Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

Who ever said that summer is the best time to visit the tropical country of the Philippines must really not know what this archipelago truly offers. With its 7,100 islands, the Philippines is considered to be one of Southeast Asia’s gem. I even take pride in knowing that I live in this beautiful country. The abundance of natural resources simply amazes me. You can never go wrong when you visit the country for there are countless tourist destinations available for any traveler. Filipinos are also known for their hospitality and the Cebuanos, the people living in Cebu, are no exception. Cebu is also considered to be among the  country’s top tourist destination. You can do anything in Cebu: diving, snorkeling, mountain climbing, moonlight kayaking, caving, canoeing, island hopping, visit historical places, even shopping, you name it. And if your idea of a vacation is to enjoy everything all in one location, then Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort is the answer to your quest.

Last August 1st, I had the privilege of joining a group of bloggers who was invited by Maribago Bluewater Cebu on a day trip to the beautiful island of Sumilon, which is home to Sumilon Bluewater. I never thought that I would be included on this tour but two days before the trip, I received a text message from Ruben of PinoyWorld confirming that I made it to the list. I am so grateful to have been included on this tour.

After stepping out of the office, I, together with my colleague/blogger pal Ed, raced to SM City Cebu to meet the other bloggers. We were already 30 minutes late since my pal had to finish some office stuff. We were even thinking that the trip might get cancelled since the weather wasn’t fully cooperating with us. When we arrived in SM, we were relieved that the waiting party was still there, and the rest of the bloggers were already inside their designated vans. They were still waiting for Ruben since he had to go back to Maribago Bluewater. They said he left something. I am also relieved that we were not the last person to arrive at our meeting place. There was this one guy who arrived a couple of minutes after.

the convoy exiting SM and heading for SRP

When we were all set, we started our journey to the south of Cebu. Despite a storm warning, 35 fearless bloggers still went on with the trip to experience the wonders of Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. We passed by the South Reclamation Project (SRP) to avoid the traffic in the city. Although it was a Saturday morning, and traffic wouldn’t be that heavy, SRP has been the choice of travelers going south as this area provides wider roads and serves as a short cut to the city of Talisay, instead of passing through Cebu City’s main highway.

the South Reclamation Area, passing by Cebu’s famous Pasil

After an hour, we reached the town of Carcar where we stopped by a famous food joint to have breakfast (Jollibbe). We finally got the chance to meet Ruben and the rest of the bloggers who were on the trip too. We were given an envelope stacked with information about Sumilon Bluewaters. Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect. This was the first time that I joined such event and I never thought that everything will be taken cared of. To think I even bought a big bottled water and a tuna sandwich in case I needed one. I was really amazed when I realized that the breakfast was free too. Although I wasn’t really that hungry, I helped myself in with a burger. Later on, I regretted eating the burger.

behind Ed is Ruben of PinoyWorld, who is responsible for making this event possible; the pamphlets; breakfast steaks served

After we were done with breakfast, we headed back to our assigned vans and started travelling again. Ed and I was seated in the front seat of the van and I couldn’t help observe the driver as he drove madly through the slippery roads of the south. The road to Sumilon was really winding and at some areas, very steep. The rest of us were already reminding the driver to take it easy but I know that the driver had years of experience traversing the road so there was really nothing to do except for me to close my eyes and wait to reach our destination. The drivers of the other vans were even “crazier” since they were already ahead of us….hahaha… There were even times when I really want to vomit (this was why I regretted eating the burger 😆 ) Nobody had mint or candy in our van so I had to endure the uncomfortable feeling for more than an hour. The heavy rains were still pouring so it was really difficult to keep my mind focused too.

