RR Spring Resort Revisited

The family and I visited RR Spring Resort during the Christmas holidays.

As usual, the trip from Davao to Maramag, Bukidnon is a treat to the senses. Despite the on-going road repairs, the cool weather and the view made up for the inconveniences brought by the bumpy ride in some places.

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Check in was at 3pm. But we arrived earlier than expected. So we proceeded to their nature park overlooking Lake Pulangi, rented a table and had a late lunch there.

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Yes, we brought our own food, specifically to have a picnic under the pine trees. More importantly, RR Spring Resort management allows their clients to bring food. Perfect for a large group who prefer to bring “baon” or cook their own food.

An hour or so later, we were informed that our cottages were ready. The hubby and I stayed in a bungalow type cottage which can accommodate 2 to 4 people. While the family stayed in a van type accommodation which can sleep 10 people. And comes with its own lawn , picnic table and dining area. For Php2,800.00 per night, we found that cheap.

And oh, the bungalow cottage comes with breakfast for 2.

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Things to do at RR Spring Resort:

A) The main attraction of this resort is their 8 swimming pools. We like to stay overnight because we prefer to use the pools early in the morning when the water’s been changed and very few people have used it yet. Day trip users don’t arrive until 10 a.m. Hence, from 5 to 9:45am , the pools are ours. Not crowded, not dirty yet. Perfect!

With my sister here. At their 3 ft deep swimming pool. Oh please, do not laugh. 🙂 In our defense, we do not know how to swim. ha ha

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The large kiddie pool.

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B) As mentioned above, picnicking at the Pine Tree Park. Why not? 🙂 It is cool. It has beautiful views. It is shaded. It is breezy. And again it is cool. 🙂 If you’re from the Philippines, then you know how humid the weather can get. So a cooler temperature is such a welcome get-away from our daily 34’c weather.

 

Perfect for photo ops. img_9622

As a playground too…

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Tambayan. 🙂img_9608

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C) The place is perfect for those who love photography.  Lake Pulangi is the resort’s backyard. It is to me, a very interesting subject because it has so many things to offer. Varying from the animals thriving there, the fishermen, the ever changing cloud formation that’s reflected on it, the colorful sky during sunset or sunrise, the birds, the trees….

I love lakes and this is so far the only lake that’s easy to get to in the Philippines. To me, that is.

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O di ba, parang hindi sa Pinas?! 🙂

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This picture reminds me of the lakes in Florida, where birds and other animals abound.

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D) Party with the family. It doesn’t have to be grand. With simple and ordinary food, a family dinner or breakfast becomes a great party when you are in good company. That’s the essence of a family get – away. Doing simple things. Together.

Dinner:   Marinated grilled pork chop. Grilled bangus, buttered chicken lollipop, watermelon, mangoes and pineapple. Yum!

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Breakfast:

Bacon. Hotdog. Scrambled eggs. Porkchop. Bulad bolinao and salmoniete. 🙂

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I mentioned earlier that our cottage came with free breakfast for 2 right? Here it is…

For the hubby, it came with bread. With jam and butter. Mine came with garlic rice. That’s typical Filipino breakfast – bacon and egg with fruit.

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E) Ponds.  Other than the pine tree park and the lake, they have fish ponds where one enjoys watching a school of  gold fish play.  Then a hito (catfish) and tilapia pond for fishing.

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Gentle reminder – please do not litter. I’ve seen the workers pick up soft drink bottles or cans. And other plastic wrappers. Let us be responsible travelers guys. Leave nothing but footprints please. It will be very sad if said plastic materials reach the lake. It will poison the fish and other living things thriving there. So please tell your kids , your nephews and nieces at this early stage to love our environment and protect them. How? By cleaning up and throwing away the garbage in the designated bins. You will find many of them all over the place.

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RR Spring Resort is located in Maramag, Bukidnon, Philippines.

Google map says it is 128 kms. only from Davao City. And travel time should only take 2 hours and 28 minutes. But with repair works and the bumpy roads in some areas, not to mention the winding road – give an additional 1 hour allowance to the trip.

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Road tripping is fun. So don’t worry. 🙂 There are so many things on the road that will catch your interest.

Locally known as “skylab”, this passenger motorcycle is used in the provinces to carry people from one point to another.

