If you’re itching to make up for whatever holiday gallivanting you lost due to more than two years of quarantine restrictions, here’s one destination you should fly to. The 820-room JPark Island Resort and Waterpark Cebu, spread over 20 hectares of beachfront on Mactan Island, has everything for everyone. The property is named after its founder Yong Jun Park and its new owner, the Cebuano businessman, “Mango King” Justin Uy.
The resort has several pools, its own private beach, seven dining outlets, activity centers, a dive shop, and many other facilities that will make you want to extend your stay much longer than what you had originally planned. Of course, the resort’s piece de resistance is the giant waterslides, a pool with a beach-like shoreline, and a “lazy river” pool. Any or all of these could be the perfect way to keep you cool under the sun, whichever age bracket you belong to.
But this resort complex is not only for fun-seekers because it also has complete facilities for MICE events. In fact, it has the advantage of being able to offer indoor and outdoor function spaces for whatever number of attendees there may be in the event, whether it be at their Board Room that can seat 20 or at their ballroom that can fit 1000 guests.
And I hasten to add that the resort’s functionally designed guestrooms guarantee a restful stay. The contemporary design of the very spacious suite I was in had that relaxing feel, especially because it had all the essential comforts any weary traveler would look forward to. It had a separate bedroom, a kitchen, a dining area, and a sizable balcony overlooking the beach and the rest of the resort. It was the perfect cocoon for a de-stressing weekend.
I had a leisurely chat with the property’s ever-smiling Vice-President for Operations and General Manager Brian Connelly, and the amiable Director of Sales and Marketing Anita Kim who is now more of a Cebuana than her Korean origins. Brian, who I met several years ago when he was still General Manager of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, is a 40-year veteran of the hotel industry, having taken up management positions in prominent hotels and resorts in the US, Middle East, and here in the Asia Pacific region. This solid past experience in the industry has definitely made it easy for him to run this, our country’s premiere water park resort.
I could see that it’s no-big-deal for Brian to handle this massive property. He and Anita were very proud to say that, even during the pandemic, the resort never closed, and neither did it lay off any of its staff. Now that quarantine restrictions are almost nil, tour groups and families have been filling up the rooms of the resort, especially on weekends. That time I was there, I could see that the room occupancy was high because the almost 400-seat Abalone Buffet Restaurant was overflowing with guests, nonstop. Such enviable success at this stage when our Industry is still recovering from the pandemic, could be the reason why the resort’s owner has asked Brian to handle also the JPark Island Resort and Waterpark in Panglao, Bohol.
At this hopeful stage of Tourism recovery, I asked Brian what he has envisioned for his property. He wants only one thing — more direct flights to Cebu. When I told him that Philippine Airlines now has direct flights between Cebu and Bangkok, he said he would like to see these flights operating daily and not just from one city but from many other Asian cities. I totally agree.
Meantime, while we’re waiting for our national carrier and the other airlines to make Brian’s “wish” come true, let me reiterate my call for our countrymen to find time discovering our beautiful and IG-worthy attractions. Our country is filled with these destinations that could rival or even surpass those in other countries. JPark Island Resort and Waterpark Cebu is a good example. Its fun, water-based facilities assure you that, in there, summer never ends.
YOUR MONDAY CHUCKLE
SIGN OUTSIDE A CHURCH:
If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.
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