While in Kalibo for the Ati-Atihan 2011 Festival last January 15th, we had taken our lunch a little early, at around 11:30am so as to avoid any possible lunch crowds from the Festival. We got out, the streets of Kalibo were suddenly quiet. We realized that whole festival seemed to have gone on lunch break.
We decided to take a small break from the Festival and go around the area a bit… depending on how far a tricycle would take us. While looking at Google Maps, I noticed an interesting stretch of seaside land which I assumed would have made for some interesting beach. The area was a place knows as New Washington.
View New Washington, Aklan in a larger map
We then hopped on a tricycle and asked if we could be brought to New Washington. It was quite some distance from Kalibo.The trip would be somewhere like half an hour away.
En route, we finally got a view of the sea. Though not exactly beach area.
As we crossed into New Washington, our driver suggested that he take us to Sampaguita Gardens Resort. He said that is where all the foreigners go. Not exactly a fact which enticed me, but I was curious. Someone from Pinoy Travel Bloggers did suggest that I try out the place.
It was quite a distance away but we did eventually get there.
I was a little bothered by the signage and those Precious Moments characters. Wait! It gets better (or worse!)
A Victorian home in the middle of Aklan?
Oh no! More precious moments.
Going back to that Victorian structure. It’s actually made of cement and not wood. It’s actually a very nice structure… if not out of place. All of the other structures (like to the left of the building) is the resort of Sampaguita. This building, as with other structures in the area seem to be a forced Precious Moments’ Theme Park. Ok, so aside from Precious Moments, what else is the theme? Christmas. Yes… it is a whole-year Christmas thing. Yeah… strange, I know. So that Victorian House? It’s a Christmas Cottage.
By the way, the whole time we were there there was music playing on the loudspeakers. And yes… Christmas music. While we were taking the picture below… “Silent Night” was playing.
Of course this was personally interesting for another obvious reason (see below).
Inside the structure is a store of Christmas items… and Precious Moments items… and Christmas Precious Moments items. It was just too much for me.
Even if it was only P10, I didn’t feeling like seeing the “Museum of Christmas.”
As we walked around, I saw this all-year-round Christmas Tree.
Though I must admit, the grounds were beautiful… and breezy.
What about the beach. Ok, so at the end of the resort is a cement wall and beyond that… well, you can see for yourself. It’s not much of beach… the sand was grey and quite course.
As we were leaving we entered their Coffee shop as I was extremely thirsty. They had a lot of interesting things on their menu, but they were all out of a lot of it. That wasn’t a good situation for the Coffee shop to be in. I ended up just getting a Coke for myself and bottled water for the girls.
All in all, it was an interesting place, and in fairness, it was a quality place. Taste aside, I guess you could look past the décor and the theme.
From here we proceeded back to Kalibo for the rest of the Ati-Atihan Festival