The observations and updates of a foreign service family. Will post our travels here as we wander on our diplomatic adventure.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Stricklands are back from R&R!!

One of the many good things in the FS is the R&R!!
Banca ride to Boracay island.

Our R&R was spent entirely in the Philippines!! Claire and I left Cameroon first, Jeff had to stay until after the 4th of July festivities. Claire and I went to my hometown to visit granny and the rest of the family and relatives. Our little Claire had a great time meeting her cousins, and getting spoiled by everybody. She was even a flowergirl in two weddings! Jeff was able to make it in time for our village fiesta so I got to cook and meet up with old friends who stopped by our place for fiesta.
For our real vacation our first destination is Boracay Island!! Been to this island 8x and this time we stayed at Nigi Ngi Nu 'Noos resort located at boat staion 2. This resort is all native made cottages which is really beautiful.
Boracay Island is off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas region in Philippines. The Island has a dozen beaches and coves but our favorite is the white beach, a 3km long beach with powdery soft white sands and the crystal clear water is the main attraction. We met our old friend Victor, he is a local guy working as a bartender in Barracuda bar, now he's working at Victory Divers. We met Victor in 2003 when we first went to Boracay, so glad to see him again. The food there is great, lots of good restaurants...burgers, bbq, pizza, mexican, steaks, seafood of course! Lots of seafood buffets to choose from for dinner...all you can eat for $5! There's also a place near the wet market where you buy your fish or shrimp or whatever, then you give it to the restaurant and they cook if to order for you...grilled, steamed, fried, anyway you want. Our favorite is coffee and cheesecake at Cafe del to Aria. Anything you want to eat, it's there! We did Island hopping, snorkling, swimming everyday rain or shine the water is still great to swim. Lean season runs from May to October because of habagat (rainy) season in Philippines, but whatever season you're going you will still have a great time there. Jeff and I are pampered with massage almost every other day, just $7 for 1 hour. We went sailing and the boatman took us to Balinghai a secluded or private beach with a bar sorrounded by cliff. When you order food or drinks, you write it in a piece of paper and put it in the basket then pull the string and up the basket will go to the restaurant high above the cliff, they also have cottages that sit on the rock atop the steep cliff...maybe we'll stay there next time. One of the best things we did while in Boracay was play golf at Fairways and Bluewater resort...they call this course the golfing jewel of the pacific. World class 18 hole par 72. We started at the back nine, it's more hilly but less hazards with a spectacular view of the ocean, front nine is fairly flat with plenty of water favorite is hole 4 because I made par. Jeff and I really had so much fun on that course. We played 18, tee off at 9am. the green fee is quite expensive but we had a 50% discount courtesy of the resort where we are staying and did I say that all thier caddies are female. Our last couple of days on the island we did some scouting of property saw some...from house and lot, condo to just a parcel of land. on Boracay are so pricey but all are nice with a panoramic view, the lot we looked at is quite tempting to buy...hmmm..will and lot and condo in Boracay is just ridiculously over priced...anyway the island still lovely to live in and retire.Two weeks on the beach is over. Time to leave the island and go to the City. We went to the oldest City in the Philippines, Cebu. I love Cebu more than Manila. Did a little...ok a lot...of shopping. The next day we did the Bohol day tour, took a supercat (fast boat) at 8am and already in Bohol by 0930. First stop is the place where Rajah Sikatuna, a datu or chieftain in the island of Bohol made a Blood Compact with the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. We also went to see one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines built by the Spanish in Baclayon Bohol. We had lunch at the Loboc River on a river cruise boat, and got the see the Tarsiers...they are in the smallest family of primates. We also went to the Chocolate Hills, very unique limestone formations. They are called chocolate hills because they look like Hershey's chocolate kisses! Then back to Cebu to watch a movie and eat at TGI Fridays! In Cebu we also went to see the 485 yrs old cross that is planted by Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan when he set foot on Cebu. Its not difficult to find your way there, the easiest is to take a taxi and will only cost $3 from anywhere in Cebu City..Cebu has a lot of interesting historical places that you can visit. We also had the chance to played golf at Mactan Island Golf Club. The course is inside the Benito Euben Airbase of the Philippine Air Force, an 18 hole Par 72 fairly flat but lots of hazards and the island green on hole 15 is really a challenge but Jeff did par. We had a great time in Cebu until Jeff has to go back to Cameroon, and Claire and I went back to my hometown.
And for the last part of my vacation in Philippines, Claire and I went back to Boracay, stayed at pito Huts and yes!!...we bought the property that Jeff and I like. It's a 540 sq.m piece of land on the hilltop about 5 mins ride to the white beach and it has a fantastic panoramic view overlooking the island and the jetty port. The spectacular view from the property is what made us decide to buy it and its now or never considering the price in boracay is increasing every year. Everything went smooth with the transaction. I got to meet and ate breakfast everyday with the whole family of the owner of the land and what a great family they are. We all meet up at the lawyers office, they all signed the deed of sale and then I handed the money to them. For three days I went back and forth from the resort where I'm staying to the lawyer's office to finish up some documents with Claire in tow...who says nothing but mommy let's go swimming please...The land that we bought.
Pretty much in 3 days I have the documents such as deed of sale, seller/buyer transfer, adjoining lot owner signed, and the sketch plan of the property and even finding a Geodetic engineer to survey the land area, I have it done. As soon as I have the deed of sale with me, I right away hire 2 guys to clean the land and fence it. I only have 5 days to deal with all of this stuff because I have a flight back to Cameroon. Owning a property in Boracay is one of mine and Jeffs ultimate dream, and until now that I'm back in Cameroon I still can't believe that we made our dream came true!! We are looking forward in building our dream beach house, should be 3 levels with a panoramic view in every room ohh yeah baby!! and it should be 90% native materials from the structure of the house to the furnitures and the master bedroom in the 3rd floor should have a 180 degree ocean view ahh..dream Maria dream...its free to dream anyway!! and oh if you have any querry about Boracay Accommodation or anything about the Island just feel free to ask me.

Fairway & Bluewater Golf Resort
the sky meets the ocean
Loboc River,BoholChocolate HillsTarsier in Bohol the smallest primates Mactan Island Golf Club


Royster said...

Hooray! The Stricklands are back in the blogosphere. Now... if they were just back in Cameroon!

Tell us more...

Philippines properties for sale said...

It is so great to have a property in there. So nice you had fun and enjoyed staying in cebu city. The place in there are really beautiful.

Paula M

Beachaddict said...

Hi Paula,

Buying Land in Boracay is our dream the lot we bought has spectacular view of the Panay Island and white beach, its quite expensive though but I guess its worth it. We love Cebu City more than Manila its like our second home in PI.

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