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Toploading. Yes, it is dangerous. But when you do not have a choice, this is most Filipinos do. Some of us, do it for fun. I can’t relate. But then again, I am lame. Sometimes. 🙂img_5086

 

For information purposes.  La Toscana can be found also in Buda. Before reaching Quezon, Bukidnon. This is an Italian restaurant which happens to be a favorite. Their food is good. So if you are hungry, try visiting this place. Coming from Davao it is on the left sideimg_5097

Look at the winding road. That’s where we just came from. 🙂

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Our highway sometimes become a drying area for cocoa seeds. he he

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And of course, stop to buy vegetables. I bought a lot of vegetables and root crops for P400.00 . At the market in Davao, that’s probably P1,000.00 already. 🙂

Okay, so if your feet are itching to go somewhere, try Bukidnon. And stay at RR Family Spring Resort.

Before I forget, sometimes there are guests who do not think. They sing at their heart’s content even late at nights. So just tell the guards about it and they will do something about it. Karaoke is allowed until 9pm only.

 

 

Lea C. Walker

 

 

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Lorelie Beach Resort

Lorelie Beach is a relatively new resort in Samal Island, Philippines. According to the staff that I talked to while we were there, they opened sometime in February of 2016. I haven’t heard of it. So it came as a surprise when I found it through agoda.com as I was searching for a beach resort in Samal.

Coming from Sasa Port, we took the Bangayan Ferry. Said trip only took 10 minutes. But prior to that, we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes. Visiting Samal Island these days can be tiring, specially over the weekend where an hour’s wait is pretty normal. It can be longer than that during holidays.

Upon reaching Babak Port, we took the Mambago B route. Check the map below for directions.

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There are signages along the way, so it is easy to find actually.

Lorelie Beach Resort is a small place. There are less than 10 rooms in a two storey building/house. So it is perfect for a family gathering. They only have about 50 meters of beach frontage. But it was more than enough for us. The place has an outdoor restaurant which serves good food. They also have a swimming pool.

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But the white sand beach looked more inviting,  so we never used their pool.

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We arrived past check in time. So our rooms were ready upon arrival. We decided to hide in our rooms while waiting for the scorching sun to fade a little. As I grow older, I noticed that I cannot stand the heat anymore.  I get burned easily too, even with sunscreen. So yes, better be safe than sorry. Hence, we started swimming around 4 in the afternoon already. In the meantime, some photo ops were in order. ha ha

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The Beach. Was not crowded. 🙂 That’s one of the good things about the place. It’s as if you own the place. We got lucky that day because there were only two groups in the resort. And they were about to leave as we started swimming. The water was clean. It was so clear we could see our feet at the bottom. I didn’t have many pictures though because the sky looked dark. But what we got was more than enough for family memories….

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The Food. We ordered Garlic Chicken. Chopsuey. Inihaw na Pork Liempo. And Bihon Guisado for dinner. All of them were good. We discussed of eating at Farmer’s V in Penaplata because we like their food there. But as it turned out, we realized that we made the right decision in ordering from their kitchen than going out.

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More Photo Ops while waiting for dinner. 🙂

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The place was so quiet during night time. I’m glad there was no videoke in the resort. And did not hear from the neighboring resorts as well. What gets to me sometimes are people from neighboring properties singing to their heart’s content late at night. It is irritating when you want to sleep already. Specially when they shout at the top of their voice and well, they cannot sing. It sounds like someone’s being killed while everybody’s listening. ha ha

We finally called it a night around 9pm.

DAY 2: 

Sunrise was great at the resort.  The sky was painted with a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors at first… 20161201_052158

And when the sun finally came out , it just felt glorious. Specially with the birds chirping. What an awesome way to start the day! 🙂

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Before breakfast, we decided to take a dip again while the sun isn’t that hot yet. 🙂

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FREE BREAKFAST:

Our booking came with breakfast. It consisted of either Fried Marinated Bangus or Corned Beef with fried rice. Fresh Fruit and Juice. For P2500 to 3,000.00 /night for a family room that can accommodate 4 people, I think it is cheap considering that it came with breakfast.

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The Resort.

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Papa,  enjoying the early morning view. 🙂20161201_060307

We left the resort around 10:00 am.  Time to go to work. 🙂 Yep, I was just waiting for the hubby to arrive so we can look at some properties. As you know, he is not a beach person. So he just stayed home and met us the next day.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to mix our work with pleasure….

