January 11, 2016

Kalaw Place, Puerto Galera

I think I just died and had a glimpse of heaven when I entered Room No. 3 of Kalaw Place. I’m already getting ahead of the story but surprisingly, I discovered another hidden paradise that exists just four hours away south of Manila.

It all started with a simple longing. Gusto ko magluto ng alimango at sugpo, my two favorite dishes in the world. I missed myself cooking for my loved ones. And I thought it would be best to fill that yearning at Kalaw Place, with some of my friends.

Nestled on a hilltop, amidst a three-hectare lush grounds overlooking Puerto Galera Bay, the eponymous Kalaw Place started out in 1979 as a small weekend cottage of the family of Kiddo and Rosmarie Kalaw. As the years went by, additional structures were added to accommodate its growing guests who want to momentarily escape the SSDD city life, and simply enjoy the seclusion and quiet beauty of the place. It now offers nine different types of rustic accommodation ranging from suites, rooms and native cottages.

For our weekend get-away, we were given Room No. 1 at the Main House. The two-storey traditional Filipino house mainly made of bamboo, wood, rattan and nipa hut with wooden furniture and some antique accessories, seems like a bahay kubo mansion.

At the Main House veranda with Ate Jane, Jheng, Deanne, Ivanya and Doc


Dining area

The friendly German shepherd of the resort

Mini library

Antique hanging lamp  

Our Room

My bed with a refreshing forest view

Room No. 2

Staying in our room was already such a pure joy that not even the fire dancers of the White Beach could lure us away from our home. Mag-Spotify lang, mag-kwentuhan, at matulog sa hele ng malamig na hangin, masaya na ako.

The main house is surrounded with hardwood trees, palms, bamboos, anahaw, cactus, hibiscus, bougainvillea and other flowering shrubs, a sight that is so relaxing and pleasing to the eyes. The cacophony they make when the wind blows is also music to the ears.  The owners are nature-lovers that they kept the greenery pretty much untouched and just let the trees and exotic plants grow in beautiful chaos, everywhere.

The kind staff of the resort, Ate Grace and Ate Senia, showed us the annex building where the much coveted Room No. 3 is located. The rooms in this three-storey house offer an unobstructed and stunning view of the Palangan Bay, Boquete Island and nearby beaches.  

Room No. 3 main bed

Room No. 3 window bed

View from the sala of Room No. 4

View from the outdoor lounge area

Another view from the outdoor lounge area

View from Room No. 3

Waking up to these heavenly sights, who would ever want to leave Kalaw paradise?

Since our room comes with a kitchenette, we opted to cook our meals from breakfast to dinner. We just went to the market, a five-minute tricycle drive from the resort, to buy seafood (without the sugpo), meat, canned goods, vegetables, fruits, kutkutin and drinks. 

Dinner feast – crabs, steamed vegetables, red egg, mangoes and grapes

I cooked these crustaceans

Hearty breakfast – Spam, hotdog, tuyo, scrambled egg, and fresh fruits  

Express lunch – sweetened ham, sardines and some left-over of our breakfast

Though Kalaw Place doesn’t boast of a white-sand beach, it has its own little cove (lined with thick mangroves) and private lagoon, which is also suitable for swimming, sun-bathing and kayaking.

The Bar
The pier

Floating sun deck

Surrounding area is blessed with corals

The use of kayak is complimentary

Just sitting there by the wooden docking area, before dusk and after some pictorial, I asked Deanne about her ex “Na mi-miss mo pa ba siya?” And she honestly replied “Na-mi-miss ko na lang siguro ang company ng someone. Pero hindi na siya.”

Kalaw Place is truly a haven for reflection and inspiration, and maybe moving on. And even if we haven’t left the place yet, deep inside, I miss it already.

Kalaw Place
Palangan, Puerto Galera
Oriental Mindoro
Tel. No.: 0917-5322617
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