October 20, 2015

DAVAO TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Butik Souvenir Shop and Mandaya Weaving Center

Life is full of many first times and we have to be open for these new experiences and events in our lives. On the third week of August 2015, I was able to experience another “first time” in my life – be a solo traveler! I was scared and excited at the same to be honest, but a lot of women have been doing it for years and they have been successful at it. Well, for my first time to be a solo traveler, I went to one of the world’s safest city in the world: Davao City.

I was blessed to be able to fly for free because of the flight voucher I received from Cebu Pacific when our flight from Manila to Cebu was cancelled and we were transferred to another flight. I had only 6 months to use it so I booked it on the third week of August; little did I know those dates were the dates for the Kidayawan Festival in Davao City which I learned only a week before my flight. I got excited with the thought of actually attending a well-known local festival, but unfortunately I was not able to see it up close and personal and only from the hotel’s TV feed. It was very hot that weekend in Davao City, a lot of people were in the place where the street dance was being held and it was kind of traffic around that part of town. So I ended up skipping watching the Kidayawan street dances. But you know that there are festivities going on because my flight was full and there are also many tourists in Davao.

I’m baffled every time people learn that I am alone on that trip when many other tourists have been roaming around the world alone, and Davao City is a major Philippine destination and for sure many solo travelers had gone that route as well. I learned quite a bit from being a first time solo traveler. For one, it’s much more expensive since you need to shoulder all the bills and have no one to split it up with. It was ok though; I’ve prepared and saved up for this trip and have a set budget already. You have lesser photos of yourself in all the places you’ve visited. I didn’t bring a selfie stick with me (I was kinda shy to bring one actually) and I’m not good at taking selfies. Thank God for nice random strangers, hotel and restaurant staff and guards who willingly took photos of me. But it was ok, I was able to appreciate more of the places I visited and focused less on taking photos of myself which I have had so much in my previous trips. This made me appreciate more the places I’ve been to, the food I ate (which was a lot!) and the people I met. I also was carefree with time; I would leave and go back to the hotel whenever I want to. I don’t have to wait for other people and waste time and bargain in deciding where to go and where to eat.

I learned a couple of words from the local dialect too! Travelling solo wasn’t so scary or lonely after all, like others think it would be. I also got to practice independence and courage; I didn’t worry if my itinerary wasn’t followed or if I got lost. But of course to be on the safe side, I always message my family as to where I am currently located or tell the hotel staff where I am going. I would love to do it again actually and go to more unfamiliar places. Well maybe, who knows…

Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Butik and Mandaya Weaving
Going to Pearl Farm Beach Resort in Samal Island off the coast of Davao City was the highlight of my trip. Pearl Farm is considered as one of the luxury resorts in the Philippines since probably the 1980s. Before, only people with a lot of money to spend can go to this luxury island resort because of its rates. It was good a good thing that they have now day trips that will allow tourist and locals to enjoy the beauty of the place without burning their pockets. Although their day trip rate can still be stiff for others, here’s what I'm going to tell you though, it is worth it! So save up for it, just like what I did. 
I didn't stay overnight at the resort since I was just travelling solo and it was way over my budget. But if I had the money, I would probably stay at least for a night. Everything about Pearl Farm screams luxury. From where I stayed, I took a cab and arrived at Pearl Farm’s own marina. The usual time that the boat leaves for Pearl Farm is 9:00am. I was there already a little past 8:00am; I didn’t want to be late because I still want some time to roam around and take photos and also a special trip to the resort, if you happen to miss the boat ride schedule costs a whopping 6000 pesos!
After having refreshments at the Parola dock upon arrival, I went straight to the front desk/reception area to get my locker keys and then I walked towards the toilets and locker areas near the infinity pool. After changing into my swimsuit and cover up, I started to roam around the resort. After eating to my heart’s content from the grand buffet lunch served at the Maranao Restaurant I took a quick shower and changed into the clothes I that I would wear on my way back to the mainland.
I passed by the Pearl Farm’s souvenir shop which was cleverly named “Butik” (boutique) and checked out what I can score from it. They have a variety of products that they are selling; from t-shirts, pearl jewelries, mugs, tumblers, home decors, key chains, ref magnets and whole lots of knick-knacks. Since I was in a luxurious beach resort, I wasn't shocked to find that the items at the resort was pricier than the ones being sold elsewhere. I only bought a piece of ref magnet (to add to my growing collection) which cost me PHP 100.

Beside the Butik Souvenir Shop is another hut that houses the Mandaya Weaving Center. One of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines, the Mandaya people are well-known for the ethnic cloth that they weave called “dagmay”. 

Dagmay is made of dried abaca fibers are dyed in different colors and used as threads using old weaving techniques which is a tradition that is being preserved and a handed-down ancestral heritage onto their children. Thus making sure it will not get lost in time. 
Unfortunately, the Mandaya woman who was in the hut was not weaving, as she was resting. She showed me the unfinished cloth she is weaving though and let me took photos. 

There was a table outside the hut where trinkets and other souvenirs being sold by the Mandaya women are displayed. Enjoyed stumbling upon her little work nook inside the beach resort, my kind of travel experience!

Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Bo. Adecor, Kaputian District,
Island Garden City of Samal 8119, Philippines
Tel +63 82 235 1234 to 36
Pearl Farm Marina
Lizada Village, Lanang,
Davao City 8000, Philippines
Tel +63 82 234 6987
Davao Sales:
3rd Floor, Abreeza Mall, JP Laurel Avenue,
Davao City 8000, Philippines
Tel +63 82 285 0601, 285 0876
Fax +63 82 285 1914
Manila Sales
Anflocor Building, 411 Quirino Avenue,
Parañaque City 1700, Philippines
Tel +63 2 854 7892
Fax +63 2 854 5599 
Website: www.pearlfarmresort.com
Email: pearlfarmresortreservations@anflocor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PearlFarm

Read more of my Davao 2015 trip: 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Be-ing Resort House
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Luz Kinilaw
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Aldevinco Shopping Center 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Karlo's Gourmet and Coffee at Jack's Ridge
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Marina and Parola
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - The Infinity Pool
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Malipano Island
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Maranao Restaurant 
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Butik and Mandaya Weaving
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Lyndon's Worst Ribs and Awful Chicken
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Bankerohan Public Market
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Roxas Boulevard Night Market
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Green Coffee at Marfori Heights
- DAVAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY: Lachi's Sans Rival

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