Amanpulo.

Aug 4, 2014 by

The one-word stand-alone title speaks for the effect I wish to achieve in writing about Amanpulo. Never in my wildest imagination did I even consider the fantasy of being able to step on Amanpulo. It’s for the extreme of the extremes. The luxury of the luxurious. But as fate would have it, I suddenly had the chance to do hosting work for Pediatrica’s Ceelin 40th year celebration set to happen in Amanpulo. My life would never be the same after that.

On the eve of Typhoon Glenda’s touchdown in Manila, the event’s production team flew out to Amanpulo. Via the private hangar separate from the main airport terminals, we were instantly conditioned to experience the beginning of a luxurious adventure ahead of us. We were clueless, but excited. While it was work that would bring us to Amanpulo, we could not deny the fact that we would live and breathe Amanpulo in the next few days.

The hangar for chartered flights to Amanpulo is adjacent to the hangar of El Nido. So this is how traveling in style begins. Hmmm.

The hangar for chartered flights to Amanpulo is adjacent to the hangar of El Nido. So this is how traveling in style begins. Hmmm.

We took a 15-seater plane (oh man — I’m beginning to get used to all these chartered flights), especially walking on a red carpet before boarding. The flight took us about an hour and 10 minutes. Upon landing, we were greeted by an airstrip alongside the pristine waters of Pamalican Island. The water is so pristine, no amount of gloomy skies could conceal its turquoise reflection. As you probably know by now, Amanpulo is owned by Aman Resorts. Check out their website here.

Team On-Ground upon arrival in Amanpulo's private airstrip. (photo credits: Adone Nazareth)

Team On-Ground upon arrival in Amanpulo’s private airstrip. (photo credits: Adone Nazareth)

The foreboding beauty of Amanpulo on your way to touchdown. (Photo credits: Kris Rock)

The foreboding beauty of Amanpulo on your way to touchdown. (Photo credits: Kris Rock)

The island managers welcomed us upon stepping out of the plane and the resort staff gave each of us a lay of sampaguitas. After a few photo-ops we were ushered to our buggies driven by our butler. We checked out a few of the resort’s amenities but had to rush straight to check-in at the main villa due to rain. The serenity of the island is plush with natural vegetation, giving it a feel of being untouched. No man-made structure sticks out of the foliage of trees, and none whatsoever at the beachfront. I am reminded of my childhood in Negros when beaches were lined up by just coconuts and crawling plants. So this is what visitors pay for, I thought. The simplicity, the peace, and the quiet elegance that is Amanpulo.

Virgin as virgin can get. (Photo credit: Kris Rock)

Virgin as virgin can get. (Photo credit: Kris Rock)

We were designated to stay at the Bankhouse that could accommodate 10 to 15 people. We shared the living room with everyone else in the production but we had very comfortable and spacious rooms and classy bathrooms to boot. The house is surrounded by thick plantations without the view of the beach, although you could hear the rolling waves from the nearby shore. The house has all the comfort amenities, including wifi, your own buggy and most importantly, two butlers at your beck and call. Awesome.

Our bankhouse.

Our bankhouse.

Ze bankhouse sleeping quarters.

Ze bankhouse sleeping quarters.

Tub and bath (phot credit: Kris Rock)

Tub and bath (phot credit: Kris Rock)

Professionals as we were we checked out the event venues as soon as we were done settling ourselves at the Bankhouse. I took the opportunity to swim in one of the pools of Amanpulo. The place looked empty, except for birds flying around as if I’m the one truly intruding their space. Amanpulo is a privacy haven to the max, no one knows who else is there. Who knows Michael Bublé was just in the area the same time we were there?

The pool at the main clubhouse.

The pool at the main clubhouse.

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In the evening, we did some alignment and run-through of the event while the newscast on TV blabbed nothing but the typhoon Glenda entering the city of Manila. We were anxious about the plans for the events on the island as rain was beginning to batter the paradise in an angry fashion. At around 11, we received a call from the client telling us that no one could fly out of Manila the next day due to the typhoon. We felt a mixture of dismay (for not pushing through with everything we have prepared for) and happy (for we are stuck in one of the best island resorts in the Philippines! Twistedly wicked!

So the next day, while rain and wind occasionally interrupted our exploration of Amanpulo, we were just a bunch of happy kids hopping around Amanpulo’s spectacular beaches. We walked the stretch of superfluously white and fine (super fine) powdery sand. The expanse of majestic tropical beauty is a prime example of the word ‘virgin’.

The wickedly fine powdery sand of Amanpulo.

The wickedly fine powdery sand of Amanpulo. (Photo credit: Kris Rock)

Beach beds are hidden behind the bushes to maintain the natural arrangement of things in the island.

Beach beds are hidden behind the bushes to maintain the natural arrangement of things in the island.

We walked the expanse of the East coast of Amanpulo.

We walked the expanse of the East coast of Amanpulo.

Spending precious quiet time at the tip of Amanpulo.

Spending precious quiet time at the tip of Amanpulo.

 

At the Lagoon. (Photo Credit: Adone Nazareth)

At the Lagoon. (Photo Credit: Adone Nazareth)

With my dear friend from college and now with Team On Ground, Ana Detoyato. (phot credit: Betty Uy)

With my dear friend from college and now with Team On Ground, Ana Detoyato. (phot credit: Betty Uy)

With the wonderful people from Team On Ground: JR Macahilas, Kevin Piamonte, Ana Detoyato, and Nicky Santiago.

With the wonderful people from Team On Ground: JR Macahilas, Kevin Piamonte, Ana Detoyato, and Nicky Santiago.

More Amanpulo views. (Photo by Kris Rock)

More Amanpulo views. (Photo by Kris Rock)

Amanpulo makes you forget your ordinary existence and takes you to the level of how to experience God's wonders. (Photo by Kris Rock)

Amanpulo makes you forget your ordinary existence and takes you to the level of how to experience God’s wonders. (Photo by Kris Rock)

 

We spent the day gallivanting around the island; meeting the extremely warm and friendly island staff who spoke awesome English, shopped at their ultra-expensive boutique, ate an ultra-expensive afternoon snack, exploited the island’s ultra-expensive amenities it’s the closest I can get to high-end. Really. We had so much fun just horsing around and took in as much Amanpulo as we could.

The following day, we flew back to Manila but left our event things on the island because…

We’re going back.

Spell awesome.

 

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