It's been more than a month since our Sipalay trip with Keyt and I've been thinking of how to remember it. I browsed through all our photos and video to try and trace back what happened. I want to remember it as a bright, sunny trip, but it really wasn't. Every trip has its ups and downs. And as much as I want to sugar coat it, we were in a series of unfortunate events. Well, that's the risk to take for flying out during the second half of the year.

Two months before our trip, I was dreaming of seeing the islets in Tinagong Dagat, dipping in the waters of Sugar Beach, witnessing Sulu Sea's sunset. But none of that happened. Instead, when we got there, it was barren with a storm brewing.

Going to Sugar Beach, we had to cross a very small body of water. A very murky body of water.

The storm actually caught us on the way. We got drenched big time. We even dropped our freshly bought bread from a stopover. It was like a scene from a scary movie where your friend tripped over and you had no choice but to move on and survive. It was a disaster.

Our Savior

We finally found our place of destination. A very unique resort that served as our sanctuary for two days. Takatuka is an art resort with a lot of oddities.

Takatuka saved us from boredom. They have movies, booze, books and board games of all sorts. Some of them I don't even know how to pronounce.

It was a very strange place. The rooms were weird. They had out-of-this-world faucets, switches and interiors. Sleeping in a cave was definitely an awesome first.
I wasn't able to photograph the restroom, but it was freaking awesome

Sugar Beach is a long stretch. A lot of resorts can be found in the area but most were closed due to renovation. Food was a bit expensive at Takatuka so we ate in another resort called Driftwood.

We weren't able to swim at all because the water was nasty. The locals said it was because of the flood the day before. So we really had no choice but to catch up, relax and take photographs.

This dog actually followed us everywhere. Literally.

We were still lucky in a way because we had the whole beach to ourselves. The whole messy beach (if that's considered lucky).

Tasting a Touch of Luxury

We originally planned to visit Tinagong Dagat to see the islets but again, the weather didn't want to cooperate. So we skipped that and on our third day, we went ahead to stay in a very nice resort.

Punta Bulata is a resort that's beyond our usual budget. We don't normally stay in places like this but we wanted to make this trip as staycation-ish as possible. Besides, we weren't able to explore the town, so staying at a private beach-front cabana with an infinity pool, an outdoor shower and comfy sheets was our way of getting the most out of Sipalay. Plus, we had the whole resort to ourselves again until the next morning when a large group of friends came in.

It was relaxation at its best. Really.

One of the things we loved most about Punta Bulata was this oddly placed swing hanging from a coconut tree, placed near the shore.

We did absolutely nothing but slack off. We ate pizza(a lot of them), drank beer, talked for hours, slept like kings.

A locally brewed good-tasting beer


As I was writing this post, I actually realized that after all that happened, I still felt contented with everything. True, we were just stuck the whole time. Rain poured on us.

But as I looked back at our photographs and on memories of this cold place, I have to say that I felt a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

I can say that we saw Sipalay at its worst but it was all still very interesting. Maybe the cliché that says the journey is more important than the destination isn't just a truism after all.

Maybe it was nature's way of telling us to slow down this time.

Btw, check out our short video here.