“A walk in Nature never boring in nature great beauty to see
The wild birds are chirping and singing on fence wire and bush on a tree
away from the street and the traffic from human made pollution and noise
Above the gray scrub by the river the skylark he sings as he flies.”
~ Francis Duggan, A Walk In Nature
Kapuluan Vista Resort is as revivifying as it’s spirited owners — lovely couple , surfers Mike and Alma Oida. The story of how Kapuluan was conceived dates back to San Diego, California where the two met. Mike is from Fresno and Alma is from Oxnard. They planned to come home to the Philippines and live their dreams — build a future together. They went around the country to scout for a family-friendly spot. They headed south to Baler and Samar, then north to La Union, Ilocos and Cagayan. And soon after, they made their life-changing decision – creating their new lifeforce — KAPULUAN — a 10-room eco-friendly resort in the idyllic barrio of Balaoi in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
The resort has a good following — the likes of actor/surfer Jericho Rosales, top model/pro surfer/yogi Corey Wills, Marie Claire, Preview and Cosmopolitan editors, photographer Norman Crisologo and his wife, designer/stylist Astrud Crisologo; and nature lovers, eco travelers, beachcombers; and people who simply want a temporary escape from the trappings of everyday life.
Though equipped with air conditioners, the design of the spacious rooms in Kapuluan encourages air to circulate within the rooms for those who prefer an ecologically sound vacation. The kitchen serves organically-grown vegetables from Mike and Alma’s own backyard (Click here to read related story). On their menu are select mouthwatering Filipino, American, Mexican and Japanese fare. Highly recommended are Kapuluan Kilawin, Hummus Burrito, Garlic and Herb Spaghetti, Kapuluan Hamburger, homemade vanilla ice cream, Banana Butterscotch and their steaks and chops. Their breads are also baked in their kitchen. Mike is currently testing his Kahlua Pig, a Hawaiian pork dish that is cooked under the earth. The pork is seasoned with rock salt and wrapped in banana leaves and placed together with hot lava rocks inside a pit, and is covered again with earth. My verdict: fragrant, naturally sweet and succulent with a subtle smoky taste, a great alternative to our native Lechon.
The service is great, personalized and friendly. Surf lessons can be scheduled with Mike or instructors trained by Mike himself. Surfboards and snorkeling gear are available. A square swimming pool accentuates its geometric architecture design.
Australian Serafin Bugejo says of Kapuluan — “Very nice place.” About Maraira-ira Cove, “Beautiful and the ocean… there are no plastics, unlike in other places. Some of the places that I’ve visited… beautiful beaches, but lots of waste.”
[photos by blauearth]
Kapuluan Vista Resort, Sitio Baniaran, Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud, Philippines www.kapuluanvista.com