Sorry for being absent for a few days – we had the opportunity to take our first weekend trip outside of Manila. We ventured South to the island of Mindoro via a 4 hour car trip plus 1 hour boat ride. Despite the long travel time, it was a much-needed break from the chaos of the city. I now understand why Filipinos are so insistent that you get to the islands! Check out this video we captured showing our villa and the Frog races we participated in:
We were invited by some friends to join them for the weekend at this resort they’d heard about. The cost was incredibly reasonable and we were able to get in at the last moment (since it’s the low season), so off we went! Here are some of the many highs, coupled with a few of the lows:
High points of Coco Beach Resort:
- Beautiful scenery – no denying it. Just stunning! And great views from our room (see pictures below).
- Good food and lots of activity choices at the resort.
- Staying in an authentic bamboo hut.
- Having a “service family” that took care of us. There were 5 kids and a mom in our service family. This was a very unique concept, I thought. The family got to live there for free and have the opportunity to earn tips. In turn, they were our go-to people; they cleaned our room, brought us towels and water, put up our hammock and hauled our luggage down the hill. It made you feel more connected to the resort. The other thing I liked about it was that all of the children played together and you’d see them around the resort.
- Reasonably priced. $40/night per person + food and transportation.
- The massages. They were even cheaper than Manila and they were out in the open air where you could listen to the sound of the waves crashing. Impossible to pass up. I had two firsts this weekend: My first Shiatsu massage, an Asian-style massage similar to the Thai style I described last week, minus the stretching. Just lots and lots of pounding and pushing on pressure points. I actually think I’m starting to like that style more than Swedish. Who’d have thought?? The second day Nick and I both tried the Signature Massage – two glorious hours of massage for $22. Unbelievable. I’m glad I tried it, but the time period was actually a bit long for me. I’ve decided that 75 minutes is my optimal length.
- Participating in the frog races even though we lost! Poor General MacArthur couldn’t get it done!
- The never-ending drive. It’s really not that far distance-wise but the traffic just CRAWLS.
- The snorkeling trip. The current was too strong and we were hounded by locals in boats trying to sell us things. It reminded me of the mexican beaches, except the peddlers came on boats. There were about 10 of them surrounding our boat. It got old fast and they didn’t go away the entire 2 hours we were there.
- It was really rustic – I would have enjoyed a hot shower and a few less bugs. Those are the trade-offs though, I guess. It definitely felt authentic.
All in all, a great trip. Make sure and check out the full set of photos on SMUGMUG.