"But what Rhoda Beach had that I couldn't find in Tablas Fun Resort was the unassuming, natural, familiar and friendly vibe of the place."
Tablas Fun Resort was previously Rhoda Beach, an unembellished beach resort owned by a Chinese family in Looc. Back then, it was a famous hang-out among locals looking for getaways and excursions during weekends. I remember spending a night at the resort when we were in highschool. Lots of memorable things happened that night: saw hundred of fireflies swarming a tree near the resort, caught in the middle of a scary shooting incident, watched the sunrise (for the first time) the next morning.
But what Rhoda Beach had that I couldn't find in Tablas Fun Resort was the unassuming, natural, familiar and friendly vibe of the place. It just now felt weird and strange to be hanging around with people who don't speak our own dialect. I'm not sure if it was just me, but we didn't feel very welcome. Not fun.
The receptionist at the counter regarded us with a confused look on her face when we greeted her in the local tongue. She doesn't speak our language, she told us. Obviously, she's not a local and she came all the way from Leyte. We asked if there are local staff working at the resort, she said not that she knew of.
Even their manager, a young, 20-something petite girl, is not from Looc. We asked her a few questions about the resort but she seemed distracted. She eventually left us, without excusing herself (not that we wanted her to, but it's only courteous to do so), and did her business. There must have been a lot on her plate that afternoon so we didn't bother her anymore with questions. Instead, we ventured the area of the beach where a long bamboo bridge extended out to the deeper part of the shore. It reminded me of the famous wood bridge in Siargao.
We had fun walking on the suspended platform while taking snapshots of the beach and commenting on the quality of the sand. At the far end of the bridge were a few boats and a floating kiosk where two men were chilling out. We tried to make conversation with them in our dialect, but just like the girl at the reception area, they barely understood us. They were commissioned by the beach owner to do boat work. Their contract had just ended and they were going back to Cebu the next day.
The boats that they finished working on were parked near the kiosk. They're just few of the resort's 'fun' attractions. With excellent horsepower, these vehicles can get to Boracay in just 45 minutes. We forgot to ask how much renting these boats cost, but we reckon it's probably expensive. Thinking about it now, we were not really interested to know because we didn't think we could afford it anyway.
Apparently, such boats are for well-to-do tourists who are looking for extreme water sports and adventure trips. The word 'fun' in Tablas Fun Resort entails adventure, and something else (their promotional photos include girls who 'wanna have fun'). Just recently, a bikini pageant featuring young girls was held at the resort. To me, and I'm saying this because I'm not fond of these beach types, it's more like adulterated fun.
The intention in revamping the old Rhoda Resort and turning it into a local tourist destination is definitely admirable. It will surely help the town of Looc economy-wise. I'm just not sure if it provides the locals livelihood. A tourist spot is only good for the locals if it helps them directly. Of course I could be wrong in thinking that there are no local people working at the resort.
Tablas Extreme Fun Resort
Kawit, Looc, Romblon