We stayed at the Whispering Palms Island Resort of Sipaway Island, but ending up in this resort did not come as easy as you may think.
We initially stayed in Talisay City over at the By The Sea Inn. The place may literally be by the sea, but it's not the type that has the shore and you can enjoy swimming. So, we search for another beach destination.
Our friend, Restie, who was our official host in this trip, lives in Silay City and recommended a beach resort but it was a 5-hour drive away from Talisay City. Since our vacation was practically just over the weekend, we consider time to be precious and we asked if there would be a closer destination. He didn't personally know the place, but there are people who recommended the beaches in the Sipaway Island and that's only 2 hours away from our location.
How to get there
From Talisay City or Bacolod City, you would need to get to the San Carlos City Bus Terminal, either by series of jeepneys or by cab. You may need to talk to the cab driver about the fare since most of the time they don't use the meter if you would need to go from one city to another.
The Ceres Bus Lines, the only bus company in Negros Occidental that I have seen, has a terminal where a bus to San Carlos would leave at about every two hours.
When we got to the terminal in San Carlos, we need to ride a boat to bring us to the Sipaway Island (known as "Refugio Island" in official maps).
Before riding a tricycle to the pier where we will get a boat, Restie asked around on what to expect and where to stay in the island. Restie speaks Ilonggo and very little Cebuano, which was the main dialect in San Carlos City. So, a little lost in translation, we were told that there are a lot of resorts in Sipaway, there are a lot of stores and the sand on the beach is white. We were even told to stay at a "pink" resort where are there are a lot of cottages. We should tell the bankero (boat driver) to take us to Ermita. The boat was for 15 people (although I think 10 would already be too much) and should share the Php 300.00 fare. For Php 60.00 each, our party of five wanted to go ahead.
After just a couple of minutes on the boat, we already spotted these pink buildings and were so excited.
The boat ride lasted for about 30 minutes and we were already very hungry because we didn't have much for breakfast.
When we reached Ermita, the boat docked on resort, but not the pink one, but was also a resort of some sort, so, we asked about their accommodations.
Their shore was filled with sea weeds I think and it's kind of scary to take a dip there. Their rooms were not that properly kept but it was only for Php 600.00 to Php 700.00 per night. No air conditioning, well, since the electricity there would only be on at 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM, there was no point in having ACs. But the worst of all, they don't serve food! There's no market nearby where we can buy food and just have the care takers of the resort to prepare the food for us. Although, they were kind enough to offer to buy for us, we were just so hungry already.
We checked out the "pink" place, but before we knocked on the gate, the locals already informed us that the "pink" place has been closed for quite some time now. Haaay... We were tired, frustrated and the sun was so hot. Then, they mentioned that there's another resort nearby, our salvation, Whispering Palms.
They do serve food. They have electricity all through the night. They may not have much of a beach, but compared to the state that we were in, Whispering Palms is heaven.
Maybe for the locals, going from Ermita to Whispering Palms is just a short distance. Ermita was at the North of the Sipaway Island and Whispering Springs was at the south! So, how to get there? The locals said that we should get a tricycle, but tricycles won't be available until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon! And we would be dead by then!
|Wondering how to get out of here...|
It was so much fun and exciting! Too bad, we were unable to take pictures. And to add more adventure, there was a small barricade on our way and the drivers needed to physically lift the motorcycle bikes one by one over about a foot and a half wooden barricade! Before we left Ermita, we have agreed that one bike would cost us only Php 70.00 to get to Whispering Palms, but because of the distance, the heat and the unexpected weight lifting involved, we gave them Php 100.00 per bike.
So, the easier way of getting to Whispering Palms, from the pier in San Carlos City, when you ride the boat, asked to be brought directly to Whispering Palms. That's it! But if you want a little more adventure and the possibility of not being able to get there, take the route we took.. Haaay..
As I have said, Whispering Palms looked like heaven after what we have been through and their rates are not over the top. For an overnight stay in their Family Room, it would cost you Php 2,500 and it would be good for 4 people. Unfortunately, they didn't have an "additional bed" policy, so, we needed to get another separate room for 2, simply because there was 5 of us. The additional Standard Room for 2 was for Php 1,500 a night.
And guess what was the first thing we did after checking in.. EAT!
In the photo above, you'll see that their rice was was served in coconut shells, which I find cute and creative.
I ordered for the Sizzling Shrimps, Alijolli with rice (Php 335) and it was scrumptious. Others ordered for Pizza Fruti de Mare, a small pan pizza with big shrimps, squid and loads of cheese, for Php 300. Their best seller as they claim is the Chicken Curry Sipaway for Php 270.
With our tummies satisfied, we freshened up a little, changed to our swim wear and explored the resort.
We were a bit disappointed because of the beach because it was well into the the afternoon and it was already low tide. The tide won't go any higher until the next morning. Although, it was also a good thing since we were able to explore their walkways and met a couple of under the sea friends.
The resort was also full of the flaura and fauna! I was unable to take a good shot of the monkey and we didn't really see the python and the alligator (or crocodile).
For dinner, they had a Grilled Buffet Set Up, where you can eat all you can for Php 450.00 each. We thought we would be eating slabs of grilled meat, but they were all in skewers. The only special thing was the big grilled fish and their big grill, which you can admire for free from a far. I was a little disappointed, so, I just made sure that I stuffed myself with enough food to make the most out of the price. Our favorite was the grilled sausages.
All in all, each of us spent a little less than Php 2,000, which was not bad since it was inclusive of all the food, drinks, accommodation and the boat back to San Carlos. Not bad at all.
Whispering Palms is a good choice if you would want to just sit back relax and escape from it all. It has the air of being on paradise.
I of course would want to explore more of the Sipaway Island if there are other resorts and if there really is a white sand shoreline in the island, but I would not decline from spending another day in Whispering Palms and sleep in one of those hammocks.
Whispering Palms Contact Info
Phone: +63 929 873 1146