Sunday, June 10, 2012

Exclusive Getaway

Think Punta Fuego and exclusivity comes to mind. Boasting for being a high-end residential beach front property, I never thought I would be able to even step inside this one-of-a-kind private community. Thanks to my colleagues as they're able to "contract" with an owner who, upon us accepting their terms, allowed our team for an overnight stay in their house. But what could have been a luxurious vacation turned out to be a weekend of unfortunate events.

Infinity pool -- just one of the exclusive attractions at Punta Fuego
I opted not to include a photo of the entire house since it is a private property. Theirs is located in the 88-hectare Peninsula de Punta Fuego (Translation: "Point of Fire") which was developed in 1995. Three years later, Terrazas de Punta Fuego, originally a 61-hectare property, was built. It is a must to bring a car (or a van for a group) if you go to Punta Fuego. It is 88 hectares and the facilities are built apart from each other!

Photo at the stairs
We arrived at around 10:00ish just in time to prepare for lunch. After eating, we asked our driver to take us to the Peninsula Beach. It is quite a short stretch but the water is pretty deep just about 8 to 10 tiptoe swim from the shoreline (at least for my height!). Since it's an exclusive resort, it wasn't too crowded. Unfortunately, though, that weekend was when Typhoon "Ambo" entered the country so, well, it rained for the majority of the time we were there. First unfortunate event.

Beach background
With my team
Wacky? Asan?
And raining on a beach isn't exactly what one would enjoy. With that, we instead rented a banana boat. It costs PHP1,800 (two flips) for 15 minutes for 8 people. Since there were 10 of us, we haggled for them to allow everyone, and eventually they said yes! For most of us, it's a first so "kuya" wasn't that hard on us. I wish he were but I got to give it to my colleagues. Still, it was blast! However, one of my peeps, Josh, got her ankle "re-injured" (as it was already sprained the night before). If only I remembered, I would not have allowed her. Second unfortunate event.

I am game!
Of course, team pose!
Different angle!
About to move

We decided not to stay at the beach after that adventurous ride. We checked the time and it was only 1:00PM despite the day looking like it was 4:00ish already. And so we thought we use the opportunity to enjoy the facilities at the clubhouse. It was still raining and we didn't want to wet our van so we figured out it's best to walk. Yes, walk! We didn't know how far it was so we just enjoyed goofing around in the rain. It couldn't even remember the last time I did this!

Walking in the rain!
Welcome to the Beach Club -- not the Main Club yet!
Angas! Lakas ng loob maligo sa ulan!
After like a 3-kilometer walk (yes it's that far), we arrived at the Main Club and quickly asked for an available nurse. Good thing they have -- plus points for Club Punta Fuego! While Josh was being medicated, we inquired about the club's facilities and from there we learned that guests have to pay Php500 each for the full use of the club (It's free for club members). Not everyone's amenable to it so we decided to think about it overnight. For us who wanted to do it, we thought it's best to go back early morning the next day so we could make use of our money's worth, that is, hoping the next day's weather would be better. 

While the girls were preparing early for dinner, I was able to successfully set up our Magic Sing. All was well, when, lo and behold, the electricity shut down! The house has no generator so waited patiently. The power came back but after about 10 minutes, it shut down again! Videoke attempt failed.

Videoke attempt. Guess the song :)
We ate at the house's outdoor kitchen so we were unfazed by the blackout. The power came back for the third time so we attempted another videoke session. However, as soon as everyone's settled down in the entertainment area, well, blackout na naman!. Videoke attempt really failed. Third unfortunate event. 

At that point, we called the owner to help us with the situation but it just ended up in an argument, which included an unfair offer to make up for what happened. I'd rather not go into details. Fourth unfortunate event.

Because of that, as soon as the electricity came back, I asked everyone to just use the time to wash up and prepare for bed. Unfortunately, in barely 10 minutes, yes, the power was off again. It was then decided to arrange the extra mattresses on a big space on the first floor because it provides a cooler atmosphere. Despite the rain, it was weirdly humid inside the house. Minus the scary stories being attempted to share, it was turning out to be a good night sleep until I felt some droplets of water on my face. When I woke up, I saw that water's dripping from the stair's stringer (I was sleeping below the stairs). With that, the sleep was completely interrupted. Fifth unfortunate event.

Team bonding it is!
Nevertheless, the next day, I proposed that we spend the rest of the morning at the clubhouse. With the situation being the same still, this time everyone agreed to spend some money for comfort and fun. The weather was cooperating that day so we knew this time it'll be better. Since we were only guests, the management had to verify that indeed the owners granted us privilege to use the club. After checking here and there, we're able to go inside. As guests, we were required to wear our water-proof wrist bands, which I thought were really cool.

The club is famous for its Infinity Pool. This one in the Peninsula has two levels, one measuring 3 feet, the other 5 feet. It sits right where there's a wide view of the South China Sea. I'd also have to commend the club for having one of the cleanest and clearest pool I've ever swam into (like there's really a way to qualify pools! LOL!). To simply put it. this amenity we really enjoyed.

Infinity pool! Can't wait to get wet!
Water-proof wrist band
Enjoying the clear swimming pool
To infinity and beyond!
Dang, who owns an underwater camera, agreed to take some underwater group and solo shots (of course, she has to be included! Hehehe!). With the water being clear, the problem was not getting a good shot but it was having enough air to stay submerged!

Di nakatingin (Dang in the middle)
Gotcha camera!
Smile (w/Josh)
Solo shot (medyo malabo nga lang and one take lang so di naulit)
Aside from the Main Club's pool, there are also swimming pools at the Lower and Upper Beach Clubs. The available service transport at that time was headed to the Lower Beach Club, thus we spent the rest of our stay there.

About to transport
Mas kita ako!
Syempre group pic!
Hunk pose by the rocky seaside! LOL!
The experience was coupled with a number of mishaps yet it was genuinely fun. It was originally set as a team-building activity (which turned out to be just a group trip) and the goal was still achieved. In fact, I actually thought that's what made it all exclusive. It may not be an ideal "Punta Fuego" getaway but we are proudly owning this experience. Indeed, a trip becomes truly memorable when you have no idea what to expect.

Note: Photos courtesy of Dang, Randolf and Toni. Thanks, guys!

Peninsula de Punta Fuego
June 2-3, 2012

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