Monday, April 09, 2012

Buri is Beautiful!

For my design firm Grupo Santamaria's company outing, we were lucky enough to go to BURI RESORT & SPA, in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.  It's fantastic architecture was designed by Architect Mikko Yap & accessorized by Ito Kish, both very dear friends of mine.  It was everybody's first time to stay there and it was truly (in the words of my Senior Designer Archie) "a once-in-a-lifetime" experience for them.

Now, how beautiful is this place? Oh wow let me count the instagram ways...(bear with me please...i am a newbie instagram & iPhone user and am at that stage where everything i see is excitingly "instagrammable").  This will be a mix of images both natural (as is) & edited.

the start of many Instagram images I will be toying with

the perfect dock

So peaceful & serene! I was debating w/ myself for quite a while 
if I should order a brewed coffee or a San Miguel Pale Pilsen.  
I went with the latter. :-p

Instagram brings out the frustrated inner fashion / art/ design editor in me, I swear! Plus, it really summarizes how I want to remember a barrage of images in my mind-- thus organizing my memories according to mood & theme. Like this one above: we had gray skies when we got there...& this diptych/ triptych photos expressed my happiness when the sun came out the 3rd day.  

On the other hand...

These 5 photos above are all-natural.  
No photoshop, no instagram filters.  Nature can still be stunning like that.  

Other shots from the trip:
My super useful & fab Maryknoll/ Miriam College High School alumni bag: fits my sketchpad, notebooks, watercolor pencils, chargers--pretty much EVERYTHING including my 17" MacBookPro...a bottle of wine.  

No, Really.  

hahaha! see?

Meet my hardworking & crazy design & accounting staff...
NO, I do not employ 8-year-olds.  That is my secretary Marnel's son, Kent, who went along for the trip!

Archie, Dexter, Joyce, Marnel & Kent 

They sure love their Coast Thru Life shirts.  

They went snorkeling, banana boating, swimming, kayak-ing! I made sure they had a great time.  I pretty much let them have a free schedule except that we always had to have our meals together.  Once-a-year bonding, you know!

The clear waters in front of Buri Resort, Puerto Galera, Mindoro.

On our last night at the island,  I arranged for a visit to White Beach so they could experience the wild shows & the parties that it is popular for.  I'm not really a fan of these drag shows, but they are part of the culture of Puerto Galera so it is something one should experience.  I taught my designers that travel exposes you to different cultures that are vital in the makings of a good & flexible designer. 

What I like best about Buri is that it really looks & feels "nestled" amidst the trees & landscape.  The architects did a fantastic job planning the resort--- they let the terrain dictate the way the villas would be built and let nature take the show.  

photo from Buri Resort website

No "faux" materials, no exaggerated structures & unnecessary lighting.  
Wood was used as wood, concrete as concrete, & stone as stone.  

It's always the natural surroundings that is the main attraction. 

And now I show you my AWESOME, AWESOME PERFECT ROOM! And when I say PERFECT, I mean it.  It's perfect for its location: a cool, modern, bahay kubo facing an ocean cove, surrounded by a lush landscape.  Natural daylight & ventilation abound.

a modern & updated bahay kubo

windows open outward if you don't want to use the A/C 
& want to enjoy the cool mountain breeze instead

Capiz, bamboo, wood, stone...  
you can't go wrong. 

and the best part was the semi-outdoor bathroom! aaaahhh...MY kind of bathroom!

if there was surf in Buri, that would be it.  I would move to live here.  
Can you imagine?  This bathroom's big enough to wash & store my surfboards in!

Other beautiful details at Buri:

the delicate lace tablecloth they put on the tables in the evenings

I loooved the casually plucked & composed floral arrangements
featuring birds-of-paradise, irises & gumamelas from the resort grounds

the Blue Bar at night
(this photo from Buri website)

But since there was no surf, what did I do instead? 
The 10 most memorable parts of the trip for me was when I:

(1) hung out w/ my staff
our 1 hour planning session

 (2) I competed against Dexter in a diving contest (he won, & my head ached after the 5th round)

(3) Kayak-ed calm waters

(4) I sketched & colored the view outside my room
Yes that is a banana split you see beside my colored pencils.  
Artists need energy, you know!

still unfinished here

(5) I slept & chilled out

(6) I added some new seashells to my collection

(7) and took photos of pretty much every nook & cranny at Buri Resort.  

(8) I bought "pasalubong" Batangas coffee, pure, wild honey & banana chips

(9) I sorted out my seashells & pebbles

(10) got my dose of the "Daily Bread"

There was so much to be thankful for.  It was a really lovely place & the staff was very friendly & hospitable.  Most of all I was able to share with my staff my love for the ocean, nature, rest & recreation & to use these blessings to recharge for the work ahead of us.  After the trip they felt renewed energy & said they understood why I never get tired at work even if I always go surf on weekends.  

We all can't wait for the next one.  Where could it possibly be? :-)


  1. best post so far! :)

    i love it when you are in the blog posts showing your fashionable and gorgeous self! :)

  2. thank you neeeks!!! your nice words always encourage me! love ya!