it started with a conversation. i told amale i wanted to go to bellaroca in marinduque as i was fascinated with the way they patterned the resort's design with that of santorini, greece. i was drooling at the thought of taking pictures and probably spending half the cost if i really booked myself a trip to greece.
without missing a beat, she told me to head north of cebu and check out catmon and the resorts that line the coast for a close approximation of the Mediterranean look.
that got me curious and i was able to convince a couple of friends to book ourselves in huna huna, a resort right at the border of carmen and catmon, 47 kilometers away from cebu city.
the way amale described it, rooms face the camotes sea, lovely view of the sunrise, and rates that won't render you bankrupt. there are very few people whose taste i trust and amale is one of those.
we almost drove past the entrance of the resort that was situated right by the side of the road with a sign that was barely visible. when we got in, there was nothing that made me immediately think that the place was anything spectacular.
i first got a glimpse of the sea through a pathway framed by overgrown cacti that leads to a private viewing deck. from there it was mental ooohs and aahhhs as we saw the roof deck overlooking the bay where you can dine al fresco. paths wind through the property using bricks that lead us to our rooms in a structure done in predominantly white cement and accented by dark wood frames and metal railings.
|built on the side of the cliff|
the whole structure was built to wrap itself along the side of the cliff with natural pathways over an older installation that mimicked a worn down castle. instead of cutting the trees, the owners built around the natural foliage and even added pockets of green in the property.
each room has a private veranda and windows that face the eastern sea, guaranteeing a lovely view of the sunrise for the early birds. the rooms are limited with 6 airconditioned units and huts set on rock platforms all over the place.
|wake up to a gorgeous sunrise|
|castle-like old structures|
there is no beachfront although you have access to the water via steps that invite you to jump into the water. set on rock slates, the water doesn't have the treacherous drop found in the southern coastline and allow you to walk further before you go and enjoy a swim or snorkel with colorful fish that swim in and out the corals.
|seaside view from the rooms|
when you've taken your fill of the sun and water, reserve the roofdeck for a candlelit dinner bathed in moon glow as you take in the amazing view of lights that dot the coast line. the properties beside the resort literally represents a hodgepodge of expats who found their piece of paradise in catmon. chinese, japanese, american, pinoy - owners of the properties adjacent to the resort have taken their lots and developed it.
if you're lucky, the australian owner of the resort will send over glasses of wine to go along with your dinner. make sure to pre-order your food early in the morning to ensue that they have enough time to buy fresh ingredients from the market. we had calamares, grilled squid, porkchop, chicken and an amazing tangigue kinilaw served for dinner.
you can sleep in late but for those who appreciate the beauty of nature, wake up early to catch an amazing sunrise show guaranteed to warm your heart.
|roofdeck, overlooking the bay. make sure to reserve the spot for your dinner|
aside from hunahuna, make sure to plan for a trip to the hot springs up the mountains of catmon and take an amazing river trek that ends with a dip in the cool waters that form a pool at the basin of a waterfall. if you don't fancy such strenuous exercise, you can stay in the hot spring pool that has sulphuric water - the anti bacterial and anti fungal properties of sulphur will leave your skin glowing.
and if you think that this is such a huge production number, catmon is only 47 kilometers away from the city, roughly an hour of driving, the food is very affordable and the rooms priced just right. We got our rooms for Php 2,000 a night good for two with breakfast.
|an amazing and lovely vista|
do explore the option of buying your food along the way from danao fishport as you can grill your own food in the resort. if that is too much of a hassle, the resort offers a good but limited array of dishes for your choice. don't be afraid to ask for dishes that are not in the menu.
it bears to remember that there is so much to discover in the philippines, and in this case, right in my own "backyard". enjoy your trip :)
Huna Huna Resort, Catmon, North-East Cebu
45 Kilometers from Cebu City, approximately one hour drive
Look for Beverly for your reservations
0917 371 9741
|make your acquaintance with dash and d2, black labrador retrievers that run around the resort|
|standing guard and waiting for the folks to come back|
|contemplating a swim - aren't they adorable?!|