Even the most tropical of places aren’t spared from the occasional storms, but what’s a little rain to take away the fun of discovering an island destination? The beauty of Sumilon Island proves that it can stand the test of weather.
It won’t be easy but it will be worth it, I thought, staring apprehensively at the furious waves crashing on the mainland’s shore, Sumilon Island barely visible against the horizon.
An understatement—the weather was uncooperative. Any notion that the Philippines was a tropical country disappeared along with the sun. Dark clouds loomed over the skies, bringing down rain that never stopped, not even for a minute, on the two-and-a half hour trip to Oslob.
Reaching the docking point for Sumilon Island only led to the discovery that there was another force of nature to be reckoned with—the strong winds responsible for the waves that were sure to make the 15-minute boat ride to the island a rough journey.
Still, the ominous conditions did not deter this writer. The rain dwindled to a light drizzle during the boat ride, finally ceasing for the moment upon arriving at Sumilon’s famous shifting sandbar—a temporary docking point that was safer in this weather, as opposed to the usual port that leads straight to the resort.
In this case, it took a ten-minute walk along a path before finally reaching the charming Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, the only establishment in Sumilon Island. Bluewater Resorts opted to develop only 20% of this 24-hectare coral island. The natural beauty of the island, complimented with the world-class amenities and distinct Filipino touch standard to the Bluewater Resorts brand, make Bluewater Sumilon the ideal island getaway.
The island’s pavilion was a welcome sight after the brief trek. In better weather conditions, it offers a stunning view of the sea and of mainland Cebu, but at that point, the view was obscured by native blinds that still went well with the pavilion’s look, while keeping guests warm and dry. Besides serving as the reception area for the resort, it also houses a library where one can borrow and read books, and a small gift shop.
More importantly, the pavilion doubles as the hotel restaurant, serving a small yet impressive array of local and international dishes. The sojourn to Sumilon was arduous, and finally reaching the destination called for some food. Lunch was Nasi Goreng—Indonesian fried rice topped with fried egg, served with pork and chicken satay, barbecue chicken wings, bean sprouts and prawn crackers. It was bursting with flavor, creating a great first impression about the food served at Bluewater Sumilon.
Past the pavilion is Bluewater Sumilon’s lagoon shaped infinity pool, almost as iconic as the island’s shifting sandbar. The pool’s still waters create an interesting contrast against the choppy waves of the sea—a tempting alternative for those who want to swim and are willing to brave the cold. The resort also has a Jacuzzi, located a few steps down the pool.
Bluewater Sumilon offers several types of accommodations. Just beyond the pool are 14 deluxe rooms and 10 premiere deluxe rooms, each with its own private veranda with a view of the sea. The rooms are decked in neutrals, complimented with warm lighting and wooden furniture. Splashes of blue on the linens give the place just the right hint of color. the overal effect is understatedly luxurious, yet comfortably homey.
On the opposite side of the pavilion lie the more exclusive villas. At the moment, Bluewater Sumilon has two honeymoon villas and one family villa. Although their décor is consistent with the other rooms, the villas hold the distinction of each having their own private dipping pool. The villas are also in the perfect position to witness the sun rise in the mornings.
For the more adventurous guests, Bluewater Sumilon offers the experience of enjoying the great outdoors in style with glamping— glamorous camping. Apart from tent accommodations, glamping packages include full-board meals, in-tent mini bar, island camp activities, and a camp assistant to cater to every need.
Yet with everything that Sumilon has to offer, it’s impossible to just stay in the rooms, no matter how comfortable Bluewater’s accommodations are.
Explore the island on foot by following the trails that lead to Sumilon’s landmarks, including the natural lagoon, the lighthouse, the historic watchtower or baluarte, and the Yamashita caves. The path also showcases some spectacular views of the sea, especially from the highest points of the island.
Sumilon Island is home to the first marine sanctuary established in the Philippines. Discover the vibrant underwater life through snorkeling, or get up close and personal with the tropical fish with a scuba diving adventure. The island’s natural lagoon is also something worth exploring. Steer a kayak through the high mangrove trees, or have a hand at fishing. For a truly one of a kind adventure, Sumilon’s proximity to the town of Oslob means guests can try the famed whale shark watching.
After so many adventures, it’s all but fitting to relax, and Bluewater Sumilon offers several options to do so. There’s afternoon tea, beach picnics, lounging at the payag-payag, and romantic private dinners. Bluewater also brings their trademark Amuma Spa to Sumilon. The spa’s offerings, combined with the serenity of the location, make for a truly blissful experience.
