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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 15, 2016
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Campuestohan visit


It was nice to take a brief respite and relax from the hectic schedules of appointments that I joined the anniversary outing of the Visayan DAILY STAR to Campuestohan Highland Resort, popularly known as Cano Guapo. It has become so well-known that its owner, Ricardo “Cano” Tan, has adopted the name in his campaign for the Bacolod City Council. “Cano Guapo” has become iconic, his signature.

My main interest is the Wave Pool that I saw last year under construction. I wrote about it but that was only from what Cano Guapo told me. He then described what it would be like and I was excited because I saw one only in the US. How would it be here?

Only Campuestohan has this kind of pool, the only one in this part of the country. It is wide, covering an area of over 3,000 square meters with a depth ranging from a centimeter at the edges to just about four feet. It is thus shallow although just to be at the safe side even for babies. Nevertheless, small kids are not allowed to go to deeper water. There are several assistants around the pool that call the attention of these kids and their parents to move to shallower areas. Others just have their legs on the water and enjoy the cool air despite the hot sun.

I watched the people in the water. There is a chorus of shouts, howls of excitement the moment the waves open up and raises the water and lifts the bathers. Once the water strikes, the bathers raised their hands and howl with delight. The pool creates a rushof water like a real ocean wave without the salty and the sticky feeling.

The wave actually is created by a machine so that it has to be rested to cool off for about 30 minutes after an hour or so of operation. The wait, however, is another thrilling expectation. The anticipation creates an exhilarating experience as bathers shout for the waves. Swimmers are buoyed up as the waves push them up and then drag them down.

Overhead is an artificial waterfall that gives the sense of one taking a bath in a forest, the cascading and splashing waters adding to the excitement. The lush forest of Mt. Mandalagan at the background gives reality to the scene.

Beside and running along the side of the Wave Pool is a riverine wave pool. It was not yet operational but this is another one to see later. I was not able to ask Nita Tan, Cano Guapo's wife, how this new addition will work, but considering how creative the couple is we can only wait for another day for a visit.

The much-awaited windmill has not yet been completed but Nita allowed us to take a look at the inside. This huge windmill is actually a mini-hotel. It has rooms for lodging, dining area, space for relaxation and outside a windmill similar to those in Holland. In Holland the inside of the windmill is a grinding machine and storage but the one in Cano Guapo is a mini-hotel, a rather innovative place to lodge in. Honeymooners would find this windmill house a conversation piece even for the children and grandchildren.

This is another matchless attraction for those who intend to see a uniquely designed “house”.

The windmill is elevated and surrounded by free running water tapped from the fresh, cool and naturally flowing water coming from the mountain. Cano just diverted part of the running water from the nearby bridge thus maximizing its use. The interior is meticulously tiled with natural stones but according to Nita this will be multicolored.

The number of visitors had been growing for years. Indeed where there were open spaces at the front and behind the log cabin, Cano Guapo had to provide white canopies to accommodate the guests. These are removed on slack days. However, around the Wave Pool new huts are being constructed.

For me who had visited Campuesthan Highland Resort several times,I noticed the growing number of visitors. Cano Guapo has to open three adjacent lots to accommodate the increasing number of motor vehicles, including public transport vehicles from other towns and cities of the island. Thanks to the ro-ro network those in Panay and Cebu brought their cars, campers and passenger buses.

What will Cano Guapo think of next even if he sits in the Bacolod City council after May 9?*



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