As a child, I always look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends. It is a time when everyone is more happy, more kinder and has that certain glow and contentment. Christmas is also one of the seasons that became my constant favorite, and just because, I can now cook for family and friends without any hesitation and fear of being criticized of being a bad cook.
You see, I grew up in a family where cooking gourmet, savory food was always the priority and a skill. Even simple dishes such as Spaghetti and Lumpiang Shanghai can spell a difference when crafted with delicateness and precision. During the entire year, I had my own share of ups and downs in cooking, gathering minor cuts and burns as well as being punctured by sharp packaging edges. Yes, I grew up with those kitchen battle scars. It makes me proud to look back and pat myself at the back for being able to endure the heat of the kitchen.
Christmas season also brings back fond memories of family members sharing Noche Buena around a long table with dishes that nourished not only our bodies but also our souls, so to speak.
When I got the invite from fellow online influencer Liv G. Campo of NewsOrg.Ph regarding a Parol Lighting Ceremony at Bluewater Sumilon, I didn’t hesitated. I just packed my bags and just made my way to the meet up place the following day.
Going back to Sumilon is something that I can been looking forward. As an ex Bluewater Sumilon employee, I saw how the island had seen a huge transformation in terms of facilities and room count. And, having another pool and restaurant at the beach just made the experience a more unique one.
Coming Home For The Holidays
As I arrived at Puerto Sumilon on that day December 5, 2018, a dozen or so memories flashed back. It was 2010, as soon as the last vestiges of summer rays cast its golden glow on the sea shore, I made my way to the mainland receiving area. I didnt have enough sleep that time and I was more than willing to give up the high rating BPO Life. I was just a young 23-year-old dauntless employee who left the city for a more laid back lifestyle in an island. It felt like déjavú all of a sudden. I saw myself gathering my things and walked on the foot bridge connecting to the main platform where we walk to the outrigger boat. I was full of hopes and headstrong then, as I wanted to make a difference and cut down on my vices like drinking and smoking. I wanted to live an uncomplicated life and face up #adulting. It was a new challenge for me, working in a resort that is at least 125 km away from Cebu City. As an outdoor enthusiast and adventurer, I had been exposed to traveling alone, meeting new friends along the way, and learning to budget money and time management. Sumilon Island, a 24 hectare coral island off the coast of Bancogon, can be reached within 20-30 minutes depending on how choppy the waves are.
Being back to this island with new blogger friends is just as amazing as signing the job offer to work for Bluewater back in 2010. Today, I find it a respite from all the chaos I had experienced in the city. It is great to unplug once in a while and be able to reflect on things that matter.
Aptly named Pasko Sa Bluewater, their Annual Parol Lighting is not just simply coming home for the holidays to family but, recognizing the efforts done by the management and the community in fostering a nurturing resort that capitalizes on eco friendly waste management and sustainability.
That Room Where We Stayed
We were billeted in a Premium Deluxe Room, overlooking the ocean, with a panoramic view of the majestic southern Cebu mountain range, has an area of 77 sqm with two very comfortable queen sized beds along with other well-appointed amenities.
It has 2 Queen Beds, a Mini Bar, Cable TV, Telephone, Hot & Cold Shower , Private Veranda with a mini sofa that you can watch the waves from your room, Coffee / Tea Service. It has a hammock too, outside. This is one of the 14 additional rooms from the time I worked there. I must say this is a good addition.
It is also easier to book online through the Bluewater website. Check out this sample booking I created at the website. The room rates may change without PRIOR Notice, though. I also noticed that the website offers much lower rates as well.
The Parol Lighting and Dinner, of course
The Parol Lighting was actually an annual event that commenced every start of the Yuletide Season. I had been to other Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies but the Parol Lighting hits closer to home. It is reminiscent of traditions that us Filipinos in general usually observe such as making sure our trees are up once the Hallows Eve are done. Parol is also a symbolism of our being Filipinos.
The Parol we saw at Bluewater Sumilon that was hung on the trees were actually made of recycled materials. The ones that were attached to the main tree was made of colorful materials that gave the tree a very colorful shade.
The Parol Lighting was actually a start of the season when the resort gives back to the community by outreach programs, and also to celebrate growth within the organization itself. This is the time when the efforts of the resort team are being recognized by the management and a time where personal differences and opinions are set aside and when everyone just does extra effort to forgive and forget.
After the opening remarks of the Resident Manager, Mr. EJ Barretto, there were cultural dances that accentuated our rich cultural heritage as Filipinos. Even some of the guests were able to dance together with the staff who took care of the entertainment. Back in my stint as the HR Assistant in 2010, I used to be a part of the entertainment cast during Barrio Fiesta Nights, with Evianne, our former F.O. staff as the star for the night (the one who dances the Tinikling with so much precision and entices the guests to try and dance the Tinikling without being placed in between the bamboo poles). Other dances consisted of the one from Benguet or Abra, and the others were from the Spanish Era.
And finally, something that shows our LOVE for Cebu!
As Bluewater Sumilon continued to grow and innovate, we have observed that the food served during the Parol Lighting was just as sumptuous as ever. It was like a Barrio Fiesta theme, where distinct Cebuano recipes are present.
Pochero de Cebu, Chicken Inasal, BBQ (Chorizo, Gizzard, Pork and Chicken), Kwek Kwek, Squid Balls and Tempura were present. Aside from that, Pancit and the most awaited carving, Lechon de Cebu was also present. The fruits at the dinner were all in season and local such as Watermelon, Rambutan and Pineapple. It was more than what I expected for. The food was just a celebration in itself already.
Truly, staying in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is more than just coming home for the holiday but a celebration of life, communal relationship, sustainability as well as giving back to Nature the TLC she deserves.
For more information on rates and upcoming promotions, you may refer to the following channels:
Webpage: Bluewater Sumilon
Facebook: Bluewater Sumilon
Sumilon Island, Oslob, Cebu 6025
Tel: +6332 318 9098
Mobile: +63917 631 7512 or +63998 964 1879
Instagram: Bluewater Sumilon