Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Misibis Bay: Enjoying The Sights, Views and Flavors at the Bicol Region's Premier Tropical Island Getaway

A short 50-minute flight from Manila followed by leisurely half-hour van ride from the airport takes you to one of the Bicol Region's luxurious destinations. This spot of paradise tucked away in the province of Albay is your tropical island getaway. And it's called Misibis Bay...

Misibis Bay is an elegant and exclusive private island resort offering spectacular sights, amazing views and memorable dining experiences for that perfect tropical island getaway. The new Pacific View Wing is the latest addition to this spot of paradise in Bicol, offering guests a breathtaking and panoramic vista of the ocean. Room service for breakfast becomes an all-new experience in itself at Misibis Bay's new Pacific View Rooms, adding yet one more layer to your tropical island getaway down south...

Officially launched in August of 2017, the new Pacific View Wing of Misibis Bay is a massive 60-room complex offering scenic views of the blue Pacific.  The pristine white structure with its panoramic glass sliding doors frame the azure blue Pacific for picture perfect views all throughout your stay in Misibis Bay. Available in three different room categories, from Standard Pacific View to Deluxe Pacific View and One Bedroom Premier Pacific View, the new Pacific View Wing at Misibis Bay is yet another reason to experience that perfect tropical island getaway down south in Bicolandia. The new Pacific View Wing is a welcome addition to the resort's existing Beach Front Villas, Pool View Villas, Garden View Villas, and Garden View Rooms for even more options (for more on Misibis Bay's new Pacific View Wing, see my post on my other travel blog at A Room With A View At Misibis Bay's New Pacific View Wing). For those that enjoy the sea, the new Pacific View Wing gets you close, really close, to the ocean.

The elegant and luxurious 5-hectare property immerses guests in a lavish tropical island vibe with its wide open layout and calming pools ringed by palm trees and lush greens. Managed by Enderun Hospitality Management, a hospitality management solutions provider focusing on local independent hotel and restaurant owners, guests are assured of impeccable service and memorable dining experiences by one of the country's fastest growing management groups. Currently serving twelve prestigious hotels and resorts between Manila, Boracay, Bohol and Davao (for more on Enderun Hospitality Management and their roster of clients, visit their website at or see my earlier posts on Legazpi City's Hotel St. Ellis at Flavors of Legazpi: Local Flavors at Hotel St. Ellis' Crossroads Cafe and Modern Touches and Little Touches: Mom's Day Weekend at Midas Hotel & Casino on one of the city by the bay's premier destinations managed by Enderun Hospitality Management), Misibis Bay is clearly one of the many jewels in an impressive portfolio of properties.

The sprawling property is impressive, and entering the winding road leading to the resort's Front Office offers a glimpse of what you can expect in one of the Bicol Region's famed destinations. Even the rains failed to dampen my excitement, and this was going to be an awesome three days at Misibis Bay.  

Inside the equally impressive Front Office, the bright and spacious interiors with its dramatic high ceiling and open design is a welcome sight after the mid-morning flight from Manila. A refreshing Welcome Beverage soothes both the palate and body, and your tropical island getaway at Misibis Bay begins with the fist sip... 

A quick check-in at the Front Desk kicks off your tropical island getaway, and the resort's golf cart is ready to transport you to your Pacific View Room.

Throughout the expansive property, the different clusters of accommodations exude that carefree island tropical vibe with its clean and modern lines surrounded by the free-flowing forms of the resort's Lagoon Pool, Infinity Pool and Kiddie Pool. The wide open scale and layout of the resort provides an immediate and welcome break from the daily urban grind, a liberating experience for that much needed retreat. You can even request for a hammock and lounge under a tree for spot truly your very own at Misibis Bay.

Down by the resort's private beach, the new Pacific View Wing stands prominently at the ocean's edge, jutting out for impressive views of the blue Pacific.

Each room at the new Pacific View Wing has a balcony allowing guests to take in the ocean breeze while enjoying the spectacular views. The views calms the mind and body, but the interiors are just as impressive...

Inside your Pacific View Room, the streamlined yet spacious design redefines tropical island luxury to a whole new level complete with all the modern comforts you need for a relaxed stay including fast Wi-Fi access and a large screen LCD TV with cable channels, just in case you wish to stay connected with the rest of the world.

The plush and velvety smooth linens tempt you, but one glance at the view draws you to the balcony. It's views like this that make the new Pacific View Wing special, even on cloudy days. The stunning views alone become the highlight of your Misibis Bay experience, but there's so much more to discover in this spot of paradise.

