Dead wood
The beach at Misibis Bay

My experience with Misibis started as soon as we got out of the Legazpi airport. Janice, a colleague from our Finance Team, was on the same flight (they had their own team building activity in Misibis) and we were ushered into a coaster along with a couple of Misibis Bay staff. Janice had to do a bit of grocery shopping while I needed to stop by an ATM to get cash so we made a pit stop at Gaisano Mall. When I got down to go to the ATM, I noticed one of the Misibis guys following me to ensure I am ok. Then later, I went out of the coaster again to snap some photos. Again, one of the guys followed me with an umbrella to protect me from the harsh afternoon sun, despite my reassurance that I’m ok and the didn’t have to go with me.

Gaisano parking lot

About an hour later, we found ourselves at a dock, waiting for the barge to bring our vehicle across the river into Cagraray Island.

The barge that brought our coaster to Cagraray Island
Janice snapping some photos
The road to Misibis Bay
The road to Misibis Bay

About 10 minutes later we were welcomed into Misibis Bay Resort with two guys garbed in traditional Ibalong attire and dancing to folk music. We were given cold towels to refresh ourselves and a glass of cool and tasty fresh melon juice.

Welcome dance
Welcome dance
Welcome to Misibis
Entrance to the reception area
Walkway to the reception area

Welcome drink
Welcome drinks

The reception area was small but felt very spacious with the glass walls all around that affords a good view of the surroundings. The ceiling was high and adorned with ceiling fans. There was a zen feel with the simple but elegant furnishing (Kenneth Cobonpue? I can’t say for sure.). The sound of splashing water from the Koi Pond surrounding the front portion of the reception area, and the mild minty scent coming from oil burners instantly shakes off the stresses from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The reception as viewed from our room
The reception as viewed from our 2nd floor villa
Pinoy-inspired furnishing at the reception area
Coffee table at the reception
Couch at the reception area
Pinoy-inspired couch at the reception area
High ceiling fans at the reception area
The high ceiling of the reception area

Koi pond
Koi Pond

After a quick check in and briefing of the resort facilities, over a bowl of crunchy kropek with vinegar dip, we were ushered into our 2nd floor villa. Joycee and I shared a unit. The room was very spacious. There was a separate living and dining area furnished with a huge L-shaped couch, a coffee table, an LCD TV with DVD Player, a dining table with dinner wares for 2 although there were 3 cushioned chairs, coffee-making equipment, and a stocked mini bar with refrigerator. A plate of small dessert pieces was served on the table along with a bowl of fruits, which we later found out to be part of their a daily service. There is a balcony accessed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors in the living area, that overlooks the lagoon pool below.

Living and Dining
The living and dining area of our villa

The bedroom is also quite spacious, furnished with a King-sized bed, another LCD TV, an iPod dock with speakers and a phone. There is a safety deposit box in the closet, along with an ironing board and iron, two white cotton waffle fabric (or honeycomb) bathrobes, and two pairs of slippers in the same material as the bathrobes. There was enough closet storage for two people. But what I love best about the bedroom are the two walls made of floor-to-ceiling glass panels with access to the balcony and which provides a scenic view of the resort surroundings.

Home away from home
The king-sized bed
Cabinetry behind the headboard
Dual function headboard and work desk with cabinets

The toilet and bath can be accessed from the bedroom and from the living and dining area. There is a separate bath tub and shower, as well as a toilet enclosure. The vanity is as long as the tub and has two lavatories. There is an abundance of plush white cotton bath towels and hand towels. L’Occitane shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and lotion are provided in the bathroom. Cotton balls, cotton buds, toothbrush kits, hand soap and more lotion are provided on the vanity counter. There is also a hair dryer and an outlet for electric shaver. Overall, the villa is spacious and comfortable, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

Shower and tub
The tub and shower enclosure
Toilet enclosure
Toilet enclosure

The food is good but not great. This is one area that can still be improved. In my opinion, the best buffet is breakfast. I love the danggit, dilis and dried pusit selection adjacent to the egg and sausage station. There is adequate fruit selection for those who opt for a healthier start of the day (why? we’re on vacation?!), cereals are also available, as well as a variety of breads and pastries. There was a soup station, and on Tuesday morning, there was a congee station which was pretty good – though I would have liked it to be really hot instead of just warm. The tapa is pretty good. Boneless bangus is a breakfast buffet staple, as is fried rice.

As for the the lunch and dinner spread, I find the selection a bit limited. For a restaurant that’s called Spice Market and described to offer the flavors of Asia, I was expecting a few Southeast Asian cuisine like curry or Phad Thai. The laing was wonderful but the Bicol Express tasted more like binagoongan – good but not what I expected. Overall, the food is ok – maybe I just expected a lot.

Platter of sausage
Chocnut with coffee
The coffee was good, better with chocnut
Soup bowls

What to do in Misibis? The package already includes use of non-motorized water sports facilities. We tried Hobbie Cat sailing and it was a lot of fun! There were 3 of us in the hobbie cat plus Ryan, the water sports guy who steered the boat. The wind was strong the morning we tried it and it was perfect. We went far beyond the breakwater and had a wonderful time. Then I also tried my hand at windsurfing. I didn’t get wiped out! It was a wonderful experience, but very tiring. After a few minutes, my legs and arms were so exhausted! An instructor was with me on the board but he let me control the sail. I hope I can do it again soon (photos to follow). We also got to use the kayak during our team building activity.

Of course, swimming either in the pool or in the ocean is a must. The resort boasts of an infinity pool, a “lagoon” and a kiddie pool. I took a dip in the warm water of the Pacific Ocean and it felt wonderful. The rest of our team preferred to soak in the pool and so we did just that, even under heavy downpour.

The lagoon – this one stretches to the other side of the resort (photo courtesy of Euge Ang)

The infinity pool (photo courtesy of Euge Ang)
Beach lounge
At the beach

Other activities which I didn’t do as I wanted to do them with Ariel next time are ziplining, wall climbing, ATV sunrise tour and sunset cruise – the latter we had planned on doing but the strong rains deterred us. There is also a well-equipped spa but I skipped this as it’s a bit pricey.

Sunrise ATV Tour – I definitely want to do this next time, with Ariel (photo courtesy of Euge Ang)
Highest point of Cagraray Island (photo courtesy of Euge Ang)

Finally, this trip was about building a strong team. The place is really conducive for team bonding. We dined together, played games together, enjoyed the facilities together.

The Business Intelligence Team (photo courtesy of Euge Ang)

(photo courtesy of Euge Ang)

(photo courtesy of Euge Ang)

To view all the photos, click here. Thanks for looking!

Written by Alby Laran

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