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So, You Want to Open a Resort in the Philippines?

By - Posted on 28.03.2015

Beach Resort 1

Cool idea, great lifestyle and REALLY FUN but you still need to look at the numbers first and have a plan.

Say you have 20 rooms, a nice little resort and you are charging P2,000 per night based on double occupancy. Just for the sake of discussion let’s say you average 50% occupancy year round. So 10 rooms every night @ P2,000. That’s P20,000 every night. WOW. Good money in a country where the minimum wage is P300/day.

The question is how to squeeze some more money out of it.

Open a restaurant of course. Two people eating twice a day will spend about P1,200 per day. Multiply this times 10 rooms and Bang, another P12,000 income. HOWEVER the reality is that maybe half the people will eat 2 meals there so cut this in half. P6,000 daily is still a nice number.

Now remember, you need some staff. A cook, a couple of waitresses and someone to wash the dishes so probably 4 staff FOR EACH SHIFT! Year round, 6am till 9 pm minimum is two shifts and the bar needs to be open later so at least 8 Staff. During Low season, no customers, and they are sitting on their cans, getting paid. Also, someone also has to go to the market every day with big shopping in the city every week just to keep up the stock levels. Be careful, too much stock and it goes bad, too little and customers are disappointed.

This restaurant takes up space however, a nice area in a prime location, well decorated, maybe 40 to 50 square meters total with the kitchen hidden out back. Cost of set up with tables, chairs, appliances, cutlery, stock etc. will be easily P500,000. Average sales, year round, will be about P6,000 gross per day minus the stock, gas, electric, wages etc. Your profit is about 25%. Return on your investment is about 1 year @ 50% occupancy.

Ok, now what happens if you set up a DIVE SHOP. Suddenly you have 2 people in a room that dive 3 times a day @ P1000/dive. That’s P6,000 EXTRA per day per ROOM! Ten rooms with two divers is P60,000 per day But again, let’s cut this in half for reality. That can still be P30,000 each day from diving.

Ok, let’s do the math on this. The floor space needed is about the same space as a restaurant but the dive shop can be tucked off to the side somewhere with a compressor room hidden out back. Now, staff this operation. The Resort reception staff can also act as Dive Shop secretary so no need to hire. Your regular maintenance staff can easily learn to run the compressor, drive the boat and maintain the gear. No pay for the Instructor as he is on commission. Dive Master, almost the same thing. Small salary, and paid per head per diver. So, no divers, no expenses. This is a good thing ☺

Start out with say 10 sets of gear, a big compressor so you can expand and a used fiberglass boat with NEW outboard motor. This stuff is not cheap but P1,500,000 will give you a great start.

In this case your profit is about 50% of income. With this kind of cash flow you will return your investment in a few of months!

Now you also have a boat for snorkeling trips and beach BBQ’s. More income potential!

Now all these numbers are hypothetical but you get my meaning. Diving is a HUGE potential income resource, so don’t pass it up.

Adding a dive shop is easier and cheaper than adding more rooms. The resort does not even need to be on the beach. As long as you have dive sites close by and a place to keep your boat then this will work.

Now it is time to market. Modify your website to attract divers. Offer to provide diving for neighboring resorts and you will make money and attract more customers for your resort. Go to the big dive shows in the US and Europe. The Philippines Department of Tourism has a great booth at all of these and you can join for cheap.

A resort by itself, a dive shop by itself, a restaurant by itself are weak but put them together and your success is only limited by your marketing.

 

Cheers

Sean


6 Ways to Live Your Dream Life in the Philippines

By - Posted on 14.03.2015

Sunset at Badladz

Looking to move to the Philippines?

We can’t blame you. It’s a sunny, tropical paradise every month of the year. When your friends and family are freezing their butts off, you’re drinking a pina colada by the pool. Every night is a Friday night, and you’re on a perpetual vacation.

The only problem is figuring out a way to fund your dream life. But here, we’ve compiled 6 ways to live the tropical island lifestyle that we enjoy here in Puerto Galera in the Philippines.

