Cavite Staycation: Bougainvilleas

Just recently, I was at Puerto Azul with the folks for a family staycation. We stayed at this beautiful mansion, and spent a few hours at a nearby beach.

 

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A shrub of bougainvilleas along Puerto Azul

 

I wrote about my stay in Puerto Azul in the links above, but I’d like to also talk about the bougainvillea plants I saw all around Ternate, Cavite. Most of them I saw in Puerto Azul’s residential village, and I was struck at how beautiful and majestic the flowers were.

 

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Some of the bougainvilleas that pepper Puerto Azul

 

I see them all over Metro Manila, but I only got to appreciate the ubiquitous flowers on my Puerto Azul staycation. It was growing in intense heaps all over the village. Trees, shrubs, and flowers grew wildly, and the greenery was dominated by this simple yet colorful foliage.

 

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More of Puerto Azul’s bougainvilleas

 

Bougainvilleas are native to South America, but also grow in countries with warm climates. Bougainvilleas grow in Brazil, Peru, Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela, and of course, the Philippines. It is known by many names, but bougainvilleas are known as bonggang villa in the Philippines.

Switzerland’s Locarno is famous for its bougainvilleas.

 

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The house we stayed at in Puerto Azul also had its own bougainvilleas

 

They are known for the colorful flowers they grow, from pink to magenta, white, purple, red, orange, and yellow. Bougainvilleas can instantly brighten up a simple garden, but the bougainvilleas I saw in Puerto Azul lit the streets with its vibrant colors. Bougainvilleas are best appreciated in large clumps, when the sheer abundance of grandeur can overwhelm the senses.

Bougainvilleas are low-maintenance flowers because they are drought-resistant and versatile. They can be planted along walls, on fences, in baskets and containers. And best of all, they flower all-year round in equatorial areas! I plan on filling up our garden with bougainvilleas.

 

Cavite Staycation: The Beach

Last week, I went to Puerto Azul with the family for a staycation. Puerto Azul is famous for being “the resort that was,” once called Asia’s Paradise Resort that catered to rich locals and foreigners. Now, Puerto Azul is a crumbling facade of its former self, with many of its facilities rundown. However, news is that Ayala Land is planning to renovate the resort and bring it back to its former self.

We stayed at the residential area of Puerto Azul at this large house, and we had access to a private strip of beach exclusive to homeowners. Sadly, the beach is as neglected as the resort. Trash littered the path going to the beach and on the beach itself. The shore was littered with dried algae.

 

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The beach is picturesque, though. It has a lovely view of the sea and sky. We spent the short time we were there talking, eating chips, and looking for pretty seashells. I found a great batch of purple and brown shells.

Cavite Staycation: The House

Last week, I was at Puerto Azul in Ternate, Cavite, with the folks for a staycation and to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. Puerto Azul is notorious for its crumbling facade, which was once described as Asia’s Paradise Resort. It was an exclusive resort complex that catered to rich locals and foreigners, especially golfers. Its 3,3oo hectare land holds a a golf course designed by legendary golfer Gary Player, a beach, and a hotel with 340 rooms in 17 clusters. In fact, Leandro Locsin designed the main clubhouse, which still stands today.

Today, Puerto Azul is a shadow of its former self. The golf course is now dry and barren due to lack of irrigation. A shame, considering that it was designed by one of the greatest players golf history, and plays host to the important Philippine Open and Richard Gomez’s Goma Cup. Its Hole 17 has golfers playing with the dazzling Manila Bay in the background.

Its facilities are rundown and infrastructures aging. But my story takes place in a different location.

 

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The residential area of Puerto Azul takes up only one street with lots of greenery

 

I had my staycation at the residential part of Puerto Azul. It’s right across the golf course, and is hidden by lots of greenery. It looks undeveloped, but the houses are huge. The house we stayed at had five floors.

The owner of the house has a funny connection with my family. She is friends with my mom, worked with my uncle (whose birthday we were celebrating), and her daughter was once my classmate in high school. I think it is their summer house because they occasionally rent it out.

 

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The house is a pleasant shade of yellow

 

We had the space for two days, and I was impressed by the size of the place. The house is Asian-inspired and though I am not a fan of that architectural and design movement, I still loved the house for its size and devotion to large windows, seats, bathrooms, and greenery.

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