The vast ocean covers 71 percent of the planet’s surface. For explorers, researchers, and scientists, it’s an alien world filled with meteorological, biological, and geological wonders that defy imagination. But for adventurers and thrill seekers, the sea is one infinite playground that offers unlimited opportunities to satisfy their urges for curiosity, speed, excitement, danger, and tranquility.
The Bellevue Resort knows this and wishes to let their guests experience the thrill of the sea. Thus, the resort offers a myriad of adrenaline-pumping water sports that will surely awake their guest’s sense of wonder, drive their eagerness to explore, and satisfy their urge for adventure.
We got up early, changed to our rash guards and swimwear, and headed to Lamian, one of the resort’s in-house restaurants, to have a huge breakfast. Yes, we need lots of energy for the day’s activities.
We first checked out The Bellevue Resort’s beachfront, which is carpeted with fine white sand. The feeling of walking barefoot on the sand was indescribably relaxing.
Need a cool tribal henna tattoo on your arm, neck, back, or anywhere else in your body? This shop here takes care of that. They also have handmade trinkets and souvenirs for sale.
At one end of the beach is a nice basketball half-court that doubles as a volleyball court. Guests who want to play ball sports can have fun here.
We found the various play sets at the children’s playground ideal for warm-up morning exercises.
Then it was time for the real deal, which is trying out the resort’s exciting water activities. Inquiries and bookings for the resort’s activities can be done in this booth beside the infinity pool. They also offer island hopping and scuba diving tours. The booth also has an ample supply of towels and kiddie floaters that guests can use.
Little children can skip the pool and head down to the beach. There’s more than enough sand for them to make sand castles, tunnels, and sculptures.
Several times of the day, these industrious workers rake the sand to remove kelp, dead corals, and marine debris that have washed ashore. This makes the shoreline neat and clean.
Check out all those exciting watercraft—kayaks, jet skis, and a Hobie Cat! Yes, we’re going to try them all! But first, we need to register in this little hut where eagle-eyed attendants prepare the vessels and ensure that we are safe while enjoying the water activities.
Wearing a life vest is a must for safety when engaging in water sports. Even if you are a strong and proficient swimmer, it is strongly recommended that you wear a life vest.
All set? Sweetie and I had our first water adventure for the day—paddling near the resort’s shoreline. They have nice, high-quality fiberglass kayaks that are very stable and safe. Unlike our light, inflatable Sea Eagle kayak, their heavier kayaks float lower in the water, making them easier to row and maneuver around.
No adventure is ever complete without a selfie. Hehehe! Check out the shore; it’s still devoid of people. Seashore activity peaks at around 9AM to 10AM when the tide is usually at its highest.
Let’s go to deeper water, Sweetie! Although not visible in the photo below, there are white buoys that demarcate the resort’s boundaries. For safety, paddlers and swimmers are advised not to cross the buoys.
These floating jetties are convenient docks for pump boats and motorized watercraft. Of course, paddlers and swimmers can climb up here so they can take encompassing photos of the resort and the surrounding areas.
We spotted an old fellow who is paddling by himself. One-person kayaks are also available in the resort.
Kayaking for almost an hour wasn’t enough to satisfy our greed for water sports. So we tried, for the first time, stand-up paddling.
As the activity’s name implies, it involves standing up and trying to find your balance on a broad board. Propulsion is achieved by using a long-handled paddle. To ensure that you don’t drift away from your board in case you fall down in deep water, a leash is tied to your foot.
Off I went! I found out that balancing is the easy part. The wide board and the rubberized mat reduces the chance of the rider tipping over.
The real challenge—personally at least—is how to keep the board straight as it moves through the water. I struggled with my paddling technique; if I paddle to the right, the board makes a sharp turn to the left! Same goes if I do it on the other side. In other words, I was zigzagging along the shore!
Driving a Jetski
After the slow and relaxing paddling activities, we felt the need. Yes, as Tom Cruise said in the movie Top Gun, “the need for speed!”
Thankfully, The Bellevue Resort had a remedy for that need—a sleek, speedy personal watercraft. Specifically, they let us try a WaveRunner, a large and powerful watercraft that has become the trademark of Yamaha. Check out that awesome machine!
After positioning ourselves and receiving some safety reminders from the staff, we were ready to ride the waves. The WaveRunner growled to life as I pulled on the throttle. Look at that thin sprout of water squirting at the rear of the vehicle; that’s a signature feature of the WaveRunner.
Let’s have a selfie before speeding up, shall we?
After double-checking for snorkelers, boats, and divers that might have gotten in our way, I opened the throttle and applied power. The feeling of jumping over waves, planing on the water’s surface, and experiencing the power of the WaveRunner was exhilarating beyond words! Sweetie and I screamed with delight that we can outrun anything with the WaveRunner!
Check out snippets of our fun, fast ride with the WaveRunner! We felt an adrenaline high by jumping over the waves and cruising at high speed!
The red cord you see tied to my wrist is part of the kill-switch system. If the rider falls off the watercraft, the cord gets disconnected from the WaveRunner’s handle, activating the kill switch. The watercraft shuts down automatically and stops in the water, allowing the fallen rider to easily swim and re-board it.
We had so much fun driving the WaveRunner that we didn’t notice that we were already riding the waves for an hour. If it weren’t for our conscience and consideration for other guests who might want to try out jetskiing, we would have driven the WaveRunner for another hour! Hehehe!
While waiting for the next water activity, Sweetie decided to take a break on one of the rattan hammocks on the beach.
When I was still a teenager, one of my friends had a windsurfing board and sail. With no prior training at all, we taught ourselves to surf around my friend’s private beach and managed to learn the basics. But we parted ways after we got busy with our personal lives. Apparently, we never windsurfed again.
