For two years in a row I was able to visit the City of Sipalay in Negros Occidental to participate a week-long Barungay Festival celebration where I was once again invited to judge a special citation of Most Photogenic Kite in Flight in its annual kite-flying competition held last March 20. This time the strain of identifying best kites were lessened, which somehow enabled me to explore other places of interest in a city dubbed as Negros Occidental’s sugar capital.
As a coastal city, there are plenty of nice resorts especially in the North-western portion of the town where Sugar Beach is nestled. I missed this place in my first visit because my group took a cruise down southwest for an island hopping, an equally must-try experience when staying in Sipalay. This time, we were accompanied by Miss Rhea Carbajosa, the Tourism Officer, on the other side to witness a magnificent stretch of white sand in Sugar Beach.
Formerly named Langub Beach, Sugar Beach is a long stretch of fine sand and is home to several beautiful resorts. The powdery sand of Sugar Beach turns into light brown color in the morning when the sun rays hit directly to its track, making it a resemblance to Muscovado Sugar. The pristine blue waters here is to me the cleanest, while I was told that the underwater environment is excellent as it is one of the island’s diving spots.
After a 20-minute boat ride from the Tourism Center we docked by Takatuka Resort. This is a themed resort with unique features. Each room is subjected with distinct theme, and the beach front is solely filled with tremendous stillness. Foreign tourists are the most dominant market in Takatuka and some domestic visitors who love to stay in a serene environment.
Another resort in Sugar Beach, definitely the more interesting one especially for minimalist travellers like me, is the Driftwood Village resort. This one boosts of its driftwood-themed attraction where almost all junctures and structures are cosmetically engaged with pieces of huge wood debris, perhaps just sourced out from around the beach area. Here, creativity is the name of the game.
What is more fascinating about Driftwood Village is the simplicity of its offerings to its guests. The rooms are really at its modest, established with light materials like bamboo slats flooring and nipa shingle roofing. To get rid of mosquitos they used a common mosquito net because all rooms have no airconditioning units. Local plant species such as eucalyptos, bamboo, coconut and some century-old bushes shade the entire perimeter. In Driftwood Resort, you will be transported a couple of generations backward.
My visit in Driftwood Village resort recently reaffirmed my thoughts that tourism in the 21st century will be a “back to basic” thing. It will be highlighted with something natural, something green and something that reveals calmness and simplicity.
Just as I was about to conclude it was my last visit in Sipalay but the experience in Sugar Beach is a sweet temptation to really be back to this secluded paradise. I think I have to stay there for at least one night to gaze for stars and enjoy another version of sunset. I think I have to be back to solemnise my existence.
Special thanks to resort managers whom I really had great time talking with - Miss Dina and Miss Daisy - and to the ever gorgeous Tourism Officer of Sipalay Miss Rhea Carbajosa for being so generous and accommodating.