Text and Photos by Henrylito D. Tacio
If you have your own vehicle, it only takes one hour and a half. But if you prefer by bus, you need to spend about three hours.
We left the Ecoland Bus Terminal at around 4 in the morning. As the bus stopped in every station – Panabo, Carmen, Tagum, Maco, and Mabini – we arrived at Pantukan, Davao de Oro at about seven o’clock.
We followed the road going to its receiving area. However, we stopped when we saw the signage: Magnaga Waters Beach Resort, where we had our picture taken for a souvenir.
At the receiving area, we were welcomed by a beautiful lady, who was expecting us as the resort’s general manager, Angelie Perez, already told her of our coming. She accompanied us to the room where we were billeted, but along the way, she met the food and beverage manager, who guided us during our brief stay at the resort.
He asked whether we wanted to eat our breakfast first before proceeding to our room. That’s a good idea, I told him. We went to the restaurant beside the beautiful infinity pool and selected what we wanted to eat from the menu he had given us. I preferred the Filipino meal while my companion picked the English meal.
Since it will take a while before our meals would be ready, we decided to bring our backpacks to our executive room, as he called it. An air-conditioned room good only for two people, it has a bathtub, toilet, and shower, television with cable, wi-fi connection, mini bar, and bath amenities.
Also good for two people is its standard room, which has the same amenities as the executive room but without the bathtub and mini-bar. The quad room has the same facilities as that of a standard room, but it can accommodate four persons. If there are eight of you, a family room is the best choice.
Prices for all of these rooms range from as low as P3,300 to as high as P11,300. Aside from the room, the price also includes breakfast, infinity pool access, and a resort entrance fee. Check-in time is at 2 pm, and check-out time is 12 noon.
Magnaga Waters Beach Resort, which sits on a 12 hectare beachfront, was established in 1998. “Its 500-meter shoreline, wide expanse of green foliage and open spaces and unique architectural designs incorporating local materials makes the resort truly one of a kind,” said its website.
People who come to the resort agree. “This resort is best for family bonding,” says one guest. “Good place to relax when you want to be away from city life,” comments another. “The place was private and we had good memories to remember,” raved another guest, a retiree.
The resort is ideal for team building and other outdoor activities. For couples who are planning to have a beach wedding, then this is the place to be. In fact, the resort can recommend the perfect romantic venue for the wedding; you can exchange “I do’s” either during sunrise or sunset.
The resort has wide parking spots, too, for vehicles. With wide-open spaces, guests and visitors can walk under the acacia trees with cool breeze air. In some instances, you can walk under the trees – which are actually called raintree – as their leaves fall over your body.
The beach cottages are open from 7 in the morning up to 5 in the afternoon.
But the resort’s main attraction is its 25-meter infinity pool, the very first in Davao de Oro. It features a 500-meter lap foot (five feet deep) and a kiddie pool (2-3 feet deep). It is open from 6 am to 8 pm for those who stay at the resort, but for day guests, it’s open for them from 9 am up to 8 pm.
Infinity pools are among the most beautiful creations of human beings on earth. Now, if you stay at the resort, you can have a limitless view of the ocean and watch that breathtaking sunset.
The Camia Restaurant is very near the pool, so there’s no worry if you get hungry while having fun under the sun. It has a jacuzzi and outdoor shower as well. There are lockers, baths, and toilets, which are just a walk away from the pool.
Let’s talk about food. Its breakfast has three choices: English, Filipino, and Arroz a la Cuba. English breakfast is composed of two eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown, grilled tomato, toast, fruit in season, coffee, or hot chocolate.
Filipino breakfast has egg, ham, chorizo, cucumber and tomato, bread, garlic rice, fruits in season, coffee, or hot chocolate. Arroz a la Cuba has ground pork with sunny side up egg and two slices of fried banana (saba).
The restaurant also offers pizza: seafood, cheese, meat supreme, Hawaiian, and spicy pepperoni. It has three choices of salad: green salad, summer shrimp, or eggplant.
The following viands are available: stuffed camaron rebosado, kinilaw, tuna/pork sisig, fried chicken, seafood pancit canton, beef caldereta, Chinese beef stew, chicken curry, chicken cordon bleu, dinuguan (with rice), pork humba, Lechon kawali, baby back ribs, sweet and sour fish, and beef picadillo.
For our lunch, we ordered a Seafood Platter (composed of fresh kinilaw, grilled tuna fish, steamed shrimps, calamares, and steamed rice). It is good for 5-6 people. But you can also order the Hayahay Platter (good for 3-4 persons): fried garlic tilapia, Lechon kawali, fried chicken, and steamed rice.
Drinks could be cold or hot. Cold drinks (in glass or pitcher) include cucumber lemonade, pink lemonade, house blend iced tea, strawberry red iced tea, and fresh calamansi juice. Hot chocolate or honey calamansi may be ordered for its hot drinks. Drip coffee serving includes arabica, barako, French vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel.
You may also avail of its fresh fruit shakes, ripe mango, green mango, watermelon, durian, mango cucumber, and avocado.
On weekends, you can avail the food the resort offers. On Saturdays, it has Beach Barbecue, an evening buffet that serves Korean barbecue, kimchi, classic pork barbecue, and seafood, among others.
Sundays are reserved for Lunch Buffet, an “eat all you can” of salad, appetizers, pizza and pasta, and seafood. Lunch hours are from 11 am up to 2 in the afternoon. Reservations are highly recommended.