Garden
Action Geckos’ garden is beautiful and most of the flowers were in full bloom when I was there.  My favorites were the colorful cosmos that came in yellow or pink, or a combination of both.

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There were white and pink vica plants (top photos in the succeeding collage) too, as well as sampaguita (lower left), which is the national flower of the Philippines.  I don’t know what the other two flowers are though, but I’ve seen them before.

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There was hibiscus too, and more flowers that I’m familiar with, but cannot specifically identify.

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Sunset

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Action Geckos’ location is perfect for sunset-watching .  On my first afternoon here, it was cloudy so the sunset was not that colorful.

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On my second and last afternoon though, the sunset was mesmerizing.  It came in vivid hues of red and orange.  I must have spent a quarter of an hour watching the sky change colors while the sun was sinking beyond the horizon.

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The main photo on this post was from the same set.

In closing, Camiguin Action Geckos is one good accommodation option when in Camiguin.  It’s more expensive that other resorts but because its newer and well-thought-of design-wise, it’s worth the splurge.  Their restaurant though, is an altogether different story.

For more information about Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort, visit their official website.