Text and photos by Jojie Alcantara (published in my SunStar Davao column, Witerary)
A rising attraction in the highlands of Davao City is the D’Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool. A breathtaking vista of a 30-hectare property is transformed from a wilderness of forest and rivers to a continuously developing establishment groomed to become the city’s huge Disney-themed park.
Its soft opening last year made ripples in the community. Soon enough, it was making bigger waves that cannot be ignored and through word-of-mouth, neighboring visitors came in droves to see and experience not only the popular Wavepool and Raging River (automatically gushing every hour for thirty minutes), but other fascinating amenities within the area itself.
For a family, the adventure park is filled with outdoor recreations everyone can enjoy, from a Funland, mini-zoo, fishing pond, mini-golf, ATV track, Segway, hanging bridge, basketball and tennis courts, zipline, cable car, Surfrider, spa, tent garden videoke, Tan-aw Dabaw educational park, waterball and a most recent addition called the Helmet Dive. For sure, each time you come back, another new facility is being constructed.
The resort also caters to weddings, parties, seminars or business functions in large groups. While accommodations vary from the stylish hotel, to chalets scattered all over the place, native huts, cabanas, and dormitory-type rooms, there are also function halls, restaurants, gym and a gazebo for the guests’ dining needs. A chapel provides haven for spiritual solitude, otherwise a trek in the forest or down the 600-step walkway is good for the soul as well, if you are physically fit.
When my buddy Ian Garcia and I went for a tour around the resort, construction is ongoing in several areas at once, and the scope of development is amazing when you envision how it is going to look like once it is done. Or rather, once its owner, the amiable Leonora Lim (whose entrepreneurial skills made a success out of RDL Corporation, LDL Realty Estate, D’Leonor Hotel, and the Japanese Tunnel Restaurant) rests from creating new ideas and just enjoy the fruits of her years-long labor.
This petite, amazing strong woman (her eldest daughter Evelyn is the company VP and my classmate since Kinder) is an inspiring character to follow, from her humble beginnings with a small grocery store in Agdao, to becoming one of the major exporters of skin care products globally, bringing pride to the country.
The Lim family may have its ups and downs where businesses are concerned, but they count their blessings with more success in their sincere endeavors to create beneficial things for the society. Just this month, D’Leonor’s Inland Resort finally got its permit, so expect a full blast promotion soon.
The resort is located in Purok 5, Communal, Buhangin, Davao City. With an entrance fee of P50 for adults and P30 for kids, you can avail of a free tour via shuttle, sightseeing and picture taking as well as free Wifi connection in certain areas. Senior citizens with IDs and persons with disabilities can avail of a 20% discount, while birthday celebrants can avail of free admission at the Wavepool with proof of ID. Other amenities have entrance fees and separate rates, while those checking in the hotel can have scheduled pick up and drop off.
My strong recommendation is for you to call and make reservations first since the resort has been getting a lot of field trips by buses from visitors. Wavepool cottages are almost booked on weekends and holidays. Based on the brochure, they can be contacted at (082) 302 2922, 302-6158, or 285-1188.
Have fun and ride the wave!