Are you still looking for the pearls from Davao? Those that came from the Sulu seas? Those oysters that were shipped to Samal island coming from different places of the country were to be cultivated and let to mature into pink, white, and golden- colored pearls and prepare them for processing after the harvest. Where are they now? And the farms?
After I checked in at Regency Inn Hotel in Davao city, I began my wandering moments walking around the city just to experience the best way to find out the whereabouts of city roads. Without losing the thought of buying pearls as my present when I come back from this trip, I wrote a message on a piece of paper which was actually my plane ticket, “pearls for mama and my sister”.
It was tiring going nowhere. I was like a satellite making an orbit around my hotel until I took notice of a book store a few meters away from where I began feeling, I should piss off. I came in and browsed some post cards displayed unattractively at the shelf. Five pieces were not enough to caught my interest but one. The Pearl Farm beach resort post card had my curiosity bloomed and made my mind beg for inquisitive action. Asking where, what, how had me for positive replies that suited my resources. The attendant was kind enough to tell me the nearest travel agency for a reservation. And the deal was finalized and closed. I would be crossing the sea for Samal island where Pearl Farm is, tomorrow.
The morning has come to sail the South sea. The moment I saw the silhouette of the Pearl Farm, I felt a different kind of feeling. It was like I’m on the clouds making some attack dives at the “Parola”. My excitement was raging and ready to burst out as I step on the wooden planks of the quay. Tourists, including me, were greeted with ice-cold, blood-colored fruit drinks as soon as the lady receptionists approached us with smiling faces puffed with powdered pinkish make-up. Exclusively for corporate tours only, each member was given a locally made necklace for souvenir. What a pity! I should have mixed myself with them just to have that necklace.
After checking my reservation, I was led to my cottage and as we walked, I can’t help but admire the beauty of the resort’s amenities. The myriad of birds flying above head was a welcome treat. I haven’t seen the whole surroundings yet, but I had concluded that it was a perfect setting for lovers.
It’s a bamboo cottage humble enough to be much bigger than an ordinary bamboo house. As I entered, a large bed greeted my eyes.There were orchid flowers strewn all over the spread and linen. And that made me think that this cottage is for newlyweds on a honeymoon bout. The soft bed was much wider than a queen size or matrimonial bed, as I wildly guessed its measurements. There was a large TV set with cable connection, a small ref with chocolates of different kinds, bottles of beer and soft drinks, and a telephone where guests can order food and have it served in bed. It was really amazing as there was a garden at the back where you can relax and inhale the coolness of the humid mountain breeze and the arid light wind of the nearby beach. The safety vault was a surprise to me. Now I could leave my wallet, cellphone, and other important items in it while enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The next morning was a bit lazy for me to flex some muscles. I was still heavily laden with dreaminess. At 7 a.m., breakfast was already waiting for me at the Pavilion.
There was a wide array of food to choose from. Set at the long line of tables were, American, Asian, and the native dishes of the region. Although it was an eat-all-you-can package , I still heeded my doctor’s advise back home not to overeat so, I settled for a low-fat, low, salt, low-calorie breakfast. And that meant american bread, a little of light butter, fruit juice and the fruits of the season. I thought that what I have eaten was not worth my regular breakfast back home but, it was healthy anyway.
Without boasting myself, a lady approach my table, and with pride, presented herself as the manager and the heir of the property. Opening up a conversation with me which touched our personal lives and a little of current events was a wonderful chat to end a meal.
The rest of the days were spent swimming at the white sand beach at the nearby island and at the infinity pool. I don’t own a muscled sexy body and, at the same time, I don’t have hairy chest. I am just blessed with a saintly face. As I said before, I’m not boasting but again, a woman approached me by the poolside and made a striking talk with me. I did not even made an eye to eye contact with her nor our sights met somewhere. She made her life open to me while I kept mum about myself. She continued conversing with me while her foreigner husband kept on looking at us while tending their child at the pool. I broke off the conversation as I sensed jealousy was slowly getting the better time of her husband. I went back to my cottage but spent a little while at the outdoor Jacuzzi. Enjoying the bath while several species of birds were flying over head was like taking a bath in a biblical river. What a day !
Meanwhile, trekking was a discovery. My first sight of a white parrot was really an educating task. I only know multi-colored ones and it amazed me to see a different specie of parrots. As I continued my trail, I passed by several women weaving sari cloth while some teens were assembling necklaces and bracelets that were up for grabs. There were also an assemblage of imported pearl products and other similar stuffs for sale at Pearl Farm.
The remaining days was swimming, and swimming all the time.
The hectares of cultured pearls are gone and it really puzzled me. But despite its disappearance, Samal island has still more beautiful places to visit, more interesting things to discover and more smiling and friendly people to be with. The island is still green and thriving with nature’s lives. These are the reasons why this island is called the “Garden City of Samal Island” and it saddened me when the time to say goodbye is at hand. I grieved in silence when the last passenger has taken his seat and the boat’s engine started to grind. I guessed, this was the kind of feeling one had experienced when they left this garden city. Needless to say, I can be counted as one of those whose heart was heavily knotted to this paradisiacal beauty of the place. Samal Island is truly a garden island.