Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weekend Get Away to The Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort - Cavintin, Laguna

Somebody left a fan with a print of Caliraya country club in our office. We checked it on line and we found out there are many activity in that place, which is why when my coworker saw a deal in METRODEAL about a Caliraya Springs, she mistakenly took it as Caliraya country club. All of us told her to include us and our family members to purchase that deal. After she purchased, she searched how we would get there. Then she realized she was wrong. We had no choice but to take it. LOL lesson read it carefully before agreeing. Another mishap? We will not make it as another mishap; we browsed the website of Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort, looked interesting, many activities too. 

Our coworker called the office on how to get there; the lady on the other line was so accommodating, sent an email on how to get there. Since we are residing in Paranaque we decided to take Alabang because it’s nearer to Laguna.

We set the alarm clock at 4:15 am to prepare early, and then we reached Alabang, Muntinlupa around 5:40am. We thought there would be a bus or van somewhere near the Festival Mall but the terminal is transferred to South Station. Read in here how we got there.

The amenities in this resort are biking, Fishing, swimming, kayaking, jetski, boating, hotel accommodation, golf, restaurant, Jacuzzi, weddings and karaoke. There are on going construction of facilities for team building and other fun activities like mud slide, web spider obstacle, hanging bridge, zip line and others. 

Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort has a vast land. According to the guard it has a land area of 700 hectares. Enough space for more development in the future

.Our day tour was a gloomy day and there were rain showers. When we arrived in the clubhouse, we were accommodated right away, there were few guests. The first impression was a deserted place. The building’s paint was too old, the ceiling was under repair. This resort needs intensive maintenance.  The employees were courteous.

The fun activities included in our day tour package are:

Duck-feeding with two bowls of feeds
Duck feeding was our first activity. We were 8 people in our group plus a family with 3 members. All in all we were 11 people in the group. The kids loved it, they were dancing and hopping towards the ducks but while we were feeding the rain fell, had to stop it and return to the clubhouse.


30-minute horseback riding session

After our duck feeding we were transported to Marina Resort for other activities. We tried the horse back riding. The trail is short in just less than 10 minutes we were done. The guides told us that we could do it later again.

30-minute kayak
The sun showed his might a bit after our lunch, we took that opportunity to try the kayaking. It was the activity that I enjoyed most because the water of the lake is still, easy to maneuver the kayak. Most of us it was the pop activity of them all.

Swimming in the pool
It was raining so no fun to deep in the pool but of course the kids love the water. They still enjoyed the swimming time. 

Plated lunch included in the Day Tour package
We requested that our lunch would be served in Marina resort. It was composed of fried fish fillet, chicken adobo, sautéed vegetables and rice. In Marina Resort there was no store or cafeteria, the bad thing when we asked the booking officer if we could bring our own food she said there would be corkage fee of 200 for every package of food. The good thing we brought food for the kids otherwise we would be so hungry. The store and the restaurant are in the clubhouse, far from Marina Resort where we stayed most of the time.

 For the discounted price of the tour of P550.00, great price for a day get away from the hustle and bustle life of the city.

Address: Barangay East Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna
Phone: (+632) 723-0781 to 88 loc. 306
Mobile: +63 (2) 917 857 8268

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort, Barangay East Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna - How to get there

Caliraya Springs Resort and Marina Resort, is a private resort with many amenities. Good place for relaxation and enjoyment. Private vehicles are better to bring rather than take public utility vehicles. We were planning to hire a van but we didn’t. Here’s how we got there.

South Station in Alabang, Muntinlupa then took a bus, Greenstar with a signage of Sta. Cruz. Told the conductor to drop us off in Pagsawitan, that’s in boundary of Pagsanjan and Sta. Cruz, Laguna. The fare was 102.00 pesos.

From Pagsawitan we crossed the road then took a jeep with signage of Sta. Cruz. Told the driver to drop us off in the terminal of the jeep to LUMOT. The fare was 8.00 pesos.

The jeepneys going to Lumot pass by the Pagsawitan, its just that you cant take a jeepney with available seats because before the jeepney left the terminal its already full, that’s why we were advised to go to the jeepney terminal instead.

From the jeepney terminal of in Sta. Cruz, we rode the jeep with the signage of LUMOT. Told the driver to drop us of in Caliraya springs Golf Club and Marina Resort. The fare was 34.00 pesos.

By the gate of the resort there is a tricycle. One way trip is 100.00 pesos.

