Sampaguita Gardens in Aklan: A Precious Moments experience.

Are you headed to Boracay for a vacation? Have you heard of Precious Moments?  There’s a resort in New Washington, Aklan named “Sampaguita Gardens” dedicated to those cute figurines! It’s a perfect place to visit while you are on a short stopover in Kalibo, Aklan before you head off to Boracay!

 

To get there:

From Kalibo, Aklan simply ask a trike to take you to a New Washington jeepney terminal (cost 15 pesos)  The jeep will stop in New Washington’s public plaza. Simply get off and hail another trike (8 pesos) to drive you to Sampaguita Gardens.

You will see a big compound with a gate and a welcome sign to Sampaguita Gardens!

The admission fee is 50 pesos and you will be given a ticket that you can use to spend your 50 pesos on any item or food inside Sampaguita Gardens. Not a bad deal!

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Welcome to Sampaguita Gardens!

The main walkway into Sampaguita Gardens.  Cute Angels flank the sides of the pathway.  Walk down the pathway and you will see a vine covered passageway to the left.  This leads to another part of the resort. For now, keep going straight down the path.

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You will see these very cute turtle and frog statues along with a nativity scene!

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You can pose for pictures with these statues! They’re very cute and well-painted!

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The Nativity Scene is also very nice but the colors seem to have faded a bit due to sun exposure.

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Past the nativity scene are some Swan plant boxes and behind that a non-working train ride.

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It’s really sad that the train ride/circus is neglected and some parts are falling apart. There are some beautiful animal murals in the back area but the grass there is overgrown and it is a bit difficult to get to.

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At the very end are Hotel rooms and a passageway that opens up to a view of the sea.

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To the right of that is Jojo’s Christmas cottage!  The main attraction to Sampaguita Gardens! It is a Victorian style house with a Christmas theme.

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There is are no guides in Sampaguita Gardens so because of this you can easily mistake Jojo’s Christmas cottage to be the only attraction in the resort – there’s actually more to see!

If it is your first visit we recommend you to head to the right side of the Christmas cottage to visit the Precious Moments Chapel!

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This little Angel Shows you the way!

Walk down the path and you will see this building.

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There are carved doors just inside the Chapel.

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Inside, there is no lighting but there are many beautiful paintings to see and admire.

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The prettiest painting is the big one in the altar area where it shows Jesus dividing up loaves and fishes to feed a crowd of children. Very pretty and inspiring!

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On the sides of the walls where  stained glass windows are supposed to be are paintings with The Lord’s Prayer and various bible verses.

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The exterior of the chapel has more paintings.  There is a bronze planter box here with intricate artwork and beautifully sculptured doves (my friend thought they looked like chickens).

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Head back the way you came and this time go to the left of Jojo’s Christmas Cottage to see a Thai inspired area.  The building on the far end is closed so the only photo opportunity is with these bronze Thai flutists and arch.

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These are very well made figures with lots of intricate details.

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Remember the vine-covered walkway we passed earlier? Go back to it – Don’t go into Jojo’s christmas cottage just yet.  Go back and follow the walkway into a spectacular garden leading to the Precious Moments Mansion filled with collections of art.

It started to rain while we were in the Garden and the rain made the garden feel even more beautiful and relaxing!

There are various sculptures and water features around the garden.

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A group of herons hunt for fish in a pond

 

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Sailfish leap out of the water

 

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Antelope frolic along a stone pathway

There is one sculpture that is extremely popular and it is of a lioness.  The gardeners cleverly planted bamboo and various plants hiding the giant cat to make it look like it is about to pounce!  It startled me for a second when I passed it!

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The paving stones on the pathway have various designs on them.

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Down the path is the mansion that houses a collection of Art. Unfortunately it appeared closed and it was raining heavily so we didn’t proceed any further

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Here is a video I took of the Gardens!

Finally after visiting all these ares, head inside Jojo’s Christmas Cottage. The reason why we recommended it be saved for last is because it is basically one big gift/ souvenir shop.

Here you will find plenty of porcelain figures done in the “Precious Moments style.”  They’re very cute and quite expensive although you can find some affordable ones if you ask the salesladies for help.  The prices usually range about 3,000 php up

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Little Mermaid!

 

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Lilo and stitch, Tinkerbell!

There are a lot of dolls in the souvenir shop, the most popular ones are the ones that are dressed for a certain profession or job.  There’s a lot of cute nurse and doctor dolls on sale!

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There are some classic memorabilia like Cory and Ninoy Aquino dolls.

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There’s even a Pope Francis Doll!

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The second floor of Jojo’s Christmas Cottage is an all year round Christmas Display.

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After your visit to Sampaguita Gardens, you might want to take home a souvenir. Unfortunately, there aren’t any ATMs nearby so bring enough money to spend.  But don’t be dismayed thinking that you have to pay a lot of money for a souvenir – There’s lots of cheaply priced stuff that we recommend.

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Occasionally there are some cheaply priced statues on sale!

One cheaply priced souvenir are these little figures holding hearts. These are less than 200 pesos each.

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The absolute cheapest and most appropriate souvenir to get are these fridge magnets that celebrate Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan festival! These come in a variety of designs and colors.

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Of course you have to get the dark-skinned ones! These look just like Filipinos or Ati while the white skinned ones look very awkward. they’re only priced at 175 pesos each! I spend a good amount of time checking the figures and making sure these don’t have defects before I buy. Don’ forget to use your entrance ticket to get 50 pesos off on one purchase!

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Getting back:

Getting back to Kalibo is a bit trickier and more expensive. There are trikes posted outside of Sampaguita Garden. You can either tell the trike to bring you to a place where the New Washington Jeeps head back to Kalibo or simply offer the driver 100 pesos to take you back to Kalibo.

My work takes me yearly to Kalibo, Aklan so I have been going to Sampaguita Gardens for three years now, mostly to buy figures for my Mom and for these cute Fridge Magnets. Of course, I go after my work is over!

I personally think that the place is a bit of a tourist trap.  There’s not much to do in the place except to buy souvenirs, go swimming (which you can do anywhere) and some attractions are closed and neglected. Staying in the hotel is difficult because there aren’t any convenience stores, drugstores or anything to do at night. Despite all this, I still think Sampaguita Gardens is a good place to visit at least ONCE when you’re in Kalibo.

Sampaguita Gardens is located at 506 Rizal Street 5610 New Washington, Aklan

Telephone number: (036) 264-3422 or 264-5555.

Opens daily from 8am – 7pm

 

 

 

The Bacolod Food Hunters did not receive or accept any freebies, incentives from Sampaguita Gardens for this review. All opinions are our own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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