In my Pacific View Room, a tub (L) fronting the sliding glass doors offer another soothing way to enjoy the views. Outfitted with modern and luxurious bathroom fittings (R), soaking in the tub becomes a mandatory leisure activity in your itinerary at Misibis Bay. Fill it up with warm water and gently get in facing the ocean. Perfect. 

Each room has all the amenities you need for a pampered and memorable stay at Misibis Bay, from toiletries... coffee and tea-making facilities. In my Pacific View Room, paper filters and premium ground coffee beans allow you to brew your own cup any time you feel like it. And there's just nothing quite like a cup of coffee in the privacy of your own room with spectacular views of the ocean just a few steps away.

Open up the sliding glass doors and soak it all in. This is your front row seat to the scenic wonders of Bicolandia, and this is what greets you every time you wake up in your Pacific View Room. Seriously, it just can't get better than this.

Later that evening, the staff at Misibis Bay prepared our outdoor dining set-up by the resort's Infinity Pool. At Misibis Bay, it's easy to feel special. Executive Chef Roel Legson (L) prepared his signature Pagkaong Bicolnon for the evening's feast under the stars for a taste of Bicolandia in a memorable setting.

Cocktails from Sula Bar and starters from Spice Cafe were served by the pool, including Misibis Bay's Nilasing na Hipon (P 481) with plump and succulent shrimps marinated in wine, delicately deep-fried and served with a spicy vinegar dip. Cocktails and crispy shrimp under the stars, and it's just our first evening at Misibis Bay.

Diners can savor the flavors of Bicolandia with Misibis Bay's Bicol Bento Box (P 801) featuring an assortment of Bicolandia's culinary pride in one sumptuous platter with Bicol Express, Tilmok, Adobo sa Asin, and Cocido paired with steamed white rice.

The creamy and spicy Bicol Express opens up the palate with its bold flavors followed by the savory richness of the pork, while the delicate notes of the Tilmok, draped in coconut cream, presents yet another layer in the unique and colorful culinary tapestry the Bicol Region. It's the blend of of both creamy and spicy flavors, both seemingly contrasting notes, that define Bicolano cuisine. You'll want some extra steamed white rice with the Adobo sa Asin, a Bicolnon spin on the national dish. Boiled and reduced in vinegar, garlic, salt and laurel until all the liquid is fully absorbed, the tender and lightly crisp pork delivers bold flavors with each bite. Complete your authentic Bicolnon feast with a bowl of hearty Cocido, a sumptuous seafood soup with fresh fish in a light broth simmered with vegetables.

Executive Chef Roel Legson also shared his version of Pork Dinuguan, the classic pork blood stew, infused with a Bicolano touch with burnt coconut ash adding a unique depth of flavor. Fresh chili adds that soothing heat, and I was told locals enjoy this dish with even more finely chopped chili mixed in the stew. The layers of heat and hints of burnt coconut adds a distinct nutty richness to the traditional dish, and yes, you'll definitely go for extra rice with this dish.

For dessert, enjoy even more local flavors like the indulgent Leche Flan Turon (P 278), a fried spring roll filled with custard and jackfruit served with rich and creamy vanilla sauce paired with the sweet and spicy Sili Ice Cream (P 241) for another taste of Bicolandia. Choose your desired heat level, from Level 1 to 5, and enjoy.

Chili in ice cream? It's not an authentic Bicolnon experience without chili. Even in ice cream. After a lavish feast of authentic Bicolnon flavors the night before, the next morning brings with it even more possibilities in a laundry list of must-do activities while in Misibis Bay. 

The new Pacific View Wing, despite the grey skies that early morning, still exuded that luxurious tropical island vibe with its pristine white facade accentuated by its panoramic glass sliding doors. It's a good day to walk down to the resort's Spice Cafe for breakfast...

A freshly brewed cup of coffee gets you on the right track, and it's another perfect day at Misibis Bay.

Spice Cafe offers both A La Carte and an extensive buffet spread for breakfast, including live stations for Omelets and Pancakes fresh off the hot griddle prepared just the way you like it. Choose from a wide array of local offerings like Beef Tapa, Pork Tocino and crispy fried Dried Fish along with many more savory dishes paired with garlic fried rice and eggs, or you can also opt for a selection of gourmet Cheeses with freshly-baked bread, charcuterie and Smoked Salmon. That morning, Spice Cafe also offered comforting bowls of Champorado, a local rice porridge with chocolate topped with crunchy dried salted fish. Cereals, salads, fresh fruits, whatever you like for that perfect start of the day, Spice Cafe has it covered.

