While the family is away I have been looking through old pictures and reminiscing about our first family trip to the Philippines. This was back during spring break in 2008, we went to Mactan Sangri-la a 5 star resort in Cebu. It was during our stay in South Korea that we decided that we should go to the Philippines, sort of show the kiddies where mummy was from.
The sun was out most days of our stay, but one day it was overcast and that day my young ones took the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive, they snorkled most of the time.
The children played around in the pool and in the ocean. We protected our children from the sun so we thought, specially the little one.
But unfortunately Dan was a little overlooked, actually we did rub him with sun block all the time but hours in the water and sun snorkeling did take its toll on the young guys skin. He got second degree burns, he had bad blisters on his shoulders, blisters that turned into bleeding soars. mummy’s poor little guy, the worst part is that he caught a bug and had a really bad stomach flu. The resident doctor told him that he had to keep away certain types of food and drink(basically everything except for rice and water) for a few days and stay away from the sun.
“But mummy that leaves me with just two days to enjoy the food and drinks before we go back to Pusan”. He confined himself in our suite for our stay so he would not get tempted to try anything. That did not last long it was boring and he did go out and play, specially since another family from Pusan that we knew came down for the break too.
Coming from Norway we do not think about covering up to go swimming, but this resulted in buying body covering swimwear for the rest of the children , not just the little one.
It was a fun place to be, but unless you ventured outside the compound you really did not see much of the Philippines, we could have been on any tropical resort in the world.
I am not complaining, the place was huge and with the most wonderful spa facilities.
I did treat my self to several spa treatments. The first time I went for a treatment it was dusk and as I crossed the candle lit bridge to the pagoda I was filled with calm from the wind chimes tinkling in the wind.
The treatment room I got was small house with a small garden. I remember entering this calm place. everything was quiet, I thought I had gotten lost, but a nice lady opened the door and let me in. She showed me where i could undress and put on a robe, then shi led me to a chair where a got to soak my feet in a little basin filled with calming water and flowers and then she served me freshly brewed tea so i could sit and relax while she gave me a foot masage. After half an hour or so she lead me to another room for my body masage. I can’t really recal the room other than I thought it was lovely. I was so caught up with my treatment, it was so relaxing and calming. I dosed on and off. This was the first time I did not feel like I was short changed, It was really a shooting spa treatment.
I think I went and got a treatment almost every evening, I was so satisfied that I sent almost the whole family for a treatment.
The only thing I did not like with this place was that there were many girls that came and went and came back again often with different men. Old med groping young girls while on the phone with their wives in full view of the other guests.
I remember my twelve year old daughter Hanna asking me questions about certain girls was waiting for old men. One time she said “Mummy do you see that girl over there? She looks happy today, yesterday she did not look so happy. I think it is because she is with a younger man today, yester day she was with an old man” Oh the horror, facts of life of the 3. world countries, I tried to explain in the best possible way.
Mactan Shangri La get a thumbs up for their spa facilities, but a thumbs down for the the types of guests they allow in. We should have been warned that this might not be a proper place to bring a family. I’m not judging the lives of many women out there, but when you bring your family to a five star resort, you would expect that you should not need to explain the facts of life to you young ones.
Hopfully it is a little better today.