100 Games of Cribbage

Trip Start Jul 06, 2010
Trip End Jun 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
Kapuluan Vista Resort
What I did
Waited for holy week to end.

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Friday, April 22, 2011

We read in our guide book that holy week is NOT a time to be traveling in the Philippines, so in anticipation of this we booked a hideout for holy week months ago at a place called Pagupud, (on the northern tip of Luzon).  There are two famous beaches in Pagupud.  Saud Beach and Blue Lagoon.  Our guidebook raved about Blue Lagoon saying it was where "white sand and turquoise water conspire majestically together in one place" (or some such bullshit) and it was the "Boracay of the North".  Not much was said about Saud Beach other than it was the more commercial beach.

Based on this info, we booked ourselves in at Kapuluan Vista Resort on Blue Lagoon near Pagupud for 8 days.  The resort received great reviews on Trip Advisor and came highly recommended by our guide book.  We have NO idea why it received such glowing praise.  The place had little to recommend itself.  First off, it is outrageously overpriced. We spent our first 3 night in a "standard room" which cost $63/night (we had no choice as the cheaper rooms were fully booked).  You'd think for that price they would at least put a chair, table or even a hook up in the room. Instead it just had a bed, mosquito net and a/c. The bed sheets had orange stains all over them and the room was in desperate need of a good cleaning.  

We then transfered to a 2 bed dorm room with shared bathroom for the outrageous price of $30/night.  This is when things took a turn for the worst.  The dorm room had an open air concept (i.e. no ceiling).  Just walls that went part way up to a barn type roof with wood rafters where little critters liked to run around and shit from the ceiling onto our beds/heads.  That's right folks.  Nothing like sleeping with feces raining down on you all night.  To protect ourselves we slept with our heads under the covers suffocating all night.

We complained to the owner of Kapuluan Resort that rat shit was raining from the roof and he told us not to worry about it as it was only gecko shit raining down.  What?  We don't care if it is bloody fairies and unicorns dropping shit on us - it is still feces!!  And we don't want to sleep in it!

Oh and did we mention the ants?  If you weren't sleeping in feces you had ants crawling all over the bed.   Oh! and the mosquitoes (open air remember?).  We have no idea why the a/c room had a mosquito net, but the open air dorm room didn't.  It doesn't make any sense.  And the shared toilets!  They hadn't been cleaned in ages!  It was disgusting (see pictures).  

Our question is this - What were we paying $32/night for?  Isn't the whole point of paying for a hotel room to shelter you from the elements and provide you a clean place to have a shower? Here we were attacked by mosquitoes, ants and had shit raining on us all night.  And it would have been cleaner to squat outdoors than use the shared bathrooms.

Sure, the food at the restaurant wasn't bad - but that's hardly enough to redeem the place.  The best part was that Kapuluan Vista Resort bills itself as "environmentally friendly" and "organic".  PLEASE!  That is just an excuse not to clean the rooms or throw away the dirty sheets.  And environmentally friendly our asses.  The amount of chemicals they used everyday to clean the pool was hardly "friendly", nor was the pesticide and fertilizer they used to spray the garden where they supposedly grow their own "organic" vegetables.  

Lastly - the Resort is in the middle of nowhere.  Fine if you have your own vehicle, but otherwise you are trapped here with nothing to do and no where to go.  It's a 10-15 minute walk from the resort to the Blue Lagoon - which in fairness was a pretty little beach but hardly worth being trapped here for 8 days.  Boracay of the north?  Not really - the only thing it had in common with Boracay was the hundreds of tourists swarming the beach.

To add insult to injury it poured rain for the first 2 days leaving us with nothing to do but eat, read and play crib over and over and over again (Wendy came out the clear winner).  Since there were no chairs in our room we spent the days in the restaurant where the staff glared at us and tried to get us to leave.  But we were stubborn and refused to budge.  

Needless to say we were miserable so we opened up our guidebook and called every hotel within a 100 mile radius in the hope of getting out of this dump.  But it was to no avail.  Everything was fully booked.  We were getting desperate, so we paid a small fortune to have a tricycle drive us into town where we searched the internet for a flight back to Manila and a hotel to spend the rest of Easter at.  We never thought that in a million years we would be happy to go back to Manila.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.

On our way back from town we decided to stopped off at Saud Beach to check it out.  It was lovely!  Commercial?  What the hell is the guidebook talking about?  Sure it had a few hotels and restaurants on it - but don't people need to sleep and eat?  What's wrong with a few amenities? We were kicking ourselves for not booking on this beach instead.  Thanks again Lonely Planet - you once again steered us wrong.

Oh well - at least we were getting out of here.  So we checked out of Kapuluan on Good Friday and tried to find a bus to Laoag (which was actually not that easy given that Good Friday is a holiday), but we made it and boarded our flight to Manila.  We choose a hotel in a new area of Manila this time (Makati) and it was fabulous.  The hotel was really nice and the area was much safer and more sanitized than our previous Manila experience.  Our Easter was saved!  We had a great 3 days in Manila.  Who knew?

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