Cheap hotdogs. Pork barbecues. Chicken heads. Betamax. Isaws. Adidas. Everything covered?
Not by a long shot.
After spending the whole afternoon hopping across gigantic boulders to and from President Roxas’ Liktinon Falls, the gang decided that we should reward ourselves with a little bit of street food before retiring for the night at the Maribert Inland Resort.
Everyone was familiar with the skewered street fares along the dusky streets of President Roxas. The whole sticky shebang were stuck upright on a banana trunk, as is the case with barbecue stands in the provinces. The familiar smell of roasting meat called to us like music from the pied piper.
Like every traveler worth his backpacking salt, we asked for something different. Something local.
We were led to another stall and there they were.
Small dark eels complete with heads and mouth screaming open, impaled on sticks and roasting over coal embers. Puyoy, the locals call it. It’s definitely not as cute as it sounds.
Everyone pooled their coins and bought a couple each. Eyes locked as everyone got their first bite. The smoky meat was hardy and I can feel what seemed like vertebras all over my tongue. It didn’t help that manang already ran out of vinegar to dip the strange creature in.
We wanted something local? We got something local.
An hour or so later, the sun was gone and blues rule the twilit skies.
Following a meandering road, we were greeted by a glowing statue on a Balinese background. Water gurgled along the reflecting pool as we went along, our heavy backpacks dragging us down. We were at the Maribert Inland Resort, our home for the night.
A huge pool opened into view as we dropped our bags, waiting for our dinner and room assignments.
Totally different from Maribert’s zen-like entrada; the swimming area looked like a carnival of sorts with its loud colors, playful architecture and crop-circle tile designs.
The resort is a favorite venue for wedding and birthday parties in the town of Pontevedra, so our guide says.
PHOTO BY ANTOINE GREG OF AGBOI
A feast was laid before us even before we were able to get our bags into bed. Sinful crispy patas, caramelized inihaw na bangus, veggie-laden pancit bihon and hot pork nilaga. A table was set up right beside the pool and we dug in.
The bangus and crispy patas were clearly the star of the table.
The evening didn’t end with dinner, a case of Gold Eagle beer soon followed.
And from typical travel stories and hello stranger moments, tales became much more somber as each one related their ghost stories while on the road. As more bottles popped, the travel parts of the stories got left behind. It was pure Shake Rattle & Roll from then on.
Good thing I didn’t have to sleep alone that night. Maribert Inland Resort provided us with a double-decker no-frills room. Like its en suite toilet and bath, the room is a bit cramped. But I guess it’s enough for backpacker types and those just wanting to have a nice soft bed to lie on, especially after buckets of Gold Eagles.
PHOTO BY MARKY RAMONE GO OF NOMADIC EXPERIENCES
Early the next morning found me doing laps at the Maribert Inland Resort’s massive pool. I guess my body bodes well with the bottles of Gold Eagles still lying where we left them last night.
No crazy hang over for me. I’m actually rarin’ to hit the road once again.
Maribert Inland Resort
Address: 5802 Brgy. Lantangan, Pontevedra, Capiz
Contact Number: (036) 643-1763 | (0939) 962-2499
(0929) 319-0787 | (0999) 992-2023
Entrance Fee: P80.00 Regular | P50.00 Kids under three
Room Rates: 2pax P850 | 4pax P1,100 | 15pax P5,000
GPS Coordinates: +11° 25' 34.09", +122° 54' 13.21"
View Location on Google Maps