Bamboo Paraiso: Back to Basics at Hundred Islands

Michelle, Jeanne, and I, along with my in-laws headed out of town for the long Holy Weekend. We decided on it rather late so I had a hard time looking for accommodations. I tried the hotels but they were all fully booked. I learned about transient houses and didn’t like them. Nor the idea. I figured, since you’re at the ocean, might as well stay near it.

So I looked around for a beach resort and finally found one that looked promising: Bamboo Paraiso. It has a pretty informative website and I found a good blog review. I called the resort and talked to the manager, Gerry Lacuata. Initially there was no availability but he promised to check and get back to me. After a few hours, he informed me that there’s been an availability. I called and we quickly sealed the deal.

We left early Thursday morning to try and avoid the Holy Week exodus. As it was, we still got caught in some traffic at NLEX. But after that it was relatively smooth driving and in about 6 hours, we were at Bamboo Paraiso’s bamboo gates.

Inside, there’s a small parking area good for 4-6 cars. The rest of the amenities are similarly basic. For day trippers, there’s 1 big and 2 small beachfront gazebos. For overnighters, they have 6 hut (good for 4 people), a beachfront family hut (good for 6 people), and a beachfront couple’s hut (good for a couple :P). All huts are made of bamboo and other local materials. The huts don’t have toilets or bathrooms. Instead there are 3 toilets and baths outside much like traditional outhouses. The whole place has a pleasant rustic feel to it.

For food, there’s a store/kitchen. But nothing is on stock, at least when we were there, so you need to plan your meals and Gerry will buy them from the local market and Faye, the storekeeper/cook will prepare and serve your meals. Their service was exemplary. Of course, you can also opt to cook your own meals. They can provide a grilling stand but you will have to bring your own stove.

The beach is course brownish white sand. The waters are calm and shallow for quite a distance from the shore. Good for kids. The beach is part of what is called Bolo Beach 2. It’s a horseshoe shaped cove lined with resorts from one end to the other. So if for some reason Bamboo Paraiso doesn’t cut it for you, there are choices.

There’s electricity and water. And that’s it. There’s no air conditioning, there’s no electric fans. Not that they’re needed as there’s almost always an ocean breeze blowing. There’s no WiFi so you need to bring your own Internet connection if you really must have it. And surprisingly, there’s no videoke machine! Unfortunately, the neighboring resorts do and you can’t help but overhear the singing. The quality is standard videoke fare (which is to say bad). No Zendee Rose Tenerefes here.

So what to do there? Quite a lot. As Jeanne said, she had fun building castles, and  swimming, and riding on boats, and resting on the hammock, and watching fishes. And of course, there’s Hundred Islands. Interestingly, Bamboo Paraiso is actually nearer to the islands than the regular jump-off point at Lucap wharf. We went there the next morning and spent time at Old Scout Island which was the least crowded among the islands that have beaches. Just the stuff you need to get away and de-stress.