“Welcome home.” With these words, our host Fred Carmona instantly made us feel the bliss of being home, as we stepped into the grounds of the Amun Ini Beach Spa and Resort. For a moment, we forcibly tore our eyes away from the amazing vista before us—clear blue skies, glistening turquoise waters, and fine white sands amidst swaying coconut palms and lush tropical plants.
Our hesitant smiles quickly turned into exuberant glee. I was on a much-awaited trip down memory lane with great friends from high school, Kilven and Sonieta, together with her family. But one highlight of this trip was to experience first hand the rave reviews from friends, both near and far, who have previously sampled the wonderful Amun Ini experience, particularly our dear friend Celevel who graciously arranged the visit.
In the province of Bohol, dubbed as the “Heart of the Islands: Truly Philippines,” and where some visitors have anointed it as a paradise, one can invariably expect more wonders, and inevitably find a haven on earth.
The village of Candabong, in the town of Anda, almost a hundred kilometers from Bohol’s capital, Tagbilaran City, nestles Amun Ini blessed with a white sands and a private cove capped by verdant hills in the horizon.
From being hailed as “Bohol’s cradle of civilization,” the town of Anda is fast rising as an eco-tourism destination. And for Amun Ini in particular, the adjectives are indeed flowing: previous guests described it well, from the dreamy “the perfect getaway” to the more pragmatic “the warm and the wonderful,” to the heavenly, calling it “paradise,” and “a piece of heaven on earth.” And yes, we all agreed on that one fine day, it was indeed a peaceful haven and a paradise cove.
Of course, to me this is hardly a surprise. I spent my childhood years roaming these coves, having early morning jogs along the long stretch of beach with my father, and communing with the fishermen, who on their usual morning return, would generously share their catch for free.
Many great memories are attached to this particular haven. I can still remember digging into the fine white sands, knowingly searching for spring water that would eventually stream into the emerald seas; thus making the waters in Bas Daku (literally ‘big sand’), where Amun Ini now stands, distinctly cooler than the other seas, and favored over other fine beaches in Anda.
For good measure, we took plenty of pictures, for we knew that while memory would fail us in the long run, the pictures would surely speak a thousand words. And yes, there was the sudden urge to share (or rather upload to Facebook) our amazing experience with the rest of the world.
We gently strolled into the cemented stairs, again lined with tropical plants, delighted by the added presence of Fred’s elegant wife, Karin. We chatted amiably, and if I remember it right, of their journey to Anda, the town’s flora and fauna, the gracious people of Bohol, the local plant remedies, the recipes of the past, and of course, their plans for the future.
Before we knew it, it was almost lunchtime. The gastronomic delights at Amun Ini are almost legendary. But while we were not able to partake of highly recommended concoctions due to a pressing schedule, my warm cup of cappuccino brought me back to leisurely afternoons spent along the sea cliffs of Italy’s Sorrento, while gazing at the Bay of Naples. But more importantly, as a guest dubbed it in a Trip Advisor review, Amun Ini is the “culinary capital of Bohol,” while one guest from Hong Kong ventured to describe it as a “foodie haven,” claiming it “the best in the Philippines.”
The amazing Amun Ini experience is not complete without a visit to its spa facing the beach and its emerald waters, with its choices of traditional and romantic oils, to relax, rejuvenate, or pamper. From a relaxing idyllic visit, to the more strenuous water activities, like kayaking, the Amun Ini experience proves that you can have a heady mix of an unobtrusive, unperturbed, and a vigorous getaway, all in one vacation.
Alas, we could not linger to watch the golden sunset, as we had to explore the other pleasures of Anda—its underwater springs, cavernous caves, rock formations, mystical tours, cascading waterfalls, shooting stars (at night), and miles of beaches with powder-like white sands awaited us.
As we murmured our sweet goodbyes, we reassured ourselves, that we shall, and we will return. For while I am bound by blood and heritage in Anda; in Amun Ini, my friends and I found a piece of heaven, and for sure, you will find a home away from home too.
Note: Amun Ini can be reached by air to Tagbilaran City, or via Cebu City and by fastcraft to Tagbilaran City. Land travel to Anda by van or taxi (or via pick-up service through the resort). Contact Amun Ini at firstname.lastname@example.org or thru +639177965412/+639293013946.