It’s Hobbes’s third birthday last week – on the 18th, to be exact – and instead of vacationing somewhere to celebrate it, we decided to just have it at home as a precaution to the rising COVID-19 cases in the province.
We invited our favorite hoomans, and I had fun decorating what was once Plantation Bay’s Penthouse Suite.
The motif was blue, with Hobbes dressed like a prince. Okay, not really a prince, but he just wore a crown and had a “It’s my Gotcha Day!” bandana courtesy of LifeisPawsomeShop (LiP). Here’s Hobbes, all set to welcome his guests.
Food-wise, we had lechon belly, chicken inasal, and lumpiang shanghai from 4A’s Lechon. I also ordered Pancit Malabon from Daniella’s and ube and yema cakes from Cardinal. Hobbes had a personalized birthday cake from Bubbabakes, too.
Isn’t the cake amazing? It showed Hobbes’s trademark tongue-out smile.
He also received tons of gifts from me and my friends and his vets. Here he is, looking so pleased and princely. Ha ha!
More photos of Hobbes in his nook.
And a photo of him with his gifts all lined up so we could account for all and later send our thanks to his godmothers and friends.
He received several plushies, which are his favorite toys, treats and dog food, clothes, new bandanas, a personalized harness from The Rosey Collective, another harness from Zeedog, and grooming essentials from Aroma Paws.
There were so many presents that they didn’t fit on our picnic mat!
In the evening, his vets from Animal Wellness visited him, too. We had dinner in Plantation Bay’s Fiji Restaurant.
Happiest birthday, Hobsie! While people always say that you’re such a lucky dog, I feel that I’m the luckier one because I have such a well-behaved and smart furbaby.
Since I became a furmom to Hobbes, my now three-year-old Shih Tzu, traveling around Cebu has become more challenging. If before I could pack my bags hurriedly and go to the beach or mountains on a whim, now I have to carefully research my destinations to ensure that Hobbes is well taken care of every time we travel.
Most if not all high-rises hotels in Cebu City and resorts in Mactan do not allow pets, so it was a joy to find these pet-friendly places. Note that most are a long trip from the city itself.
Bantayan Island’s Coral Blue Oriental Villas
On our first out-of-town trip, I brought Hobbes to Bantayan Island. We stayed at Coral Blue Oriental Villas, and we loved our spacious room, especially the native bathroom.
The resort wasn’t strict with its policies on pets. Hobbes was allowed anywhere and could roam around without a leash. Still, I was always carefully watching him because there were stray dogs in the area.
Bantayan Island’s Virgin Island We were here only for a day, but because Virgin Island also has rooms, I included it in the list.
Hobbes had a great time here running around, and yeah, making me run after him. Heh. The island is huge, and it was scorching hot, so halfway through our walk on their trail, Hobbes refused to budge. After resting for a bit and re-applying his Natural Dog Company Organic Pawtection, we continued on, with me carrying Hobbes half of the time.
Cebu City’s Solinea Resort Condominium There are several listings on AirBnB of units in Solinea Resort Condominium that allow pets, and during a much-needed trip to the city, I brought Hobbes with me. The place was perfect because it’s right across Ayala Center Cebu.
The only downside was that every morning and in the afternoon, I had to bring Hobbes downstairs for his daily walks and potty time. And because the condominium’s entire ground floor area was paved, I had to bring him to a vacant grassy lot fronting the HSBC building, which meant crossing the busy intersection.
Malapascua’s Tepanee Beach Resort This secluded resort in Malapascua is ideal for furparents like me because of its well-manicured gardens and private beach, both of which are perfect for strolling.
On our first two nights, we stayed in their standard room. It’s smaller than the usual guest rooms that we’re used to, but it had a balcony that Hobbes absolutely loved because it’s breezy in there.
On our third night, we moved to a De Luxe Room, which was more spacious and had a floor-to-ceiling window that afforded us nice views of the sea.
Hobbes loved this room and spent most of his days just looking out the window. He even took a liking to the side table outside and made it his own sitting area.
Some pet-related observations of Tepanee: they have house dogs, and while the ones inside the resort are docile and sweet, the ones in the restaurant – strays that they feed from time to time, from what the staff told me – are noisy and a little aggressive around other dogs because every time they saw Hobbes, they barked. Beware of cats, too, because even when they didn’t approach us, their mere presence was enough for Hobbes to go ballistic. (He dislikes cats and chases after them.)
Pet policy-wise, Tepanee was not strict, too. I was not asked to sign a waiver. Hobbes was also allowed everywhere, even in the restaurant.
Mactan Island’s Karancho Beach House We had our company outing here, and my colleagues and I were allowed to bring our pets. Unlike other pet-friendly resorts that allow only small to medium-sized dogs, Karancho allowed my staff’s Labrador and even let him swim on the beach.
Karancho also has several dogs and cats on-site, so be sure to always be on the lookout for your furbaby, especially if your furbaby is like Hobbes, who doesn’t like other animals.
Ronda’s Les Maisons D’Itac This place is perfect for a relaxing vacation with your furbaby mainly because its well-maintained grounds were perfect for daily walks. Just take it from Hobbes. From the photo below, one can tell that that indeed, he’s having a relaxing vacation at Les Maisons. Ha ha! Seriously, this baby sure knows how to channel his inner peace (and cuteness).
They’re not strict, too, of the places where pets are allowed. I initially walked Hobbes on a leash, but after assuring me that Tracy, their resident dog was harmless, I let Hobbes wander around the resort on his own.
