I've been to Kalibo several times, most of the time as a passageway to Boracay and once for work. I never did have time to look around since I was usually rushing about. A few weeks ago I actually stayed a night at Kalibo, still for work, but it was such a pleasant surprise to find out that I was going to stay at Sampaguita Gardens Resort. Sampaguita Gardens Resort was built by Sam Butcher, the founder of Precious Moments, so you can imagine my delight when I saw Jojo's Christmas Cottage.
I was grumbling on the flight from Manila to Kalibo since the jampacked Domestic Airport made me grumpy, but when I realized I was going to stay at an interesting place I couldn't help but ask questions from the resort's driver who picked me up at the airport. It was drizzling when I arrived but this did not stop me from exploring the place. The resort has a lot of stuff to see and there are educational tour packages (costs between PhP56 to 246 with food) and you can go swimming as well for a small fee.
Here's what I saw:
convention center - that's where I did my talk
a 43-foot aquarium - quite a number of fish, I don't know though what kind
Oriental Flavors - fine dining restaurant (will blog about what I ate there soon)
the SJB Mansion - the presidential suite overlooks the ocean and the mansion is filled up with furniture and houseware from all over the world (including a 300-year old bed)
The Spa - I had a body scrub treatment in the evening and it was truly relaxing, most especially since I had the place to myself.
Jojo's Christmas Cottage - I spent quite a lot of time there chatting with the employees and asking about the dolls. I ended up buying 2 sets. I'll blog about that soon.
Precious Moments Meditation Chapel - the chapel from the outside looked gorgeous, it was unfortunately closed.
Sammy's Circus Rides - I tell you, seeing the ferris wheel and boat made me feel like a kid again.
I unfortunately missed going to the Precious Moments Gallery since my time was limited and I had to catch a plane. Well, check out the photos below.
If you find yourself on your way to Boracay or Iloilo I strongly suggest spending a night at Sampaguita Gardens Resort or set your meetings/seminars/conventions, their packages are quite affordable. Room rates range from PhP1,000 to PhP3,000. You may call them for reservations at +(6336) 264-6556 or 264-3422.