After more than 2 hours, we finally reached our destination. The resort’s waiting area was situated at Barangay Bangcogon in Oslob. We took a left turn and drove a very steep road down the waiting area. I have a fear with steep roads so I had to close my eyes to avoid seeing the driveway. I bet that road was more than 45 degrees! Hehehe.

the resort’s receiving/waiting area in mainland Cebu

When we reached the receiving area, we were served with refreshments and fresh towels to dampen our skin. I never got to drink the refreshments though. I never saw one. I guess everyone was too thirsty after the ride and consumed everything 😆

We had to wait for a couple of minutes for the boat to arrive. And with this opportunity, I grabbed my chance at taking photos of the place. I have been to the island once, last year and everything still looked the same. I bet that the staffs at the resort are doing a perfect job in ensuring that their facilities are well-maintained. When the boat arrived, we started heading to the port as we can’t wait to get to the island. I was glad that the rain stopped pouring and the sea waves weren’t really that violent. As an added treat, Ruben announced that we would be given the chance to tour around the island before docking. I was so happy at that point. I was not able to see the rest of the island the last time I was there and being given the chance to see the entire island from our boat was really something. I climbed up the boat’s roof deck to witness the splendor of Sumilon. As we reached the back part of the island, the waves started getting rough and we had to hold on to the rails to keep our balance.

boarding the boat

Ruben telling us we’ll pass around the island first before docking; the crashing waves

the rough waves and the boatmen on the look out to ensure our safety

the Eastern dock

the back of the island with the lighouse

the Western Dock with the shifting sandbar; fishermen near the area

the staff headed by Mr. Greg Perral, awaiting our arrival

tide advisory board updated daily; steps leading to the Pavilion

the Pavilion houses the resort’s restaurant and has the Reception Desk, Library and Giftshop

the bar

When we neared the docking area, the sea calmed again and we could see the staff of Sumilon Bluewater waiting to welcome us. We were greeted by their staff together with Sumilon Bluewater’s Resident Manager, Greg Perral. We were showed our way to the Pavilion and a long table was already waiting for us, with refreshments and snacks. We started eating the french fries and club sandwich served as Mr. Perral gave us a brief orientation of the resort.

the orientation

french fries and club sandwich

infinity pool

To those who doesn’t know yet, Sumilon Bluewater Beach Resort is owned and managed by Almont Holdings Incorporated (AHI) and is the sister resort of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort. The resort sits on a 24-hectare coral island and remains to be one of Cebu’s best kept secrets. The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters and one area of the island is known for its changing shapes and shifting sandbar. One thing I learned is that for those travelers coming over from Manila, they would advise them to pass by Dumaguete City as this is just a 45-minute boat ride away from Sumilon. But for those who want to see the scenic coastlines of the south, then a 3-hour drive to Sumilon would be ideal too. Just make sure to bring mints or candies with you in case you have motion sickness problems. Mr. Perral also informed us that they have already arranged for the resort to have wi-fi connection for those business travelers. As for the details of its availability, you may try contacting the resort for more information. Since weather was not in perfect condition, Mr. Perral warned us to stay off the Western Dock, where the shifting sandbar is located due to the rough waves. He advised us to try the Eastern Dock for some snorkeling action and check out their lagoon and do kayaking instead. The orientation was really informative and after the talk, we headed towards their cottages and  was given the chance to do an occular inspection of two of their rooms.

The last time I went to this island, there were only 12 rooms available. Now, they have added 2 additional rooms. Fourteen spacious rooms now awaits any guests wanting to relax at this tropical paradise and each room offers a view of the sea, cove and mainland Cebu. The rooms accommodates a maximum of 3 guests.

old and new rooms

Each room has a private veranda with lounge chairs. It also includes spacious bathrooms with hot and cold running water. The room also features a mini bar, ceiling fan, wi-fi connection, writing desk and dresser, room to room phone and air conditioning. Other facilities and services available includes a 24-hour Room Service, Foreign Currency Exchange, Airport assistance and transfers, Board Games, Laundry service, Massage service, Fax and Postal Services,  Clinic, IDD/NDD telephone and Safety Deposit Boxes at the Reception Desk and a Tour Service on nearby towns.

one of the rooms with its private veranda

Ruben, asking the help from the resort staff to take our pictures

Not long after we left the Pavilion, we again found ourselves within its vicinity as we enjoyed their unlimited lunch buffet. This is included in the resort’s day package. Our sumptuous food offerings were provided by the resort’s in-house island kitchen managed by Chef de Partie Buddy Amodia. Each food was superbly delicious. Some of the bloggers had to go on second trips to the buffet table to help themselves with the yummy food.

