Moriones Parade, 2013
In eight days The Moriones Festival, 2014(April 14 to 20) will start and from what I heard a similar program that was presented the last 5 years will be again offered to guests and tourists all over the world.
In spite of the absence of air services from Manila, I am lucky that both the upper and lower floors of the beach house are booked. A couple from the US has reserved the upper level and another couple from Australia has reserved the lower level. I believe the two men are professional photographers who are looking forward to take photographs of the Morions and other colorful events scheduled for the whole Easter week. The Moriones Festival always remind me of an article I wrote in my blogs a couple of years ago on the joys and pains of managing a small beach resort. Here it is in case you have not read it.
Center Stage of the Conference Hall-Ready for a Wedding Reception
A closer view of the Conference Hall
Entrance to the Conference Hall
The Conference Hall
The third Bedroom with Two Double Deck Beds-The Room is Air Conditioned
The Second Bedroom with Two Single Beds
The Master Bedroom with the Queen Size Bed
The Beach House after Completion of the Bottom Floor as the 3rd Bedroom
Early Evening in the Main House-so Quiet and Calm
The front yard of the Main House
The landscaping in the front yard of the Main House
The driveway from the main house to the national road
In 2005, three years after my retirement from FDA, Macrine and I started constructing a beach house with no intention of opening it to the public. Two years later we decided building a multi-function Hall by the side of the beach house.
(Note: The main house-our retirement home was built in 1999-three years before our retirement).
However, in 2008 after numerous inquiries and urgings from friends and relatives, we decided to open both the Beach House and Function Hall to the public. I then created a website( www.chateaudumer.com) and a blogsite ( http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com).
Just this year, I posted a video on YouTube titled Chateau Du Mer-Marinduque. Since then, the hall had hosted more than 40 wedding receptions, seminars, parties, and community prayer meetings and picnics. The beach house on the other hand had less than fifteen guests, mostly from abroad ( US and Europe).
So, what are the joys of running a beach resort and conference center. First of all, Macrine and I enjoyed meeting strangers which afterwards become our friends. Second, I love hearing positive comments about the resort, such as: your garden is so beautiful, the landscaping is perfect and I feel like I am in the Garden of Eden in this place.
It was indeed a joyous moment, when one day, one of our young guests during a wedding reception informed me, that our retirement house ( which was built earlier) is her dream house and that someday, if God permits she will have a similar one constructed.
This Holy week, a van load of tourists from Manila stopped by and requested to take pictures of the beach house and conference center area. One of the tourists had seen my website and wanted to see the place in person. She commented the place is as beautiful as the pictures in the Internet. Last, but not least, the conference center is the only Hall in the whole province of Marinduque that can accommodate more than 300 attendees in doors and up to 500 attendees outdoors. This resort is also providing permanent employment for two local residents and temporary employment to four local residents, which help the economy of this 3rd class province.
So what are the pains of running Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center?
First, there are unique physical maintenance problems, since the compound is exposed to salty air and breezes almost all year round. Most of the fixtures even stainless steel had to be cleaned and rusted almost every year. Repainting and repairing equipments are common. Just recently, the water pump did not work. I had to replace it immediately at the costs of $400. Wood borers and mites attacked most of the wooden and bamboo structures as well as furnitures. If you know of a chemical that will kill the wood borers and mites( not termites), please let me know.
Second we have problems with the recruitment of reliable and honest personnel. Since 2008, we had already two managers. One we caught stealing. The current one is honest but super sensitive.
Lastly, the resort income is only enough to pay for the taxes. Hopefully as the economy improved more tourists will visit Marinduque and more young people will hold big wedding receptions; the resort will then earn enough to pay for both maintenance expenses and taxes and might even earn a little profit. But I am not depending my livelihood on this project. We build the place for our personal enjoyment. Our relatives called the place "Macrine's and David's Follies" in their old age.
Above are some recent pictures that I took of the main house, the conference Hall and the Beach House. Hopefully you visit one of my sites, in case this is the first time you have heard of Chateau Du Mer. Comments are appreciated.
Here's a short video of Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center
Planning to Retire Soon!
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines