Archive | Dakak

Buklod sa Dapitan

Posted on 14 November 2008 by Flisha

A friend alerted me to this new website called Buklod sa Dapitan. It’s a travel agency dedicated to touring Dapitan.

It costs P2,700 per person for a Monday-Wednesday tour and P3,700 otherwise (minimum of 10 persons though). Included in the package are tours of Gloria de Dapitan and the famous Rizal Shrine plus a 2 night stay at Dakak Resort.

Airfare / Landfare is not included in the package of course, but bus transfers from Dapitan to nearby Mindanao cities are provided free.

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Yesterday I Swam

Posted on 21 October 2008 by Flisha

Gim and I were supposed to head on home to Zamboanga, but we couldn’t go home without once using our newly bought snorkel gear. So we postponed the trip to today and happily went to Dakak Resort (except that we overslept and had to postpone it again to tomorrow).

Habal-habals (motorcycles that carry passengers on rough terrain for a fee) in Dapitan charge an exorbitant P200 ($5) per head for a 15-minute round-trip ride to Dakak Resort. I insisted that my boyfriend find me a cheaper ride.

So he asked a local tricycle (a passenger three-wheeler common in the Philippines) driver whether anyone was offering a motorcycle for rent. The driver answered his friend had one, and he charged us P200 for the use. Great, Gim said, and took him up on the offer.

Later the driver insisted he himself drive the motorcycle. Much later we learned he wasn’t used to carrying two people on a motorcycle. Much much later we learned he wasn’t used to driving on rough terrain. Nearing the end of our horrible, horrible, life-threatening trip because he was a horrible, horrible driver and a horrible, horrible person, he stated he had never been to Dakak Resort and it was a good thing we knew the way, because he didn’t.

So yesterday I swam. I have never swam in my life. I don’t know how. And I’ve always been scared of drowning. But with the aid of the snorkel, I breathed underwater. With my masks, I saw clearly underwater. And with my Gim’s encouragement and teaching, I learned to float on my belly and swim the breaststroke.

To celebrate my second life (or third or fourth, I don’t know, I’ve so nearly lost my life too many times I can’t remember), I needed to swim.

I never knew it could be so easy. But it was! And so fun! I wanted to do it for hours and hours! And we did. Gim took me to the reefs and we snorkeled over corals of so many colors! Green and red and orange and violet! And we saw sea anemones moving beautifully and a clown fish just like Nemo hiding inside! And then the father clownfish saw us and stared at us angrily and tried to get us to leave, haha! It was so cute, their little family. I saw rainbow colored eels and I saw flat fishes and fishes that looked like stone and fishes that looked like sand.

And the whole time I was swimming all over the reefs, with Gim protectively swimming by my side. :-)

It was such a wonderful day, yesterday. I swam.

P.S. Thank you, Gim. :-)

P.P.S. For the return trip, Gim had our horrible motorycle driver bring a friend and an extra motorcyle so Gim would take me home himself. I no longer wanted to ever ride with that horrible man on the helm. We paid the same amount as if we had rode the habal-habal. I hope that horrible man will have terrible karma for his horrible driving!

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Funny Door Sign in Dakak

Posted on 27 August 2008 by Flisha

Found this outside our cottage in Dakak Resort. This is what is said on the front:

…and then on the back:

Gim and I dissolved into laughter after reading it. Hahaha. (Nice way to rephrase “sleeping”… or did they mean something else???)

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Funny Instructions in Dakak

Posted on 27 August 2008 by Flisha

Phone Instructions:

To call cluster A, B, C, Beachfront, Presidential Suite, and other outlets, please press [key] or [key] then dial the corresponding phone number of the room.

To call cluster D from cluster A, B, C, please press line 2 or 3 above, then you hear TOT… TOT… TOT…

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Hammocks in Dakak

Posted on 24 August 2008 by Flisha

Gim and I spent my birthday (August 15) in Dakak Resort, Dapitan. It was a beautifully cloudy day. (A sunny day on a Philippine beach equals a really, really bad sunburn.) We took a dip in the water first thing when we got there. Ate a hearty lunch after hours of playing in the waves. Went back the water. And then enjoyed swinging in the hammock in between.

I love the hammocks in Dapitan. Very comfy and they offer a great, uninterrupted view of the horizon.

They hang from the branches of the trees that ply the shoreline, and they’re the perfect place to rest and sleep or just enjoy the view.

See how much fun I’m having up there??? Hehehe.

Here is Gim resting underneath a tree. And there are his new slippers that I gave that he lost in a Dumaguete beach. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Hehehehehe. At least he has a photo.

Here is me not wanting to leave Dakak yet. The Dakak management is calling us to the van that will take us back home, but I’m too comfortable to get up! I don’t want to go!!!!

And here’s the breathtaking view from our hammocks.

See? No wonder it is sooo hard to leave Dakak. :-) And of course, here is the venerated hammock. :-)

Hehehehe. I want to go back!

