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The Harolds Mansion ExperienceJul 16, 2011

The Harolds Mansion Experience

A 3-Week Home
When I got kicked-out of Valencia, I was left frantically looking for a new home. I did find one, but it won't be available until 3 weeks after. Luckily, there was Harolds Mansion that became home for the next 3 weeks. I got the single bedroom on the roof deck where I had a view of the city and I'd be just a few steps from where all the action is happening.

The Harolds Mansion Experience

Wednesday Grill Night
One of Harolds' staple. At 6pm, a van takes us to the market with some hand-holding from his man-on-the-ball, Ramon (aka Monching). We buy whatever we like to grill - marlins, tuna, prawns, pork chops, etc. We're taken back to the hotel where a handful of lovely help fire up the grill on the open-air roof deck. Our food is cooked for us and served on the long table while we get our drinks from the coffee shop, which opens until 10 pm. After getting hammered, we continue the partying to Hayahay where Wednesday is reggae night. It's open-ended from thereon.

Friday Oyster Night
With Thursday as recovery for the Wednesday partying, Friday kicks up with free oysters at the roof deck. Again, the guests gather up and get to meet each other, talk about travel tales, get contact coordinates and plan out some itineraries on their own. Usually, after getting loaded, we go out to either Hayahay, Payag or Why Not. A lot of transient friendships find their beginnings at the roof deck on Wednesday and Friday nights.

What I really liked about the scene was interaction-on-demand. If you want to chillout, there is always someone to talk to. If you want to venture out, there's always people to plan with. If you want to party, there are always takers. However, if I want to work, I can always tuck myself away into the coffee shop where they have free wi-fi. It's all worked out for me.

Harold Biglete
All these funfare and partying won't be happening without Harold himself being the pied piper. He redefines being hands-on by being at the parties and drinking with everyone else. It's not unusual to see him getting hammered and falling asleep on his chair while the party continues. He's a backpacker himself and nurtures the backpacker culture and community within Harolds Mansion. As one friend puts it, "He (Harold) gets it!".

Revolving Door
With my 3 weeks, I've stayed there long enough to see people come and go. During their stay, you get to know them better with every passing day, and just when you develop a comfort level with the person, they leave. But as they walk out the door, you see new people coming in - and the cycle repeats itself. It's a forced exercise in detachment and staying present.

Lingering Thoughts
I wish I partyed more but unlike the hotel guests, my stay wasn't really an R&R - I was abruptly uprooted from my previous home and I was still ironing-out the kinks of my newfound lot while pounding the pavement to drum-up some business. But I can't really complain about that.

What I wanted badly in Valencia, I got at Harolds Mansion - the interaction, the partying, the group thing. My universe conspired to grant my wishes. Given the 16 months I had been here in Dumaguete/Valencia, I would have to say the happiest I'd been was in the 3 weeks I was at Harolds Mansion. Lesson? Careful what you wish might actually get it!

Now, I moved out of Harolds Mansion and back into normal fact a little too normal - my own room in an apartment with a kitchen, a roof deck...and a housemate! Quite a distant lifestyle from sleeping on a hammock for months. I wonder what's on the horizon this time.

--- TheLoneRider

Thank you Harold !!!

anina_fernandez bantay_dagat beach beach_party
blackburns3 boat_launch boating booze
chill chillout danish_girls danish_titans
dauin_dive dauin_poblacion doctor_dana dutch_guys
enroute erotic_email fritz_blackburn fun_times
grill_night grillers hard_party harold_biglete
harold_maria harolds_boat harolds_mansion hayahay
hayahay2 izak majka_harold monching
morgana motorbike mwst oyster_night
oysters party_night poupin ramon
red_horse reef_dive reggae_hayahay reggae_night
roof deck scottish_girl simone1 simone4
sofia_batlle spanish_crew spanish_girls wednesday_grill

These guys like this story:

Sofia Batlle

Tommy Surasak Soimee

Pedro Perfino

Wouter Vd Berg

Pia Faustino

Joy Welling

Jeff McAllister


Pia FaustinoPia Faustino
(Sep 4, 2011) Knew you would really love Harold's. :-)

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