October 7, 2015

DAVAO TRAVEL DIARY: Pearl Farm Beach Resort - Marina and Parola

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 - Marina and Parola
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. 

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! I went to the front desk to confirm my booking and after it was done the lady handed me bottled water and a set of coupons that I will use for services that I will avail for my day trip.

I didn’t drink it because since it was early morning my body was yearning (wow that rhymed!) for coffee. So I went inside the coffee shop and bought me iced caramel latte. Their coffee was priced reasonably and tasted good. I brought the coffee with me and walked towards the boardwalk and stayed there until boarding.

And while I was having my moment alone, a man approached me trying to sell me pearl earrings, at first I didn’t want to buy since I find his prices a little bit high when I haggled and he gave in I bought the earrings. I thought it’s better that I bought from him instead at Aldevinco. It would help him more than those who have big business at the shopping centers.

The boat ride was around 45 minutes, and you while travelling you can sight-see other resorts. The boat was large but they didn’t put the cushions on the seats which were just tucked at the storage area at the center of the boat. And then a few minutes later we passed by an island with private villas and then I saw the famous Parola of Pearl Farm from afar. After alighting the boat, the guests  were welcomed with music from the kulintang, given welcome drinks and face towels. After that everyone went on their ways and did as they please.

The Parola of Pearl Farm is  more than just a docking area of the resort; it is an icon of the resort. It is a 3-layered hut that is actually a bar. It used to be a light house before Pearl Farm was even erected there. Going to the upper levels, you can have a best view of the beach, the infinity pool, the houses in stilts, the nearby islands and the ocean. This is the best place to chill and have drinks while killing time. There’s a bartender on the second floor which can concoct you alcoholic drinks or juices if you don’t feel like drinking.

The boat leaves at 4:00pm back to the mainland so I took a quick shower at around 2:30pm and stayed at the Parola until the boat arrived. I just sat in one of the plush lounge couches  enjoying the sceneries and the cool and soft sea breeze hitting my face. It was one of the best moments in my life, those moments that you just sit still and admire nature and wonder how great is the hand that created all of earth’s beauty and at that very instance I can't helped but be grateful of the life that I have even though it’s not as ideal as I want it to be.
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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