And oh, would I come back here in the future? You bet, I would. Hopefully, it will still be the same as I remember it. And no loud videoke please….. 🙂

 

 

 

Lea C. Walker

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

May this season be filled with so much love and joy.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas…

God bless us all! img_8724-copy

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List Of Places To See In Banff National Park

My thought of this place is that when God showered natural beauty, he gave it all to Canada. Seriously!!! From glaciers to snow- capped  jagged rocky mountains, crystal clear blue lakes and waterfa…

Source: List Of Places To See In Banff National Park

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Road Trip 2016 – Podunk, Kentucky

Wikipedia describes Podunk as –   a term used in the United States to represent an insignificant place. While Merriam-Webster defined it as – a small, unimportant, and isolated town. An…

Source: Road Trip 2016 – Podunk, Kentucky

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Road Trip 2016 – Indiana to Mammoth Cave , Kentucky

The drive from Edinburgh , Indiana to  Cave City ,  Kentucky is a short one. It’s only about 3 hours via I-65 . We checked out early from Best Western Hotel because we went back to the nearby…

Source: Road Trip 2016 – Indiana to Mammoth Cave , Kentucky

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US 2016 – Chicago To Indiana

The distance between Chicago and Indiana is just 200 miles. Driving time is about 4 hours ,  depending on the traffic and the speed limit. We took I-294 / 94 and I-65 from the hotel to Indianapolis…

Source: US 2016 – Chicago To Indiana

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US 2016 – Manila to Chicago

I have been remiss on my blog again. The hubby and I am traveling as of the moment. Hence, the late entries. I apologize. We arrived Chicago earlier this month.  The temperature was 15’c (59&…

Source: US 2016 – Manila to Chicago

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Where The Philippine Peso Is Going

Below is the 10 year chart of the Philippine Peso against the US Dollar. In the trading world, all currencies are pegged against the dollar because it is considered to be the strongest currency in the world. Hence, when trading currencies, the basis always is the mighty USD.

So what does the chart below tells us?

If you notice, the trend is upwards. Meaning, depreciation of the Philippine Peso.

History shows that on 2013, it tried to break the 45/dollar mark. And almost touched the P49/dollar mark at the end of 2015.

There are so many reasons why the market moves, but normally, correction happens at the last quarter of the year. Traders are dumping their stocks/currencies valued in Philippine Peso in exchange of the US Dollar. Why, for profit, of course.

You bought the Philippine Peso earlier in the year at a lower price. So you sell it off at a higher price. A few weeks ago, I bought US Dollars at P46.50 and P46.80. Now, the price of the dollar is P48.20 .  If I sell today, I would be earning P1.70 pesos per One US Dollar. Imagine if you are trading in millions. How much would you earn now?

See that’s just how the market works. It is after all, buying and selling of currencies. You buy when it’s cheap. And you sell when you know you are going to make money out of it.

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That is what’s happening now. A year end correction. The investors are on a wait and see attitude until January 2017.

The news is making us believe that the Philippine Peso being at P48.00 against the US Dollar is bad. I would say, NO. That is not always the case. Let me explain why I say so.

One, our overseas workers, are happier this way. If they send $1,000.00 to the Philippines, it will now be valued at P48,200.00 which is way better than P46,000.00 in the past few months. This then means that come Christmas, money spending will be higher. The ordinary Filipinos will be able to celebrate more because now they can afford to. The local economy will be bustling with all the shopping going on.

Second, on a larger scale, our exporters will be happier as well. If you are an exporter of let’s say cocoa or banana and you are paid in US Dollars, imagine the difference on your income. For instance, even with 1 ton of local produce costing $10,000.00 – your P460,000.00 has just risen to P480,200.00 . See that isn’t bad right? Ask your exporter friends about this and tell me if they aren’t jumping for joy. 🙂

Third, we are looking for investors. That’s a fact. The Philippines need jobs. Hence, investors are a must. If I am an investor, tell me why would I spend my money on the Philippines when there are other Asian nations like China, Vietnam and Thailand? So, the bottom line is, a cheaper peso plus english speaking Filipino employees, is a win-win situation for us. If the investors monies will go a long way in a country, that’s where the investors go. It’s business my friends. Cheaper peso means better chances of getting international investors.

So no, let us not be afraid of what’s going on in the currency/stock trading world now. The correction is bound to happen. And it will bring us more good than harm.

To our importer friends, just hold on. You have been enjoying a cheaper US Dollar for quite sometime already. So let us be happy for our exporters for a few months. I just hope that you paid your US dollar debts already because if not, then that means more Philippine Pesos out of your pocket these days.

There’s a lot of resistance on the P49/dollar level. So it may have a difficult time breaking that. If it does, then we will be looking at the 2007 high of P50 per us dollar.

Honestly, I don’t like that because when I go to the US, my shopping money has lesser value there.

But you know, the world doesn’t revolve around me. 🙂 So that’s fine.

What’s important is that our OFW’s and Exporters are happy. Plus when the peace and order is better, Investors will come by the volumes.

I learned all these things when I worked as a Licensed Currency Trader. So yes, I know what I am talking about.

