Tuesday, January 10, 2006

BACACAY'S LATEST ATTRACTION: MISIBIS




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LEGAZPI CITY--A world-class beachfront spa resort, with a long stretch of fine white sand and complete with modern facilities, is now in full development in Barangay Misibis, Bacacay, Albay, by prominent Bicolano businessman Elizalde "Zaldy" Co."It's a very strategic and fully nature-packaged beauty resort where one can absolutely feel in one setting as if he is in Palawan, Phuket, Bali, Maldives, Boracay, and Waikiki, or perhaps better," Co said.Dubbed as an architectural structure at its finest, the Misibis Spa Resort and Residences is aimed at being the next world-class tourist destination in the country.It will be boosted by the new international airport that is being planned for construction in the province, particularly in Barangay Alobo in nearby Daraga town.The place offers a panoramic view of the Mayon Volcano, Sula Channel (galleons and ships' sanctuary in times of typhoon), Pototan Cave in Batan Island (known for its teeming terraces of waterfall like contour of pools of water overflowing from its "cauliflower" structure, and its exotic underground rivers), Bac-Man geothermal site and Nag-asu Lake (the "burning" lake of Albay), among other features.Just 20 minutes away from the resort is an underground river called Pighologan Cave.Actually, though the resort will be fully operational by March 2006 yet, many tourists, both local and national have already visited the resort.40 hectaresThe Misibis resort is a 40-hectare beachfront property nestled at the south coast of the Pacific Ocean via a three-km route to the Sula Channel.Co said that though at present the resort has only two big function rooms, it will soon open the following amenities and services: restaurant and bar, poolside bar, lagoons, more function rooms, souvenir shop, sauna and spa, grand main lobby, a chapel, infinity pool, business center, beachfront cabanas, auto terrain vehicles, driving range, indoor games, tennis court, water sport activities, marina, and horseback riding."It's more than a five-star hotel, since right now the construction of two or more big villas and six or more clusters are in the process. People coming here will not only enjoy the tranquil beauty of the beach or other scenic spots that it can offer, but, of course, also the state of being private just like in a hotel," Co explained.He added that just like in any other world-class beach resort, this too, would offer numerous infinity pools where one can appreciate the conducive and exclusive atmosphere of the place.Co said the project entails an initial cost of 250 million pesos, although he admitted that it could further reach up to a billion of pesos for its full development.Ronald Bejerano, senior architect and project manager, added that the proposed project would have a main clubhouse that can accommodate 200 to 300 guests.Five clustered houses surrounding the layered and infinity pools will cascade from the main clubhouse.Cable car will also be constructed, offering a grand panorama of the site and its connecting islands.Total development, including construction of high-end residential, areas will be completed in three years."Generally, construction materials will be local to promote our own product and give value to its competitiveness to imported products, yet some detailed finishing will come from the Asian region.World-classCo, 34, owner of the popular Legazpi Renaissance Garden and Country Club located at the heart of Legazpi City, told the Inquirer that what makes the Misibis resort world-class is its style.It is Filipino-Asian in nature -- although influenced by the prominent beach resorts in Thailand, Indonesia, America, Maldives and some parts in Europe to where he has been. But he denied that it is in many ways a copycat, "for Misibis is largely very Filipino in character"-from the materials being used, the perspectives and designs, the employees, architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, and of course, the naturalness of the place-which would make every Filipino very proud of."Most of the architects, engineers, contractors, and interior designers that I have employed were previously working abroad. They're that world-class, plus the fact that I let them come with me to other places abroad for them to see the modern and novel trend-setting styles of beach resorts," Co said.As to the materials and equipment utilized, Co revealed that some of them were bought abroad, especially from America."This only refers to the toilet bowls, bath tubs, jacuzzis, tiles, the roofing of the villas and clusters," Co said.As to the interior designs-wood, highly commercialized mineral commodities like pebbles and crafted materials-he stressed that they utilize local yet highly first-class and unique materials to adopt them to the discriminating tastes of tourists."Sometimes if the materials are not available in Tabaco, Albay, we order them from Cebu, Manila and Palawan or in some parts of Asia. So, this is indeed a Filipino-Asian in character. We try to preserve here the dazzling, natural and exotic beauty of Asia," he said.Eco-tourismThe highlight of the resort focuses not just on the said amenities, but also on the "wild side" of the place -- the presence of a wildlife sanctuary.This is in connection with the local government's declaration that most part of Cagraray Island is an eco-tourism zone.Co said the purpose is for other tourists, who can't afford to go to the resort, to at least just roam around the area and experience the exhilarating beauty of the island and commune with nature."Majority cannot afford to come to the resort, but we can't deny them the alluring beauty of the place, so we have thought of developing a wildlife area," the young development-oriented businessman said.He added that since it's world-class, most likely it will be the Class A that can afford to come, but having the eco-tourism area will enable other classes of people to enjoy the place."Somehow the idea here is related to the Phuket, Thailand Beach resort wherein foreigners will have to pay 2,000 dollars while domestic tourists from all over the Philippines will pay only 50 percent. Of course locals will pay discounted rates," Co said.Travel timeTourists interested to visit Misibis may take the route of Sula Channel in Bacacay town, wherein a motorized boat can ferry them across the channel and they can either take a 15-minute jeepney ride or a 25-minute boat ride to the resort.Guests who wish to bring their cars can proceed directly to the Roro Port A and mount their cars onto the barge.Another way is through the Legazpi port on board public sea transport, which is about one-hour drive by water to the resort's private port.Now that there's a road under construction in Barangay Sula going to Barangay Misibis in Cagraray Island, tourists who wish to visit Pototan and Nag-asu Lake in Manito, Albay, will no longer take the main Batan Island area and the long way road just to reach these places.The newly constructed road in Misibis will enable them to take off from Barangay Mosboron and cruise by 40 minutes to Pototan for its awesome underground river-cave.By Gil Francis G. Arevalo and Ronnie Lorejo Inquirer News Service Published: September 16, 2003Pics...Pics...Pics... Main Gate With the Miss Earth Winners..