Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unicolor Beach Resort, Barangay Dawis, (Digos City, Davao del Sur)

At the eastern coast of the Davao Gulf, south of Digos City, is the burough of Dawis. People used to call the stretch of black sand as "Dawis Beach" stretching northward from the pier. Now it is just "Barangay Dawis". The more open area is the southern stretch. We found Unicolor Beach Resort.

If I am not mistaken, getting a cottage will cost you P300 (or was it P500). These is a contiguous row of concrete shacks, like holes in the wall, painted in reds and blue-greens. These shacks are completely enclosed except for the entrance, thus you don't have a view of the sea. At the center of the compound is a medium-sized function hall. There's ample parking at the entrance, framed by a "tindahan", that subs as an entrance booth.

The compound has available rooms for those wanting to stay for the night. I asked about the rates - P800 and P1,200; the difference is probably in the availability of AC. The beach is, however, a few steps away. Just mind the children as there are wandering dogs everywhere. I read an online page that mentions a swimming pool. This does not have one. There are no cabanas facing the beach either; just Talisay trees.

During my visit, I saw a family bring pots of food with them so it should be safe to assume there's no corkage fee for food and beverages brought in. The resort has a Facebook page. Please refer inquiries there; not here.

You can leisurely stroll from this resort to the pier which provides a more dramatic vista of the ocean. In the golden hour of the afternoon, the sun casts a milky green hue on the sea. The stretch of dark sand north of the pier seems more inviting, with palms swaying with the gentle breeze. Next post, we'll show you the northern stretch from the pier. You can take a tricycle from Digos City proper to get to Dawis, setting you back by P80. Agree on a fare before getting in the trike.

Function Hall

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

That Sinfully Sumptuous Humba of Siquijor (Visayas)

Dining options in the mystical island of Siquijor are quite limited for the backpacker. There are no fast foods and any mid-range restaurants to speak of. Even carinderias are very few and far from each other. You'd have your breakfast in your hotel or guesthouse then pick from the relatively expensive options of dining in resort restaurants. My meals here were unexpectedly upscale, ranging from not less than P300 to P600 per order. 

Maybe the witches have cast their spells against "eateries"? Err... not really. The "mambabarangs" (local witches), accordingly to my driver-guide have gone to the mountains and have grown old. Their siblings supposedly have refused to accept the "gifts" they're supposed to pass on because of the stigma that society puts on them. As a result, this tradition for which the island is infamously known for is gradually disappearing from modern day Siquijor. But I am digressing.

On the day of my departure from the island, I headed to the port early so I could buy my one-way ticket to Dumaguete (business class available). I saw a carinderia-cum-sari-sari store just in front of the Ocean Jet ticket booth. This is your typical Pinoy carinderia. I picked the Humba, sinfully languishing in mouth-watering oil. I am no cook. That is an understatement. But to my mind, "humba" is the Visayan variety of the Filipino adobo. It is a stewed pork dish that's "sweet, sour, salty" cooked with brown sugar, tausi (salted black beans) and banana blossoms.

My humba is very tasty, its meat tender, and you feel cholesterol impinging on your blood vessels, but I didn't care. One pice of humba costs PhP25 so I ordered 2, plus a cup of rice and a piece of banana. My cheapest meal (many times over) in Siquijor at PhP90 (< $2). 

This is the Eye in the Sky!  

Tender and tasty humba.

Ocean Jet tickets bound for Dumaguete are bought in the small shop at the right in this town also called Siquijor, the capital of the island. The other port is located at the town of Larena. This corner carinderia is located in front of these ticket shops.

Siquijor is the country's 3rd smallest province. It boasts of white sand beaches and a very international population of tourists (backpackers) zipping around this slumbering island.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Breakfast Buffet at I-Residence Hotel Silom (Bangkok)

I love mornings at I-Residence Hotel Silom for so many reasons. Located along Narathivas Rachanakarin Road, the hotel stands just at the footsteps to the Chong Nonsi BTS station. It has a 24-hour convenience store nearby. A fruit vendor occasionally sells those sinfully sweet Thai lansones. 

In the morning, I would leisurely take my time before the 10 AM breakfast cut-off at the 10th floor. I'd stuff myself then head to the adjacent swimming pool. I'd usually sit near the balcony where there's view of the skyline, not to mention the chance for a lazy trainspotting. For those who love their morning meals, don't wait til the very last hour because they usually don't replenish the buffet stock after 9:30 AM.

I-Residence Hotel Silom has a sister branch in Sathorn, but I find this most convenient, with very personable front desk staff. This premium boutique hotel is well maintained. I think it was built sometime 2010.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

BTS Chong Nonsi just in front of I-Residence Silom.