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The Passing of Rain

Posted on 24 August 2008 by Flisha

I love it when it rains on the beach. You get to see how wonderfully majestic the sky is, the way it changes so dramatically in so little time.

Here the clouds look heavy, ready to rain upon us. The ocean is turning greener by the second.

 

Now the sky above us is totally overcast. Beyond us, the sky is returning to a lighter blue. But the sea has turned a dark emerald green. In a few seconds, drops of rain fall. (Of course we run for shelter, hahaha. Can’t risk my camera getting soaked.)

  

A close up of the mountains beyond shows the rain has passed. But the waters are greener than ever because the sun is hidden behind the dark, pouring clouds.

  

Afterwards,the sky clears. No more clouds in sight, except for a thin wisp. And the water returns to a clear blue.

 

Have I mentioned how much I love rain on the beach? :-)

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Travelling Mindanao

Posted on 14 August 2008 by Flisha

Arrived in Dipolog, Mindanao safe and thrilled. Met by boyfriend Gim and rode a tricycle (a quirky three-wheeled transportation common in the Philippines) towards Dapitan. Took over boyfriend’s temporary quarters and made it messy, as I am wont to do.

Dapitan (Visayan for “a place often visited”) is beautiful as always. It is the rainy season, so tourists are few, but foreigners in retirement many. The sky is clouded many a sunset, and the ocean roils angrily all day. But oceanside barbecues still taste divine and walks on the beach still romantic.

So far Gim and I have been enjoying the food mightily. I’ve gained a lot of pounds doing nothing but eat all day — lunchtime chopsuey (freshly cooked vegetables in a creamy salty sauce), pork and beef steaks, iced teas and orange juices and Cokes and Pepsis, afternoon raspberry and blueberry cheesecakes and hazelnut capuccino, and dinnertime garlic sausage pizza, crispy pata (crispy fried pork) and a many many more.

Tomorrow I turn 26 and I am spending it on a white sand beach resort called Dakak. Next week Gim and I will be visiting another white sand beach called Piñahon. We’ll try to reach the beautiful beaches of Aliguay and Silinog if funds and time allow.

We will also be trekking to Cagayan de Oro and engaging in some whitewater rafting and ziplining. Also visiting Camiguin to enjoy White Island, Katibawasan Falls, Hot Springs and tours.

Later in the month will be visiting Dumaguete and hopefully seeing some dolphins. 

I have so many pictures I wish to upload but darndarndarn I don’t have a cardreader! Gim’s laptop doesn’t have a built-in one either. So I will have to wait until I get to Cagayan de Oro and buy a card reader there. Am excited to show you all the food I’ve eaten hahaha. And of course the sights.

Until then… ;-)

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The Do-It-Yourself Tour of 2007

Posted on 27 October 2007 by Flisha

Sembreak started in the middle of October. Finished all my exams and projects, think I did okay. Ran straight back into my boyfriend’s arms.

‘Course time crawled sooo much longer than that statement.

I’m home (in Zamboanga), safe and sound now, back from a totally exciting one-week city-hop adventure. From Manila, I flew to Dipolog to meet Gim and spent 6 carefree, food-full days exploring Dapitan/Dipolog. Then on impulse (we dare live on the edge. er… of bankruptcy!) we decided to visit Cebu and Bohol – and we did! So crazy of us! We had only 4k to spend between us but somehow we made it through! Hehehe. No pricey tour packages for us.

These are but a few pictures of our super enjoyable island hop! A.k.a. the Gim-and-Fli Do-It-Yourself Tour. :)


A shot of the shore at Sunset Boulevard, Dapitan. The foamy stuff is waste excreted by microscopic sea creatures – the same that cause Red Tide, my boyfriend the doctor says, but in this picture they’re fairly harmless ‘coz there’s not too many of them.


Ah, here’s the handsome doctor. :-) Academically, he already is. He starts clerkship next week. Good luck, doc!


Waterfalls! This is my first time seeing a waterfall up close! They’re bee-yoo-tee-fuuul ! But I had the boyfriend go in first. ‘Coz they’re really scary too… All that water rushing, rushing, rushing! If you look down at the gushing river for more than 5 seconds you get the feeling you’re gonna get flushed down too! So I crawled, and got really wet. It was sooo much fun! :-)


Mmmm!!! Chopsuey and Beef! Yummyyy!!! All I ate in Manila were fried cold cuts! And junk food! I was miserable! (‘Coz I can only be truly happy when I am well fed… hehe) I hate Manila food, by the way, ‘coz everything tastes refrigerated for far too long. Even food in restaurants. And all food is expensive, double or more the price of that at home. Especially veggies. So the first lunch I had in Dapitan consisted of vegetables!! Yumyum!! Gim and I feasted every lunch and dinner (beachfront, no less), having veggies, beef steaks, pork fillets, fried bangus, grilled squid, barbecue, calamares, everything, complete with our fave dessert, halo-halo with ice cream! And each time our meal cost at the most only a little bit over P200, and at the cheapest only P60! Mmm, my mouth is watering!!