1. Work at home part of the year, live in the Philippines the rest of the year

If you have a seasonal job, own your own business, or have a job that enables you to leave for part of the year, you are a prime candidate for living the life here in the Philippines for half the year or more. There are plenty of people who work in their home country doing a wide variety of different work, from landscaping to fighting forest fires. They do that for half the year, then spend the rest of their time in the Philippines.

2. Start a business in the Philippines

Let’s be real: most people don’t have jobs that let them say, “Adios! Be back in a few months!” That’s why there are 5 more things on this list! One of the most popular ways for foreigners to live the tropical island life here in the Philippines is by starting a business. While it’s not always easy, it can be done! That’s how Sean has been living in the Philippines and running businesses for 15 years.

If you’re interested in starting a business in the Philippines, you’re in the right place. Sean has made his knowledge available on his ResortRebel YouTube channel with more than 100 videos containing his top tips on running a business in the Philippines. Or you can check out all of the Badladz blog posts about business here.

3. Be a student

Recently, we published a blog about being a student in the Philippines. If there’s a college degree that you’ve always wanted to complete, doing so in the Philippines might be a good option for you. You’ll find no shortage of good universities here in the Philippines, particularly in Manila. You can spend your vacations scuba diving, snorkeling, or partying with us here at Badladz! Not a bad plan.

4. Live at Badladz for $1000/month

If you have a little bit of savings and some time to kill, we invite you to take advantage of the Badladz monthly package. For just $1,000 per month, you get:

  • Accommodation with aircon, fan, queen bed, and cable TV.
  • 3 meals a day in our international restaurant
  • Free wifi access
  • Laundry and room cleaning service whenever you want

This is one of the best deals around. Interested? Learn more here.

5. Be a digital nomad

A digital nomad is someone who freelances or has an online business that allows them to work from anywhere in the world. If you could go anywhere in the world, wouldn’t you want to live on the beach? Badladz is the obvious choice. We have free wifi and everything else you need to run your location independent business. At Badladz, you don’t have to choose between work and play: you can have both!

6. Retire here

Hundreds of expats have found the secret to making their retirement savings go further: moving to the Philippines. With the warm tropical climate that many retirees seek as well as an affordable luxury lifestyle, the Philippines is a retiree’s dream.

All it takes is a little creativity to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! Don’t put it off any longer. Start today!


Everything You Need to Know About White Beach

By - Posted on 28.02.2015

White Beach Philippines

White Beach’s reputation precedes itself. The legend of White Beach lives today such that thousands of tourists from all over the world flock there. But what exactly goes on at White Beach, and what makes it one of the top destinations on the island? In this post, we will fill you in with everything you need to know about White Beach and why you should consider making a detour to visit there on your next Philippines vacation.

Getting There

White Beach is a quick 15-minute tricycle ride from Puerto Galera, making it a very accessible choice. Puerto Galera itself is only a 3-hour trip from Manila, making both Puerto Galera and White Beach a popular destination for tourists. Many of our guests love to go scuba diving all day at the Badladz Dive Resort or relax by the pool at the Badladz Beach Resort, then spend their evenings enjoying themselves at White Beach. Some of our guests like to spend the day at White Beach, then relax with a cold beer at the Badladz Beach Resort.

Not sure how to get to Puerto Galera? Check out our detailed page here.

What to Expect

The entrance to White Beach is slightly lackluster… but just follow the signs and the people to see where the true wonder of White Beach awaits. You’ll walk down a narrow path for a few minutes before coming out on the other side to a gorgeous beach buzzing with activity.

White Beach During the Day

White Beach during the day is filled with tons of beach activities including:

  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Jet skis
  • Banana boats
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Parasailing
  • Sailing

There are plenty of restaurants around providing whatever kind of food you’re in the mood for. Some of the best pizza spots in the Philippines are in White Beach. Relax under an umbrella, have a massage on the beach, or enjoy an ice cold beer, a rum and coke, or a mango smoothie.

White Beach by Night

White Beach at night is a whole different animal. Allow me to paint a picture for you.