You should take tricycle because the clubhouse is far from the gate. It’s advisable to take your own vehicle or rent a car or van because the waiting time taking the public utility vehicles is long.

Expect a ride in going to Lumot with overloaded passengers. Actually some of the passengers argue with the driver because he was still loading even the back, had many, the front of the windshield had already sitting on and even on his left side, he let a passenger sat beside him. Some were on the topload. It was scary in some points because the road is narrow and uphill. It was an adventure indeed. The last trip of the jeepneys is 4:00 pm. The locals are nice, friendly, and easy to talk to.

If you want to have a weekend get away and don’t want to get far from the Metro. This one is for you.

Instruction coming from the Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort on how to get there:

If by private vehicle:

Option 1 – Through South Expressway

  • Take the south expressway
  • Take the calamba exit
  • At the calamba crossing (SM Calamba), turn right
  • Straight ahead using the highway passing towns of Los Baños, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta. Cruz and Pagsanjan.
  • After passing the Pagsanjan Archway, you will see a T road (at the end of the road is a Catholic Church)
  • On this T road, turn left to Lumban, then drive for 4 kms, then you will see a Y road, take the right
  • Drive the 6kms ascent, then you will see Caliraya Recreation Center
  • 5kms further, on the left side is the entrance of Caliraya Springs Golf and Marina Resort Comples

Option 2 – Through Rizal

  • From Edsa take Ortigas Avenue turn right at the first intersection after the Cainta junction towards Taytay.
  • Following the main highway bound for Laguna pass through the eight municipalities of Rizal.
  • Make a U-turn at Barangay Bagong Silang, Lumban to start ascent to Caliraya lake.

If by commuting:

Option 1 – From Cubao

  • From the Cubao Bus Station, take a bus (HTM transport or any bus) going to Pagsawitan. This road will take you about two to two and a half hours.
  • Then, at Pagsawitan terminal, take a tricycle or a jeepney with a signboard “LUMOT”
  • This ride will go up using Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti road, pass by Caliraya Recreational Resort/Caliraya Resort Club Inc., Lagos del Sor Resort then after you will see Entrance gate of Caliraya Springs Gold and Marina Resort Complex.

Option 2 – From Metro Manila Bus Stations

  • Take a ride at the Sta. Cruz-bound bus of HM Transit on EDSA Cubao or Green Star on LRT/Taft Ave.
  • The bus will go through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and will exit at Calamba tollgate. Get off at the Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan terminal.
  • Then, ride a jeepney with “Lumot” signboard. The Lumot bound jeepney will pass thru Pagsanjan, it will turn left then pass thru Lumban, turn to the right to climb the mountain Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti road, pass by Caliraya Recreational Resort/Caliraya Resort Club Inc., Lagos del Sor Resort then after you will see Entrance gate of Caliraya Springs Gold and Marina Resort Inc.

Address: Barangay East Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna
Phone: (+632) 723-0781 to 88 loc. 306
Mobile: +63 (2) 917 857 8268

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

Valentine is so commercialized. Wherever I go there are reminders of the heart’s day. Shopping malls are decorated with red hearts and ornaments, while playing romantic songs in the background, which made the atmosphere more romantic. It is a celebration for lovers but for family and friends too.

Sweet goodies, stuff toys and flower shops are mostly on the hallway, making them visible for those who need something to give. Restaurants are mostly full packed of diners. Most of the restaurants have good package deals to choose from.

When I checked the price of the flowers with stuff toys and chocolate; I was stunned ohh my too expensive. For me it’s overpricing specially flower would just dry, not my thing unpractical, I want long and lasting remembrance. Although when I love what I do, price doesn’t matter. What matters most for me are the strong connection, meeting of the mind and being present not just physically but emotionally and psychologically.

Celebrate Valentine according to what suits you! Have fun and enjoy Heart’s day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Unusual Valentine Bouquet

Valentine’s Day is a celebration for lovers, but in the Philippines it becomes part of the family and friends affair too. As time goes on the celebration is becoming so materialistic although that’s good for the economy. More expenditures more earnings.

I usually celebrate Valentine ’s Day with my family, for me it’s a family affair. Before when I was in our hometown I would take time to wrap sweets with a stem of flower for give aways to aunties and cousins. But now that I am living in the city it’s like an ordinary day except for receiving and sending valentine’s greetings through texts messaging.

My coworker teased me that since my hubby is not around, he told her to bring a bouquet for me. Lol she gave me a bouquet of Moringa (a green leafy vegetable also known as malunggay) and a chocolate. I and my hubby don’t really celebrate Valentine ’s Day, for us everyday is valentine, corny or cliché but that’s how we are.

