Caraga Travel was full of challenge and excitement in one of beautiful God-made and man-made beach resort in Caraga Region, the Almont Beach Resort in Lipata, Surigao City. The heaven was part of it as you take the visit to the place which has the old name Maharlika Training Center. I have the man-made figure because of five star hotel amenities, 3-storey building beautifully crafted in the hands of gifted engineers pasted magnificently in the wall of mountains.
The luxury hotel was somewhat embracing in a God-made steep mountain blending like a natural thing facing the historic ocean breeze which we call it the never fading revelations the Battle of Surigao Strait. For the sake of history, the battle claimed hundreds of thousands of lives between the American and Filipino soldiers against from advancing Japanese Imperial Army in World War II.
Well, somewhat google my minds when I entered history. I learned few from history books that it hit my mind and heart again when getting back and starts digging the past. I live in Butuan City with its colourful history. The name Caraga was discovered in an old map with a name ‘provincia de caraga’ when Magellan and his men started discovering the islands taking the first route in the Philippines which is now called Surigao Strait.
History became the important aspect in life since I was a kid because of learning it from school. I will never forget how my teachers reveal to us that they are teaching the wrong history when the First Mass in the Philippines was held in Limasawa of Leyte. The recovered materials, facts and evidences of the past prove Butuan as the real throne to history not mentioning the famed Balangay Boats existed in 320 AD. The claim of First Mass gives value and meaning to the present cultural heritage where earliest colonizers tend to associates with early inhabitants.
Set Me Up for Surigao City
During the day, preparation getting much occupied since training will starts next week for the introduction of new system. Preparation is not easy after all because aside from monetary activities preparation was done in the state of physical and mental well-being. But that is not an excellent thing to do when I attended training due to exhaustion and loss of energy. Training will be focused somewhat about system enhancement, still engrossed with computer world that I love to vacate. The hands still hearing the tone of the keys in the keyboard while polluting rays hit a razor sharp in my eyes in front.
I have been thinking I will be leaving Butuan City to Cagayan de Oro next week where the old system we are using will be totally disbanded from our unit. Well, thinking of Cagayan de Oro City freshly remembered the struggle against the raging water of Cagayan de Oro Water Rafting, and able to surpassed the 14 rapids that blow-up my spirit.
But wait! Another activity for Surigao City taking place this afternoon till tomorrow in what we call personal enhancement. Doing this for good but for the sake of command responsibility, I will be jumping right away and witness another world of Caraga Destinations unfolds in the distance.
Travels in a place that I have never been were lots of surprises. But I got easily tired when jumping to a faraway place because of what they called ‘travel sickness’. My own line of defenses are the used of antacids to splice up the stomach from growing acidity. When into travel the main thing should do is to prepare two tablets in one swallowed and will never forget the doses wherever I should go.
Seven peoples in a vehicle that placed me at the back seat is a bit comfortable that put me to sleep in time. Actually, we are heading to Surigao City with 70 peoples more or less, others are using rented bus with a note ‘Special Trip’ in front. We are group of peoples from one agency to commemorate anniversary celebrations heading to Almont Beach Resort.
Almont Beach Resort Dazzling Location
After hearing one of my group mates that we are about to enter the gates of Almont Beach Resort, I was a little bit relief after two hours traveling from Butuan. Passing different locations in going the street of Lipata, Surigao City, overlooking seas and mountains were staggering beauty. Luckily I was able to stretch my legs for hours trap in a running vehicle, and walk quietly forward stepping up small stairs in near distance that turns out a spacious ground overlooking the ocean, islands, mountains, and Surigao City downtown areas.
After exploring the whole scene I came to my own point of view later that I am standing the top of a luxury hotel. I thought that standing in an area visible to the main entrance and the hotel is nowhere to found. But all these things became unique because after we park our vehicle, stepping out into the ground, and in the near concrete floors is already astounding revelation in welcoming visitors at the rooftop, and nature gazing began when the world exist under your feet.
This was the real scene before my eyes. Looking beyond those mountains when sunset started to evade, the deep blue sea was calm and still. Flat in never ending lines extended to small islands and big islands across for hundred nautical miles. As far as your eye can reach the glowing scene against the creation of God, your nerve started to loosen and fix the red eye from straining and began to sparkle. All your effort and discomfort for two hours in the road at the starting line and reaching Almont Beach Resort are gone like magic. This we call the unexplained wealth behind the scenes.
When Mother Natures started to embrace, and surrounded anywhere, here started feel the longevity in life. Between time and space as you started exploring things youthful energy began to surface. I remember as a kid will never miss a single day watching sunset at the terrace or rush to the river banks at dusk. The healing process of nature cannot be taken away after days of grind and drain.
I notice small island in the middle with white line, I presumed a white sand beach. It is much closer compare to other islands, later learned it was Basul Island. Asking someone in the desk center how to get there but I get nothing, instead advise me to jump to downtown Surigao City where availability for boat renting located in the seaport. Looking the heart of Surigao City was too distant before my naked eye where I stand.
Renting a boat can be easily done since lots of operators are eager to devote their life in the sea for a living, jumping from one island to another for the sake of others who are exploring the beauty of Surigao City. If manage to start hopping from Almont Beach Resort shoreline we can dock Basul Island less in time compare much in the heart of Surigao City. Anyway, this was an impractical solution of my visit since I am dreaming for impossibility, and I am not here for Basul Island.
