Apayao Accommodations | Chillin’ at RJ Domingo Fish Farm

Tuesday, April 02, 2019


After a day spent exploring (for the second time) Luna’s wonders, Kara (of Travel Up) and I rode to Pudtol to get to know Apayao more. Aboard a habal-habal, we sped past fields and patches of woods, punctuated here and there with the silvery branches and crimson blossoms of Bombax ceiba – my favorite native tree. I might’ve engaged my legs a little too much because there wasn’t enough footrest for two pairs of feet, but I was so enjoying the feeling of motion that I didn’t really notice how long it took us to get to RJ Domingo Fish Farm. All I remember was light has softened when we arrived. And there were also corn fields.

THE PLACE
After settling our fare with the habal-habal driver, I called “tao po”. The place seemed empty. But after the second try, a woman appeared and asked what’s up. (Not exactly, but you know what I mean.) I inquired if there was an available room for the night. There was, and then she told us to wait as she prepared it.

We sat down on one of the wooden benches and munched on boiled bananas, surveying the place. The Fish Farm was located in the village of Alem in the town of Pudtol, across a spread of corn fields – upon seeing which, both Kara and I blurted out “Children of the Corn”.



We sat in a spacious hall with several long tables reminiscent of a canteen. There were also a few dining sets made of hardwoods burnished a deep reddish brown. Further was some sort of conference room – also spacious. A few orchids clung to trunks in a garden not too far from where we sat. There is a pool. Two of them.

It didn’t have the sleek, modern style of other resorts. It was sort of homey, had a cared-for feel to it. I liked it. Very much.

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THE ROOM
The woman, whom I later came to know as Verna (the owner’s her father-in-law), ushered us to a bungalow right next to the larger pool. Four double beds greeted us. Nice.


We paid Php350 each for the night and we got this big room that could accommodate up to maybe 10 people. It has its own bathroom. And air-conditioning. There were toiletries, too. Plus, the pool – which you can absolutely use – was just outside. What value for money!

THE AMENITIES
I’ve already mentioned the conference room and the hall, and as it were, the Fish Farm is also a venue for weddings, birthdays, and what-have-yous. The place has enough lodgings for up to 80 people. I didn’t see the actual fish farms because we just hang by the pool, but I assume there are (not that I really care #vegan). They also do catering services.

Pay Php150 for dinner and lunch, and Php120 for breakfast, and you’ll have a variety of dishes to choose from. Although you’d have to settle for what is available at that time, they’re very open to dietary preferences. (I mean the squash fritters were amazing!) They also have basic stuff like coffee and instant noodles should you want some. You could also purchase some local products like mushroom chicharon and things like that.

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THE SERVICE
You gotta love the hospitality in places like RJ Domingo Fish Farm. It’s not “commercialized” and almost feels like you’re vacationing in a relative’s place. 

Despite it being a little out of the way, getting around would be no problem. Just request Verna to fetch you a tricycle.

Also – I don’t have a photo because I enjoyed it so much –the squash fritters (aka vegan okoy) they served during our breakfast was just too good. Thank goodness they let us bring a lot of it for baon. It sustained me the rest of our Apayao adventure. 10/10 would return just for it. Would have to ask for the recipe.

BOTTOMLINE
For Php350 pesos, you don’t get any better than the Fish Farm. Super value for money. Nothing fancy but comfortable rooms. Nice ambiance. Very laidback. Excellent service. Highly recommended place in Pudtol. 

RJ Domingo Fish Farm
Alem, Pudtol, Apayao
+63 919 8577 558 


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