For sure most people, if not all, know this old phrase by heart: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Although it sounds cliché, the central message of this idiom remains true everyday: without some time off from work, one becomes both bored and boring.
Consider the four of us.
One is a seafarer, who works tirelessly for most of the year, away from people who matters to him. Imagine the void of his presence during the holidays, New Years, birthdays, and other important celebrations. As Jim Middleton eloquently said in an article in ABC Australia Newspaper, “Sailing the high seas may sound romantic, but the life of a seafarer on a modern cargo ship is often dirty, dangerous work with long hours.”
Another is a government employee. Because of the nature of his work, he frequents the field and does the job in places far from the city and his home. Factor in office politics and the complex system of rules and procedures the government imposes to manage the entire state: these can be utterly exhausting.
The other two of us are IT freelancers. While freelancing provides better flexibility with work time, we are not, however, exempted from the horrors of deadlines, our client’s office politics, and endless iterations and design by our employees.
This is not to say that we are more pitiful creatures than the rest of humanity and that you should sympathize with us. What we want to say is that at the end of the day, we are all the same. When it comes to our careers, we often fall under the mercy of our employers, the never-ending performance-based evaluations, and sometimes a dash of politics.
But because we didn’t want these issues to take a toll on us, we decided to have some time off and get away from it all for a couple of days. And no other place we thought of that could offer our weary souls with a sweet haven than the Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros Occidental, more specifically at the Bermuda Beach Resort.
We found this quiet piece of heaven in TripAdvisor and from other bloggers who’ve created good reviews about the place. So we left our respective office spaces, took a ferry from Iloilo to Bacolod, and took the 6-hour bus drive from Bacolod City to Sipalay City in Negros Occidental.
Once we got off the bus at Sipalay bus terminal, we purchased some food and drinks at a nearby bread store, and proceeded to the beach where according to the resort’s owner, a boat would pick us and take us to the resort.
At last the boat came. We happily hopped on the boat and took a long deep of breath of fresh, sea air. Ahh, what a feeling of relief! After 15 minutes, we landed in Sugar Beach, a kilometer-long stretch of creamy sand and pristine waters.
Without much ado, we proudly say that is by far the most beautiful beach resort we’ve ever been to. Here are the reasons why.
1. The waters are crystal clear, warm, and free of sea grass. Unlike any other beaches in the country that we’ve visited, the Sugar Beach in Sipalay has the cleanest water, even cleaner than Boracay. You can clearly see the seabed while you are swimming and the waters reflect the sun’s rays ever so peacefully and magically. And because of its strategic location, the waves are perennially soft, intimate, and peaceful. During the night, its quiet, lapping sound can hypnotically bring you to sleep, offering the sweetest balm to a weary soul.
2. The place is quiet and relaxing. Again, unlike any other beaches, this place is hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city and provides the most perfect spot to reconnect with one’s self and enjoy the company of your friends, family, or loved one more intimately. If you want to have some time alone, grab a book, sit under a cabana or a coconut tree or lie in one of the hammocks and just enjoy the solitude. You don’t have to worry about being hit by falling coconut leaves and fruits because the trees are being removed of those stuff regularly.
3. The sands are soft, free of stones and shells, and are refined. It is not as powdery as that of the sands of Boracay but walking the beach is like stepping on refined sugar. As night falls, you can dig your feet into the warm sand and fall sleep under the stars. Isn’t it lovely?
4. The resort’s customer service is top-notch. The moment we landed in Sugar Beach, the Swiss owner together with his Filipina wife warmly greeted us with a big and sincere smile, talked about a brief history of the resort, and ushered us to our rooms. It’s our first time to check in in a resort where the owner himself took us to our rooms and assured us that we could always approach him in case we need anything. True to his word, he allowed us to borrow a volleyball, a pile of his books, snorkeling gears, and allowed us to eat a plate of home-made pizza inside our rooms.
5. The food is fantastic. Aside from their homemade pizza, the resort also takes pride in serving both local and international cuisines. Name it: American, German, Continental, and Filipino foods, they have it. What’s more is they bake their own bread! Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through your room! Moreover, they have a bar that is open 17 hours a day and serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. If you are a cigar lover, don’t miss their Antonio Jimenez Cigar.
6. Activities are countless. The beach itself is enough to enjoy the day, at least for us. But if you want to experience more water and land adventure, you can always go snorkeling, island hopping, and diving in a nearby wreck site, hiking the beautiful countryside, kayaking, beach volleyball, and table tennis. They also offer Swedish massage or reflexology in front of the beach. What more could you ask more?
7. The sunset is spectacular. We have to say that Sugar Beach had offered us the best place to watch and contemplate the sunset in all of our travels. No other place we’ve ever been to (except Panglao Island in Bohol perhaps) did we see the sun’s daily descent so beautifully and magically. As the sun sets over the horizon, the color of the sea magically turns into a blazing orange then yellow then crimson and finally into gold. We can’t find the right words to explain the joy and calmness that enveloped us while these natural occurrences unfolded before us, so quiet and ethereal.
Human beings travel for varied reasons. Some for fun, others to conquer new territories, and still others to just take some time off.
For us, we came to this beautiful piece of heaven on earth because we wanted to get away from it all, for a while. This may sound nonsense for some, but at Sugar Beach it dawned to us that taking some time off once in a while is actually a wise decision to make.
It is there we realized that in order for us to become more productive in our respective careers, we needed to make ourselves feel loved, appreciated, and respected. The celebrated British Poet Roald Dahl aptly puts it in these words: “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”