More than two decades later, I decided to revitalize my interest in this sport after seeing YouTube videos of high-speed formula windsurfing. But my friend’s windsurf, which was simply tucked into an old warehouse, was already damaged beyond repair. The local resorts where I reside don’t have windsurfing boards anymore. And I couldn’t find any establishment in the locality which sells windsurfing equipment. Has it become a lost water sport today?
This visit, unknown to me, was the solution to my craving! To my pleasant surprise, The Bellevue Resort had windsurf equipment!
It was a long time since I last rode on a board, so it took a bit of time to find my balance. Once I got my balance, I started pulling up the sail.
The Bellevue Resort has a beginner board, which is quite wide to enhance stability. The board is paired with a small triangular sail that is just right for my skill.
I actually found it hard to believe that I was able to ride the board and sail away in just a single attempt. In a space of moments, the basic windsurfing skills that I learned during my teenage years returned in a flood.
I was so overjoyed that I immediately headed to deeper water. Suddenly, I understood why we weren’t able to successfully stand on my cousin’s windsurf for longer than a minute; my cousin’s sail was simply too large. It caught too much wind and overpowered my once-small physical stature.
This beginner’s sail, on the other hand, was just right! I was able to keep my balance while counteracting the wind’s push easily with my pulling strength!
I have to tell you, windsurfing is totally addictive; personally, it is the best surface water sport for me! After this cruise, I was totally hooked to it. Just like rock climbing and mountaineering, the nice thing about windsurfing is that you really need to make a considerable amount of effort to make it work. Strength, balance, a comprehensive understanding of sailing theory, and more are required to become a successful, experienced windsurfer. And I’m up for the challenge!
I’m now trying to find a used but high-quality board and sail for sale. I want to learn to the point that I could do formula windsurfing confidently. Anyone up for grabs to sponsor one for me? Hehehe!
But as what I said earlier, I just learned windsurfing on my own. I still don’t know how to carve or jib to turn the board around. I had to disembark from the board, orient it to where I want to go, and raise the sail again. That is exhausting and clumsy.
After more than an hour of windsurfing (and after Sweetie got bored at taking a break), we were ready to start another water sport—sailing! The Bellevue Resort has a couple of catamarans just for that!
Supposedly, we wanted to ride a Hobie Cat, which is a sleeker, lighter, and faster catamaran. But the vessel still requires assembly. We didn’t want to be an inconvenience for the staff, so we simply decided to ride this small orange one.
We didn’t realize until now that setting the sail of a catamaran can take quite some time. But our skilled and friendly boatman got the sails up. We’re ready to go!
We never knew sailing could be this relaxing. There was no deafening sound of a sputtering engine; just the quiet ocean breeze, the lullaby of the waves, and the flapping of the sails.
One of our foreigner friends who went with us during our Sagada tour is an ocean-going sailor, and he has his own 30-foot sloop which he sails around the world. Now that we have ridden a catamaran under full sail, we fully understood why sailing was his passion. The ride was indeed enchanting!
We are not sailors in any way, but by observing our boatman, we have a basic idea on how the sails work. The mainsail (the large sail with the resort’s logo) catches most of the wind, which makes it the source of the boat’s sailing power.
The jib (the triangular sail) in front of the mast acts as an airfoil which increases the performance and improves the boat’s stability.
Check out our this short video of our pleasant and relaxing ride on this wind-powered catamaran. Isn’t that cool?
Our friendly albeit quiet boatman (he refuses to divulge his name for reasons unknown. He insists on being called Dodong) is quite skilled in sailing but admits that he did not undergo formal training. Just like Filipino fishermen who use sails to propel their boats, his knowledge is the product of sheer determination and interest of learning. We’re simply amazed by this guy’s initiative.
The blue and red cords trim the jib while the white cord maneuvers the mainsail’s boom. The large “pipe” that he’s holding connects to the catamaran’s rudders.
While sailing along the coast, Dodong pointed out interesting things to see. He’s a great and confident guide. However, he still considers himself to be an amateur sailor. In fact, he never goes far out to sea and always stays near the coast.
We felt the wind dying as afternoon approached, so we decided to return to the resort. And of course, our tummies were now audibly complaining of hunger.
From the sea, we can see the full glory of The Bellevue Resort. Isn’t she lovely?
We waded to back to resort in shin-deep water. Along the way, we passed by this clumsy-looking outboard-powered boat without outriggers. What kind of vessel is this? It certainly doesn’t look fast and sleek.
Upon closer observation, we realized it was a glass-bottom boat. The transparent glass floor allows passengers to observe the environment with clarity while inside the vessel. The boat usually cruises out into the kantil, which is almost a kilometer away from the shore.
The Bellevue Resort is located in an inlet where the sandy continental shelf stretches almost a mile into the ocean. As a result, the sea recedes so far out beyond the shelf. In fact, during low tide, the entire sand flat is exposed. Obviously, guests who want to go swimming in the sea during low tide must endure a considerably lengthy walk across the sand flat.
Good thing that The Bellevue Resort has this very relaxing, temperature-controlled infinity pool. Now, guests can swim without worrying about the tide!
At one side of the pool is a diving area. It has a depth of 12 feet, which makes it conducive for jump entrances. However, be careful here if you’re a non-swimmer.
On our second day in The Bellevue Resort, we went scuba diving in one of the country’s most beautiful and best preserved dive sites. That marine-rich site is just 45 minutes away from the resort. We have to tell you—it was one of the best dives we’ve ever had! Check out our scuba diving adventure in serene Balicasag Island.
All these exciting water sports are making us hungry, yes? Well, let’s grab something to eat, shall we? Perhaps a big meal? Then let’s check out Lamian, the resort’s buffet restaurant where sumptuous food comes in a never-ending train.