This bouquet of mornga brings laughter to me; I told her I could cook later sautéed sardines with morninga leaves. Why not it’s healthy, right?

What a funny valentine I have today! How about u?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Corregidor Island "A glimpse to the World War II" - Corregidor Island, Cavite

Corregidor is shaped like a tadpole, it is also known as “The Rock”.  It is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay. This island served as the fortress, stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. 

I’ve been in this island two times but still I am always amazed with this island and its history, a glimpse of the bravery of our forefathers.

There is only one way to visit and explore Corregidor Island that is through Sun Cruises. This company offers day tour and overnight accommodation. There is a hotel in the island. Actually too many activities that tourist can enjoy namely:

All-Terrain Vehicle RentalsRide one of our several off-road four-wheel all-terrain vehicles and explore the island with more adventure and fun!

Biking (Bring your own bike)
A newly-introduced activity in the Island. It gives the biking enthusiast the opportunity to conquer the well-paved biking trails and get a glimpse of the Island's scenic and historic spots.

Corregidor Adventure
Live and learn about the great outdoors in a specialized team building program that can be tailor-made to suit your needs. Grab your compass, check your map, and be ready to hack through vines or to drop down into mysterious tunnels in search of clues that will lead you to winning the adventure challenge.

Kayak Rentals
Enjoy Kayak rentals in the South Beach of Corregidor Island. We offer great kayaking opportunities for either day trips or extended tours.

Light & Sound Show at the Malinta Tunnel
The Light & Sound Show at the Malinta Tunnel, which is about half an hour long, is an optional part of the Day Tour and costs Php 150.00 per person. The Light & Sound Show is a must-see for first time visitors.

Easy Hike
Hike through rediscovered trails to forests and hillsides and discover landmarks of ruins. Follow the trail of pink cadena de amor with a sweeping view of Manila bay reaching the island's tail.

Sunset Experience
Catch the lovely sunset at Battery Grubb's, one of the disappearing guns perched on a hill overlooking the magnificent Peninsula.

Sunrise Viewing
Brave the chilly mornings in Corregidor as we drive you to the island's tailside to catch the sunrise.

Night Lateral Visit
This is done inside the tunnel's unexplored side. A 1,000-bed hospital area during World War II. A walking tour of the tunnel's unexplored side.

Island Roundabout
 the island on sturdy outrigger boats and view the neighboring isles, La Monja, Caballo (Fort Drum), and the scenic coast of Mariveles. Then stop over at the perfect fishing spots nearby for enjoyable day sport fishing.

Hike along the woodland trails of Corregidor on a wondrous adventure game. Grab your compass, check your map, and be ready to hack through vines or to drop down into mysterious tunnels in search of clues that will lead you to winning the adventure challenge.

The Camp Adventure
Live and learn about the great outdoors in a specialized camp training program designed to enhance your knowledge and skills about nature. With jungle survival and exploration instructors, you will learn to respect and develop the confidence to survive in a world of trees and bushes, manmade underground caverns and exotic creatures.

Bird Watching
Bird watchers have spotted species of birds at Corregidor island such as White-Collared Kingfishers, Zebra Dove, Blue Rock, Asian Glossy Starlings, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Black-naped Orioles and just recently, Philippine Cockatoos have been spotted flying over the grassy area near the Eternal Flame.

Bird watching has now been added as a worthwhile activity in the island. Commune with nature and be one to spot what could be migratory or resident birds of the island.

Rock Balancing
Corregidor, also known as the "Rock" boasts of unique rocks called "bloodstones". These rocks have been aptly called so because they are white in color with nice splatters of red. Rock balancing is an ephemeral art (short-lived art masterpieces) which has recently been introduced in the island. This is a nature activity which aims to boost eco-tourism and build awareness on nature conservancy. Rock balancing is often linked to photography and landscape art.

The 40-foot high 655-foot long free-fall cable ride stretches from the Corregidor Inn all the way to the South Beach

 Source: Sun Cruise

We arrived 15 minutes before 7:00 am. Whew it’s good they still accepted us, because they said 30 minutes before the cut off time passengers wouldn’t be allowed. Watching the tall buildings of Manila getting smaller as we sail on and slowly the sight of the greener island appears. It was relaxing sailing for more than an hour.

