Monday, 24 April 2017

Lakawon Island Resort and Spa

We were just a bunch of globetrotter wannabes trying to escape momentarily from the chaotic city life. So we packed our not so light bags and flew from Cebu to Bacolod. Destination: Lakawon Island.

We took the early morning flight to reach the island the soonest possible. Armed only with a research article on how to go the island, aided by our unrivaled eagerness to explore the place, we took our chance and expected nothing more but pure enjoyment. 

Upon arrival at New Bacolod-Silay Airport, we were a bit confused as to how to go to the North Bus Terminal. A few guys approached us and we just listened with rapt attention. A guy told us that to reach the terminal we need to pay P500 for the taxi fare. With disoriented glances, we agreed so as not to delay more of our time. And yes, I think we found the right driver because heaven gave its blessing as it was raining that morning. 

Anthony, or Tony as I fondly call him offered to take us directly to Cadiz port instead of just the original destination which is the North Bus Terminal. He said we would be able to save time and money if we pay him P1200 for the whole duration of the trip instead of P500 which is only good for reaching the North Bus terminal. We know we won't be able to save really but given the fact that we are in a hurry and we are all new to the place, we closed our eyes and prayed we made the right decision. 

It took us over an hour to reach Cadiz Viejo port from the airport. Indeed, it was a hassle free journey because from the crossing kamias terminal (where you need to ride a tricycle going to the port) to Lakawon Port it will be a 20 minute tricycle ride and you need to pay P120 (one way fare).

The beach air was cold when we arrived at Cadiz Port on our way to Lakawon Island. After all, it was just a few hours away from the time typhoon Crising left our country. Yet the heat of the summer never failed to make its presence known as our skin felt the warm sea breeze. 

You need to pay P280/pax as payment for Environmental Fee, Entrance Fee and Boat Ride (round trip). A minimum of 10 persons is required before the banca leaves for Lakawon. First trip leaves at 7:00am and last trip is 5:00pm. Beyond the said hour, you will be charged an overnight rate. 

We were lulled to sleep by the sound of the crashing sea waves as we prepared to cross the island. We cannot hide our excitement however, as we were approaching our destination.

Cerulean-Blue water enclosing the island, White powdery sand along the beach, beautiful native cottages, jaw-dropping scenery, waves rippling gently - these are just some of the alluring images to welcome you on this insanely beautiful island of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. 

Lakawon is an idyllic coastal beach, a hypnotic island so mesmerizing that it enchants you to stay longer as planned. The water of the South Pacific stretched away like the vast blue horizon stretching above us - crystal clear and turquoise blue. 

We went directly to the reception upon our arrival to pay for the Beach Huts which is P2500 (overnight stay good for 4 persons). We also informed ahead that we will also be chilling at Tawhai Floating Restaurant. So we paid P250 (non-consumable) as well inclusive of the round trip boat ride and the waterproof wristband which is unlimited (can be used from 10:00am to 5:00pm) 

After payment, we were guided to our beach huts and we all fell in love with our mini house. It was quaint and aboriginal in nature accentuated by modern appliances (ceiling fan) and things (comfy beds and pillows). It even has mosquito nets if ever you'll be bothered by mosquitoes but there were none. There's a separate toilet and shower for each bamboo hut for that much needed privacy from other tenants. 

If sleeping in a simple thatched dwelling by the sea is your idea of relaxation, then you're at the right place because the beach huts scream serenity and peace - away from the hustle and bustle of city living. 

We swam at the beach, enjoying the feel of the water sluicing away the stress caused by city life.

Tawhai Floating restaurant on the other hand is the best place to chill while marveling at the island’s magnificent view. The name “tawhai” is derived from the local dialect that means “relaxed” which surely is the most relaxing floating resto I have ever been to. It boasts of being the biggest floating bar restaurant in Asia. By the way, you need to sign a waiver at the reception upon payment before you are transported to the floating bar. Tawhai Floating Bar puts “U” in the word adventure by jumping overboard but do it at your own risk. Life vests are provided though if you wish to jump or swim along the side of the floating bar. They are open from 10:00am to 5:00pm and you can go back to Lakawon Island anytime you want after sipping your strawberry margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas.  

And I guess we didn't regret hiring the services of Tony after our Lakawon adventure because he offered to tour us around Bacolod and nearby cities for a fee of P3000 from 6am to 6pm. (We gave him a P500 tip though for a very efficient and stress free tour).

How to go there: 

By Bus (from Cebu): 

Take the first hour (2am) Bus bound for Bacolod via Toledo Port at North Bus Terminal. 

Manual Travel Summary Cost:

Van/Bus going to Toledo (2hours travel time): Php100
Toledo Terminal to Toledo Port (Motorcycle): Php10
Barge/Fastcraft (1 hour and 30 minutes): Php150 to Php170
San Carlos Port to San Carlos Terminal (Motorcycle): Php10
Terminal Fee: Php10
San Carlos to Bacolod (3 hours): Php150
Bacolod North Bus Terminal to Cadiz City: P95
Crossing Camias Terminal to Cadiz Viejo Port via Tricycle: P120(minimum of 3 people)

Cadiz Viejo Port to Lakawon: P280/pax (inclusive of Environmental Fee, Entrance Fee and Boat Fare round trip)

By plane via Cebu: 

a.New Bacolod - Silay Airport to Bacolod North Bus Terminal: P500(taxi fare)

Bacolod North Bus Terminal to Cadiz City: P95
Crossing Camias Terminal to Cadiz Viejo Port via Tricycle: P120(minimum of 3 people)

b. New Bacolod - Silay Airport to Cadiz Viejo Port: P1200 (taxi fare)

Day Tour Information: 

Entrance fee, terminal fee, boat ride 2-way: P280/person
Tawhai Floating Bar - P250/person
(open from 10:00am to 5:00pm) 
Umbrella hut -P600 (up to 6 persons)
Family cottage - P1200 (up to 10 persons)
Canopy tent (small) - P600 (up to 6 persons)
Canopy tent (medium) -P800 (up to 8 persons)
Canopy tent (large) - P1000 (up to 10 persons)

Bamboo Huts: 
P2500/night good for 4 persons
2 single beds, 2 extra foam
extra person:P300/head

Check-in Time: 2:00pm
Check-out Time: 12:00noon

Contact Details: 

Lakawon Island Resort and Spa
Landline No.: (034) 4333960 / 4333259

P.S. If you wish to avail Tony’s Services, you may contact him via his mobile no. 09425676316. He charges P3000 (6am-6pm) for transportation that covers: Campuestohan Highland Resort, Balay Negrense, The Ruins, Calea and Felicia’s, Hofileña Museum, Mambukal Resort.