The beauty of Sumilon is something that can’t be defined by anything, not even the weather. While the iconic image of Sumilon is sparkling turquoise waters blending with clear skies, it’s stunning to see how the steel grey skies make the waters bluer than ever, living up to the resort’s name. Sumilon has a lot of things to offer, and rain or shine bring different experiences to explore and enjoy all of them.
- by Patty Taboada
- photography Mike Jo
Experience authentic Korean Barbeque at Da-In Restaurant
Filipinos are crazy for Korean barbecue. As such, there are a lot of places that are offering Korean barbecue. But Da-In restaurant isn’t just one of those restaurants.
Located in Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu, Da-in restaurant is a joint project between the Creative Cuisine Group and Da-Won restaurant. With state-of-the-art grilling stations in each table and various Korean cuisines ready to be served, Da-In would surely sate your Korean barbecue cravings without any hassle.
Visit Da-In restaurant today!
Head Up North, Where A Relaxing Escapade is in Store at Maayo San Remigio
On your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a relaxing escapade awaits.
Oftentimes, when it comes to deciding the next travel destination, the Northern part
of Cebu is overlooked in favour of its Southern end. The South boasts of sunny beaches,
cascading waterfalls and the popular whale sharks who have made its waters their home.
While these are beautiful aspects that the South has to offer, the North is just as—if not
more—abundant in offerings. The North’s natural scenery is relatively untouched, and on top
of that, it’s less likely to be flocked by tourists.
This means more opportunities for a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the
city. The roads heading North are long and winding, yet the beauty that lies at the end of the
journey proves that the trip is worth it. Knowing that, where does one go in the North?
Hidden away in the northern part of Cebu, Maayo San Remigio is a haven for those
who seek peace and serenity, making it an alluring abode for a sojourn on the island.
Approximately a 3-hour drive from the city, the resort grants access to a tropical
retreat with a captivating beachfront setting—a charming destination away from the daily
hustle. Whether on its fine white sands and blue waters or inside the cozy rooms, Maayo
San Remigio is a delight to local and foreign tourists alike.
A newly-opened resort under Maayo Hotels flagship, Maayo San Remigio is a
destination that guarantees a refreshing, laidback experience, sure to wash away the worries
you brought with you from the city.
It’s equipped with a mix of luxurious relaxation and wellness, fun and entertainment,
and enticing wining and dining options. This Caribbean-inspired resort is a serene hideaway
on a lush slice of tropical paradise with emphasis on ultimate comfort and exclusivity.
The resort’s location makes it doubly precious; scattered throughout the resort
grounds are viewing areas that grant you access to the sunset. Watch the sun sink down the
horizon by the infinity pool, on the beach’s shoreline, or atop the cliffside with the waves
crashing below. When night falls, the stars come out to dance across the clear skies, making
for an unparalleled stargazing experience.
Maayo San Remigio blends authentic Cebuano hospitality with its tranquil
atmosphere and exceptional design. Its well-appointed rooms and villas ensure a relaxing staycation, while its thoughtful amenities and facilities evoke a feeling of belonging in
paradise. The resorts brings the culinary excellence that is found in the Maayo Hotels brand,
creating palate-pleasing Filipino dishes with a modern twist. Complemented by the resort’s
wide menu of drinks—from juices to cocktails to shakes—one will truly enjoy a stay here.
So on your next trip out of the city, head up North to Maayo San Remigio, where a
relaxing escapade awaits.
Restaurateur Kate Anzani Shares Her Food & Wine Journey in Italy
No one has heard of vineyards and beaches within 30 minutes distance, but it exists in Rimini. Kate Anzani shares her itinerary from her recent Italy trip. f
by Kate Anzani
The Emilia Romagna region in Italy is the Capital of Food and D.O.P (Dominazione di Origin Protteta) This goes for wine, Parmesan, Balsalmic and Olive Oil (They take it very seriously).
We chose RIMINI which is by The Spiaggia for the beach vibe and summer fun. Rimini is the base for 7 days. You’ll be surprised at the terrain of Rimini – no one has heard of vineyards and beaches within 30 minutes distance. But in Rimini it exists. As days ahead form into a journey of stomping and strolling vineyards, Olive Oil haciendas , Boat Safaris , long “Spiaggia” walks, Parmesan Caves, Balsamic Bottegas, Cheese Pits and Truffle bunting & where you stumble upon the true meaning of “Artiginale” . Only found in the region ; the Food and Wine Journey of Anzani will stay active for the season between June to September yearly .
Rimini is a fun base to set the tone for a week of extraordinary pleasures. The goal is not to indulge, but to awaken a sense of palate that has been inhibited. We promise an unearthing of happiness, love and a sense of pleasure that the Italians have lived for years. We needed to share it with you. The Love for Food & La Dolce Vita.
