Mangenguey Island, Busuanga, Philippines
Still Dreaming of that Island ParadiseMangenguey Island is literally the perfect island getaway. Here, you get to experience island life, go back to nature, while still getting the best gourmet food. Although some people associate it to a luxury hotel, this is definitely not one of those commercial paradise resorts.
I just got back 1-1/2 months ago & I still have a hang over! Mangenguey was my island home, at least for a few days :-) We got a cottage where you step out and it's the beach/waters. It actually reminded me of Robinson Crusoe :-) I literally took about 15 steps to go out to swim or go snorkeling in one of the nicest reefs I've seen. Nemos, manta rays, reef sharks, angel fishes, other colorful tropical fishes, hundreds of them. Every single day, I woke up at the crack of dawn, which I normally don't, afraid not to miss the breathtaking sunrise (see photo above); later in the day, experience each warm sunset; and even on nights, enjoy the bright moonlight and stars.
Food was heavenly, most of which is Spanish inspired but I was amazed at how it was fused with local ingredients. The amount of focus on getting table settings and ambiance right is one that surprised me too, it made the experience even more memorable.
The island is run by a couple and a small team, everything was very personal/homey that we felt like we're part of their family. And like a cruise's tradition of captain's night, everyone gets to sit with our hosts for dinner and have great conversations.
Not just a dream! :-)