After lunch, we went our own separate ways and explored the rest of the island. I didn’t know that the rest of the group went to the Eastern Dock immediately. I never really noticed them dispersing. I thought that they headed for the sandbar, which was where we were headed. Surprisingly, no one was there when we reached the area. I guess we were just too stubborn to listen to Mr. Perral’s advise 😆 Honestly, I forgot that the sandbar had the ability to change shapes until I saw the area. The last time I was there, the sandbar was shaped like an inverted letter “C”. This time, it’s shape was different – more on the letter “C”. The last time, the waves were very calm and it was really an ideal place for swimming due to the wide swimming area. The sea bed wasn’t painful to the feet as it was  covered with sand. This time, the waves were very rough and it was too windy. We tried to go to the tip of the sandbar but we immediately retraced our steps since the wind was blowing the sand and it was pricking the skins of our legs and arms and it was quite painful. Super painful! I even had to walk backwards to prevent the sands from hitting my face 😆 It really looked like a sandstorm, only in the beach. I guess I now knew why people who live in the desert wears clothing that will cover their arms and legs – to protect them from the pricking sands. Hahaha. This must also explain the way the sands shift. Because of the strong winds, it blows the sands to the other side, making a new shape as soon as the season changes. The rest of the gang joined us after some time and since it was impossible to swim in the area, they tried to conquer the waves instead by rushing towards it every time a big one hits the shore. It was so much fun watching them.

benches and picnic areas ideal for lounging in the afternoon

trekking to the Western Dock

sand, hurting ed’s skin

big waves

waiting for the waves and crashing in it

owning the island all to our heart’s content

Since we were running out of time and since we hadn’t explored the rest of the island, Ed and I decided to leave the area and tried to go to the other areas found in the Island Resort Map given to us when we arrived the  island. We attempted to go to the lighthouse but retreated since we still haven’t seen any trace of a building that resembled a lighthouse after walking for around 15 minutes. The rain started to pour again too so we decided to go back. I even teased Ed to check out the Yamashita Caves as we passed by the area. He said he doesn’t want to. I guess he was afraid as the place looked kinda eerie. Hehehe. Later on, we learned that it normally takes 30 minutes to reach the lighthouse. It was then a good decision to stop the trek and head back.

the trail going to the watchtower and lighthouse

their dive shop and at the back, the road to where you can start your trek adventure

the lagoon and the picnic huts

Eastern Dock ideal for snorkeling; Sumilon Bluewater’s barge

When we reached the Eastern Dock, Ed immediately tried out the kayak while I took pictures of the place. We were already in a hurry as the hour of our departure was soon nearing and we haven’t checked out the pool yet. It was really saddening to leave so soon. But we still managed to take pictures of their infinity pool. The rest of the group were back too and they also attacked the pool. I could just imagine the look on their faces. I knew that the pool water was cold and with the bad weather, I decided not to go for a swim. I preferred to stay behind the lenses this time to capture more photos.

lawn checkers and the pool

carbonara pasta

While waiting for the rest to change clothes, we were served with Carbonara pasta. I also didn’t expect that the resort would bother preparing some snacks for us. I thought they covered the free snacks when we arrived – with the club sandwich and the fries. But nope, they were still not contented 😆  They again treated us with a yummy Carbonara and my eyes became wider in astonishment when I saw them distribute packed food for the trip back! My mind was already screaming “Enough already! I may ask you to adopt me!” Hahaha. It was already too much. The resort staff really knew how to indulge and take care of their guests considering the great lengths they had to go through in making our stay as comfortable as can be. How I wish I can live there.

