I was in a foul mood. Raymen Beach in Guimaras was already full. It was Maundy Thursday and the mango province dock was overflowing with visitors here for the Lenten holiday. My asawa and I had just arrived at Jordan Wharf to discover that our favorite beach resort in the Philippines was already packed.
No one had paid heed to my advice that we should have left our home outside of Iloilo City hours earlier than we did. Now we would not be able to take our guests from America, Marilyn and Andy, to our first choice. I already had our multicab rented when The Sainted Patient Wife gave me the news.
The Philippines Tourism greeter had informed my spouse that Island Cove Beach Resort, or Alubihod Beach as it's known locally, was not fully booked yet. Gave our driver instructions to go there. The rate for the multicab was still the same as Raymen Beach, P450 (10.50 US Dollars), one way, since our new destination was adjacent to it.
We arrived 30 minutes later at the beach resort entrance. I asked if any nipa huts were available to rent for the day. "None," was the reply. I looked around at my asawa and our guests and wondered aloud, "Now what?"
I made an executive decision to just pay the entrance fee, P20 each (Marilyn had already handed me a P100 note to cover it) and wandered over to the beach area to locate a spot for our party to land. We needed some cover from the sweltering sun. It was hotter than Marian Rivera dancing on a waffle iron.
I spied a Filipino middle-aged man speaking to my wife. He was poking around a covered area which had tables underneath. As long as he wasn't poking my asawa, I was OK. There were two unoccupied tables, and the Filipino was now talking to the lady who I had previously spoken with and told me no huts were available.
We were soon directed to one of the two empty spots and were advised we could rent a table that would afford us some shelter from the sun for P200. Why on earth the person taking my entrance fee did not ask me if I would like a table since no huts were availabe, is beyond my comprehension. I suppose you have to be very specific in whatever you ask for here. I hadn't inquired as to whether there were any empty tables.
Turns out that the Filipino man who arranged the seating for us was also our driver. I hadn't recognized him. He was due to return to pick us up from the beach resort at 6 pm. He had overheard our plight and had stayed behind to help us out.
I went out to the Island Cove beach and noted that it shared the swimming area as Raymen Beach. There was no physical separation aside from a line of buoys in the sand and water placed as the dividing line (see photo above; the swimmers you see are on the Island Cove side. )
There weren't any personnel posted preventing someone from going to one beach to the next. But I would have to check out our favorite beach resort in the Philippines later as I thought it best that we head back to our table and order some food.
I went to exam the lunch menu and was disappointed to see that the prices were somewhat higher than the canteen at Raymen Beach. At Raymen, the servers personally came by your nipa hut to take your order and serve it promptly at the time you wanted to eat.
I realize that this was probably one of the busiest days of the year for this Philippines beach resort, but we had not cooked any food to bring along. We were at the mercy of the Island Cove Resort staff. My asawa and Andy soon joined me as we waited for a group of Filipinas in front of us to place their order. After standing around about five minutes, I advised The Sainted Patient Wife to please order me some BBQ chicken as I headed back to our table to join Marilyn.
I was drinking from an overpriced liter bottle of Coke (70 pesos) as we waited for our food to arrive. The Sainted Patient Wife was told it would take 20-30 minutes. I was OK with that. The beach resort was crowded, and I assumed our chow would arrive on "Filipino Time" anyway.
One hour almost passed by before one noodle dish arrived. My asawa asked if I wanted some of the food, but I told her I would just wait for my BBQ chicken. Ten minutes later some bowls of rice were brought to our table. That was it, still no chicken.
My belly was growling for some food. But looks like I would have to wait. Now the server announced my meal would not arrive for another 30 minutes. Should I just chill out and grab a bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen or search for some grub elsewhere?
What "executive decision" do I reach? Check out the next post for the conclusion, chockfull of photos of the beach resort and the cute Filipinas (including my own asawa) frolicking on this Philippines resort, our last resort for fun that day in Guimaras.