All of the bars and clubs at White Beach sit all in a row right on the beach. Most of the seating at the bars and restaurants on White Beach is outdoors (although there are coverings for rainy days), so when you sit at the bar, you are literally on the beach with sand between your toes.

There are tons of bars and restaurants to choose from. The most popular foods available at White Beach are pizza, pasta, and burgers, but you’re sure to find something for everyone. If you’re on the beach to enjoy more than a drink or two, try getting a tower of the Philippines’ favorite beer, San Miguel, or a tower of the regional mix drink, the Mindoro Slinger, a fruity rum cocktail often enjoyed out of small shot glasses. Be careful though! It may seem innocent, but the Mindoro Slinger is lethal even in small doses.

Nighttime Attractions

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before you even order a drink, you will notice quite a few sights that make White Beach one of the most unique places you’ve experienced.

The Dancers

White Beach Dancer

Almost all of the bars on White Beach have a stage complete with dancers in elaborate costumes and makeup. These women are very beautiful, but if you look closely you’ll see that they aren’t actually women at all: these dancers are the famous “lady boys” of Asia.

Some of the performances are meant to be sexy, but most of them can be considered “variety” performances: they are meant to be fun and funny. Each of the musical numbers tells a story: one number might have two women fighting over a man, while another might be making fun of the latest pop culture craze.

You can also take your drink to go and have a stroll along the beach, enjoying various shows, fire dancers, and the unique sights and sounds of White Beach.

Fire Dancers

Fire dancers White Beach

White Beach is well known for fire dancer shows. On the canvas of the dark night and with the waves crashing on the beach in the background, the fire dancers exhibit their control over their burning rings of fire (literally!) in a way that you have to see to believe. Using buckets of kerosene to fuel the fire, the dancers swing balls of fire at the end of long chains. If you ask (and pay a few pesos), they’ll gladly swing their fire close enough to your face to singe your nose hairs so that you can document your near-death experience with a photo.

Prices

Hanging out in White Beach is very affordable fun. During the day, beach activities are typically around 2000 or 3000 pesos, (or around $50-$60 USD) for group activities of up to 10 people for an hour.

At night, there is no cover or price of admission to watch the shows. Just order a beer and enjoy the entertainment for as long as you want! A beer costs around 60 pesos, less than $1.50 USD.

Safety

White Beach is a safe place for tourists to go and have a good time. Just like anywhere with lots of travelers, you’ll no doubt experience petty theft if you leave valuable items like your purse, wallet, or phone lying on the table unattended. But confrontational crimes are extremely rare. Never leave your stuff lying out on the beach while you go about your activities. Otherwise, White Beach is a safe place to enjoy yourself and have some fun in the sun (or by the moonlight!)

 

There’s so much more to White Beach than we can cram into this article. We suggest seeing it for yourself to fully understand what makes White Beach such a popular tourist spot. And if you’re looking for the perfect launching pad to explore White Beach, consider a stay in the Badladz Beach Resort or the Badladz Dive Resort. Just a 15-minute ride away from all the excitement you could ask for, and a peaceful place from which to recover.


Be a Student in the Philippines

By - Posted on 14.02.2015

Be a Student Philippines

With over 2000 schools accredited by the Department of Immigration , the Philippines is fast becoming a major destination for foreign students. About 60,000 foreign students are studying here at any given time, and there are more every year. About 75% travel here from our Asian neighbors with the rest coming from further distant lands.

The fact that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world is certainly one of the prime reasons for this influx. Learning English is becoming more necessary as global interaction and commerce build through the world wide web. Asian countries now understand this and the children of their business and political leaders are being sent here to be on the crest of this global demand.

Since a large part of language learning comes from interaction outside the classroom, it is essential to conduct the training in a predominantly English-speaking environment. The Philippines is ideal for students to practice reading all the standard road signs, business signs, and newspapers. Students can also enrich their language skills by watching English entertainment and news on demand on television.

While not everyone in the Philippines speaks English, there are certainly enough English speakers for regular conversational practice. The Philippines has long been a major player in the global call center industry, so the universities here train their students to speak clear, English with as little accent as possible.

