Sumilon Island Experience (Part 1)
An island getaway in the Philippines is on every world traveler’s bucket list. Wondering through this archipelago, paradise options are in the thousands. There is, however, a small 24-hectare island where snorkeling with sharks, soul-searching treks and sunset gazing immerse at sea are backed up by a luxurious resort. Day 1 of my holiday celebration away from home and out of town began here. I recommend Bluewater Sumilon Island resort (hotel info) for all looking for a place to start, and for advanced travellers to catch their breath.
What do you look for when it comes to travelling? I assume everyone is in search of a change of scenery. And as a Canadian spending the holidays away from home, out of town pun intended, I’m looking for authentic Filipino cuisine, open water, breath-taking sunsets and homey hospitality.
I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true; I found it all on this island in the company of Louise of Wonderfilled Journal and Celine of Celineism. We, Tito Pete’s Angels, named in honor of our adventure coordinator Sir Pete Dacuycuy, began our adventure in Dumaguete. From there we travelled 45 minutes by boat to Cebu’s hidden gem, Sumilon.
The charm of staying at Bluewater Sumilon is the fact that the island is the resort. The advanced trek runs along its border and takes roughly an hour to complete. With its entirety accessible and all environments within walking distance of each other, it truly feels like this island is yours for the taking.
The sound of waves crashing and the water’s blue-green gradient signaled our arrival. The deluxe rooms found along the shore are perfect for a family of four or in this case a pair of bloggers. Our room was immense and white with accents of blue and brown. I can’t put into words how cozy those beds were.
Families and honeymooners can immerse in nirvana privately in any of the 3 villas on the island. With an exclusives overview of the ocean equipped with mini pool and garden, these villas were nothing short of picturesque.
Once settled, there are many activities to choose from. I’ll leave it up to you. Just outside of our deluxe room, the coral landscape is optimal for snorkeling. That’s where I followed a shiver of blacktip sharks for 30 minutes. If you leave me and walk up the steps a bit you’ll find the Pavilion Restaurant where the food is almost too good to be true.
During the Christmas celebrations on Sumilon, the Lechon Diva herself graced us with her signature mouth-watering lechon. My favorite meal of the staycation was the lechon stuffed with truffles, foie gras, and rice. My heart always skips a beat when I take a bite of that crispy lechon skin and hear the cracking as I sink my teeth into it. Yes, I’m aware I have a problem.
Moving on, socializing is optimal at the swimming pool and Jacuzzi adjacent to the pavilion. With the pool bar in sight, we angels spent hours bonding over orange and watermelon smoothies. I know it sounds bad but trust me that smoothie is a must-have. Ugh, delicious.
To get to the villas and trek, there is a charming playground for children and adults. This is where I waited for anyone to challenge me in a game of giant chess but to no avail. This is also where we had the perfect tea time in a sea of Filipino desserts. I’d like to take a moment to appreciate sikwate. This Cebuano version of hot chocolate is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. I thought I had hot cocoa by the fire all figured out. Who knew drinking sikwate at the beachside in tropical weather would be the most satisfying hot chocolate experience of my life. Make sure to request it!
The first day also included trekking the moderate trail finding the lighthouse and old Spanish fort. The end of the trail leads us to the sandbar where we stayed until dark. If I close my eyes I can see it; holding a puddle of the ocean reflecting the sunset’s hues like oil in the palm of my hand. I remember that night falling asleep and waking up idyll at 5am ready to chase the sunrise.