The Sampaguita Gardens Resort in the town of New Washington, Aklan, Philippines
In 2003, Sampaguita Gardens started its operation in New Washington, an eastern town in Aklan, Philippines. Its visionary founder is Samuel John Butcher, an American artist and creator of Precious Moments artworks who is famous for promoting messages of loving, caring and sharing. He owns Precious Moments Park in Carthage in Missouri.
Years after, Sampaguita Gardens is more than just a goal-oriented, socially responsible, distinctive and green resort. It has become a tourism landmark. It has earned accolades as trendsetting and multi-awarded icon of hospitality in the country.
Standing on a prawling 2.6 hectare, this boutique resort offers world-class facilities, amenities and services. It is home to Jojo’s Christmas Cottage, the first all-year round Christmas store in the Philippines.
I had the privilege of enjoying its magnificence few years back when on many occasions, I participated in live-in seminars and conferences organized there. I simply adored the place.
There are three reasons by which the resort got its name. Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines. Sam was fascinated by the little children who sold these flowers in the streets of Metro Manila and it bears the first three letters of its founder’s name. The resort is an attraction in itself, and true to its vision, is focused on a dynamic and motivated organization that continues to grow and prosper as it provides world-class amenities and services to an ever-growing clientele.
at the right side of Christmas Cottage
Check this. In Photos: The Sam J. Butcher Mansion
Sam’s dreams for Sampaguita Gardens have turned into realities for he is now operating a world-class resort that values customer satisfaction at every encounter, providing a seamless experience from reservation to departure, and, cognizant of its role as a good corporate citizen. It is committed to its employees as it moves forward to achieve superior return on shareholder investment.
Originally named as Jojo’s Christmas Cottage, this also serves as a Museum of Christmas. Also on display are the festival dolls and the famed Precious Moments collection of Samuel J. Butcher. Check this. In Photos: Only in the Philippines, It’s Christmas Everyday at Sampaguita Gardens Resort
Out to the beach …
The resort also features 48 guestrooms and suites, three restaurants, convention facilities; business center, spa and fitness center, two swimming pools, circus rides, a 43-feet aquarium, Oriental Garden, Precious Moments Gallery, Precious Moments Meditation Chapel and Jojo’s Christmas Cottage, a Victorian cottage showcasing Precious Moments collectibles and the unique JCC Museum of Christmas.
An added attraction is the Samuel J. Butcher Mansion which houses the vast antique collection and stunning pieces of bric-a-bracs and other Orientalia.
Yes, Sampaguita Gardens is more than just a destination but an experience.
The Portico, Lawn and garden of Jojo’s Christmas Cottage can accommodate a maximum of 600 persons. The elegant 3-storey Victorian cottage decked in decorative lights serve as a charming and picturesque backdrop. It is the perfect setting for once in a lifetime occassions.
To the swimming pool
From Manila, a tourist may take a 45-minute flight via Cebu Pacific to Kalibo International Airport. From there, air-conditioned vans operated by the government-accredited Kalibo International Airport Transport Association (KIATA) will bring you directly to the gates of Sampaguita Gardens.
YOUR NEXT STOP
From Sampaguita Gardens Resort, I would recommend a tour of the fishing town of New Washington, Aklan. Then, you may proceed to the Ati-Atihan town of Kalibo, the capital of the province. From there, Barangay Caticlan in the town of Malay is just an hour and a half drive away by van or bus. Caticlan is the jump-off point to the world-famous pristine beach of Boracay Island.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.