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A destination in itself

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I first set foot on Carabao Island a decade ago. We took the roll-on/roll-off ship from Batangas, made our way towards the municipality of Romblon before arriving at the island via pumpboat. It was our stop before heading to Boracay which, if I’m not mistaken, is 30 minutes or an hour away if you take a fast canoe.

The island was still bare. Only a few houses can be seen and not more than ten locals inhabited the area. There were no signal and the water and electricity supply fluctuates. But this was not anymore the situation when our group, composed of other members of the media, came over last week for a tour of Oceans Edge, the island’s first ever hotel.

A destination of its own, Oceans Edge formally opened its doors to the public last March 2019 to introduce its first 12 cliff villas. Now they have a total of 46, including its Muni-Muni Cliff Villas and Kalinaw Studio Villas. It will soon open its Maharlika Presidential Suite where guests can get a 180-degree view of the island and the sea.

The resort’s amenities include the Bahandi Clubhouse where traditional Filipino cuisine are served. Its Dapit-hapon Bar Lounge, on the other hand, serves cocktails and refreshing drinks.

Bask in the sun in Oceans Edge’ infinity pool, complemented by the stunning view of the Tablas Strait. Guests can also opt for scuba-diving, snorkeling, stand-up paddles, kayaking, cliff jumping and spelunking. And after a day of adventure, relax and rejuvenate your senses with the soon to open Huni Spa.

“We want to highlight the natural beauty of the surroundings. Our cliff villas were built around trees, so we did not cut a single tree except for the bushes,” Atty. Claribelle Jane Alfeche said, chief executive officer of Oceans 11, developer of Oceans Edge Resort.

A consistent Philippine theme can be seen throughout the resort from the design of its lobby, villas and upto the choice of furniture. “All of the furniture inside the villas are made from Cebu at Mactan Export Processing Zone by an Italian company, but they are all Filipino designs,” Alfeche shared.

While it does not yet rival the traffic that Boracay’s accommodations are receiving, Oceans Edge strives hard in maintaining its cultural and sustainable development projects. “It’s a make or break for us. How will we promote the place as a tourism destination if guests can only enjoy the sea? The enthusiasm is there but we really need a clear roadmap. I know they’re excited too and they have a lot to think about but we need to take it one step at a time,” she said.

 

 

 

The property is being positioned differently in the tourism industry as its owners aspire Oceans Edge to be the next tourism destination of Filipinos. “In terms of beach, nothing beats Boracay’s kilometers of white sand. Here kasi patches of beach lang. But if we will position it as a cultural tourism destination, I think in that aspect we can have a niche market.”

Carabao Island is conveniently accessible by air, land and sea travel with Caticlan, Malay, Aklan as its nearest jump off point.

“I hope we are not the first and last here. We actually would want to welcome more investors. Being the first major resort here has its ups and downs. Downs in terms of infrastructure and ups because we get to set the trend and to have an influence on the local council who are very open,” Alfeche concluded.

Oceans Edge Resort is located in Inihawan, Lanas San Jose, Romblon, Carabao Island. For reservations, email them at [email protected]

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