All laws and contracts here are written in English, and the judicial system is conducted in English. This means that most business is managed in English so company owners/operators will use this language.

Additionally, the price is right: the Philippines offers English language courses at a fraction of the cost of Western learning institutions. These are available in most universities, colleges, and private specialty institutions. The cost of living in the Philippines during the course will be half or less then you will experience in a major English-speaking city in North America, the UK, or in nearby Australia.

With both the maritime industry and civil aviation using the English language exclusively for communications throughout the world, the Philippines is well positioned to provide this training.

Many airlines train their pilots here for work worldwide at around 40 or so accredited aviation centers throughout the islands. The maritime industry also counts on the Philippines for training at approximately 130 accredited schools scattered around the country.

Medical training is another top subject for foreign students who study at nearly 50 accredited learning institutions countrywide. English has become the language of choice used at international conferences and most influential medical journals are written in English.

There is no shortage of instructors available here capable of teaching in this international language.

PLUS it can be FUN!

You can spend your weekends and semester breaks on incredible vacations at a great price. Head to Puerto Galera, only 3 hours from Manila, for activities ranging from scuba diving to karaoke. With over seven thousand islands in this South Pacific country, there are many more locations just like this that can be found near where you are living and your English language training can continue while you are on vacation!


Is the Philippines Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

By - Posted on 31.01.2015

The Worldly Blend

 

This guest post is by Anna Wickham, who has been staying at Badladz for 3 months. You can read more about her time in the Philippines on her blog, The Worldly Blend.


 

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to solo female travel. There are also a lot of misconceptions when it comes to travel in the Philippines. It’s widely believed that traveling alone is not a safe option for women, and many people think that the Philippines is not a safe destination.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Countless female travelers prove everyday that traveling alone is not only safe, but if you take the proper precautions, it can be even safer than your home country.

As for female solo travelers, many of the misconceptions are by people who do not have experience traveling themselves.

However, I have been living and traveling in the Philippines alone for 3 months, and I have found it to be a wonderful and safe experience that every traveler should try no matter what your gender.

It’s safe.

The Philippines is an incredibly safe destination for solo female travelers and male travelers alike. While there are a lot of “crimes of opportunity” here, confrontational or violent crime is very uncommon. You are probably far more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in your home town than you are anywhere in the Philippines.

While safety precautions are necessary just like in any new location, people in the Philippines are extremely hospitable. Which brings me to my next point…

People are incredibly kind.

When I announced to friends and family that I was going to the Philippines, those who had been to the Philippines before couldn’t stop telling me how friendly and hospitable the locals are. I’ve heard this about a lot of different places that I’ve traveled, but I was blown away by how kind and helpful everyone is here in the Philippines.

Whether I’m in another city or bumming around the little town of Puerto Galera, no one hesitates to offer help if I ask for it. And often, I don’t even have to ask!

If you are a woman traveling alone, there are few places as perfect for travel as the Philippines. It is safe, the people are kind and hospitable, it is affordable, and there are tons of things to do.

When you take the proper precautions, the Philippines is a perfectly safe destination. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and come meet us in paradise!


Learning How to Scuba Dive at BADLADZ Adventure Resorts

By - Posted on 21.01.2015

Both our resorts were winners of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award in 2014.

When you’re planning on learning how to dive, the ideal location has some certain key elements: access to a suitable pool, access to gentle open ocean waters, and high-quality dive gear. By design, BADLADZ has all three elements!

BADLADZ Beach Resort is located in a quiet section of Puerto Galera called Small Tabinay Beach. It’s nicely removed from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas but close enough to get to them quickly. People who want to relax and enjoy the cool ocean breeze and friendly staff have been coming here for years. Now, because of our beachside pool, this place has become a mecca for aspiring divers.

BLDive (4 of 37)

PUERTO GALERA is located on the Verde Island Passage with world-class diving and is an absolute must-see. But when you’re learning to dive, you want to focus on DIVING SKILLS first, not the pretty fish and coral. That comes later. Skills like buoyancy control, equalizing your ears, and hand signals are things that must be mastered, not rushed through before moving to the next level.