After breakfast, the sun finally made its appearance, and it was a good day to sample Misibis Bay's various water activities. At Misibis Bay's Beach Club, guests can enjoy a variety of non-motorized and motorized activities, including windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and Hobie Cat sailing. For that adrenaline rush, you can also opt for Misibis Bay's popular banana boat ride, wake boarding, water ski, or race around the calm waters on a jetski. The property also offers excellent dive spots for divers, and you can go scuba diving at the property's marina or go on a boat trip for offshore dive sites. Beginners can take an Intro Dive session with Misibis Bay's certified PADI instructors as well before exploring the scenic marine wonders of Misibis Bay.

At the resort's Beach Club, the staff will have you geared up and ready for your adventure in no time. Guests can also inquire with the resort's Guest Activities Coordinator to curate a customized itinerary for you and your family to make the most of tropical island getaway at Misibis Bay.

That morning, we hit the beach with a long-list of must-try activities, starting with a relaxing cruise aboard the Hobie Cat. The Hobie Cat can comfortably accommodate three to five including the skilled helmsman, and if you're up to it, you can tell the helmsman to let it rip and go flat out beyond the breakwater. There's just something about sailing that triggers a mental playlist in your head as you feel the sudden rush of wind and spray from the ocean... 

...followed by kayaking on the calm waters for an early morning workout. Paddling on the kayak lets you experience nature up close, with the wind and the waves bringing you back to nature for that long-awaited escape. And Misibis Bay takes you there with their wide array of non-motorized and motorized activities without leaving the resort.

If you're feeling the need for speed, Misibis Bay's powerful jetskis should do the trick. Nothing like going all-out on the throttle for that adrenaline rush. The smooth jet-like sound of the roaring engine, the wind and the splashing thuds of waves is liberating, and your mental playlist suddenly goes hard rock in perfect rhythm with the splashing spray on your face. 

After one more lap with the Jetski, we were off on one of Misibis Bay's powerboats for a cruise to a secluded cove... 

...and after a short fifteen-minute speedboat ride across the property and out to the open seas, we get a glimpse of the secluded beach along the channel. Flanked by islands on both sides, the waters at the center were calm and flat. Serene, peaceful and isolated, it's everything you've always envisioned about finding that tropical island all for yourself. Misibis Bay had more surprises in store, and this one promised to be a tasty one too.

At the private beach, Misibis Bay's Guest Activities Coordinator set up an elaborate beach picnic, complete with native mats and colorful bean bags for another perfect day in paradise.

A few sips of refreshing coconut juice gets you in the tropical island vibe in no time...

Misibis Bay's chef and staff were busy at the grill preparing another sumptuous lunch. A private beach, a grill and a cold beer...that's just another typical day served up at Misibis Bay.

After a few more minutes on the grill, lunch was served. The impressive spread included grilled Lamb Chops, Salmon, Pork Barbecue, Chicken Barbecue, Squid, Prawns, Steak and...

...succulent Crabs for an epic island picnic, Misibis Bay style. Laid on steamed white rice over banana leaves, it's a classic Boodle Fight on the beach. The lamb chops and the steak were perfectly grilled, remaining juicy and tender. The steak, grilled to medium with a juicy pink center, was so tender, you could tear out a piece with your bare hands. The squid was also tender, as grilling something as delicate as squid can be a hit or miss thing with just a few minutes over the charcoal and nothing more. The chef and his team just executed the Boodle feast perfectly. This one's way up there on my list of memorable dining experiences. Hats off to Misibis Bay and Executive Chef Roel Legson's team for an epic island feast. Misibis Bay can arrange cruises aboard their many speedboats with lunch on a private beach, just ask your Guest Activities Coordinator or the Front Desk. A sunset cruise and a grand view of the iconic Mount Mayon? Misibis Bay can arrange that too. After another hearty lunch, take a swim in the calm waters of the private beach. Or do nothing at all. Have another bottle of ice-cold beer. And enjoy your piece of paradise.

After an unforgettable feast at a private beach, Misibis Bay's fast speedboat takes you back to the resort. One more dip at the pool? Why not.

Later that evening, candles lined up the path leading to an elegant table set up near Spice Cafe and Sitio for another elegant dinner. Soothing cocktails from Sula Bar were served, including the Blue Hawaii and Frozen Margarita for a pre-dinner tipple. Misibis Bay just thought of everything to make our experience a memorable one. 

Executive Chef Roel Legson served up another round of authentic Bicolnon dishes. The Crispy Pork Tinutungan (P 487) is Executive Chef Roel Legson's inventive spin on Bicol's traditional dish with twice-cooked tender and crunchy slices of pork marinated in burnt coconut milk with fresh chili. The dish offers both textural contrast and rich, creamy and spicy flavors. The tinutungan, or burnt coconut, adds a nutty depth to the dish with its distinct notes. The crispy pork and creamy sauce with its bold hint of soothing heat is another must-try dish at Misibis Bay.

