I wanted to go on a self-retreat last September so I searched online for a great place to be alone. I found Virgin Beach Resort, a cheap place in Daanbantayan, Malbago, Cebu which was about a 3 to 4 hour bus trip from Cebu City. It was the least expensive, but seemingly peaceful place I could find on Agoda with a daily rate of P820.00. Once booked, I immediately contacted the resort to confirm and ensure my worry-free arrival. I was surprised that they gave me a discount making it only P500/night! That got me so excited.

However, when the bus dropped me off, I was not prepared to ride the old and quite dirty brown official van of the resort. With the discount in mind… I decided to ignore the discomfort.

The view that greeted me seemed more than worth it at first! There was a beautiful pool with a slide, a mini-golf course for kids and the beach further ahead seemed inviting. The nice thing about it was that I had the whole resort to myself. Yes, I was the only visitor. There were 4 people I could call on when needed. The manager, his sister, the cook and the security guard were all very nice.

My room was quaint and had another door opening up to the patio where you can view the neighboring lots full of trees. It was relaxing. When I asked for the menu, however, they only had chicken and pork good for one person. They made me pork adobo and I was happy with my meal. It was delicious!

After eating, I finally decided to walk around the resort so that I could pray the rosary and start my retreat. I felt disheartened. I was hoping to pray while walking towards and along the beach, but the sight around me was too distracting. Upon closer view, the mini-golf course needed repairs after the resort was struck by typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. The water in the pool seemed clean from afar, but not so upon closer look.

I ignored the pool and went on my way to a little hut farther ahead where I figured one can take pleasure watching the beach. The path going there smelled like horse manure, but was littered with goat dung. The resort, as it turned out, had 2 horses that could be ridden by its guests and the goats were the resorts’ neighbors. The goats freely roamed around the pool and hut areas so they left their traces everywhere. When I finally got to the hut, the seats were also marked by the goats. The beach, now in full view, was too rocky to get to.

I ended up staying in my room and the patio most of the time because I couldn’t stand the manure everywhere else. The staff and food were nice, but the resort definitely needs to be cleaned and rehabilitated. I really wish the owners would do something since it seemed a fun place before typhoon Haiyan.

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