I started investigating as I walked down the stairs that turns out reversal. I have usually done getting the entrance at the ground floor when checking in but not in Almont Beach Resort. Stepping down reaching the third floor first, and find way to the ground floor. In the third floor take a snap look closer much the scenic view of jaded pools surrounded with trees in the forest. Getting closer, thinking there was a continuing effort seeing man-made pools and God-made ocean blending in one angular direction. That was excellently done before the curious naked eye.
In the ground floor walking directly to the shoreline, I became aware of man-made structures embraced with trees and flowers in front of large blue waters. Giving back the natures when surroundings dominated by green environment. Basically, man cannot live without plant and trees which is forming a building block in the ecosystem. Without it where we can get oxygen in the air, and our eyes dying to see such a beautiful world of purely natural. Not the scenic digital world in your flat screen can ease the pain in your eyes. Simply go out to the real world and start the healing process.
The shoreline putting me in static mood and attached myself for hours with lots of corals scattered in a not so purely white sand beach. I remember my attachment to the coral infested beach in Agusan del Norte, the Bolihon Beach Resort. But here a different tone of experiences became endemic and opportunistic. The waters were so calm and clear in both distances that stones can be seen beneath the water level and swimming fishes passes by even the sky started getting dark. Two of my group mates were tempted to do some fishing with their ready-made bait which I believe all set before making a trip to Almont Beach Resort.
The Morning After
After taking part in office activities that ended up almost nine in the evening, I have to refrain from any extension group taking revelry that end myself in bed. Sleeping in a luxury hotel somewhat has a feeling of guilt because you live like king in a glamorous place while my wife and kids lives in an ordinary home that is mostly the average Filipino living conditions.
Hotel first class amenities were at par when entered a third floor in a floor-carpeted entrance door up to the exit door that trapped my way in a terrace to witness the saga of large bodies of water and occupying islands. Standing in the terrace like in the top of a mountain with yourself snapping the whole world below.
The terrace was a continuing length across the whole third floor and you can walk across from end to end if you wish to jump a wooded border in every room to meet every one in the rooms we are all occupying. The terrace became the partying venue for a chance in a lifetime escape that everyone wants a dramatic entry into the deep of the night.
The room is spacious that eight persons accommodated in a neat white walls that put me in a slumber of sleep for having lost the energy and preparing forward for the next travel in Cagayan de Oro City. But through the process of sleeping I thought of having dreams when noises of laughter echoes into the room for long hours but gain my consciousness later that revelry is continuing till the morning comes.
At 5:30 in the morning I have to get up because catching a sunrise in the middle of vast ocean forms a graphic image in my mind. Open up the door immediately into the terrace when my eyes still drooping from sleep. Grabbing Mother Nature was at stake after you wake up. Bearing the speed of time before opportunities gone witnessing every single seconds when sunrise entry in the womb of Mother Nature.
The entry into the terrace was dramatic because the saga of my group mates continues. One of them approaches immediately while calling my name when I came out from the door in the terrace. He walks like catching his step apparently with a bottle of beer in his right hand and face me with a loud voice in a welcome tone singing the Caraga Hymn.
A move that wake my eyes from drowsy state and started energizing the whole scene when a tough lawyer started singing and the whole boys follow soon singing Caraga Hymn. I open my mouth with them in dedication until the last line spreading angel voices that bounces in a sleepy ocean.
“Welcome to our beloved Caraga
Historic name of Region thirteen
God’s boundless love and blessings
Are all bestowed without restrain
Verdant valleys and tow’ring trees
Deepest Ocean and shining seas…”
The music and lyrics of the song completely mesmerized myself as I sing and started shooting the keyword ‘shining seas’ in the middle of the hymn. I made a quick stop temporarily. The moment started when the sunrise entry into the ocean begins.
Wow! Sunrise was sweet and dominating. The shining seas emerge like gold when the rays of sun started shooting Mother Nature. Never mind the background misty mountains between islands and mainland in the distance facing Almont Beach Resort. The center of attraction goes to the beautiful rising sun. Waiting from time to time that moves forward rising from slumber of sleep to sail in a new day of life.
Clouds forming in the distance added shows the art of nature like the duck wanted to swim in the ocean gold. The image of the duck creates controversy behind an early sun started showing creativity that lure deep one’s imagination. Later as time continues ticking another world open up in seconds witnessing them without winking the eyes of the beholder. Sun’s rays continue to bloom before clouds, mountains, and ocean while shifting another pace of time in dramatic mood. Spreading rays colored clouds turning the whole scene in a magical world. I thought living not in a planet that I normally lives or simply living the land before time.
Almont Beach Resort Bidding Goodbye
There are places on earth that you must see before you die. In Caraga Region I have accomplished something going such amazing places in a priceless adventure. Expect myself before I die landing my two feet in Almont Beach Resort putting a mark in my Caraga Travel and the rest of Caraga Destinations.
Someone is telling me that living our life once in a while in a luxurious ways like the one in a luxury hotel in Caraga such a blessed one. Luxury hotel thrive with natures is an excellent man-made facilities. I made some effort going around the vicinity like touching the mountains where Almont Beach Resort resides then down the shoreline. The last moments I have done it abuse time and space exploring Mother Nature along the way before it ends. No one can stop and arrest you of what you did.
Forgetting exposure too much of sun’s heat and put me in healthy sweats. Be brave enough going around and meeting some friends since plants and old trees shields you against the solar flare effect since green environment dominates Almont Beach Resort. Added tone was the sea breezes give extra much life to the lungs from the clogging urban life. Take the deep breath for seconds and go back to Butuan City with much pure blood and strength.
I have done enough before leaving Almont Beach Resort. I am fortunate because I live in Caraga.