We were greeted with warm smiles and guided us to the tram. It is the replica of the tram that was used before in the island. Guests can choose among the English and Japanese speaking tour guides. Japanese guests have their own tour guides and the story of the events during the World War II is more focused on the heroism of the Japanese soldiers. The tour started right away no much ado. Along the way there are monkey sightings.

We chose the English speaking tour guide. Mostly the establishments are ruins, but still can be seen how mighty this fortress was, equipped with weaponry to stand against the battle. The remnants of the war are very visible. I am amazed how the American engineering was. They developed the island into unimaginable camp. The island’s story is about the might and fall and the rising once more.

The day tour included the buffet lunch in the only hotel in the island, the Corregidor Inn. The food served was nice, few choices but enough to fill and energize our tired body. You should bring enough water for you to dehydrate to the duration that you are in the island. The goods in there are a bit expensive. 

The tour is time bound that’s why we had to be quick in scrutinizing the things that captured our attention. Some of the guests included in our tour were old ones; most of them just stay inside the tram.

Before 3:00 pm the tour ended. A glimpse to the history of courage and bravery.  Thank you for reminding us how our forefathers were. A lesson to treasure and learn, be used as a guide, as we face the challenges of today and tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort – San Pablo City, Laguna


Warm and cheerful hospitality, in a rustic Philippine setting! Definitely it is. It’s been awhile that we were planning to visit this hacienda. Some members of our family went there but we didn’t go with them because of a lot of reasons. So finally we booked for a day tour. By the way those who want to visit this place if possible book first because sometimes too many guests. That is just if you don’t want to be part of the super crowded place.

We leave the house early because we were going to take public utility vehicles and might take time to wait for the bus in Alabang, Muntinlupa. The buses going to the south with the signage of Lucena or Batangas are the one passing by the hacienda. We just told the conductor to drop us to the Villa Escudero Plantation and Resort, and presto we reached the resort.

The resort’s main gate is far from the main road but it is walking distance too just a bit far. For those who want to have leisure walk under the mighty coconut tress and be enveloped by the fresh and cold breeze walking might suit you. But since we have two kids in our company we opted to ride a tricycle.

The resort staff dressed in traditional Filipino costumes baro at saya (blouse and skirt) for girls and camisa chino with neck scarf; warmly welcomed us and offered cold drink.

Our first stop for a day tour was the museum. It is a two storey church like building. Taking picture is strictly prohibited. The first floor housed the religious relics: huge statue of saints, old chalice and more. Second floor has also extensive collections of Oriental ceramics, natural history and ethnographic dioramas, costumes, household furniture, weaponry, old coins and bills and other items which were collected.

In front of the museum is a beautiful garden and on the side of the garden is another house, which will be made into museum.

We transported leisurely by a Calesa (carabao-drawn cart) around the resort. In every cart there is a kutsero (driver of the cart), a guitarist and a singer. What really made it amazing experience was they sing local folk songs, which we don’t hear often. Very rare opportunity, that we could hear these classic songs. It was refreshing and uplifting experience as Filipinos. It was like we were transported to the old time.

We were thinking that we could have our lunch at the Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant, where we could experience dining with the sparkling man-made waterfall back drop and the refreshing water running over our feet but the rain poured so we had no choice but had it inside the nearby Nippa hut hall. We were treated to a feast of local food like the grilled seafood, grilled meat, ensaladas (vegetables salad), veggies, fruits and native delicacies.

Just on time after our lunch, the Philippine Experience Show was already starting. The hall was full of guests. The show showcased the Philippine’s rich cultural heritage thru dancing and performances.

The kids were so eager to try the swimming pools so we let them, while some did fishing. We tried fishing but we didn’t catch any because we moved our fishing rod often.

Bamboo rafting was busy and falling in line was a waste of time, we waited for more than two hours but it was almost 5:00 pm still we were waiting for a cue to be accommodated. We decided to explore the place more rather than wait for the bamboo rafting.

Villa Escudero Plantation and Resort offers unique blend of the country’s cuisine, customs, dresses and cultural dances, giving us the glimpse of the Philippine’s rich cultural heritage. It was an indeed a laid-back and unique countryside experience.

Attractions, Amenities and Activities
Waterfalls Restaurant
Philippine Experience Show
Bamboo Rafts
Rural Village Tour
Sports and Recreation Facilities
Bird Watching

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
San Pablo City
, Philippines

Manila Office
1059 Estrada Street, Malate 1004 Metro Manila

Telephone Nos.
(632) 521-0830
(632) 523-0392
(632) 523-2944