Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sedated by Secdea’s Serenity

Serene hideaways are like sedatives to me. Quite a number of them have helped resuscitate me when I’m at my worst. Something in these places settles the nerves in the same way that a pill does. Life at the workplace can be mighty tough for you and me. That’s why we need to lose ourselves in these sanctuaries once in a while if we want to find balance in our lives.

If time and circumstance permit me, I head for these destinations to rejuvenate myself. The nature of my work necessitates that I engage in occasional breaks or else I’ll run the risk of losing my grip on things. By finding time to hibernate in havens with serene sceneries, I’ve noticed that I’ve become more productive, effective and satisfied with what I’m doing.

Map of Samal
Taking time off from work doesn’t necessarily mean going faraway for a vacay. Doing so can be stressful sometimes. I should know. I’ve been through the fuss, the fury and the flurry of long-distance travels. Why go through all that stress? That’s why I’ve been settling for quick fixes in neighboring destinations offering the same creature comforts like the far-flung ones. 

Jetty at Secdea

A part of Babak
Good thing, I can always avail of some rest and recreation in the nearby Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS). What’s in store for you there? Crystal clear waters. A picturesque panorama of the surrounding seascape. Succulent seafood and much, much more. And what are some of the stuff that you can do in the island? Scuba-diving, swimming, trekking, biking, spelunking and the like.

Whenever I want to unwind, I’d run away to IGACOS to relax my listless body, refresh my lethargic mind and regain my lost energies. For some time now, I’ve been wanting to step into another picture-perfect paradise there. The place? Secdea. Opened to the public last year, it’s one of the latest additions to the array of world-class resorts in the island whose scenic charms sedated me.

Barge bound for Babak in IGACOS

The idea of exploring Secdea was floated during one of the meetings I attended for one of the big-ticket projects we’re pursuing. After several weeks of intense negotiations and mind-boggling discussions, the project team felt the extreme need for a sweet escape to IGACOS. Everyone also agreed to hold the next meeting and stay overnight at Secdea.

From Davao City, our group took a ten-minute cruise aboard a barge bound for Babak, one of the island’s old towns. Arriving at the port, we proceeded to the resort, passing through a well-paved road, which I thought lead up to the resort. To my dismay, however, it ended at the entry point to the village of San Isidro in Babak where the resort is found.  

For the next thirty minutes or so, my car had to negotiate through a rough dirt road that seemed to stretch infinitely. Good thing, I was able to maneuver it safely through the tough trail! Minutes later, we reached the resort. Entering Secdea for the first time, I was thrilled to explore its sprawling expanse—something like 53 hectares, a big part of which is still being developed. 

After parking our vehicles, we hopped into golf carts that shuttled us into the resort. I readily felt an ineffable sense of alleviation after being greeted by the swaying coconut and fruit trees, the salubrious sea breeze, and the surreal serenity swaddling Secdea. The deafening silence that surrounded us was only interrupted by the twitter of birds, the roar of the carts’ engines and our voices.

Home away from home
Few places have a calming effect on me. Secdea is one of them. The resort had me the moment we jumped out of the carts. Entering the resort’s clubhouse, we were treated to the picture-perfect view of the infinity pool and its spectacular background—Davao Gulf and the coastal towns of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, including the two Ligid Islands!  

Secdea's seaside cottages
With its sedate and splendid ambience, the beach resort is the perfect rendezvous for a great island escapade. It has lovely cottages, villas and lodges which are well-appointed and tastefully decorated. The rooms can be Spartan in a rustic way, modern Filipino or Spanish colonial depending on your choice of accommodations. 

If you wish to stay at Secdea, these are the types of accommodations that you can avail of: seaside cottages ideal for couples, lodges for a family of four and villas for large groups and families, which can house a dozen people. All the resort’s rooms have aircons, queen-sized beds, refrigerators, cable television, hot and cold showers, the works.    
Secdea's infinity pool

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Other amenities include an infinity pool where guests can swim from sunup to sundown, a bar where they can sip their favorite drinks, basketball and tennis courts where they can sweat it out, a jetty with a view deck where they can gaze at the stunning seascape and private function rooms where they can hold corporate meetings, weddings, parties and other social events, among others.

The resort's resto at the clubhouse
The food at Secdea is fine to say the least, judging from what we ate at the resto. On weekends, buffet meals are served but you can order a la carte if you like something. Here’s a caveat: Order at least an hour earlier since it takes a long time for them to serve even the simplest meals! I guess this is one aspect of Secdea's customer service that needs to be leveled up.

When day unfolds, you can go swimming at the infinity pool or in the inviting waters of the gulf. Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, jet ski-ing, fishing, boating, wall climbing and rappelling are some of the stuff you can do there. Or you can just go strolling in the garden or along the beach. The ethereal sceneries will surely make you feel light as if a heavy burden were taken off your shoulders.

When night creeps in, you can read a bestseller in the comfort of your own lanai, watch your favorite shows on cable TV in the privacy of your room, play chess, cards, or scrabble at the veranda, or have a chat with someone at the clubhouse. If you’re a night owl, cap your evenings at the bar by the beach or at the jetty, sipping your favorite drink while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

Serenity reigns supreme at Secdea—morning, afternoon and evening. And this is one of the resort’s irresistible attractions. How long will it stay that way? Perhaps until the time when throngs of tourists discover it and invade the place. Before that happens, take a peek now and soak up all the sun, the sea and the sand and, most of all, the serenity that this new hideaway in IGACOS offers. :D  

For more about Secdea, visit

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