Dakak Resort is beautiful. The beach is small but often deserted during the day. The sand is a sparkling beige; the water clear green up close, crystal blue from far away.
Barangay Dakak is filled with, on the right, towering, glittering limestone cliffs, crowded vegetation and pebbled rivers; on the left, blue green sea and white surf.
For all its natural beauty, however, the help are quite unhelpful – and even downright rude.
At the gate of the resort, a queue of luxury cars hum in waiting. A little off to the side, a beachwear-clad crowd stand arms akimbo, half-empty mineral water bottles nearby. A guard busily caters to the vehicled un-VIPs and blatantly ignores us walk-ins. We walk up to him and ask for the rates. He says to wait.
We wait. And wait and wait. Passes an era, and again we inquire how much for a day tour. Instead of answering, the guard tersely informs us that the resort is fully booked, that no food is available (save for juice) nor can be ordered and that none can be brought in. Without waiting for a reply, he turns his back to us and greets a Toyota Revo, then a Mitsubishi Adventure, then an Isuzu Fuego.
We look at one another. Were we to starve if this useless beast of a guard were to have his way? Would we even be able to see the beach at all?
Soon it is clear the porter intends to serve every vehicle and not one walk-in. It is hot. We are annoyed. We are starving. Irately now, we raise our voices and insist to be served. Without a word but with many a withering sigh, the guard charges us the entrance rate and shooes us off.
Utterly disgusted with the help but relieved we are finally past that hurdle (when it should have been a breeze if Dakak really cares about its customers!), we march in. For a warm (and not in a good way), worn-out, wearying suprise.
Dakak Park and Beach Resort is 15 hectares woodland (of course no welcoming guard has bothered to inform us of this pertinent fact beforehand). We walk, nay trek, all 15 hectares to the beach. Road is paved yet uphill most of the way. Backs are weighed down by beachwear and smuggled chicken and chips. Not even halfway to the beach, mineral water bottles are empty. Heads are aching, legs sweating, chests heaving, knees quaking, breaths and tempers short.
We reach reception in for.ty.five.fucking.minutes. Our throats are parched, tongues stretched all the way to the ground.
Then we see the beach. Guard be damned. The view is breathtaking. (And this time in a positive way.)
We find a restaurant and are pleased to see lots of food and lots of free tables. (That lying bastard.) We order scrumptious pork pata and stomach-filling rice. We sit back and enjoy the white sand, bright sun and sparkling blue sea from a cool shade.
And the rest of the day is wonderful. See the pictures for yourself.
Here is a sandbar in the middle of the beach. Dapitan is famous for patches of land that surface above water when the tide ebbs down.
Being exploration-hungry, Gim and I wander to the coves at the edge of Dakak Resort.
We find a myriad of sealife – schools of fish, brittle stars (starfish), jellyfish eggs, water striders, crabs, corals, seagrass, shellfishes, hermit crabs, sea urchins. We don’t take too many pics, a bit afraid our camera would fall on the water.
At 5 PM, we trek back towards the gate. On our way, a shuttle van picks us up along with a few other passengers. Greggy meets us on the other end and takes us back to our boarding house. We rest awhile and afterwards go out to eat – roasted squid (one of the most scrumptious fares in the entire world) and puso – boiled rice wrapped in nipa leaves.
A wonderful experience.
More pictures here.