Fe and I were pen pals in 1989 and exchanged more than 100 letters (snail mail) during our 5 months of writing before I came to the Philippines in January of 1990 and met in Manila. After meeting Fe’s parents in Bogo, Cebu, we were married at the Municipality in Bogo on January 29, 1990. Mayor Dy was one of the sponsors (Ninong). Fe came to the U.S. in July of the same year and we have been happily together ever since. I began offering tours to Cebu for American men to meet their pen pals in 1991 and visited the property now known as Virgin beach Resort Cebu in March. We purchased the property later that year (almost 2 hectare for P12.5 per square meter) and began construction in November of 1993. Fe’s brother, Eden Alarde, was hired as Construction Manager of the Virgin Beach Resort Cebu project.
Our first project was the natural stone fencing that surrounds the nearly 2 hectare (almost 5 acres). We also completed the south sea wall by early 1994. The stone fence is approximately one meter high, 18 inches wide at eh base and about 9 inches wide at the top. It is about 420 meters (1/4 mile) long. More than 100,000 stones were used in its construction. The sea wall is 40 meters into the sea and is more than 2 meters tall, one meter wide at the top and 3 meters wide at the base. The facing is mostly coral stone. Each sea wall contains about 100,000 stones. The second sea wall was begun later in 1994 and the private road to Virgin Beach Resort Cebu 4 meters wide and 420 meters long was purchased from three owners and cement road was constructed. The only piece of equipment used for any construction at Virgin Beach Resort Cebu was a jack hammer. The plane area where the main lodge is located was smoothed by a bull-dozer. Two kioskos and a club house were completed by August of 1994 as the beach was cleared and we had our first group use the resort for a beach party August 13, 1994. The guard house was finished late in 1994 and the Bougainvillea Hotel was built in 1995. The kitchen building was finished in November of 1995 and the Tangke (water tank kiosko) was completed in February 1996.
We opened for our first overnight guest in August 1995 and had our ground breaking ceremony August 27, 1995 for the Orchid Hotel. We had a special blessing ceremony in September 1995. Fe’s two brothers, Junior and Bobby Alarde (and their wives) came to work as the hotel staff in August 1995. Construction of the Orchid Hotel actually began in March 1996 and completed in early 1997. Other improvements have been ongoing since construction began in November 1993…too many small projects too numerous to mention. Electricity was brought in August 1994. The deep well was begun in February of 1994 but never used as it proved brackish (salt sea water intrusion) and we relied exclusively on rain water in cisterns until the barangay water project was completed in 2002. Landscaping was begun in early 1994 and continues today.
The first large duplex cottage was built in 1998 and the second one the following year. In 2000, we began the first small duplex cottage and added anther in 2001. We started the swimming pool in 2002 and finished it later that year. By the way, we never did dig the pool, we used a low area in the rolling terrain and built a retaining wall and back filled to make it look like it is today. We fill the swimming pool with rain water. In 2003 we finished another small duplex cottage and started the basketball court. Then in 2004 we built the 3rd small duplex cottage. We built the water slide in 2006 and finished lots of other projects the following year . We started the conference room the end of 2008 and completed it December of 2009 along with our first Barkada Lodge.
We have lots of other projects to complete and our future plans. We plan to build 3 more large duplex cottages on the north side of the Orchid Hotel. We want to finish the excavating of the now small limestone mound east of the swimming pool and add a water feature for kids and another club house by the pool for venue for parties etc. We hope to add fish ponds starting near the pool on the south side and continue in steps down to the club house by the sea. We also want to add 2 more barkada lodges near the basket ball court, cover the basket ball court and add a stage and seating (mini bleachers on the side) plus a covered portico at the back of the hotel for covered parking etc going to the kitchen. Last project on our list is a suite multi-story hotel between the guard house (managers house) and the Bougainvillea Hotel on the west side of the property which will bring the total number of rooms at Virgin Beach Resort Cebu to 42.