Because of our relaxed atmosphere, our divers don’t feel pressured or crowded when they’re concentrating on learning vital skills. Student divers can take their time learning their diving basics in the pool. Then they can take a break and have a delicious lunch prepared in our International Restaurant.

Then swing in a hammock between classes and relax :)

Diving SiestaNext , it is time for the real thing so the next classes will be conducted at BADLADZ Dive Resort, only 5 minutes away. It will take place at our Designated PADI Diving Center located on the tranquil waters of Puerto Galera Bay, winner of The Most Beautiful Bay in the world contest in 2005.

Badladz Dive Resort is also an Aqualung Partner Center, which means new top-end professional Aqualung and Apeks Scuba Diving equipment. With dozens of scuba tanks and a COLTRI air compressor on premises, we have every piece of gear necessary to outfit large groups of students. All the gear is new and from the best quality brands in the industry.

Now that you have had some training and are fully equipped, it is time to go see the awesome coral reef, clouds of fish, and friendly turtles while your PADI dive training is completed.

turtle diving puerto Galera

Another benefit to learning to dive at Badladz Beach Resort is that we have seen students achieve their certification much faster than normal, just because there’s no time wasted traveling between locations. So on a vacation you can learn how to dive in less time, then be out diving at some of the best dive sites in the Philippines sooner!

It’s all right here in one beautiful palm-tree wrapped package. Come join us for a relaxing vacation that can also turn you into a PADI-Certified Open Water Diver!


5 Reasons to Come to the Philippines During the Off Season

Travel to Philippines

At the moment we are right in the middle of high season. High season spans from around mid-December until May. During this time, our resorts are packed with guests from all over the world.

But did you know that high season is not a busy travel time here because it is the best time to visit the Philippines? It is high season because that time that most people have time off from work to take a vacation.

December is vacation time in many places in the world. Then in February comes Chinese New Year, celebrated all over the world. Finally, Filipinos and other Catholic countries celebrate Holy Week in March or April and enjoy spending it here in Puerto Galera.

But if your vacation time is flexible, there are so many great reasons to consider traveling in the off season instead of during high season.

1. Beautiful Weather

Believe it or not, the weather is much better during the off season here in Puerto Galera. It’s nothing but sunny skies. The high season is actually during the rainy season! Our guests during high season still thoroughly enjoy their time here, but if you’re looking for a vacation in the tropical sun, you’re better off coming here after the month of May.

2. Cheaper Rooms and Plane Tickets

You can get cheaper accommodation and plane tickets in the off season. If you intend to stay for awhile, say a week or more, or you’re traveling on a budget, choosing to travel during the off season instead of during high season could potentially save you lots of money.

3. Warmer Water

With warmer weather comes warmer water, much more comfortable for diving. If you truly want to experience the best of diving in the Philippines, we highly recommend traveling during the off season.

4. Better Visibility

Speaking of diving, the best visibility is during the off season. Visibility is affected by runoff from the shore, as well as wind and rain. This is especially true for our dive sites around Puerto Galera, because many of them are close to the shore. If you want the best visibility for diving, it’s best to come during the off season.

5. Fewer Crowds

Fewer crowds during the off season means your choice of the best rooms, easier access to open water courses and dives, and more room to yourself at our dive sites. During the high season, you may sometimes need to start your scuba dive course later than you’d planned, or not be able to do your course at all. Additionally, if you want to get to know our instructors, dive masters, and staff, it’s easy to do during the off season. Come experience the Philippines much closer to living like a true local when you travel here during the off season.

The Philippines has so much to offer visitors year round. Visiting in the off season may sound counterintuitive, but in the Philippines, the off season is one of the best times to enjoy the sand and the sun!

 

 


Why Badladz Is the Perfect Place for Your Destination Wedding

By - Posted on 03.01.2015

It’s official: huge, traditional weddings in many Western countries are on the decline, and destination weddings are all the rage. It’s easy to see why this might be the case: the average wedding for Americans costs a whopping $30,000. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on your wedding, you might as well get a vacation out of the deal.

