A day spent with family is always a day well spent. A day in Gethsemane Garden Resort is simply glorious.
This post is long overdue. I should have posted this review three months ago but life caught up and that’s a story for another day. So back to Gethsemane.
My side of the family has started the tradition of traveling to the nearby Marilog District of Davao City during special holidays. I have never tagged along because of COVID and the need to protect the kids. We’ve ventured into the highlands of Kapatagan back in December. We decided to join my parents and siblings on New Year’s Day.
Gethsemane Garden Resort is located in a secluded corner of Datu Salumay in what is popularly called BUDA, an area where Bukidnon and Davao meet. It’s a short, albeit quite a rough ride from Davao City. We left our place well after breakfast and arrived just in time for lunch.
The first thing I noticed about Gethsemane Garden Resort is the serenity of the place. I know nothing about the original Garden of Gethsemane except its role in Christ’s final days but this place looked far from inducing agony. Birds were chirping and it was lightly drizzling when we arrived — typical of the highlands. The bright colors of leaves and flowers were a welcome barrage to the eyes after hours of streaking past lush greenery.
Gethsemane Garden Resort’s Log Cabin
My parents rented a log cabin that can house 15 people. It had one bedroom downstairs and an attic sleeping area. There was also a fully functional kitchen, a dining area, and a veranda looking out into the pool. There were exactly 15 of us: 10 adults, 2 preteens, and 3 toddlers. It was a little crowded but what family isn’t?
A freshwater swimming pool was steps away from our doorstep so naturally, the kids immediately jumped into the frigid water. The water was ice cold but they eventually warmed up and started going up and down the waterslides. It’s quite an experience swimming with your teeth knocking against each other and with your eyes taking in the canopy of trees.
We spent the entire day catching up and taking photos of the place. Gethsemane Garden Resort was simply breathtaking. The well-kept gardens and properly-maintained swimming pools made for a relaxing ender for the holidays.
Gethsemane Garden Resort at Night
Being in a secluded corner of Marilog, I expected to do nothing much at night. Cellular signal is also nil in these parts so the kids started becoming restless. Good thing my parents had a bonfire set up outside of our cabin. The children (and adults, alike) had a blast roasting marshmallows for dessert.
Gethsemane Garden Resort is breathtaking in daylight but it is spectacular at night. For a place in the middle of the forest, it is surprisingly well-lit which made for very nice night photos. Here are some we took around the resort.
Traveling with the entire family is a rare occasion so we took as many photos with each other as we can. Let me introduce my big family:
The men had a few drinks and the children were sleepy after all the photo-taking so we called it a night by 9 PM.
The Morning After
We woke up early to pop by nearby Hillsview Mountain Resort to witness the famed sea of clouds. Unfortunately, we were not early enough. When we got there, the clouds have already retreated and the place was already too crowded for my liking. We took photos and quickly made our exit.
Adie did not come with us because it was too early for her. We got back to Gethsemane Garden Resort just in time for a hearty breakfast my brothers prepared.
New Year’s day and night spent at Gethsemane Garden Resort were a blast. It was a perfect way to start the year, especially because Jun and I and the kids are moving quite a distance from the rest of the family. The place was serene and beautiful, the staff went out of their way to accommodate all our needs.
Needless to say, we left the resort with our hearts full, already planning our next visit. Sure, we could visit a different resort next time but Gethsemane Garden Resort might just be our family’s go-to place.
But our experience with Gethsemane Garden Resort did not end when we left. Shortly after we arrived home, I realized I left my pair of diamond earrings (Jun’s birthday gift last year) in the room where we stayed. In our haste to get on the road, I carelessly placed the pair on the bed while I attended to something little B needed and totally forgot about them.
Luckily, my mother had the owner’s number and called to inform them about it. Since there was no signal at the resort, I was not expecting to get the earrings back. The staff could have easily missed them while cleaning or someone could have found them and kept them for themselves. But just a couple of days after Mama called, I received the great news! The staff found the earrings and the owners will personally retrieve them.
I found out later on that they had to contact a local pastor to go to the resort to tell the staff about the earrings. Fortunately, they delayed cleaning the cabin because we left on a Sunday. They found the pair and I met up with the owner a week after to get them back.
Talk about honesty and going above and beyond! They could have just asked me to go back to the resort to retrieve the jewelry but they carved time out of their busy schedules to make sure I get back what I thought I had already lost.
And for this, Gethsemane Garden Resort will always have a special place in my heart.
For rate inquiries and bookings, please contact their Facebook page.