My recent trip to Mantangale in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental is a great breather, not just for me but for my friend, Paolette. It also came with a realization that we have a paradise somewhere near and I can still appreciate travel, though if it is not in other major Philippine islands or even abroad. I can be even proud about the place I call home with both its unique features and humble flaws.
We stayed at Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort, a resort known for its pristine, blue-green waters, white sand beach and cool, cheek-kissing breeze. For me, what I appreciate about the place aside from its rich offering to beach-lovers is its vast display of green trees of different sorts surrounding the resort. It made me feel like I am also at the mid of the forest or somewhere in the mountain area or at the heart of a laid-back village where no one knows me. Having limited visitors allowed to stay is a bonus because it means no crowd at all. It kept us from noise, and instead, let us hear specifically the splash of waves and cheerful laughter and soft squeaks of kids playing while swimming in the pool.
I have been through so much challenges for the past few weeks, plus the requirements before the semester-end and it felt like I need this mini day out. Thanks to Pao for her itchy feet of needing to travel, I was able to ride along.
During the night we arrived in the Mantangale, we enjoyed night swimming. The hotel staff was kind enough to extend the pool hours a little bit for us since we entered near closing time. Prior to that, we planned to take sunset photos but to no avail we started the roadtrip at late afternoon and it also rained while on the road. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the activity we had. I was also able to do my long-planned “me time” before I went to bed. Pao was so annoyed, but I don’t care. She had no choice but to eat that baked sushi she ordered before the trip. (LOL.) The baked sushi was delicious! I took a long hot shower, listened to my relaxing mindfulness music and went to have Korean mask over my stressful face. It also rained overnight. Though it interrupted my sleep and made me feel nostalgic, it was a great overnight in entirety.
In the morning, I tried to chase sunset by the beach but it was cloudy. Paolette was anxious I woke her up so, so early, only to know there was no sun!
Being in the beach so early made the view be all ourselves. We took picture because I told her, “no picture, it never happened.” Just kidding. I felt it is also an opportunity to come up an article piece after so long. Mantangale also gives beautiful view and ideal backdrop for picture-taking having both Sipaka Heights and Island of Camiguin as background. It feels surreal!
We then took our breakfast by the pool. It was so nice seeing people even strangers once again, and even talking to them, mostly resort staff. I realized we took this communication for granted pre-pandemic not realizing our social being need such.
Thereafter, we went back to the pool for our picnic spread. Ha! Reading a book by the beach was first in Paolette’s bucketlist when she returned from work abroad and it turned out to be my photoshoot, she nearly charged me professional fee. Seriously, Pao brought a very nice book, I intend to read that when I visit her house once again.
We left the resort for another destination. I also discovered a lot of plants displayed along the resort’s pathway. It could be a great destination for all plantitas and plantitos out there for those beautiful greens are for sale.
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” — Michael Palin