Davao City has long been known for its mountains and beaches; local and foreign tourists have sought the embrace of its comforting arms from the bedlam of decaying cities like Metro Manila. But beyond the usual destinations and the proverbial beaten path are a few pleasant surprises. Resurgent contributor Reicza Olojan takes us to one of them.
When we go through life, it’s inevitable that we travel through some rocky roads. The ride can leave you feeling unsettled, unsure if life will eventually get better in the future. I’m in one of those places right now, a stage of life where everything seems to go wrong. It looks like life is a cacophony of sounds which doesn’t make sense at all.
It felt like everything was falling apart. My family (both my dad’s and mom’s side) had problems to deal with, and it was a rude awakening. Nothing is infallible, not even the connections that you think are strong enough. Everything fails at some point, particularly at the face of great suffering, like the loss of a loved one.
Aside from the family problems, I also had to deal with my relationship. We had arrived at that point in our 27-month affair where we disagreed all the time. We discuss things in our lives, but those things never seemed to find an intersection. It felt like we were always running at parallel roads; running together but never seeing a common point where we could meet each other’s needs.
With all of these problems piling up, getting distracted was not an option. My job requires my brain to function every day (I write for a living), and distractions mean that I can’t write good articles. I couldn’t afford to get in trouble with my job as well, so I had to push myself to go to work and to function normally. It did get to a point where I felt like I needed a break from everything. I remembered a local resort which caught my attention a while back, and I made the necessary arrangements. I wasn’t sure if this plan would work, but I had to try.
We traveled to Davao Bamboo Sanctuary and Ecological Park, located in Malagos, Davao City. A shuttle will take you to the resort, and you have to pass through some narrow roads to get there, but their experienced drivers assure your safety. The park itself covers 3.5 hectares of land and is home to 26 varieties of bamboo. Its main attraction is a giant dome designed by Architect Ed Viacrucis, the creator of the durian dome in People’s Park. The dome is a breathtaking sight which you can’t find anywhere else in the city.
Before we got to explore the rest of the place, the marketing manager, Chelo Lorise Quilaton, approached us. She apologized for the delay in picking us up from Calinan. A big group was traveling with us, and we couldn’t fit in the van, so we had to wait for the shuttle to come back for a second trip. She gave us free access to the kayak and archery activities, and she even threw in a free cabana for our convenience. We thanked her for all the freebies that we received. It made us feel welcome and valued as first-timers in the resort.
A trip to this resort starts off with an orientation. It’s not common for most resorts to have this, but it was a refreshing part of the whole experience. Chelo talked about the place’s humble beginning, and how it isn’t merely a resort; it’s a place for nature to thrive. You won’t find any of the usual amenities like a zip line because the management wants to preserve the ecological aspect of the resort. It’s a place where you can relax without the usual human-made distractions. She also discussed the uses and importance of bamboo to the environment.
We proceeded to the cabana after the orientation. The cabanas are clean and comfortable for guests. We left our things, assured of the in-house security. Lunchtime came, and we feasted on a scrumptious buffet of seafood, meat, and vegetables.
We also checked out the pool (with bamboo designs), which was full of clean and flowing spring water. It lacks the usual pungent smell of chlorine, which makes you want to take a refreshing dip or swim. The cold water will leave you shivering for a while, but it’s relaxing for the body. It will take away your stress, and leave you feeling peaceful as you enjoy the sounds of nature around you.
We also tried out the kayak, which was fun because the fish in the water kept following us. You can also fish in the pond for a small fee, and the staff will serve the fish in your cabana or cottage. We went to the pool again after the kayak ride and stayed there until late afternoon.
Overall, it was a great experience. The staff and management will cater to your needs; all you have to do is approach them. The place is very peaceful, bereft of the city noises that we hear daily. It’s also filled with plants and bamboo species, so enjoy the fresh air while you’re there. Let the clean spring water drain the stress out of your body, and entertain yourself with some of the additional amenities.
True, the resort is reasonably young since they officially opened last year. However, the management is visibly trying to improve the place to cater to the comfort of their clients. I went to this place to look for peace, and peace is what I got. If you’re stressed with your daily life and you’re looking for a quick escape, Davao Bamboo Sanctuary and Ecological Park is the perfect place to recharge your energy.