LEISURE travel took the backseat when the world was left with no choice but to take the Covid-19 ride.
But after a year since the pandemic erupted, it is unwise to not reopen tourism. It is hurting the economy and is putting many individuals working in the tourism ecosystem jobless. Of course, we need to take extra precaution and consider a lot of things to keep tourism safe amidst the pandemic.
As the Inter-Agency Task Force now gradually reopens the country’s tourism doors, here are few of the spots in Davao Region that tourists and locals can check and enjoy responsibly:
Camp Bernardino de Lavigan
This is your ultimate Pacific destination. Located in a rising tourism magnet -- Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental -- this resort offers a glamping experience by the sea.
I visited this resort in December 2020, it was a good way to end the year. I had a smooth and wonderful experience here as beyond the view it offers, their staff are also well-trained and very responsive to guests. Camp Bernardino also accepts day tour visits.
For requirements and rates, kindly check https://web.facebook.com/campbernardino/
This island is one of my favorites in the region and you’ll understand why once you set foot on.
This island resort is, yes, expensive, but you’ll get the value for your money with so much to experience here. Just imagine owning an island with clear and pristine waters, fine white sand beach, good food, friendly staff, and amenities.
The eight-hectare island (during low tide, four-hectare on high tide) is also a remarkable diving destination because it is a marine sanctuary.
I had the chance to revisit Island Buenavista in Barangay Balet, Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) last week when they invited me to join and witness the inspection and assessment of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for their application to offer staycation during a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) - the current quarantine classification of Igacos.
But better things are coming for Samal as Mayor Al David Uy confirms last week that the IATF has allowed tourism activities back in operations starting March 1, 2021 of course with limitations and strict compliance of the health safety protocols.
For its reopening announcements very soon, kindly check their Facebook page regularly for updates: https://web.facebook.com/theislandbuenavista
Pearl Farm Beach Resort
When you are looking for a luxurious resort experience in Davao Region, Pearl Farm Beach Resort is always the place to be.
It’s currently the lone five-star-rated resort in the region and what it offers is truly Mindanaon.
We stayed here to welcome the Chinese New Year earlier this month and we got lucky as there were only few guests who checked-in that time. We got to enjoy and cherish our stay inside the resort’s Samal House with an awesome view of the turquoise beach waters, we even swam with the fishes.
What I appreciated most during our stay was the resort’s guarantee that you are safe while on vacation because they’re very strict with observing health protocols and even required an antigen test before guests are allowed to check in.
Check what you need to prepare when staying in Pearl Farm here: https://web.facebook.com/PearlFarm
Aloha Beach House Mati
This is a new place tourists should check when in Mati City, Davao Oriental. During the first week of January this year, I had the chance to visit this new resort; and it’s laidback, relaxing, and best for family or friends’ reunions.
It is a private house near the beach with guest houses that offer ultimate privacy.
I highly recommend Aloha Beach House Mati if you are looking for renting a whole place with a pool and near a beach at a friendly and relatively affordable price.
Check their page for requirements and bookings: https://web.facebook.com/ALOHA-BEACH-HOUSE-MATI-107273264562688
Zion: Hidden Garden Jacuzzi Hill
I’ve been wanting to visit this place even before the pandemic. Finally I got to experience the place even just for a few hours last January. Of course, just like all resorts and tourism sites under the new normal, you have to book first before you’re allowed entry.
We tried their afternoon tea and jacuzzi party. And I regret why it took me so long to visit this place - it’s relaxing, and the nature and city view - city lights, Mt. Apo, and the Davao Gulf are perfect.
If you have no plans of trying their jacuzzi, this place located at Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City also offers dining services and overnight accommodation.
Check this for more details https://web.facebook.com/HiddenGardenJacuzziHill
Malagos Garden Resort
For a safe nature adventure and staycation, Malagos Garden Resort in Brgy. Malagos, Calinan, Davao City is my go-to place.
It is a 12-hectare inland nature themed resort that offers a lot of new activities like birdwatching, farming, dining, and a lot more. It has also been a home to rescued and rehabilitated birds for years now.
The resort has also introduced to the public its newest residents - kois. You can enjoy sipping Malagos hot chocolate drink or munching its famous Humba with Malagos Chocolate while watching 109 kois at the newly spruced up lagoons adjacent to Koi Cafe, Viewdeck Cafe, and Roberto’s Garden Restaurant.
For details on how to visit the place, check https://web.facebook.com/malagosgardenresort
Those are six spots you can enjoy even during the pandemic. For as long as we follow the safety protocols and health standards, traveling in Davao Region or even around the Philippines can be safe and still be fun in the new normal.