Additionally, destination weddings provide an intimate, simple ceremony that a lot of busy modern brides find appealing. Most newlyweds work full time, and planning an elaborate ceremony and reception for two hundred people is a lot of work and stress. Many find it refreshing to plan a smaller ceremony just for family and close friends.

Puerto Galera: Your Destination Wedding Spot

Here at Badladz, we always say that we live in paradise. With perfect temperatures year round, plenty of space for entertaining, and a view of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Badladz is the perfect spot for your destination wedding.

wedding-badladz-beach

Can you imagine wedding photos this gorgeous?

Here are just a few of the reasons to book Badladz for the wedding of your dreams.

1. Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

These days, fewer people are having exorbitant weddings because they simply cannot afford it. Instead, couples are opting for smaller wedding parties with bigger plans, such as destination weddings in far off, tropical destinations.

But with the Philippines, you can have both: all of the advantages of your dream wedding in a gorgeous location and on a budget! The Philippines offers the beauty and ambiance of places such as the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Thailand without the hefty price tags. Here are a few examples:

  • Affordable, beautiful accommodations. In the Philippines, you don’t have to choose between staying in a high-quality resort and budget prices. At around $30 USD per night, living in luxury is actually affordable!
  • Luxury items and activities. Want to get everyone in your bridal party a full-body massage? No problem: it’ll set you back about $10 USD per person. Wanna take the group scuba diving? Perfect: that’ll cost a meager $30 per person. Can you imagine incorporating these luxurious extras into a traditional wedding ceremony?

2. The View is Perfection

892661_630963736983130_1151516131_o

Can you imagine every wedding photo having the perfect view?

At Badladz, you can have your wedding literally steps from the beach so that every wedding photo is perfect. You’re not likely to find a wedding venue with a nicer view anywhere in the world. In other places, having your wedding directly in front of a view this perfect might cost tens of thousands of dollars, but not here in the Philippines! At Badladz, that view is right outside your door.

3. Plenty of Space for Everyone

With 15 rooms at the Beach Resort alone, we have plenty of space for your entire wedding party, guests, and then some! Feel free to invite as many people as you wish. If you need even more space for accommodation, the Badladz Dive Resort is just a 5-minute ride away and provides plenty of space for all your guests.

Each room comes with aircon, fans, cable tv, and comfortable beds, so you can ensure that your guests will be comfortable no matter which resort they’re staying in!

4. Delicious Food

We have phenomenal food, but don’t take our word for it: Check out what our guests have said about it on Trip Advisor. We have killer Mexican, American, European, and Filipino cuisine. With full-time cooks on staff, we can provide any kind of food that you need, and plenty of it to accommodate your guests!

The average cost for food per person in the US in 2013 was an astounding $66 USD per plate. You can easily pay only a fraction of that price here at Badladz.

Plus, Badladz knows how to party: we have a full bar and we never run out of beer!

5. Lots to Do in the Area

Diving-5

If you’re coming all the way to the Philippines for your wedding, you will want to do something…other than your wedding! There is a ton to do in Puerto Galera. Take the whole wedding party out on a boat for an afternoon of scuba diving. Or, spend the day exploring the nearby waterfalls or island hopping.

In Puerto Galera, it’s easy to combine your wedding with heaps of adventure.

At Badladz, our priority is fun. So what more do you need? Contact us today to get started planning your dream destination wedding right here on the sunny beaches of tropical paradise.

 

 

Sources: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/destination-weddings/articles/why-have-a-destination-wedding.aspx?MsdVisit=1

http://www.today.com/style/death-wedding-party-couples-scale-back-1C8923876

http://www.xogroupinc.com/press-releases-home/2014-press-releases/2014-03-27-real-weddings-study-average-cost-of-wedding.aspx

 


Samal Island

By - Posted on 13.12.2014

The religious infrastructure is not as well developed here in comparison to other areas of the Philippines. The top picture is of the Sto. Nino Chapel in comparison to some other more developed chapels in the Philippines.

Sto. Nino ChapelSto. Nino Chapel

 

As you can see, it is not as grandiose as some others. The lack of development, however, is the basis of this islands charm.