To all my Realtor friends, this means more investments from our OFW’s. I am excited!

And to our overseas workers and everyone earning in US dollar, enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marco Polo Revisited

Marco Polo is the nearest hotel to the September 2nd blast in our City. And so with the long weekend ahead , the hubby and I decided to stay there. That’s mostly to prove to ourselves that despite what happened, Davao is fine. We may have fallen for one night, but our City stood up the day after.

We checked in past 4:00 pm. Prior to that, as we were entering the hotel’s vicinity, security was tight. But then again, The Marco Polo has always been that way. We didn’t mind it because it means that whether we eat or stay at the hotel, we know we are safe.

The check in itself  was painless. Since our stay was prepaid, the staff told me that she won’t get my card anymore. We can just pay at the restaurant, etc. with cash as we go along. Which was fine by me.

I found the room nice and spacious. Well it is a 32 square meter room after all. Including the bathroom which came with a tub.

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But we had minor problems like : some channels on their TV didn’t have pictures in them but we could hear the people talking, there was no TV guide and most importantly, there were no towels. These little things would not have mattered if we’re staying in a 2-3 star hotel. But when you claim to be a 5 star hotel, that’s not acceptable. Sorry.

After a short conversation with the home keeping staff, everything was fixed, except the pictures on their TV. I guess that was the cable connection’s problem. I just found it weird because we can hear some of the channels, but there’s nothing to see. ha ha

We went down to the Lobby Lounge after an hour or so to chill while waiting for dinner at Cafe Marco.

The Lobby Lounge serves international cuisine. They offer an all day menu of light snacks, desserts and beverages, complete with live entertainment to enliven the relaxing atmosphere. Perfect start to a “de-stressing”  night. 🙂

After a bottle of San Mig Light and a photo op for me under their cute lanterns, we proceeded to Cafe Marco on the second floor.

The Restaurant:

Cafe Marco’s Dinner Buffet starts at 6:00pm. Their food is always delicious. The dessert, mouthwatering.

The main course that night consisted of several seafood delicacies. And a wide array of beef , chicken and pork dishes.

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I loved the fresh salad and fresh  meat counter where one has an option to have it grilled or fried.

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These are just few of the delectable dessert. I would have wanted to eat more, but you know at my age, that is no longer a wise action and/or decision. 🙂

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More than the food, I commend their staff for such impeccable service. And to Aldon, thank you for preparing a fruit platter for us. Even if we did not ask for it, we appreciate your action very much.  Your simple gesture was amazing.

One of the best things about Davao – abundant supply of fruits all year round.

This platter is composed of fresh watermelon, sweet pineapple, sweet mangoes, pomelo and mangosteen.

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Here’s to another relaxing memory. Thank you Lord. 🙂

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Our plan that night was to walk across the street and visit Aldevinco Shopping Center. And farther ahead, at the Night Market, where the bombing happened.  But it got stormy that night. So we didn’t brave the rain. We decided to proceed to their amenity floor instead after dinner.

At the 4th floor of the hotel, you will find Polo Bistro. This outdoor restaurant offers Inter-Continental Ala Carte Food. We didn’t try their food there though because we just had a sumptuous dinner.

I found the swimming pool outside Polo Bistro perfect for exercising. I would have probably waded there if , again, it wasn’t raining.  Maybe, next time….

Another place that caught my attention was their Lazuli Spa.

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We did not try their spa this time. But it is something to look forward to, sometime in the future. It would be nice to indulge in their spa and pamper yourself after a hard day’s work.

For more details of Lazuli Spa, please check this link – http://www.marcopolohotels.com/en/marco_polo/hotels/philippines/davao/marco_polo_davao/hotel_facilities/spa.html

The rest of the night was a blur. I slept like a log and woke up almost 7 in the morning already. I never do that. I always, and I mean always wake up at 5:00am or a little over that. But never 7am. Ever. I must have been really exhausted. Work has been tiring, I know. I just didn’t realize how burnt out I was until that night.

I took the picture below after breakfast. It was cloudy but I could see Davao Gulf from a distance. Right in front of our window though was the night market area. It looked so quiet during day time. But once the night market starts , I tell you, it has a life of its own.

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As I write this article, I am thankful to God that Davaoenos are okay. My city is very resilient. And so are the people living here. Business is back to normal. Infact , Cafe Marco’s breakfast buffet, was full packed. It was a complete opposite from the relaxing ambiance the previous night. 🙂

Marco Polo Davao is located in C.M. Recto Street, Davao City. For bookings or reservations, please check their website – http://www.marcopolohotels.com/en/marco_polo/hotels/philippines/davao/marco_polo_davao/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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