When in Caramoan: 10 Reasons to Stay in Residencia de Salvacion
Aris Mape | Dec 14, 2015
Some places are overrated: great in photos but far from reality, not “what you see is what you get” just like what your blind date told you. You say “sana hindi na lang” and ask heavens why the reviews are exaggerated, why that blogger overly Photoshopped the picture, and why your photos aren’t even close to what’s on Google. Read "GGB Travels: From A Happy Trip to a Wrecking Ball."
And then of course, there are places that surprise you the good way—those that make a positive lasting impression that you want to tell the whole world about them. These are the best few places you keep going back to.
Such a place is Caramoan Islands, which I’ve already visited twice. The first visit was in 2013 when all by myself, out of curiosity (and heartbreak), I headed to the islands to recharge. And then two years after, I decided there was a much-needed comeback. So, in the summer of 2015, I returned with my brothers.
For the second time, booked a 3D2N stay at Residencia de Salvacion (RDS), the only accommodation I have in mind whenever visiting the islands. Why not the rest? These are the top 10 reasons.
- Home away from home
The warm accommodation is truly what sets RDS apart from others. Myrna and Edgar, the owners who are well-traveled abroad, have learned the art of impeccable customer service and built that strongly in their staffs.
Myrna checks on her guests on their way to Caramoan and gives instructions until they’ve reached the villa safely. And, as if you haven’t left home, everybody greets you warmly and talks to you like you’re a family member who just came home and needed pampering. (Remember when you go home after being away for long and your mom asks what you want her to cook for you?) They make sure everything is taken care of for a worry-free vacation—from meals to rooms, to transportation and itinerary.
- Yummy, sumptuous food
Next to the islands and your bedroom, the RDS kitchen is that one place where you’d love to hangout often. The sight of fresh seafood, vegetables, and spices from their small kitchen window will make you want to join Lapo, their cook, in chopping carrots and onions.
My brothers demanded for a photoshoot before meals.
RDS knows how to cook authentic Bicol cuisine, especially those with gata (coconut milk). Their laing is best for lunch—which you will probably spend in one of the islands. Crabs steamed or cooked in jackfruit, fresh prawns, fish and seafood are cooked to perfection to make your meal unforgettable without hurting your wallet. Lapo will also will prepare packed lunch for you in a native basket made of bamboo. And if you totally snob meat, just like my friends from Italy who are vegetarian, RDS will do their best not to make you grumpy over meals.
Food for one! My packed lunch in 2013, which I had under the big rocks of Minalahos.
Lunch at Manlawi Island: adobong sitaw, beef steak, and grilled marlin
For breakfast, swordfish!
- Free videoke till 10 PM
After a long day’s adventure from one island to another, the best way to cap the night is socialize with friends and other guests while drinking some beer and belting out your favorite jukebox piece. It’s not a disco bar scene, but a friendly videoke gig for family and friends. If videoke is not your thing, you can also watch a movie on the big screen if you get everybody’s vote that you’re skipping that Tom Jones or Justin Bieber session.
Oha! Ready for the videoke.
- Scenic location
The original RDS was in Barangay Salvacion (thus the name), some kilometers away from the beach. In 2014, RDS moved to their new location, the shores of Paniman right where the island hopping action starts. It’s easy to fall in love with the place, seated close to the rockwall where the ocean and river meet. To enjoy the view, you can also hangout and take your selfies on the roofdeck.
You stay right beside this place? Yes, that’s the view from RDS.
The mountains of Gota as seen from Paniman’s shore
My brothers having fun in the morning
If you want to get a little more adventurous you can visit Omang Cave by kayaking down to the end of the river. These kayaks are free for RDS guests.
Rixdon trying out the kayak
- Good run for your money
Why take a really expensive vacation just to suffer later? RDS offers reasonable packages that don’t rip you off your hard-earned money. They have different options to suit your needs for a fun and worry-free vacation.
- Comfortable rooms
RDS has 8 regular rooms, four facing the sea and four facing Paniman village, two smallcabanas, and two medium cabanas. Each room has two double beds, toilet and bathroom, air conditioning, hot shower, and a smart LED TV (except in the cabanas). Each room also has access to a shared terrace where you can spend great coffee moments in the morning or a long chat before you hit the sack.
The regular rooms may be basic, but it’s clean and comfortable you won’t feel inconvenient even during a long stay.
- Fast and easy transactions
No sweat to inquire and book. When you send them messages through Facebook, Edgar promptly responds and honestly discusses with you the options. No fine prints and hidden agenda. In fact, during my second trip, Edgar informed me that I overpaid them by a few hundreds of pesos. He asked for my bank details and a few days after, the amount was credited back to my account.
- Multi-awarded accommodation
RDS is a consistent winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the past four years, and was Traveler’s Choice for 2014 & 2015. So far, it is also the most-reviewed accommodation in Caramoan, receiving an Excellent rating for about 90% of its reviews. So, you know you’re in good hands.
RDS used to be this humble house in Salvacion. Even in its early years, it’s been word of mouth for its excellent customer service.
- Multi-purpose activity hall
The dining area can also function as an activity hall, great for those who wanted some island-hopping after a strenuous business planning or conference.
The function hall can accommodate up to 50 people.
- Parking and wifi
Parking space good for more than 10 cars are available. Wifi, good enough for checking email and posting your travel photos on Facebook, is also at arm’s reach.
Quite a lot, huh! A stay in RDS will definitely make you grab their guestbook before you leave and scribble a few words of how great your stay has been. Caramoan surely remains to be a top choice for travel, so why not plan your trip now and book at Residencia de Salvacion, the best—bar none—in providing accommodation in the location.
- Other Things To Know For A Caramoan Tour
Check "D'yan lang", the blog of ArisMape for more stunning photos of Caramoan. His blog was the most-voted blog in the Bloggys 2015 Philippine Blogging Awards for Travel and Places Category, and also won Best Travel Blog and Best Photo Blog in the 2015 Cebu Blogs Awards.
Island Hopping : Short Trip
Island Hopping: Long Trip
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