ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL — Malipano Island, located just a five-minute speedboat ride from Pearl Farm Beach Resort, is undergoing upgrades to offer luxury experiences to its clientele.

The seven-hectare private island houses seven luxurious villas and an exclusive three-storey villa.

Facilities on the island include a three-hole golf course, a small chapel, and the Malipano clubhouse featuring a swimming pool, bar, and pavilion.

The pavilion showcases Mindanaon-inspired designs, including chandeliers made of abaca and ceilings adorned with anahaw leaves.

It also features Capiz lights, firewood tables, balangay, which is sometimes used as a buffet table, and several jars from different parts of Mindanao.

Interior designs are a collaboration between Mañosa Architect and Maricris Floirendo-Brias, head for hospitality, designer, and creative director of Tadeco Home and Tnalak Home, said Josu Mikel Villaverde, vice-president and general manager of Pearl Farm, in an interview with BusinessWorld.

With the existing seven three-bedroom villas, the management is adding six more villas, which could accommodate four persons each.

These will be two-bedroom villas with two large rooms and a living room in the middle, fully air-conditioned. Each villa will have a deck leading to its swimming pool and will include butler service.

Construction of three villas is scheduled to begin this month, with a focus on sea-facing views of Samal Island.

“But this will not affect the operations on the island as that is located on the northern tip,” Mr. Villaverde said.

He said the villas will cater to different markets. The three-bedroom villa is for larger groups like family. Other villas will be for the executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

Mr. Villaverde said they are extending another hectare for other services.

He said the management is leasing the one-hectare Dela Paz Island and will connect it to Malipano Island through a bridge so that guests can explore and experience adventure.

“We are very proud of this project and have been working on it for months already. This will be the pinnacle of our accommodation nowadays. We aimed at Malipano as an upscale resort separated from Pearl Farm Beach Resort in terms of experience and services, with butler services available. It’s very high-end, and guests of Malipano will have access to Dela Paz Island,” Mr. Villaverde said.

He also said that the guests of Malipano Island can also access facilities at Pearl Farm Beach Resort for added convenience.

“Nevertheless, we are thinking of the Filipino market not only the foreign market for the island.  In terms of pricing, there will be a proportion, but not so expensive as we want the market to enjoy our resort,” he said.

“By adding more villas, we envisioned a private luxury experience for those who are looking for something really special,” Mr. Villaverde added. — Maya M. Padillo