Discover the secret paradise of Davao

Subscribe Now July 22, 2022 at 10:39am

Adream is a goal with a deadline.

This philosophy is what propelled Davao City’s power couple Bhing and Peter Harris to fulfill their dreams today. Each of their successes has been sweet, as sweet as the breeze of the Samal Island in Davao del Norte where they own a slice of heaven called Secret Paradise Beach Resort.

Secret Paradise, in the barrio of Canibad on Samal Island, is a dreamy sanctuary. Guests come here to bask in the tropical fervor of paradise. They surrender to the gentle waves that lap the shore. They allow the pencil strokes of the sunrise to kiss their mind and body as the gentle wind caresses their soul. Here in this magical place where fairies seem to bathe, guests will find what they have been longing for: a real respite from the noise of the city.

The resort bears the personal touches of Bhing and Peter — two worlds made one by love. Bhing is a native of Davao. Peter, on the other hand, is from Australia. With Bhing as the wind beneath Peter’s wings, the latter soared and flew high. “Bhing and my love for her are the reasons we have all this,” Peter said.

Peter turbo-propped his way up the company ladder as he worked extensively all over the world on a prestigious oil and gas rig and would send funds to Bhing in Davao. The dynamic duo invested the money in real estate and rentals. They impressively built the Secret Paradise slowly but surely.

They have been operating the Secret Paradise Beach Resort for several years now, and they invite one and all here. My BFF Büm Tenorio, our beauty queen friend and model of the resort Mel Martinez and I recently sampled the best of what paradise could offer. We checked into our cozy rooms and had a hearty lunch of the freshest seafood, pancit and sweet fruits. We marveled at the quaint and very clean environs as Bhing and Peter gave us a tour of their Secret Paradise. (Worthy to note, Büm gave poetry classes to the staff in the resort who were grateful for such knowledge.)

From Davao City, we rode our 4x4 vehicle to the port where a ro-ro was waiting. We crossed the Pakiputan Strait from the city to Samal Island —while we were still ensconced in our car. After a short ro-ro ride, cars started to leave the transport and off we went, driving through the well-paved roads lined by willowy palms. In a few heartbeats, we reached Secret Paradise.

Bhing and Peter showed us their piece of precious paradise and here we discovered ourselves as well. As we basked in the moonlight, we thanked the good Lord for such glorious gifts. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. The night was filled with joy and laughter as we offered cheers to the good life.

As dawn approached, we all engaged in some rigorous kayaking and admired the magnificent shells clustered on the caramel crusted sand. Slowly the sun’s rays shone beyond the horizon, signaling that it was time for our breakfast feast.

For four glorious days, we were invigorated with such hospitality, and we were joined by the couple’s friends who shared tales of their youth, past travels and glorious laughter. Büm entertained us with his song and dance numbers as we shared dreams and goals for the coming months.

After this tropical adventure, we hied off to Bukidnon, General Santos City and Lake Sebu.

Powerful streams of immaculate water flowed like the bridal veil of the Victoria Falls in Zambia and the Iguazu in Brazil. Alas, it was too late to try the death-defying zipline that magnificently crosses the mighty rivers below the waterfall canopy. One is reminded of Tarzan-like echoes when viewing the picturesque valley.

Lake Sebu is the home of the T’boli tribe who fabulously weave their arts and culture into their fabrics. Next morning, very early that day, Büm interviewed T’boli master weaver Sebulan Dulay and learned about their ingenious craft.

After our tour of Mindanao, a precious gift from Bhing and Peter, we went back to their comely abode in Davao City. To the market we trooped to buy the freshly picked fruits from the many farms in the province.

Mel taught us how to eat durian and marang. The mangosteen was saccharine sweet. The special halo-halo and delightful kinilaw we savored courtesy of Auntie Imelda and Nanay Cerila will always be remembered. Their kindness and loving ways tugged at our heartstrings. Their generosity, like Bhing and Peter’s, is bottomless.

As we bid them farewell for the meantime, we looked back at the glorious sky and the azure skies and vowed to be back very soon at Secret Paradise. We fell in love with the sanctuary of nature. We vowed to return. Not a threat, but a promise.

Beauty lies not just in the way nature was created but also in the way we, as stewards, care for our environment. At Secret Paradise, this is a way of life. They achieved their dream and are reaping the sweet success today. Indeed, being good stewards of their haven is the real secret of this paradise.


« Realignment of Davao-Samal bridge project sought to save reef Bongbong Marcos vetoes bill expanding Davao power firm’s franchise area »