Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Celebrating Life in Capari

"I prayed and understanding was given to me; I asked earnestly and the spirit of Wisdom came to me."

Wisdom 7:7

Modest - a word that was derived from the latin word modestus. It is a word used to describe what is in the middle, an average.

The 14 kms white sand beach of San Vicente.

That is the word used to describe Capari(i). I beg to disagree.

My curiosity about San Vicente started to creep in when I heard that there is a white beach stretch in the Philippines that is not Boracay. Then news was all over that the youngest female mayor has been elected. Suddenly, San Vicente is already featured as the 4th season destination for the Survivor Philippines castaways. I was overwhelmed and I can't wait to pack my camera and leave. After all, it is my birthday.

To reach San Vicente, you will need patience and a whole of prayer - trust me, you do. I took an airplane to Puerto Princesa. I hope it was just that easy, but I have to take a trike to reach Charing Terminal. Sounds like a joke? Charing terminal is commonly known as San Jose Terminal in PP. Based on my research, San Vicente bound vans are rare, so I made sure to reserve a seat before my trip. Luckily, I was seated beside the driver so I didn't get bored to the 4 hour long drive from PP to San Vicente. 

It was like being in the front row of a blockbuster movie. There was a checkpoint - simply because of transporting mangoes in and out of one area (apparently, the mangoes were infested of some pests). The road leading to San Vicente proper was the climax. It started to rain when we entered the boundary to San Vicente. The lush forested area masked the fury of the raindrops, but the steep sharp-curved dirt road, which is now muddy, showed us no mercy. We even witnessed a motorcycle accident because of the muddy and steep road. I thought I would perform a blessing for the dying - please not while I am on a holiday.

Capari Resort.
I finally arrived after almost 5 hours of travel from PP to San Vicente. It is usually 4 hours but we were delayed due to the rain. Kuya driver was kind enough to drop me off my destination - Capari Resort. It used to be Caparii but the owners decided to drop the other "i" when they opened the resort to public.

Deluxe rooms.
According to their website, Capari is a modest resort with only 17 rooms. One can enjoy visiting for a day or stay for the night.

Mess Hall.
The modesty of the resort is obvious. This structure is all in one. The reception area, the lobby, the dining area and the function hall.

Sumptuous fresh food.
What they lack in facilities, they make it up to their food. On my first night, I had grilled sea bass with vegetable. Then on my second, yes, my birthday night, I had LOBSTERS! I know. I had the vow of poverty, but I just have to do this, only for tonight.

Beach Front Room.
When I reserved the room, I specifically told them that I wanted the only one beach front room. This is it. I never knew this, but the staff told me that this is the same room that Richard Gutierrez stayed in as well as other celebrities staying in the resort, and I am just one of them.

Afternoon in Capari.
I can feel how remote this resort is. It was just me and this speedboat by the beach after I settled in.

I was thankful that I got the only beach front room. I can just sit at my porch and then click!

“A breeze, a forgotten summer, a smile, all can fit into a storefront window.” 
― The Sun Watches the Sun

A fascination.

Boardwalk leading to the mess hall.

When the night starts settling in, there is nothing but silence and the crash of waves along the shore.

Life begins at a certain age, they say. The truth is, life begins when you want it to.
A dawn each day brings forth hope to begin a better life than yesterday. 

Fully grown coconut trees surround the vicinity which completes the beach vibe of the resort.

Survivor Tribal Council.
The season 4 Survivor Philippines tribal council which was set within the resort.

The remains of the tribal council set still lures in guests to the resort. 
It would've been fun if I can participate in one of the survivor challenges. 
Maybe, I can become the first Priest castaway.

The props used by the production team are still lying around the resort.

When not busy with what they offer by the beach, ask one of the staff to accompany you to walk up the hill for a perfect top view of San Vicente. 

On to my left from the hill top, the busy beach front of the Poblacion, to the right is the 14kms long white sand beach of San Vicente.

Since it is my birthday, the manager, Sharon Padua was kind enough to set up a beach front lunch. The best part is, I get to blow my birthday candle on top of spaghetti. yum yum.

Ka Lui.
Any Palawan trip is not complete without visiting Ka Lui. 
A local restaurant known for eating barefoot.

Make sure that you reserve a table when planning to eat at KaLui to avoid the long waiting lined up outside.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
A century old church that has been a spiritual foundation of PP locals.

Capari is truly a modest resort - at a glance. 

I was one of the lucky few who experienced the best that it has to offer. The staffs always extend their help and go out their way just to make my stay unforgettable. They don't let the simple things to slip away. Every morning, they make sure that the lounge and a beach towel is waiting for me by the beach. Once I sat down the lounge, a pitcher of ice cold water will be brought out. Once in a while, a staff would wonder around, snooping or maybe hoping if I would need anything. 

Capari has stepped up a notch of their modesty and overwhelmed me with their service.


Finally, a modest resort does not have an in house entertainer! Squirrel! I literally squealed when I saw them one morning. The staff was excited to share that these squirrels only come out in the morning, around 6 - 7 am. Who would've thought that I will see one here in the remote island of San Vicente. Squirrel!

I have reached the Philippines' final frontier and I have survived - the nik nik bites. God must have a good reason to bring me here. To spread the beauty of San Vicente thru my lens and declare a call to preserve its natural beauty.