There is something called glamorous camping a.k.a. “glamping” at Sumilon Island, south of Cebu City and we (my family and I) went on ahead to experience it. Sure, we were to go camping on an exclusive 24-hectare island but what would make it glamorous? The website of Sumilon Island Bluewater Resort provided some information but to us, it didn’t look special or glamorous. Nevertheless we needed a vacation and perhaps it’s worth the try… Okay enough with the word glamorous (for now).
Being geographically apart, members of my family had to go to Sumilon Island from different points. From Negros Oriental, my crew and I started off from the Tandayag Amlan wharf at 7:00 am which took us to Bato, Cebu for a mere 30 minutes. From Bato, we hailed a bus to take us to neighboring Oslob which was only about a 20-minute ride. By 8:00 am, we were already at the welcoming grounds of the resort and was greeted cheerfully by the staff who brought as an interestingly refreshing lemongrass juice. The rest of the family will be coming from Cebu City and that would be about 4 hours travel time to Oslob. We we went ahead and boarded the resort’s mini-boat to take us to the island (about 15 minutes).
After registering all 8 of us, we were introduced to our camp assistant, our very own camp assistant, Wilmer. He was extra friendly… the kind with a cherry on top. He then took us down a small cliff and a stretch of white powdery beach surprised all of us. About 20 meters off from the beach were our giant Coleman tents and so we hurried to check its glamour. Wow, our tents looked like hotel rooms, not the 5-star kind but it was somewhat aesthetic. Each of our tents had carpets, mattresses, cushions, cabinets, lamps, and fans. Also, we had an in-tent mini bar. The tents were okay but we were still searching for the glamorous factor. Perhaps we expected too much or perhaps we were just hard to please.
Now for the island experience. The water was kind of wavy but it enticed us to swim. We also kayaked and fished in a lagoon just a stone’s throw away from our tents. We had fun and the whole time, our camp assistant Wilmer was there taking care of all our needs. We are used to doing things on our own but well, Wilmer insisted on as he said it’s part of his job. He seemed a naturally cheery guy and we liked talking to him.
After half a day of activities, we were soon served with lunch a la carte. The food was good and pricey but it was not the best. After lunch and a quick rest, we soaked in the infinity pool where we saw the breathtaking view of Cebu Island. That to me was priceless! A little later, we were called for an afternoon tea and we obliged. Then we went to the other side of the island to take an afternoon swim at the beach and watch the golden sunset – another priceless moment. When we had enough of the sun and swimming, we were invited to a cultural dinner party so we took a quick nap to revitalize. We stayed overnight at the island, and the next day, went trekking and fishing. Other options in the island activities are whale-watching, scuba diving, or simply going to the spa for a massage.
All in all, the whole experience was fun and I think the thing that truly made the camping glamorous was not the hotel-room-like tents but the personalized service that you get from the resort especially from a staff like Wilmer. Our 2 days/1 night glamping experience cost us PHP 9,500 each (times 8 of us, so whoah!).