Ruben with CBS members; our packed food for the trip back

group picture with the resort manager and the chef

Finally, the hour arrived. The boat that will take us back to the mainland arrived and we found ourselves walking to the docking area. *sigh* It was with a heavy heart that I left the island. I wish I could have stayed a little bit longer.   Perhaps witness how the resort transforms the island by night time. But then again, it was only a day tour. Maybe next time, if I get lucky, I’d be able to spend a night in the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.

wondering how this would look at night…

Here are some things I noticed about the resort. Before and after shots (2008 and 2009)

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the gangplank – great job with the improvements!

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newly painted markers

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notice the shape of the sand?

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Failed to take a picture on this scenic area of the island since it was too windy and it was already raining and I don’t want to go down and climb up those steps again. hahaha. I noticed that some of  the bamboo roofs were missing too. Must be from the storms that hit the island. This was taken the last time I was in Sumilon. I so love the color of the sea.

So to those who thinks that a gloomy weather would ruin your plans of going to Sumilon, think again as the island offers a lot of activities for everyone. One can choose to go trekking, paddle boating, kayaking, snorkeling, dive in their infinity pool or just enjoy the scenic and peaceful view that the island offers. With the weather that was bestowed on us that day, we still had fun in the island.

We left Oslob and headed back to the city at 6 in the evening. Since the area where I live passes by the same route going back to Maribago Bluewaters, I asked the driver if he will go back to Maribago. His response was “If someone is going to Maribago, then I will go that way, if not, the van will be parked somewhere in A.S. Fortuna in Mandaue.” Wow! His response took me by surprise. I didn’t expect that they’d attempt to drop us off anywhere that is convenient for us. This was too much. By far, the resort had exceeded all my expectations. They had me at Carbonara…hahaha…

To all those travelers worldwide, when all is said and done in Sumilon, nothing is left within you but the memory that will be etched not in the mind but in the soul. If you want to witness this different kind of tranquility and serenity amidst a busy lifestyle, and if you want to discover what it feels like to have a real “island getaway”, then check out Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. Surely tranquility, serenity and smelling the colors of life don’t give justice to the beauty that Sumilon awakens in every person lucky enough to have a glimpse in one of the beautiful islands of the Pacific.

For more information, you might also want to check out the Sumilon Bluewater blog and a Sumilon Bluewater video is also on its way.

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If you want to know how far Sumilon is from the city, click the map to enlarge.

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort’s contact information:

Bangcogon, Oslob
6025 Cebu, Philippines
Telefax: (63-32) 481-0801
Email: sumilon@bluewater.com.ph
Web: www.bluewater.com.ph

Manila Office:
Room 1918 Cityland/Herrera Tower
98 Herrera corner Valero St.,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel: (63-2) 817-5751; (63-2) 887-1348
Fax: (63-2) 893-5391

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For more pictures, you can click here.
You can also check the details of my first trip to Sumilon here.

Comments

  1. Bryan Karl says

    Wah nice write up and nice shots! Hope to see you again on more bloggers’ events. 😉

  2. thanks! yeah… hope i can join more blogger events too! keep us informed of upcoming events ha. 🙂

  3. wow, very nice post! congrats doi!
    .-= miong´s last blog ..Cebu’s Orange Brutus, the brute you love =-.

  4. thanks miong! 🙂

  5. This is a totally different adventure—with the looming storm and crashing waves. And the shifting sand is interesting! I’m planning to go back to Sumilon, and I will make sure I’ll get another photo of the sandbar.

    The thing I like best about Sumilon Bluewater Resort, aside from its being a paradise, is the excellent customer service. The resort rates are a bit on the high side, but it’s definitely worth every penny.

    Great photos, Doi!
    Reiza´s last blog post ..My Window to the World

    • hi reiz! thank you! yeah, i agree with you about the pricey accommodations at the resort. better go back during off-peak seasons if you want to save a few bucks but I must say that you’d really have a great time in the island 🙂 you can also go on a day tour if you want. i also agree about the excellent customer service. as for the shifting sandbar, i realized that the sandstorm we experienced during our last vist there was one reason why the sandbar shifts. due to the current + wind, it forces the sands to shift and take on a new shape. i hope you get to see another shape when you next visit the island Reiz! 🙂

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