Finally! a dose of nature and adventure, this time it's not the beach nor the surf life.
We went somewhere in the middle of hmm.. not nowhere but the middle of Bukidnon and Davao; as the map says BUDA. It wasn't far as I've expected it to be, needless to say traffic was scarce, maybe because this road doesn't get much visitors, or November ain't vacation time. We had the opportunity to stay here in November, on the day of my birthday actually (November 3, 2014). But before I start my long post, here are the things we brought with us:
- Toothbrush, shampoo
- Two towels
- Clothes (mostly trek clothes & jacket (instadry))
- Distilled water
- Energy or Protein bars
- Valor sugar free chocolate spread & peanut butter
- Whole wheat bread
- Training shoes (these were the only shoes we had for our trek lol)
- Swimwear, sports bra
- First-aid kit and our medicine
- and the rest of the gadgets
For your information, this place doesn't have wifi or rather we had no wifi lol. Either way, didn't really need one in the meantime. We went here to reconnect with nature and spend a lot of time outside rather than the screen. The area was quite a bit of a challenge, sometimes it's freezing cold; sunny & breezy; and other times its stagnant - gloomy, foggy and cold (perfect for a halloween shoot!). Although we didn't get to prep for a legit Halloween this year, hmm.. for the lack of time & effort but we did get to experience a misty morning with only just me & Sheff in the condo unit (and pictures!). Only me & Sheff literally means we were the only ones staying in the resort that time (or it feels like it). The resort was serene & we didn't get to see a lot of people/tourists around the area; only a few staff doing their thing & families/friends come & go at the steakhouse & coffee shop.
I would like to point out a few things to make your trip memorable:
- The place is not all the time foggy & cold, it's okay to wear shorts & even a bikini.
- I was wondering why they did not serve fresh vegetables XD hahaha! we were so confused; hence you might aswell bring your own greens, or buy as many as you like and store it in an ice box (just a tip though). Seriously, we needed to consume green leafy vegetables at least once a day.
- It's also nice if you can bring your own cooking utensils and condiments (except for plant-based condiments like chili because you can pick organic ones in just about anywhere, if you can find one (I saw a couple near the grilling station)). They sell fish on the road, you will hear a guy yelling "isda isssdaaa".
- This trip is not for the fellow who cannot withstand life without electronics. We rented the cheapest room with no t.v. and telephone. So if we needed to buy something, like spring water, we had to go down (this is up hill fyi) and walk to the store.
- The place is abundant with trees, plants, flowers, everything nature has! bugs, dogs & a few cats. Nature.
- I totally recommend BUDA for pre-nup shoots!
- You're gonna have a bad time if you don't exercise, the steps really are slippery and steep.
Kay, let's stop the blabbering and get on with the photos! haaaa
You can totally watch the video I made about this trip using my gopro hero3+ black
BuDa road is eco-friendly. No need to use the air condition in our car. Stopping by a touristy spot on the side of the road & took pictures of gigantic ethnic statues. You will see if you come here!
This is where we stayed and ate our meals. Haa it's my birthday! I can eat whatever I want lol.
The place resembles an old american cabin bar. Don't know if I got it right haha! It does give a comfortable atmosphere.
They will only serve what's written on the board. You're in a steakhouse after all.
I was surprised to see this. It was delish and its only tap water which I think comes from their natural spring water. It has lemon, peppermint and cucumber.
My love ordered Porterhouse steak, It was good. Their gravy was yummy too.
Also had ostrich steak. Unfortunately though, this was the last order so it was abruptly erased on the menu board. At least I got to try it and the price was more affordable than the porterhouse steak. Like beef but leaner and meatier (no fat or white fatty parts). Excellent taste! Happy birthday to me! lol
This is the room we stayed in for 2 nights. Its a condo unit with no t.v.; I think the hot water seemed busted cause it doesnt work lol (yes we showered in cold spring water) & the comfort room is not for claustrophobic people. But! the good part though is that the lady staff cleaned everything from floor to sheets, the room smelled nice, comfort room was clean, the bed was oh-so-comfortable, and the view is awesome for nature lovers like us. You don't need a fan trust me.
The lavish greenery outside our room.
Green... green everywhere. This is rural Baguio kind of place but much closer to Davao City, and, it actually is part of Davao. Like I said, Bu-Da.
Look at me veiny feet lol tiny flowers :D !!!
Must not be unseen.
Here are some of the little creatures I caught. Hey! these are harmless & cute. Cockroaches though, please die! (don't worry there were no roaches around the place, so far we didn't see one).
Oh hai. Strolling time.
Don't just stay in your room, go out and explore the great view at the top.
We went back to the steakhouse & had hot chocolate & banana turon. It was raining, and a nice hot cup of chocolate made our afternoon complete.
But of course, after the rain the sun came down to greet us good night. We stayed in our room to relax and talk (we were mostly talking if we're not sleeping - jokes & teasing included). Alas, dinner.
We ordered Sizzling bulalo; I love the marrow fat lol
I decided to have Lechon Kawali because it's meeeh birthday lol. I didn't finish all of em' and only ate the lean meat. I get dizzy when I consume too much fat.
And I think this was the last order of Sizzling Bangus. Overall the food was satisfying but kinda incomplete for there were no vegetables lol.
It's day 2 in my itinerary post. We slept like angels, and woke up with a good mood.
Rise & shine with a breath taking view. How could I say 'nope' to that day! Also, loved my hair lol.
