March 31, 2014

Ten Cents to Heaven

How much would it cost to go to heaven?

Literally, ten cents plus a hundred pesos would do.

High up in the picturesque town of Tanay, Rizal, Ten Cents to Heaven is a sprawling 30-hectare leisure camp and resort nestled atop breathtaking rolling hills and verdant mountains. It provides a good backdrop for a thrilling adventure or a romantic escape, offering a scenic view of the Sierra Madre mountain range and Laguna de Bay.

Among some of the places near Manila that Reina and I suggested to Paul (our new foreign intern in the office) for a quick weekend get-away, Ten Cents was the one he chose, perhaps because of the natural allure of the place. And he said that it’s very rare to see mountains in his home country, The Netherlands.

Though it was really tiring commuting to this place, we were rewarded by the wonderful scenery that greeted us upon arrival.  

Registration area


The cabanas

Resting area with hanging clock vines

Obstacle course area

Wooden veranda

Pool area

Ten Cents is definitely one of those ideal places to unwind and be recharged from the polluted and busy city life. The resort also has good room accommodations and great teambuilding facilities. But the highlight of our trip was of course riding the zipline, one of the longest in Luzon.

Given Paul’s three-month stint in the country, I do hope that he could visit several more tourist attractions in the countryside so he could appreciate and experience first-hand the extraordinary beauty of the Philippines. But I guess he would agree with me that sometimes, heaven need not be that far. And it could just be in Rizal.

Ten Cents to Heaven
Sitio Mayagay II, Cayambay
Tanay, Rizal
Tel. No.: 542-2087, 0999-9770026

March 27, 2014

Alegre Beach Resort: The Jewel of Sogod

Maybe part of loving is learning to let go.

Letting go of stress that is! And going somewhere laidback and relaxing like Alegre Beach Resort and Spa in Sogod.

About two-hours away from Cebu City, Alegre is set amidst seven-hectare of lush tropical gardens, pristine coves and beaches with all the conveniences one expects from a five star resort.

Cool refreshments are served to guests upon entering the resort. The resort’s lobby and reception area is made up of native materials and furnished with warm and elegant wood pieces, which evoke a rustic, countryside feel.

Alegre has 21 lovely cabanas, some with picturesque ocean view. Each room measuring 60 sq.m., is very spacious and homey. Its marble bathroom is simply superb.

At the heart of the resort are pools both for adults and children. They are partly but beautifully surrounded with red bougainvillea flowers. Friendly doves are free to roam around, unafraid of people.

For recreation, I particularly love the game and entertainment room. Guests could play billiard or sing OPM karaoke hits anytime of the day.

Dining experience in the resort is another joy. The Pavilion offers a good selection of local and international cuisine a la carte or buffet-style. The restaurant is strategically built on top of a cliff for diners or lovers to feast on delectable pizza, pasta or halo-halo while enjoying the panoramic view of the sea.

But I guess nothing could beat a romantic candle-lit dinner by the beach at the Cliff Bar. The bar also serves thirst-quenching tropical refreshments, signature cocktails, and chilled beverages.

What makes Alegre more memorable is its signature Spa experience. For a rejuvenating treat, guests really need to experience the powerful hands of resident masseur, Manong Mario!

Alegre has three white-sand private beach coves with beautiful caves and rocks formations.

It also has an in-house marine biologist and dive instructors for those who want to discover Sogod’s rich and protected marine sanctuary. I really enjoyed feeding the hungry but friendly fishes.

There’s no place in Sogod like Alegre.  A Visayan term for “start”, Sogod is indeed a place of new beginnings.

And perhaps it will never be hard to start all over again if your heart has so much to live for.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa
Calumboyan, Sogod, Cebu
Tel. No.: (032) 254-9800; 0917-3068443