The Baked Beef Caldereta (P 1,085) is one of Misibis Bay's popular signature favorites with fork-tender beef ribs simmered and stewed in tart tomato sauce with vegetables and liver paste topped with cheese. Fork-tender beef draped in a rich sauce infused with the rounded notes of liver paste and covered with cheese, it's a leveled-up version of the usual caldereta. All these distinct flavors combine in a seamless blend with every bite.

As we enjoyed our feast, we were served one more dish. Fat, succulent Crabs slathered in a rich chili sauce with noodles capped another indulgent feast at Misibis Bay. And it won't be complete without a generous heap of spicy chili. 

A hearty and comforting bowl of Chicken Tinola completed our feast at Spice Cafe. But save room for dessert...

Cap your feast with the indulgent Chocolate Mousse (P 241), with velvety smooth and decadent Belgian chocolate draped on freshly baked and moist chocolate cake topped with chocolate shavings. Each day just keeps getting better and better at Misibis Bay.

After dinner, guests can enjoy Table Tennis, Board Games, the Gym and Billiards (R) at Sitio, the resort's indoor activity center. Or you can belt out your favorite tunes at Sitio's KTV Room (L). For me, a relaxing signature massage from The Essences Spa seemed like a pretty good idea after a full day of activities.

And when you have a great view of the ocean in your Pacific View Room, it's a shame not to have room service for breakfast during your stay at Misibis Bay.

Misibis Bay's Homemade Pancakes (P 308) served with Canadian bacon, maple syrup and blueberry compote starts your day on the right track. Soft and fluffy, the pancakes are a perfect match with the lightly crisp and smoky Canadian bacon. Paired with a freshly brewed pot of Coffee (P 148), mornings just can't get any better at Misibis Bay's new Pacific View Wing. Recharged, you're just about ready for one last round of adventures at Misibis Bay...

...this time on Misibis Bay's rugged and powerful four-wheel drive All-Terrain Vehicle or ATV. You can take a thirty minute tour of the Eco-Park or go all the way up to the scenic hilltop at 5 Views for majestic sights of the Albay Gulf, the expansive Pacific Ocean, and weather permitting, a glimpse of the iconic Mayon Volcano.

The route along the scenic Eco-Park takes you to the Amphitheater, with its terraced stone seating and massive pillars with the blue Pacific as its backdrop. It's a sight to behold, and getting up there on a powerful ATV makes it even better.

Further up along the trail, one can enjoy scenic views of the ocean and nearby islands. And getting there is part of the fun aboard an ATV. There's just so many things to do in Misibis Bay, both on land and sea, for an adventure-filled experience.

But the real fun begins at the end of the paved roads when you hit the rugged dirt trails. The numerous steep inclines along the trail with rocks and dirt is no problem with the ATV. Simply press the 4 Wheel Drive button for increased traction and press hard on the gas with your right thumb and the ATV takes care of the rest. The exhilarating drive all the way to the top with your thumb pressed flat out on the gas takes you to 5 Views. And what a view. At the top in 5 Views, you can take a breather and enjoy the sights. On the downhill route back to the resort, the ATV takes you through each natural obstacle with ease. Make that another check mark on a long bucket list at Misibis Bay. You can also arrange for Cocktails at 5 Views with the Front Desk while enjoying the sunset. Outside the resort, Misibis Bay can also arrange various tours and activities, including the Eco-Park Tour, Zipline, Luge Cart, Cave Exploration at Pototan Cave, Scuba Diving at Ticao's Manta Bowl, a Legazpi City Tour, a whole day Bicol Adventure tour, a unique Bicol Underground Tour, and a historic Legazpi Long Ago tour.

Back in my Pacific View Room, I savor the last few hours in an adventure-filled three days of sights, views and flavors at Misibis Bay. A feeble attempt at holding on to the view for just a little while longer somehow alleviates the pain of leaving paradise so soon.

The new Pacific View Wing at Misibis Bay is just one of the many reasons to take that long overdue tropical island getaway down south, offering the promise of spectacular views and unforgettable memories.

The coach ride to Legazpi City Airport offers one last glimpse of Misibis Bay before that plane ride to Manila. At Misibis Bay, you choose your adventure, on land or sea, or simply savor the local sights and flavors. And for three days, I experienced it all...

Misibis Bay is located at Cagraray Island, 4509 Bacacay, Albay Province, Bicol Region or call +63917-599-1606, +63921-487-3869 or email at For more details regarding the accommodations, reservations, and facilities, visit

For more details on Enderun Hospitality Management and its services, visit

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