Old dilapidated wood found a new lease on life in the newly-opened Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort, the third under the Bluewater chain of Almont Corp., which showcases not just the natural beauty of Barangay Danao in Panglao in Bohol, but also the best of Filipino architecture, arts and culture.

Sculptor Benji Reyes, who is known for his wooden sculpted chairs and similar pieces, said recycled wood that were salvaged from old homes around the country was turned into cantilevered beds or floating beds, cabinets and dressers, and even the bridge that stretches the entire length of the two-story rows of deluxe and lofts in the 5.5 hectare property.

He ensured that only minimal manipulation was done on the repurposed pieces to keep their "raw edge" that lends character to the new resort.

"Most of these woods have scratches or markings as 80 percent of them were refurbished or recycled," he said, adding that some of them were fund in old houses in Visas while the others were "crippling woods from old houses in Manila" that were flown to Bohol.

He admitted that it was a challenge to find the needed and right materials to meet the "Modern Filipino" theme of the resort and at the same time ensure that every piece would exude Filipino culture and arts.

Reyes added that the design of the Panglao resort was also intended to echo those of its sister Bluewater properties: the 21-year-old Bluewater Maribago on Mactan Island in Cebu, and the private island getaway with the famous shifting sandbar that is Bluewater Sumilon between Dumaguete and the southern tip of Cebu island, while at the same time providing a "brand new experience" for their guests.

"But it’s not work, it’s fun. It’s nice to conceptualize something and see it, enjoying it. It was fun to see it, its structures," he said, adding that he had the most fun doing "floating beds" which he said were primarily intended to create more space and ensure minimal maintenance.

Reyes said keeping the rooms clean is not a problem as the housekeeping crew could easily sweep under the cantilevered beds and other wall-mounted structures in the room like the dressers and bed table and even the lavatory and toilet bowl.

He said while these structures appear to be "floating" they are sturdy, pointing out that they remain mounted even if kids jump up and down on the beds.

Reyes said the resort also used hand-woven fabrics that came from other regions in the country while the paintings and other displays used in the rooms were made by Visayan artists, among others, who have been featured in the Bluewater Gallery that was set up by gallery director Vic Vergra in Bluewater Maribago.

Bluewater Panglao general manager Marty Jastillana said that apart from the art and big wooden pieces, the resort also used recycled pieces of rattan which is visible on the ceiling of Aplaya, the main restaurant of the resort.

He said they also invested heavily on an on-site water treatment equipment, fruit of lessons learned from the other Bluewater properties.

This means that water from the showers and the washbowls go separately to a catch basin so they can be used for domestic purposes like watering the plants, while the water from the toilet bowls, which use the double flush technology, goes to another route to be treated.

Julie Almont-Vergara, president of the Almont Corp. described the Panglao resort as a true "showcase of Filipino artistry and crafts."

Phase One of the Panglao resort features 54 rooms, all equipped with flat screen television, airconditioning, and bathtub.

Phase Two scheduled is scheduled in next two years and complete development of the 5.5 hectare property is expected in five years.

The resort currently operates the Pool Wing of four two-story family lofts and 49 deluxe rooms where the ground-level rooms have a private veranda with direct access to the four-feet deep pool.

It also has three luxurious villas — two honeymoon and one family — that offer premier rooms with private outdoor dipping pool.

Guests at the resort could also enjoy the nearby beach which is accessible through a staircase that descends straight into the welcoming ripples of Panglao water, whether for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or boat paddling.

They could also paddle toward the marine sanctuary or even toward the Alona beach to enjoy the powdery white sand beach.

The Allona beach which some liken to Boracay’s is a 10-minute ride away by.

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