May 27, 2013

Noni’s Mountain Resort

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
- Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
Situated 1,000 ft. above sea level, Noni’s Mountain Resort offers scenic views of Taal Lake, Tagaytay ridges and Mt. Maculot. Wala nga lang puno ng mansanas sa Noni’s pero meron dung lovers’ tree sa may lawa na mahirap pero masarap akyatin.
Noni’s Mountain Resort
Brgy. Ping-as, Alitagtag, Batangas
Tel. No.:  506-6867, 0917-5960723

May 23, 2013

Eskaya Resort and Spa: Stepping into a Dream

No one falls in love by choice.
It is always by chance.
I sat at the very edge of a cliff. Nothing at all needs telling. Everything - from the rustic charm of the balais, gentle lap of the infinity pool water, rustling of bamboos, to the silent kissing of butterfly sweethearts in the garden - is absorbed by the serenity and exquisiteness of the moment. Sure it looks inviting to dive in the sparkling waters, but I’m in no hurry. Truth is I’m in no rush to do anything. There are some days I wish things had turned out differently but not today, especially when the day is blue again like the morning.
Named after the remaining indigenous tribe of Bohol, Eskaya is a lush and sprawling 16-hectare tropical paradise. Its contemporary-native Filipino design was the creation of renowned Philippine architecture crusader and national artist Francisco Mañosa. As one of the “Small Luxury Hotels in the World”, it delivers on its promise to give its guests privacy, exclusivity and  truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience almost beyond compare.
And as God is my witness, I will never return on a tricycle again.
Eskaya Resort and Spa
Brgy. Tawala, Panglao, Bohol
Tel. No.: 584-3180, (038) 502-9516

May 14, 2013

Playa Tropical: A taste of Bali in Ilocos

Currimao is a bucolic coastal town of natural wonders and two lovely beach resorts, one of which is Playa Tropical. Its emblem - a spiral which is conspicuously found in all its casitas - illustrates the philosophy behind this place. Interestingly, there are two ways to draw a spiral, from the outside going in and from the inside going out. These two ways represent life as both an inward journey of self-discovery and an outward journey of world discovery. Sure the resort looks like an authentic Balinese resort from the outside but once you get in, you will discover the charms of true, Ilocano hospitality.

A few minutes away by tricycle from Playa are an old Spanish watchtower, tabacalera ruins, and Pangil coral rock gardens.

I’m tired of jumping. So if I just lay here, would you lie with me and forget the world?

Playa Tropical
Brgy. Victoria, Currimao
Ilocos Norte
Tel. No.: (63) 670-1211, 0917-5700223

May 7, 2013

Mt. Pinatubo

“Flowers grow out of darker moments.”
- Corita Kent
After 500 years of dormancy, Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption on June 15, 1991 was recorded in world history as the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century. Through its pyroclastic flows, ash deposits, and lahar, it severely damaged surrounding areas of Tarlac, Zambales and Pampanga, displaced thousands of people especially the Aetas, and claimed the lives of more than 800 people.
Shortly after all the rains and the raging lahar, something wonderful happened about the landscape of the volcano, which used to be inconspicuous and covered with dense forest. Its caldera was subsequently filled with water from monsoon rains and a picture-perfect crater lake was formed. Ever since, it has become a major tourist attraction, providing an alternative livelihood for the locals.
The Mt. Pinatubo adventure starts with a 4x4 wheel-drive from the jump off point in Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac up to Lipit Station. It was exhilarating pero ilang beses rin akong nasikmuraan every bump. On a regular sunny day, the seven-kilometer trek to the crater is relatively easy, thanks to the cool waters of the streams that you will pass by along the way. Ang sarap maligo, kung hindi nga lang nakakahiya hehe.

Marami na ngayong ipinagbawal sa Mt. Pinatubo. Bawal mag-overnight. Bawal maligo. Bawal mag-kayak. Bawal sumigaw. Bawal na rin nga magpa-picture sa picture den. Malamang pag napatunayang ang pagtalon could cause soil erosion malamang ipagbawal na rin ang jump shot hehe.

If you want to see the Spartan living of Aetas, the side trip to Takuran Aeta Village is a life-enriching experience.

To cap off your Mt. Pinatubo adventure, a volcanic ash spa treatment is recommended at the Pinatubo Spa Town. Bear the heat of being buried in hot volcanic ash believed to lessen body cholesterol. Dito masarap ibaon ng buhay ang iyong mga kaaway!

Difficulties in our life don’t come to destroy us, but to help us realize our hidden potential. If Mt. Pinatubo didn’t erupt in 1991, surely it wouldn’t have realized its true beauty and hidden potentials.