It's good that the resort has a website now. Kudos! Honestly, I can't imagine how a resort could effectively make its presence known without the benefit of a simple website. I've learned of the Circle Island Resort since last year. I knew it was in Cavite and that was much it.
This was when I was toying with the Google Earth application, looking for resorts near our place (you just need to look for the blue-colored swimming pools in Google Earth). But since Circle Island Resort had no website then, I lost interest.
Here is the location map of Circle Island Resort, courtesy of the resort's website at http://www.circle-island.com/. (Click on the image below to enlarge.)
The place is quite easy to spot. There's ample parking space and the staff is super-friendly. Entrance rates for adults during weekends is Php 150. Renz was given a discount (under 4 feet) and was charged Php 100. The resort has a hotel and function halls so be sure to look up the website for updated rates for these.
I learned from the website's guestbook that the reason the resort is called Circle Island is because the barangay was known as Pulong Mabilog (circular island). Don't ask me why, I didn't see an island anywhere near the place.
The Resort's Swimming Pools
Right at the entrance, we knew there was quite a crowd already, this being at the height of summer. There was even this lady who was ahead of us in the queue asking for a discount from the admission booth collector. What she was asking for was a "special" discount demanding to see the manager. The elderly dad even got into the name-dropping spiel by citing the Remullas, and going through the typical "hindi mo ba kami nakikilala?" bull crap. Yeah, right. Throughout it all, the girl in the booth remained calm and cool.
I thought the place was organized though and a security guard quickly showed us to our tent. There were cottages around but the tents, even the small one, could even accommodate a group of 8. The cheapest cottage was Php 500 but the small tent was a cheaper Php 300. Don't go for the cottages unless you intend to sleep there, sing karaoke or watch TV. If I wanted any of those, I would've just stayed home. We've been to many swimming resorts and usually, we just want a place to put our stuff and a place to eat.
The first thing we did was to check out the pools. Except for DH, we all swim reasonably well and so we didn't bother with the kiddie pool. There are 2 pools: the Adult pool and the Kiddie pool. That's the Adult pool below. Behind the kids is a viewing deck with two levels.
The Adult swimming pool is actually an interconnection of smaller pools. That concrete seat where the kids are sitting is the boundary between the smaller pools and the deep pool. This is where we mostly stayed.
Here's looking at the concrete seat boundary right in the middle. Can you guess which pool is deeper? The one on the left or the right?
If you chose the one on the right, you're correct! It's easy to spot really. The pool that has LESSER number of people (or none at all) is the deep pool. Most people can't really swim and avoid deep pools altogether. Deep, here, means over-the-head or "lampas-tao".
Actually, this is what drew my attention as I was browsing pictures from the website and other blogs. When I saw that area with nobody in it in the pictures - I correctly assumed it was a deep pool. We really go for the swimming in resorts and the deep pools guarantee less crowds. In fact, I wish resorts do advertise how deep their swimming pools are and not just label them as Adult Pool or Kiddie Pool.
Huge Crowds in Summer
When you go to swim resorts during summer, big crowds are a given. The number of vehicles in the parking lot was already a dead giveaway.
There were lifeguards who were busy whistling at the usual "pasaways". There were guys like the jumpers and divers who insist with their silly acrobatics in the shallow areas where there are kids. In spite of the numerous signs around the resort, there are the girls who bring their outrageous attire like colored t-shirts, blouses and flowing dresses into the pool.
And when there's a big crowd, don't expect crystal clear water in the swimming pool. Many don't bother to take showers. And the attire - it's almost optional. T-shirts and basketball shorts abound. Swimming caps? They're totally unheard of. And that's why in the afternoon, there were clumps of hair floating.
I heard one lady patron complain that the level of chlorine in the pool was so high that it hurt her eyes. Well I'd rather have the high chlorine level to kill all the bacteria and germs floating around, rather than me get sick.
Even with the crowd, one nice thing about the resort is the ample cottages and tents. Here's the small tent we got for Php 300 where we had our lunch.
Lunch for us was chicken adobo, soft-boiled eggs and ripe mangoes.
In the afternoon, as there were still people coming in, there were still some available tents and cottages. The staff even took tables and chairs from the function halls so they can be used by the patrons.
The tents were partitioned with some kind of a green plastic netting as shown below. This gave a bit of security as those from the other tent can't casually take belongings from the adjacent tent.
For sanitation purposes, there enough trash bags that were hung among the tents and cottages. There's one that is hung by our tent as shown above. Charcoal grills or "ihawan" were available free of charge. Just find one that's unused near your tent or cottage.
There were plenty of shower stalls in the resort. You just need to know where they are. In fact, that's the first thing I do when going to resorts in summer - find out where all the shower stalls are. This way you know the options and there won't be a mad scramble it's time to pack up.
Showcase of Swimming Talents
With the deep pool practically there for us, the kids enjoyed practicing the swimming strokes they learned from their summer swimming lessons.
Here's Che with the butterfly stroke that still needs some undulation. She's pretty much mastered freestyle doing lengths of the deep pool.
This is Karen doing the freestyle at the swimming pool's width.
Sandra swimming her forte, the backstroke. She hurt her palm though after she hit the concrete gutter.
Here, Karen in the white t-shirt, gleefully pushes off Renz to do the freestyle.
Renz stands less than 4 feet but manages a decent freestyle in the swimming pool that is 5.7 feet deep. That's Sandra at the other end of the pool's width.
You can see the depth of the pool written on the pool edge with the the yellow markings - 5.7 feet - that's way over the kids' height. See the picture above magnified below. That's Sandra holding on to the pool edge.
Towards 2pm, the kids were ready to go and so I took some pics from the viewing deck. Here's a shot of them from the viewing deck.
Here's a shot at the other side of the viewing deck. That's the shallowest part of the Adult pool. It has a kiddie slide, a bridge and some water falls.
I went to the bridge and caught Renz doing a couple of slides. That's him in hte slide. That's the viewing deck at the background.
Showers and packing up was relatively easy even with the crowd there. The resort even offers halo-halo treats, but we didn't buy any because we were going to SM Molino (our first) anyway. This mall, incidentally is a mere 5-minute walk from Circle Island Resort.
Overall, despite the crowd, we enjoyed our visit to Circle Island Resort in Molino, Cavite.