Pearl Farm Beach Resort off the coast of Davao Philippines lies in a secluded cove on palm-fringed Samal Island (now known as the Island Garden City of Samal) and is one of the country’s most up market beach resorts today.
The 11-hectare Pearl Farm Beach Resort was once a pearl farm in 1958, the Aguinaldo Pearl Farm, where thousands of white lipped oysters, transported from the Sulu Sea, were cultivated for their pink, white and gold pearls.
“This exquisite place in Davao Philippines is what you call paradise on earth,” said the Philippine Tourism Secretary.
It may be an exaggeration, but that is the feeling you get when you set foot on the island amid the pristine and serene beauty.
At Pearl Farm in Davao Philippines, one can have the best of both worlds –an exotic and luxurious five-star island resort and at the same time, a resort that is accessible and close to the mainland.
A unique feature of this beautiful resort are the Samal houses patterned after the stilt houses of the seafaring Samal tribe of Sulu. Placed near the entrance of each houses are a jar of water and a coconut dipper which guests may use to wash off the sand after a swim or walk on the beach.
By day, schools of tiny fish frolic between the sturdy poles supporting the houses (the place around the resort is a fish sanctuary). At night, the sound of the waves is a soothing aid to slumber.
The resort has 19 air-conditioned Samal houses and six Samal suites. There are 19 hotel-type rooms at the hilltop of Balay I and II. Each room is decorated with the arts and crafts of the tribal people of Mindanao and Davao Philippines. The ethnic motifs reflect the rich culture and heritage of the indigenous tribes, giving a distinct charm to the resort.
Rooms are built to fit around the island’s graceful contour, each one opening up into a breathtaking view of the calm, blue sea. Nearby is Malipano Island where guests can rent any of the luxury three-bedroom villas built by the resort owner, Don Antonio Floreindo, for each of his children.
What do you do at the resort aside from admiring the view, soaking in the sun, swimming either at pool which spills out into the sea below or at the Davao Philippines Gulf, or simply frolicking along the white-sand beaches? Jetskiing, hobbie-cat sailing and scuba diving await the water sports enthusiasts.
The vast unexplored depths of the Davao Gulf offer ample opportunities for scuba diving and underwater photography (the resort has a full-service diving center). Within these waters can be found varied, colorful marine species of the whole Indo-Pacific region.
A favorite spot of divers is the site of two Japanese shipwrecks sunk by the Americans during World War II.
One can simply admire fish ponds stocked with rare aquatic species like the pawikan (giant turtle) and the giant taklobo clams. Or one can take a banca and explore the dazzling coral gardens. For the tennis buffs, there are two tennis courts set amid tropical foliage.
Or just follow the wooden foot bridge and walkways as you leisurely meander through the exotic gardens of the resort where island structures are made of natural materials such as bamboo, wood, rope, stone and coral, blending beautifully with the rest of the landscape at Pearl Farm Beach Resort.
At the Maranao Pavilion, you can savor fresh seafoods from the surrounding waters or try any of the succulent exotic fruits which abound in the island city such as bananas, durian, papaya, mangosteen, mangoes and marang. At night, try your hand at ballroom dancing.
For a nightcap, to the cozy Parola Bar (named after the local term for lighthouse), which was once a lookout post for strangers who were not welcome on the island, back in the days, when it was still a pearl farm. Amid the relaxing ambiance, guests can unwind with a night of music, drinks and exhilarating conversation, or try a game of chess at the giant chessboard.