One-stop place for fun, adventure-A A +A
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
FROM adults to children, from teenagers to young professionals, D'Leonor Inland Resort and Adventure Park has something for them.
"If they are looking for some fun activities or extreme adventures, or just to unwind themselves from the hassles of urban living, the resort is the place to visit," says Jules Melencion, the operations supervisor who is also the sales and marketing head.
This summer, people are expected to flock the resort as it is one of the few places in Davao City which has a huge wave pool. In a given time, the 4,000-square-meter pool can accommodate about 300 people. The deepest part is six feet while the shallowest area is one foot (where children can swim and have fun, too).
During our visit, we didn't have the time to go swimming. But my friend, travel writer and indie filmmaker Albert Egot Jr. had the opportunity of doing son. In his blog, he wrote: "We rushed to the wave pool area and the huge opening of the pool drawn awesomeness in our faces as we were so excited to take a dip and experience the man-made waves.
"Do not expect for the waves all the time," he added. "A siren will make noise telling the swimmers to prepare for the waves. The waves are not scary and big as we always think whenever we hear wave pool. But it is perfect for family bonding and groups outing."
From the wave pool, we went to the hanging bridge area. It is only 30 meters long but the height is 80 feet. It was used first to haul things from the zipline and cable car. But later on, some people requested to experience the thrill and excitement walking on a hanging bridge.
This led to the idea of putting up three more hanging bridges with a total length of 360 meters. We crossed the three hanging bridges and came to realize it was not that really frightful (maybe because of the harnessed we had placed in our hips?). "Only 10 people are allowed to walk per group," Melencion said.
When we were at the highest part of the adventure park, we saw some people doing zipline. It soars above ground and is 460 meters long, giving its riders an excellent view of the surrounding trees and green scenery below.
When asked why it has a zipline when there are already existing ziplines in the city, Melencion replied, "We want to put everything in one place. We have the terrain so we decided to tap the terrain and put zipline. Also, our guests need not to go far to experience zipline themselves."
But what caught my attention was the mini-golf, which reminded me of that mini-golf I saw in Michigan. "Golf is one the favorite pastimes of people," Melencion explained. "So, the owners decided to make for our visitors to practice golf at night or in the early morning." The mini-golf has nine holes and was designed the son of the owner himself, who is a golfer.
On our way back to where we had started, we rode in a cable car (it is 400 meters in length and can accommodate only four persons). It is the very first in Davao City, if not in Mindanao. "When the owner went to Singapore, she saw the site of Sentosa. So she decided to put a cable car here so Dabawenyos don't need to travel abroad just to experience it," Melencion said.
Just when we stepped out from the cable car, a shuttle service was passing. We rode and continued our tour. Among those we passed were a children's playground (with some cartoon characters) and the so-called Lantaw Dabaw park.
"A lot of kids of these days don't know our culture," Melencion explained. "We built Lantaw Dabaw so these children will know who we are and where we came from. We placed some of icons which Davao is noted for like Mount Apo, waling-waling, durian, and Philippine eagle."
Although there is no real Philippine eagle in the resort, it has a zoo. Among the animals you can see are Burmese phyton, freshwater crocodile, leopard cat, Malayan civet, monitor lizard, palm civet, ostrich, Philippine monkey, Philippine deer, and Philippine wild pig. There are also different kinds of birds: brahminy kite, crested myna, emerald dove, Indian pond heron, Lady Amherst's pheasant, Mindanao writted hornbill, pied pigeon and turtle doves.
The resort has even a surf ride near the amusement park. "Most people these days don't go to the beach just to swim and eat. They tend to do some water activities like surfing. Before going to Siargao (in Surigao) or Dahican Beach (in Mati City) and experienced real waves, they can practice their balance here," Melencion said.
The resort also has sports amenities like badminton, tennis, and basketball court. Likewise, it has a 3-storey hotel, a club house, a fish pond, a fishing area, a 600-step stairs, several buildings for commercial use, and a family picnic area with a stunning view of Mount Apo.
The resort, named after its owner, had its soft opening last May 14, 2011. "We still didn't have the grand opening yet because we are still finishing all the establishments and other amenities," Melencion said, adding that they are now 92 percent finished.
The 42-hectare resort (although only 36 hectares are developed) is located in Purok 5, Barangay Communal, Cabantian, just a 15-30 minute ride from downtown area; it is a 10-minute ride from the Davao International Airport in Sasa.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 13, 2013.