ESCAPE TO PARADISE
Salmon Sinigang, Thai Pomelo Salad, Chopsuey, and Prawns in Lemon Chile Sambal were any indication of what this trip was going to be like, I’d say that we were indeed in very good hands.
We were told that around the island, it was guaranteed we would encounter monitor lizards, herons, and fruit bats. If any of us were divers, there would have been sightings of turtles, stingrays, and octopus, and if we were lucky, a dugong would be seen.
After the filling lunch, we each moved to our Sunset Villa. On the walk to mine, I could already hear some loud screeching noises. I looked up to see fruit bats—probably a hundred of them—hanging from the trees. With the exception of the bat cries and the light waves of the water, as well as members of the staff who would warmly greet me “Good afternoon,” it was so quiet. It was like I had the island to myself.
My villa was a one-storey, oneroom cottage with a verandah and a hammock tied to the pillars. On the wooden floors were the extra king size bed, walk-in closet, and a huge bathroom. Laid out on my bed were a big woven bag, a tote bag, a tumbler, Magwai Reef-Safe sunscreen, Off! lotion, and our itinerary for the weekend. Something new to experience in Club Paradise was the TV and Wi-Fi. No complaints. It’s a good option if one just wants to stay in bed and sleep in.
As with every Discovery property in the Philippines, the welcome foot scrub at my verandah was the signal that a pampering weekend was in store for me. Never a Dull Day
The island resort has indeed become livelier since The Discovery Leisure Company took over in 2013. While you may enjoy the karaoke, the billiard table, the renovated pool, and a treehouse for the kids, you don’t go to Club Paradise only for its indoor activities. You are surrounded by nature and it is only fitting to explore what the outdoors has in store for you.
Dimakya island is a stunning 700meter pristine white sand beach. Every morning, I would sit on the couch of my verandah and look at the turquoise wa- ters lap the soft shores in front of me. Sun beds are also scattered all over the beach so you can sit out in the sun and get a bit of tan (just make sure you slather up on sunscreen so you don’t get burned).
Diving is definitely one of, if not, the most popular activity on the island. I remember a friend of mine telling me, “If you want to see the Philippines, put on a mask.” Diving may be great but since I didn’t know how to dive, I chose to experience snorkeling. What’s great is that I don’t even have to leave the island on a boat. I simply walked straight off the beach into the water and be met with incredible underwater gardens of corals and critters. The island resort is surrounded by a marine sanctuary that houses a variety of fish and other sea animals.
Another highlight of this trip was the island hopping tour. Palawan has been recognized by international publications as one of the best islands in the world and islands like Malpagalen and Diatoy just prove it.
We went to Diatoy and spent the day on the island just sunbathing, eating lunch Boodle Fight style, and enjoyed some activities like riding the banana boat, kayaking, and snorkeling, of course. But Malpagalen, for me, was an absolute haven. The majestic sandbar that’s just 10 minutes away from Club Paradise is surrounded by the most spectacular blue waters and has a cove within its limestone cliff. It’s an excellent choice for swimming and island picnics, and yes, even an intimate event like a wedding.
On Dimakya Island, around the resort, I would spend my mornings at Glow Spa’s yoga area, just surrounded by trees and accompanied by the sounds of the waters and the wind. If you prefer a more rigorous workout, the island resort has the Fitness Facility equipped with cardio and strength training equipment. Need a massage? Choose from a wide selection of treatments like AntiStress Massage to relieve tension and aching muscles, Cucumber Mint Wrap to rehydrate dry and sunburnt skin, and Citrus Sugar Body Scrub to soften, exfoliate, and freshen up the skin.
Meals are included in the resort’s packages. Breakfast is usually buffet style with provision for a la carte meals. If you don’t feel like going to the restaurant, you can order Sunrise Coffee and have a pot of coffee, four pieces of pan de sal, fruit, and yogurt delivered to your room. You can also ask what they’re serving for breakfast and have them deliver the food to your room or villa, if you just want to stay in. Vegetarians and vegans need not worry—they also have options for you (of course, given the proper notice). A Must Visit
The resort may have had a change in management but my experience proves that it was all for the better.
The resort, along with its natural surroundings, the bats, the turtles, the dugongs—it shows you Mother Nature at its most wonderful. Everyone at the resort is friendly and accommodating, and will make sure your comfort comes first. Some people stay in the resort for weeks and it is only natural that the staff become more than just staff—they become your friends.
Club Paradise is also keen on helping the environment in any way it can. The resort’s water filtration system prevents contaminated water from polluting the sea. A beach clean-up is also scheduled once a month and everyone is invited to join. They have eliminated the use of plastic—they use metal straws for your beverage, paper cups for your drinks, and refillable pumps for shampoo and conditioner instead of bottles.
Going to Club Paradise was getting back to nature and, at some level, to myself, celebrating the simple things in life. I have traveled to so many places around the country. Yet it is here in Coron, at Club Paradise, that I had a sense of perfection. Yes, indeed, this is paradise.
Club Paradise is located at Dimakya Island, Coron, Northern Palawan. For inquiries and reservations, go to clubparadisepalawan.com, call (+63917) 827-9852 or (02) 719-6971 to 73, email email@example.com. com.ph. For updates, like Club Paradise Palawan on Facebook, follow @_ClubParadise on Twitter and @ clubparadisepalawan on Instagram