We held our youth camp at Gawahon Eco-Park in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. The place is pretty, because it is located high up in them mountains, about 2 hours from Bacolod City.
However, the problem was, it was not conducive for a big party of 70 such as ours. Sure, it could accommodate that many people, but the houses are too far apart. The boys’ quarters was about several hundred meters below the girls’ quarters while the dining area was a couple hundred steps from the girls’ quarters. The session hall was way farther down so it is difficult to manage the entire camp.
To top it all off, the place is owned and managed by the government of Victorias City. We were booked from Tuesday morning to Saturday lunchtime. But when we got there, some bigwig is having a day party at the cottage was supposed to be our staff house, and so we had to evacuate and do our cooking in the girls’ quarters. After lunch everything had to be brought back to our original quarters. For a group of 70, it was not an easy task. And nobody from the admin helped us.
The customer service is so poor. When Saturday came, they wanted us to get out at 10am. We asked them if we could extend until 1 pm because our service vehicle was arriving at 1pm, the guy rudely said that it was in their rules that we should check out at 10am. But when our pastor came, we learned that the check out time was really 12 noon. Talk about really bad service and poor customer relations.
We felt that people were having a power struggle in the place. Anyway, we are not considering Gawahon Eco-Park anymore for a camp. A retreat for a small party would be good, however, if they continue with that kind of service, we would not want to go back there. I would not recommend the place to others, too.