Written by Mommy Tina
It was a long drive from Cagayan de Oro, more than 2 hours each way, but we didn’t mind simply because for our family, it’s not just about the destination that we look forward to in these trips; it’s everything, including the long road trip! Sitting in the car for hours gives us time to talk about almost anything that interests us. We laugh a lot at the jokes that we share and we laugh too, at each other and how we respond to the jokes.
We left Cagayan de Oro around 8:30 or 9 in the morning and since we did not eat our breakfast (it was intentional – you’ll know why after I finish this sentence …), we had breakfast take-out at Jollibee in Puerto. Then off we went towards our desired destination – anywhere as long as it has a nice, clean beach and a swimming pool. Along the way we did some errands (our family is big on throwing one single stone and hitting two birds – meaning it was both work and play at the same time), and so travel took a little longer than normal … and again we didn’t mind. We were all happy and excited about what was ahead for us the whole day.
We stopped at Nita’s (in Talisayan) for lunch, although it was just a few minutes after 11 in the morning. Lunch was a letdown, I’ll explain in another article. Suffice it so say we decided, after our expensive but unsatisfying lunch, that we will eat in another place the next time we find ourselves in Talisayan. Perhaps we will go back to our old ‘suki’ Paasa.
From Talisayan we drove for a few minutes more and then we arrived at Villa Arcadia Resort in Calamcam. Going to the direction of Gingoog and Butuan, it’s on the left side of the road.
The gate of the resort was a few meters down a slope (don’t worry; any car can pass through the path). When we arrived at the gate, it was partially open and there was no one in sight so we honked. The receptionist came and opened the gate for us. I went inside the building where the reception area was located and a pleasant lady attended to my needs.
I paid the following fees for our daytime adventure (day use is up to 6 pm only):
- Entrance fee = 50.00 per person
- Picnic Hut = 500.00
- Swimming Pool = 50.00 (kids and adults)
I politely asked the lady if it’s okay that we don’t get a cottage anymore (500 pesos???) since we will not be eating and we can leave our things in the car (the very thing a budget-conscious Mother would do) and just get them when its time to change. She said: “No! If you pay only the entrance fee, you can not swim in the beach since the fee is only good for sightseeing!” Arggggghhhh! Well, it was a long way from Cagayan de Oro and I was just too excited to jump in the pool so I obligingly paid the whole amount … and we began descending the steps down towards the cottages and the beach!
Here’s what I think of the place …
The Swimming Pool – Because we were the only ones there, we had the pool all to ourselves. It was a small pool. The deepest part is probably around 8 feet and the shallow part around 3 feet.
The Beach – They have two areas where people can swim and both areas have white sand and a few sea rocks on the shallow areas ideal for picture taking. The seawater is clear, clean, and salty (of course!)
The Shower Room – Clean, deep-well water (you can tell because it’s salty) but no lights inside the shower rooms and no place to hang or put your clean, dry clothes, as well as your wet ones.
They don’t have a restaurant or a store/canteen where you can buy food in case you did not bring any. Oh! They have, but it’s closed.
We were unsure of safety and security, whether our things will be safe should we all decide to swim in the pool, which, unfortunately for us, was way up on the other side of the resort. We were given a table/hut on the left side of the resort, very near the beach, which was a good spot if our intention was only to enjoy the beach and not the pool, and of course if only we had someone with us who’s only responsibility was to watch over our things. What brought about this concern? We noticed that there were people on the other side of the fence (and the fence was just a structure and anybody can just come and go through the beach). In fact there’s a residential home on the lot beside the resort. Bottom line, because we all wanted to swim in the pool, we had to carry all our belongings to a hut near the pool for safety purposes.
So over-all, will I recommend Villa Arcadia to any of my friends? Yes of course!
Just a few tips! Maybe call in advance to see if the place is full or not. Then make a reservation. Their contact numbers are:
0915 377 3738; 0915 344 9718; 0908 429 0094
- Non Aircon Room 600 good for 2
- Ordinary Aircon 900 good for 2
- Standard Aircon 1,350 good for 2
- De Luxe Aircon 1,800 good for 2
- Superior Aircon 2,500 good for 2
- Executive Aircon 3,500 good for 5
- Glass Bottom Boat 600/10 pax
- Sipaka Adventure 1,200/10 pax
Finally, around 4 in the afternoon we left the resort and headed home to Cagayan de Oro City. I was told the sunset in the resort was a beauty to behold but staying to watch it would mean that we will have to leave by 6 pm and arrive in CdO at 8 pm. By then Nessie will be crying and that’s the last thing we want. I still saw the sunset though as we drove towards home. The highway was just a few feet from the shoreline and in between houses, buildings, a few trees and occasional hills, the amber red sun seemed to travel with us towards home. The setting sun on the horizon was truly breathtaking!
It was a perfect day for us!