Here's a panoramic shot of our view that foggy morning. You can see the condo unit in the 2nd photo.After that, we went outside to have our breakfast at Seagull Pheonix Gasoline Station. There's a small cafe facing the road and well, lotsa trees.
We had cappuccino. They have a barista so it's legit.
We also had corned beef, eggs and dilis :D I ate the white rice hehe.
After freshening up and getting ready with our trek which took an hour or more to wait for the rain to stop, and as the rain stopped, it was almost lunch break, but part of my itinerary was to experience and see Epol Spring Resort (formerly known as green valley falls). We head to the base, paid fees (lots of em' including parking, and didn't get the exact amount of change lol meh.. its okay if they want money so bad) then went straight to our little adventure. Epol resort is located around BUDA Rd., a bit far from Seagull. We had a car so its easier to change places. You will actually see a wood signage that says EPOL SPRING RESORT or something like that and has an empty lot for parking.
This month is rainy season, and a storm was actually heading our way, thus slippery, muddy & leafy path were everywhere, although considerably not too difficult to pass at all, manageable with sneakers. There were plenty of funny moments too that I didn't record like half of my leg swam deep down in mud and my shoes were still damn fine lol.
Nature makes me hungry; looks like a tasty blueberry cheesecake, and I didn't get any cake on my birthday lol. Hurray for picture! duh I didn't touch it haha.
Blending in lol.
At last, the falls! just gorgeous!
We had the resort all by ourselves. It was awesome! I also have gopro shots, wait for it...
We didn't put our stuff in the cottages, nor rented one because they were filled with garbage! and literally disgusting, there were bugs and roaches everywhere; good thing though they were located at the top. Nobody was around too. We had our snack here, brought with us protein bars and water.
The hike took us at least 30 minutes going down the path to the falls, familiarizing the track. We also had no tourist guide so... meh, it was really an easy hike especially for people who workout. We had total balance all throughout the trek because if we slip and fall, nobody will help us... the place was abandoned that time.
We didn't stay that long cause the weather was barely sunny and the water was freaking freezing like a tub of ice. Somehow, we enjoyed every bit of it; the calm scenery & raging cold waters of Epol. Totally a must-visit this dry season/summer vacay.
Hiking back up took us another 10 minutes or less, it was easier since we already know where to go & step. Lunges? yes, lots of em! After a bountiful adventure at the forest, we head on to the steakhouse (again, it's the closest so yeah) for our lunch fix.
So we had seagull steak (not from a seagull but local beef) and beef express; fueling ourselves for another stroll in the resort. The resort also has their own falls (not man-made) and swimming pools with the use of spring water.
But before that...
let us take selfies at the middle of BUDA lol
Walking up & down again through mud and concrete to get to the falls. We accomplished these walks in one day haha.
It was beautiful!
I don't know, I think there were 3 or 4 pools in this area, and all of em' looked refreshingly clean. However, I thought it would be a good idea to ditch getting soaked, we know it will freeze us again lol.
And yet I couldn't resist myself from jumping in the cold blue water. This is another swimming pool near the room we stayed and far from the falls.
This day was glorious hahaha! and froze our butts lol
On our day 3 adventure, we just wanted to have a sunny day so we could enjoy the swimming pool once more with sunlight and no rain. We got it!
The warm sunshine was relieving, thankful day indeed.
We made friends! Our instant pets lol. Don't know their names but we just call them "doggy" and "puppy" haaah..!
Sun, cold breeze and clean water. What more can you ask for?
Some HD lols
I might just call this the best birthday celebration I ever had!
The last photo we took in the resort. Our thanks to Seagull Resort for the comfy & wonderful stay. Now we're back on the scorching heat of Davao. We will surely visit again for more chill days!
After a dip in the pool, we prepped to head back home. When we got to Davao; directly went to Echo Store at Diversion Rd., Davao City. They sell organic stuff & gourmet.
The place is chic, contemporary eco-friendly interior (wished it were located in BUDA lol), and many organic products to choose from. The menu is also packed with goodness! I mean salads, yum!
Yes! vegetables, and more vegetables! clean protein and grains. Thank you echo store for this awesome meal! God! now I'm craving for more lol
I've been eyeing Carmen's Best since the day I liked the page on facebook. At last I get to taste the gourmet ice cream which was super YUMMY! oozing with creaminess! totally different from gelato.
And for the last photo, I bought this at Echo Store. I'm really into organic, specially when its something for the skin; it smells terrific too! It did relieve the cracked dry areas. My skin feels smoother now, and smells like flowers and milk altogether.
Overall, our trip went great. No hindrance, even the rain did not limit our plans (we forgot to bring umbrellas, in this case you need to bring some). The place is like in the middle of two cities so expect big trucks driving back n forth, lack of necessities in life, sometimes the signal goes off and we didn't know where the wet market was located. It's in a mountain area where there are only a few neighbors and locals. There are also other cottages & resorts to stay in.
You can check the address here: Facebook
We rented the Condo Unit 3 - 1,700 php but received a discounted price so its 1,300+ php only (2 capacity)
The accommodation rates ranges from 750 php (Campsite) - 7,500 php (Fireplace house)
Their food ranges from 100+ php - 700 php (angus beef)
Reservation office: (+6382) 298-5990
Resort office: (+6382) 286-4124 / 286-9397
email add: firstname.lastname@example.org
facebook: Davao Seagull Resorts
The Epol Spring Resort has a fee of 20 php per head for entrance and another 20 php for parking
Welp! Enjoy! :D