Thursday, March 12, 2015

Crimson Resort, Mactan Island

Home to the city of Lapu-Lapu and the Cebu International Airport, Mactan, Philippines, is a small island that boasts some beautiful resorts on its eastern coast. Bob and I headed north to the comfortable Crimson Resort and Spa where we relaxed February 22-25.

I have to say that the resort staff where among the most friendly and kind that I have encountered.  Bob collects masks from the different places we have visited, and we hoped to find one from the Philippines.  One night we approached the head concierge for assistance.  When we asked him to direct us to a market or store where we might purchase a mask, he didn't have a suggestion but told us he would reply the following day. When we returned from a morning outing, we were surprised to find a colorful mask on our desk with a note from him.  Later he explained that he had contacted an acquaintance who designed masks for the recent Sinulog Festival and asked that one be designed for us! He did this free of charge and as a total surprise to us!  Can you imagine the delight and cheer that filled our hearts?  But that’s not the end of it, because the following day, we returned to our darkened room to find that our housekeepers had discovered the mask and used it to form a towel character on our bed, complete with reading “spotlights” illuminating their joyful creation!  Isn't that the way it works . . . one joy leads to another!

Sunday and Monday, we just enjoyed some very relaxed time at the resort.  Colorful fish swam around our feet in the bay, which was busy with all kinds of water sports.  A performance took place on the beach and good food and drinks were enjoyed.  One evening we ordered a mango smoothie and chocolate shake and were brought two of each.  I guess we didn't realize it was "happy hour" and they were serving two drinks for the price of one!  Bob faithfully worked the extra calories off in the gym, whereas, obviously, I did not.

After two days of roasting in the sun, we decided to book a tour to swim with the whale sharks on Tuesday.  You'll have to read the next post to find out more about that unique encounter!  On Wednesday we took the shuttle van to SM Mall in Cebu city, where we were successful in obtaining some silver charms for my collection, and a wooden mask for Bob.  The mall was very similar to those in the states, but of course with a Filipino flare. Unfortunately, most of the Philippines does not resemble the gated and guarded resort communities.  The stark contrast began right outside the private entry to our resort.  Jollibee fast food restaurant was spotted everywhere - it must be the Philippine equivalent to McDonalds.

As mentioned in my Bohol post, one of the things I truly love about the Filipinos is their absolute resolve to express themselves as they wish.  Their bold and colorful displays of individuality are found on walls, houses, and all kinds of transportation.  Each jeepney, bus, or tricycle is an artistic illustration of their beliefs and values.  How liberating that creative expression of uniqueness must feel!

 "God's Speed" to the Philippines!

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