Top and above: Kids frolicking at the Sky Pool, which debuted recently.
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
IN MetroM, there’s the so-called Skyway, which is only about 25 feet above ground.
In our hometown Mambulao, at Turayog resort, which is just a stone’s throw away from baranggay Osmena, we have a Sky Pool, sitting on a mountain slope, which is close to 200 meters above sea level.
From where you sit in the pool’s spring water, you will enjoy a panorama of Mambulao Bay and the mountains that hemmed it and the villages by the coastal shore; you could see the chimney of the defunct copper smelter on Calambayungan Island and another island nearby that actually belongs to the municipality of Vinzons.
The spring water flows into the resort from the nearby watershed which used to supply water to the defunct Paranal air station operated by the Philippine Air Force during the early 60s.
The soft-and-hard whisper of the breeze blowing from the bay is more than enough reason for one to spend a day at this place and unwind, with chilled beer in hand and crunchy salted peanuts in the other.
Or for the kids to discover anew the bush and trees that envelop the place as it transforms to a modern-day necessity out of its natural settings.
Just recently, the Turayog sky pool had its soft debut, with only family and close friends witnessing its entry into Mambulao’s tourism picture.
Says Elsie Suobiron, the property’s owner-developer in a recent message to this blogger:
“Initially ho, eh binuksan na namin ang children’s pool area … susunod na rin ho ang pool area for adults.”
Suobiron, who is based in Hawaii, told MWBuzz that she had big plans for this upcoming resort despite her being cash-short at the moment.
She envisions a social center where small group conferences could be held, picnic kiosks that dot the slope around the swimming pools – all overlooking the bay and the surroundings that included the bird’s eye view of Mambulao town and the village of Parang and its beach.
The slope would be develop as a picnic groove that offers left-to-right scenic views of mountains and bay.
There will be facilities such as rest rooms and enclosed shower rooms.
Another treat is an outdoor shower area for those who want to enjoy the grand vista of the surroundings while scrubbing themselves under the cool shower.
Visitors who came to the resort last year for a look-see. Background shows the Mambulao Bay.
And to drumbeat the relevance of Mambulao Bay to local tourism, Soubiron will also erect a giant mother-of-pearl shell as the icon that would identify Turayog Heights and thus become another symbol for local tourism.
But one thing sure, the Turayog Sky Pool, will be a big treat to locals, who would be experiencing for the first time something unique in terms of weekend tourism.
Mambulao kids need no longer travel long to places such as Calalanay Island to frolic in the salt or to wade in the rock-infested waters of Pag-asa beach.
To boost the potential of Turayog in the Sky, the Mambulao local government has concreted the road that passes by just next to it on its way to a beach resort in Luklukan Sur.
“Madali na pong puntahan ang Turayog … kahit tricycle ay makakapanhik na dito ng walang problema,” Suobiron said, adding that there are jeepneys that could reach the place in just 20 minutes from its terminal at the town market.
Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla told MWBuzz that he would find out how the local government could help this new resort develop into a viable tourism destination, which is one of the development programs laid down by his administration.
In fact, he wanted to see the place for himself that he planned a visit with some officials of the LGU.
Padilla said an initiative from the private sector such as the Turayog in the Sky resort deserves the support of the Mambulao government.
Meanwhile, Suobiron is quite excited to start putting in place the adult spring pool, which she hopes to complete before the grand homecoming of the local high school’s alumni set for April 2015.
“At least, by that time, our hometown would have something new to offer to our Balikbayan fellow alums,” she said.
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