Day 1 Arrivals
Because of trans-Atlantic and International flights, day of Arrival/pick up from Milan into Rimini. Pace yourself as you arrive in your chosen hotel
Day 2 Enio Ottaviani Winery & Nona’s Kitchen Cantina
The WINERY of ENIO OTTAVIANIFirst impressions of the vineyard is truly a sense of HOME. It is a small artisan Vineyard, (14hectares 🥰) where you allow yourself to breathe it all in. Life is slower and more delicate. Stroll vineyards by the River. You will understand the vineyard lies on the Rubicone River where the earths minerals transfer to the grape. To result in such a unique flavor in the mouth.
You start meeting Massimo, Davide, the cousins & the family who welcome you in their home vineyard for over four generations. Prepare to allow surprises and Life to happen. Tastings, Chemistry, Viticulture, Life talk, & unique Stories.
Wear slip on’s as you leave the Hotel to mark the real beginning of leisure. Groggily grab Italian espresso “Un cafe” & Cornetto Italian style and get whisked to the Marina Port of Rimini to step into a 16 foot catamaran. The state of luxury and ease of this boat sets all expectations out the window as one peels the layers of stress, anxiety and worry out the water. Prosecco and Olives are a staple for water landings.
Followed by a degustatory LUNCH IN one of the seaside restaurants in the Spiaggia. You find yourself lost in the Italian Life. We finished dessert at 4. So lounging in The Beach is The alternative. And then by 5. It’s happy hour time.
Day 4 Bottega Artiginale , Parmesan, Balsalmic , Ferrari , Spritz
Prepare your palate to begin the morning with a stop at an old pastry house that leaves you staring at their pastry counter. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe. The choices will leave you with a foot in toe!
You head to the town of Modena (1.5hours) and arrive at the Parmesan Vault. See how all the Cheese is made. Then cross over to meet Fredericka to experience Food Alchemy with Balsalmic Vinegars. It’s so interesting, we’ve wondered if this was the true aphrodisiac.
Lunch is served silver service in the cellar with a tasting lunch of Artisan curation . Lunch ends at 3:30. And you gather up the energy to head to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. This short stop revs up the speed in you and the muscles in the man. A quick pit stop in one of the towns shops to bring home a souvenir or drive one in the test courts.
Day 5 STAMPI & Agriturismo
Arrive in a unique small village so artiginale and quaint, extremely amazing creativity. We ended up buying soaps and unique ouds while others got lost in their pictures .
The village leads you to small alleys and walkways until you stop in a real Bottega STAMPI . A 4th generation , unique Leonardo da Vinci printing on everything. From tablecloth, towels, napkins, pillows. So unique and a lost art in the new culture of technology. A worthwhile stop.
12:30/ Meet MILENA and Marina
Two cooking laughing Italian Mama turned goddess of wine. They will lead you to create with them 3 dishes. Their specialty is Piadina and will teach you real tagliatelle with stroprezzi.
Allow the surprise of the day to unravel. As you sparkle with sparkling wine, find the legs of the red and muster your flexibility in pasta flexing. And go around the Agriturismo, learn about their jams, wines and passito. Day will end so happy you won’t be walking straight
Day 6 Fossa Cheese Casefico & Olive Oil Agriturismo
The day starts at 3:30. Choose to lay out in the beach of the hotel in the morning and do nothing but touch the sand, walk the beach, some chose to exercise by the beach with this Italian instructors urging you to move.
Afternoon cafe, come-walk to the old village where the Casefico Pitt is housed. A very interesting affair with cheese and how they store it in the PITT. Cheese tastings. And shopping stops over honey, cherry jam, walnut liquor, passito or pistachio liqueur. Just unimaginable display of creative food display.
Head to the sprawling hacienda of Cleto. The Olive oil visionary explodes with dignified pride as he walks you to the olive groves urging you to hug or sit under a tree to purify your soul. It’s magic the olives. He walks you through a proper olive tasting , to distinguish grade.
You finish your day on a sunset overlooking what looks like Tuscany. The breathtaking view takes your words as you sit on this bliss of a beautiful life. Dinner is served. Clerks wife cooks and comes out with dishes that roll of the tongue but found in their garden. And on their farm
Day 7 Truffle hunts and tastings
Truffle hunts. Need we say more? Follow the nose or follow your palate as the day translates to epicure to engulf a sense of strong flavor to only come from the truffle.
A beautiful tasting over oil, honey, a simple risotto or a white cheese takes tastings to another level.
This journey is available until September 2019. We find our journey is wholesome with minimum of 10 people & maximum of 12 people only
EU 1,250 per person
* Please email the tastemakers team firstname.lastname@example.org for suggested hotels and any questions for the itinerary. *