Philippines in 3 Weeks (Part 1 of 5)

Hubbie and I flew to join a medical mission in Cauayan, Negros Occidental sponsored jointly by the Philippines Nurses Association Maryland Chapter and the Association of Philippine Physicians in Maryland, Inc. It was a heart-warming 3 days (Feb. 1-3) helping the indigent residents of Cauayan. We were able to extend medical, surgical and dental assistance to about 1,800 patients. Not bad, right?

I have to say, this is one of the most eventful visits to the Philippines that my husband and I had ever done. We went to Surigao for a wedding, a trip to Bacolod, a medical mission in Cauayan, a family trip to Zambales and of course to Cainta where we met up with high school classmates. On the way back to the US we stayed in Hongkong overnight. We both decided we have to go back and stay longer the next time we go home.

That swing

During the last day of the medical mission we had 3 choices:  join the group that will be going to Sipalay, or stay at the nearby Punta Bulata or go back early to Bacolod.  Hubbie and I, being both beach lovers, decided Punta Bulata would be the more practical choice for us.  We knew we needed to meet up with Kuya Ric and Ate Myrna in Bacolod going back to Manila so we needed to be back at the hotel the night before our flight.  We figured, Cauayan to Sipalay would be a 2 hour drive which would make the travel back from Sipalay to Bacolod a good 4-hour drive.  Whereas the trip from Cauayan back to Bacolod would, more or less, just take two hours tops.   I actually don’t want to spend my remaining trip in Negros just inside the car.  There were still some things to discover in Bacolod.  So it was a no-brainer decision – Punta Bulata it is.

That white, fine sand

The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Their food was good.  And the whole place was always clean.  There was nothing for us not to like.  It’s just too bad that I wasn’t able to take a picture of the restaurant or our room so these next two pictures are from their site.

So overall, our stay was actually what we needed.  After our tight and stressful domestic plane trips, a memorable and happy wedding party up to the action-filled medical outreach, this respite was what hubbie and I were longing for.  The place was quiet and it was almost all ours.  Considering the time we went (first week of February), there was not much foot traffic anywhere else.  We had the restaurant to ourselves, the pool felt like it was in our own backyard – it was just perfect!

The water slowly coming in.

The highlight? Those 2 early morning walks with my husband by the beach, when the tide was low but you can still hear the beach at a distance, when you can pick up a starfish and see small fishies swimming by your feet.  That was my “Thank you, my Lord” moment.

Macro photography practice


They also have an infinity pool which we enjoyed to the hilt.  We were there all the time, trying to remember how to swim and what we learned during swimming class (I really have to go back to swim school).  The water was just right – not too cold and not too warm.  Just right for a tropical and warm day.  I enjoyed my GoPro to the max there!

I’m not a very hard person to please when it comes to things like this.  As long as the place is clean, the staff is courteous and helpful, and the food is awesome I have no complaints.  But Punta Bulata met my expectation and more.  For a local resort, it surely was a great place to be at.


I want to show you this video collage I made of that one morning we were at the beach.  Enjoy.


The once named “godmother of the Philippine Blogosphere”, Gigi Manaloto-Refugia, known by her pen name “Ate Sienna” has been blogging since 2002 in her old community where she housed famous bloggers.  She now writes about being 50-something and shares her tips on fashion, makeup, skincare, travel, food and thrift-store diving.

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