The gateway to Samal Island is the southern Philippine city of Davao, Mindanao and Samal Island is the gateway to a whole lot of fun. :) I know everyone tells you not to go to Mindanao but trust me and try this. First, pack light. Fly into Davao City, take a taxi to Sasa Ferry Warf, then a ridiculously short ferry ride to this hidden paradise.

When you touch ground on the other side walk up the dusty street asking the price of rental motorcycles as you go. You’ll find they get cheaper the farther you walk into town. Make a deal to keep one for a few days, they’re very accommodating. Coming out of the port on your hire bike, you can turn left or right. It really doesn’t matter because the road goes all the way around the island and brings you right back to the same spot. So whether to walk clockwise or counterclockwise is the only choice that you have to make. My preference is to explore at random, keeping as close to the changing seashore as possible.

You will find resorts tucked away everywhere. Some with beautiful white sand beaches and some along rocky and forbidden-looking stretches, but guaranteed whatever you’re looking for, you will find it. There is always another one just around the next bend.

Samal-Island IMG_2921

I have come across 5-star resorts with names you cannot even pronounce and little scraps of places that remind you of those end-of-the-world movies where everything looks abandoned.

Granted, there is no “city stuff” to do here but also no jeeps, no trikes, and you’ll find no nightclubs here to distract you: just peace, quiet, and the surf coming in to ease your mind.

This is a truly an awesome place to go and explore! Ride around and look for those hidden spots the tourists have not found, that only the locals know. Be an adventurer! Or, just relax, kick back, and clear your head.

Samal-Island-2 Camera 14MP-9PC

Be forewarned though, progress IS coming to paradise so you might want to go now!

This is both good and bad, of course. It seems shameful to tear up this beautiful landscape BUT…..

If you are looking to set up a business in the Philippines and want to be on the proverbial “ground floor,” then this is a good spot. Davao City is proactively promoting tourism, and that includes Samal Island. There are lots opportunities there for everything from agriculture and amusement to rooms or retail and just about anything else you can think of.

Either way it is worth a visit. It is cheap and it is safe and you can tell your friends you have been to deepest darkest Mindanao where the Boogey Man lives and survived to tell the tale. :)


Tagaytay City

By - Posted on 29.11.2014

A friend of mine once asked if I was interested in investing in a new resort development. A profitable business venture is always attractive and my friend is a very financially savvy business guy, so we got talking specifics and he told me where it was.

Tagaytay is one of the biggest vacation destinations for Manila residents. Only 50 km south of Manila, it sits at an elevation of about 600 meters making it very accessible and much cooler than the evil, sweltering melting pot that is Manila. Wonderful during a 40-degree summer day!

Beautiful, picturesque surroundings and a lovely little town so you’d think this would be an ideal asset, right? A resort in a lovely cool spot close to town.

So what’s the catch?

It sits on the edge of an active volcano. Yes, ACTIVE.

Tagaytay City Volcano

 

See the volcano in this picture? It looks pretty small and harmless, doesn’t it? Little wee volcano in a big lake, right? Well, like I said, this prospective resort will sit on the EDGE of an active volcano. That is where this picture was taken from, the edge. What you are seeing is a little volcano inside a HUGE volcano!

The Taal Volcano was active as recently as 2011 with 115 tremors recorded in one day and is considered the second most active volcano in the Philippines. The meaning of this statistic is not very clear, until you understand this is a country where 25 volcanoes are considered active. I think this would rate it as a great place NOT to go, but people flock there. It’s a tourist attraction. They build resorts, condos, shopping malls, bars and schools. It’s all there. People live there.

Mount Pinatubo, which violently exploded and decimated Angeles City & Clark Air Base in 1991, was dormant since about 1500 AD and was not considered active.

Do these people not get it? These are volcanoes and about as predictable as a Chinese firecracker.

Will they be surprised when it explodes?

Tagatay City boats

But hey, maybe you do want to go there and climb the wee volcano. Easy enough to do on a day trip and you get a little boat ride in the process!

Have fun :)

Cheers,

Sean