Our two-story accommodation was right by the beach. It’s very spacious, and I especially loved the four-poster king bed. The balcony below had unobstructed views of the sea, which was really awesome.
Aside from the vast space for dogs to run around in, there were various nooks and crannies, too, that were ideal for taking photos.
Les Maisons D’Itac also had several strategically-placed hammocks, and during this trip, I discovered Hobbes’s love for them. He especially loved being rocked gently on them, and I think it’s because he loved the feel of the wind. Several times, he even napped on them for hours!
Mactan Island’s Solea Mactan Resort
Solea Resort used to allow dogs because that’s where Hobbes and I stayed during my birthday last year, but when I checked again early this year, they said they no longer allow pets because some pet owners refused to follow their policies. When I probed, they said that these owners, even when they signed a waiver, allowed their dogs to swim in the pool. They also did not clean up after their pets. I was aghast when I heard this. Because of some irresponsible owners’ behavior, we suffer the consequences, which is really sad because the resort, with its spacious grounds and private beach, would have been ideal for furmoms like me.
Hobbes especially loved their grounds, so it’s really unfortunate that pets are no longer allowed here as this is one of the resorts nearest to where we live.
These resorts and hotels usually do not allow dogs, but after telling them that Hobbes is well-behaved and pretty much well-traveled, they allowed him to stay with me provided that I agree to their conditions.
Liloan’s Rosario Boutique Hotel We stayed here during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had been cooped up at home for nine (9) months, so when we found out that a friend works here, we booked a room after she assured us that I could bring Hobbes.
To bring Hobbes, I had to bring his stroller so I could hide him, which was a hassle since their elevator was small. The staff were nice, though, because after observing that Hobbes did not bark at all and just kept to himself, they allowed him to just be on his leash whenever we went out of the room.
The hotel was small, and there was nothing to do in the area. Our room did have a good view of the sea.
Moalboal’s Kasai Village Dive Resort We were here last month, and while they initially declined my request to bring Hobbes, they relented when again, I told them that Hobbes is pretty much well-traveled and with updated antirabies shots and vaccines. Their only request was that the bed would be off-limits to Hobbes so I had to bring his own bed. As an added precaution, I also brought a waterproof bed cover so the bed is protected if Hobbes hopped on the rather low bed.
Our Sea View De Luxe room afforded us nice views of the sea, though Hobbes was more interested in running around the garden fronting the balcony and in sniffing among the bushes because he did see several cats roaming the place.
He loved the beachfront, too. Only two (2) rooms were occupied during our stay, so we had the place to ourselves since the other guests were usually out for their daily dive.
I’ll end this post with what I consider the most pet-friendly resort in Cebu. Just a disclaimer: I work and live here, so this is Hobbes’s home in Cebu.
Mactan Island’s Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
With its 11.4 hectares of landscaped grounds and private lagoons and beach, Plantation Bay is the perfect destination for everyone, including pooches. Everywhere and I mean everywhere, is Instagram-worthy, especially when you have a furbaby like Hobbes who knows how to pose for the camera.
From the paved roadway to the tennis court to the main pools and lagoons, pooches will have a wonderful time walking or sniffing among the bushes or just bonding with their hoomans.
Hobbes especially loved Savannah Park, which is where most of the resort’s facilities are located.
Sunrises in the resort are also one of the loveliest on the island, as these photos can attest. Usually, the nicest sunrise shots can be taken from the natural beach or the west lagoons since they face the beachfront.
Even sunsets in Plantation Bay are quite captivating, though usually, I am unable to capture them with Hobbes as my model because he usually has his walks early in the evening.
Among the pet-friendly resorts that we’ve been to, Plantation Bay has the strictest but most transparent guidelines on pets: they ask for a copy of the pet’s pet passport/vaccine certificate to ensure that its antirabies shots are up-to-date. They will also ask you to sign a waiver. Some no-nos concerning pets include not leaving the pet alone in the room and not letting the pet swim in any of the lagoons, pools, or even the beach and indoor sections of the restaurants and shops.
Pets are allowed, though, in the outdoor sections of the restaurants, which is really nice. Here’s Hobbes with his takeaway cup, of which he is the model. Heh.
I’ll end this post with one of my favorite photos of Hobbes that’s taken in Plantation Bay.
Edit as of April 2021 In addition to the above, Hobbes and I have also been accommodated in these pet-friendly staycation farms.
Adlawon Vacation Farm (AVF)
While Adlawon allows dogs in their property, they do not allow them inside the restaurants or guest rooms. As I wanted to check in, I asked that they consider, and they did! They let me bring Hobbes but advised me not to allow him on the bed. Below are their policies pet-wise.
Hobbes loved walking around the farm and barking after cows, a carabao, and goats. He loved their swings, too.
Read my full review of Adlawon Vacation Farm here.
Serenity Farm and Resort This has become one of our favorites! Here’s Hobbes chilling on the swing by the pool at sunset.
This is their policy on pets: Small and medium-sized dogs are allowed in the property. Swimming is not allowed. Must be leashed in common areas since resident dogs are roaming the property.
Serenity has 3 restaurants and 2 were open during our stay. Both allow dogs. Here’s a photo of Hobbes in Serenity Cafe.
And in Liel’s Kitchen, the Japanese restaurant.
As I’m always on the lookout for pet-friendly places, I will just update this blog from time to time.