Most renowned as a first class, private island resort, one can reach Buenavista Island (locally Ligid Island) by boat thru Ana Marina Resort’s pier from across Samal Island. In many cases, a speedboat brings the guests over where one can rent the whole island to oneself, and live a luxurious, exclusive stay of pampering away from civilization.
Once you step on the 4-hectare isle, the expanse of white sand beach and aquamarine sea sparkling under the sun amazes you. While air-conditioned villas, cottages, pavilion and a swimming pool provide the material comforts, one can’t help but feel the urge to run naked on the shore and just lie on the beach staring at the skies at night, being overwhelmed with such privacy. Waiters were very friendly and attended to us, providing us with buko juices and hovering unobtrusively in case any of us got the cramps, or something.
Tommy Inigo (manager of this JVA Group of Companies property) prepared a very delicious lunch for us because we had the production crew of SPORTS UNLIMITED with us. While hosts Jackie, Diane Castillejo and Marc Nelson were shooting scenes on the beach, I ended up covering the whole island alone taking pictures and forgetting about time! Since the island is also known for good dive sites, the group went for it while I befriended a nosy peacock that kept getting in my way during my photo shoots.
The long buffet table in the Pavilion offered fresh seafood, barbecue, pinaputok na tilapia, hito and other native dishes worth gaining the pounds for! I had a taste of sea urchins, “sea roaches” that I chewed like peanuts, and that very intriguing, funny shaped oyster shells which the locals call…um, er, “bilatbato” (don’t let me repeat it).
The best experience was enjoying a day of peace and relaxation, as I captured the best that my island can offer and showing it to the world. We left by speedboat ahead of the group, the seabreeze whipping at my face and hair. Ah, sarap! If it weren’t for pressing schedules waiting in the city, I would have loved to stay the night and just…I don’t know, run around naked across the shore and lie on the beach staring at the skies at night. (Yeah right, and the next day, locals will probably report sightings of a “beached whale”).
(Thanks to Sonny Dizon, Tommy Inigo and Tourism Director Sonia Garcia for the invitation. For reservations and inquiry about Buenavista Island, call Eden Nature Park booking office at the Matina Town Square, 296-0135)
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