And I don’t even care that Gim teases me about the extra rolls on my waist. ‘Coz he got some too! Hehehehe.


Now this picture is of a guy sending up some prayers for me. This was taken in Cebu, at the Sto. Nino Church, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Well, that’s what Gim said. If not oldest. We bought candles and paid an old man to take them, dance around shaking the candles and muttering incantations.

This is my only picture of the Church because it was Sunday, so many people were praying, it was very crowded and very hot. Two things I hate. And Gim made me fall in line to see the original Sto Nino image that Magellan himself brought from Spain. And it took a looong time. By the time I got to the Sto Nino I was mad, hot and ready to burst in tears. No more pictures! No more Church! No more people!!!! I couldn’t take it anymore!!!! And so I stomped off not even bothering to look at the Sto Nino I had waited in line so long to see, and Gim hurried to placate me.

Yeah, yeah I’m a spoiled brat.


This is how Gim stopped my flood of tears in the taxi ride from Sto Nino. He took me to the Taoist Temple. It was pretty and not filled with people, there were many tourists but still lots of breathing space. And it was colorful and interesting. I didn’t even care that it was also hot.

Pretty simple to make me happy. Just give me wide open spaces, a beautiful view, delicious food, and my boyfriend – that’s it. Hehehehe.


From Cebu we travelled to Bohol by OceanJet, a fastcraft whose interior looks a lot like a plane – but it has a better view. I don’t know how to swim (someday I’ll learn to, promise) but I do love the ocean. Gim and I spent a lot of the time outside taking pictures and we got sunburned. Huhuhu. But it was still fun, the wind slapping your hair and face and some of the surf spraying your body with salt from time to time. Yeah, that kinda sounded painful and gross. But trust me, it was fun.


Loboc River Cruise! It was my first time to cruise a river, much less eat in a floating restaurant! I was so excited I didn’t know what to focus on, taking pics or eating. I kinda did both simultaneously most of the time, and I don’t recommend that. It was messy. But messy = fun! Loved the lush green views and loved all the novelty of it.


Yummy food! Our floating restaurant was an eat-all-you-can buffet! The food was not the tastiest (some dishes weren’t, some quite good), but I don’t think I tasted it much ‘coz I wolfed down all my food as fast as I could so I could also take some pics. The cruise was so so short – only an hour. I wish it had lasted longer.


After the cruise, my boyfriend and I walked around Loboc trying to find things to amuse ourselves. This was, after all, the Do-It-Yourself tour. (We didn’t have a ride.) We found this leaning tower of Loboc, right in front of the Loboc Church. But the clock doesn’t work anymore.


We explored the Loboc Museum, which was connected to Loboc Church. I don’t think there was a guide available because the cashier toured us around and let us take pictures of everything. (Isn’t that prohibited in most museums?) Obviously, I was giddy with the chance! The museum harbored lots of religious artifacts like statues of Jesus, scribes of the old monks, and original robes of the Virgin Mary. It was an enjoyable experience.

After the museum, we went up to Carmen by bus and visited the chocolate hills. I was tempted to throw a temper tantrum because they were *green* and not dark brown. But the guides explained that they only turn brown in the summer. I really couldn’t fault my Gimmi that, so I decided to enjoy myself instead.

After Bohol, Gim and I went back to Dapitan for a rest and the following day, tracked home to Zamboanga. Though our trip lasted only a few days, we had a total blast and so far, that was the best adventure we’d ever had. :-)

I have soooo many more pictures but I’ll post the links next time around. :-)

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Dakak Resort Experience

Posted on 16 May 2006 by Flisha

It’s not everyday one goes to a beautiful white sand beach. We were thrilled the week we got to go twice.

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.

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Dakak, Here I Come!

Posted on 10 April 2006 by Flisha

I’ve had it! I am NOT taking it anymore! This separation MUST stop! I am reuniting with that errant little child and once I see him, I am going to kick his supple little bottom!!!

And I am going to take a nice long vacation while at it, too.

The boy thinks he can fool me, says he’s spending summer away from me to play doctor for a month in a poor little province somewhere in one of the forgotten crevices of the country.

Yeah, right. Dapitan is SO NO LONGER the same little old province Rizal was once exiled to. Check their website and see. Tourism is booming and the place is getting all snazzed up. (Sorry if I sound weird, chalk it up to my reading Terry McMillan.)

The point is, I’m jealous. And I’m not gonna sit here salivating over pretty pictures of islands, waterfalls, floating restaurants or even bump cars (so old school, I know, but we don’t have them here and I want them!).

I am going to Dapitan. And yes, I am going to Dakak Resort, Aliguay and Silinog Islands, Linabo Peak, Sunkilaw Waterfalls and even the Rizal Shrine, yes I am. Well, I hope.

So, have a peaceful Holy Week, everyone. Pray I don’t blow my entire life savings in the same week. (But if I do, Gimmi boy, don’t expect to be able to sit down in a month!)

P.S. These beautiful pictures come from Carribeviaggi. Dapitan may be getting prettier but its website hasn’t quite caught up yet.

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