What better way to celebrate than to de-stress in a place away from the city!
Cams has been eyeing this place for I think at least a year already. I recall it being a little pricey because I was still a student last year; and that we had to have a tent in order to be accommodated. Basically this mountain lake resort was introduced to me as a camping site, with separately-charged water activities on the lake.
This year, having traveled to a number of places, I have earned a decent amount of points in my Travelbook account. It was enough to book a standard room, and the points were to expire by mid-February. I ended up booking this glamping tent in Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort. They have hotel rooms and other accommodations now – maybe I just didn’t look it up before. I did it as an anniversary surprise for my love since she had wanted to go to this place so much for so long.
The pictures on their website seemed glamorous indeed, that’s why I was a tiny bit disappointed of how simple it looked like in real life. It’s all okay though, I’m good with simple. Maybe I expected too much. Anyway, it wasn’t a big deal.
Day 1 (March 25, 2017; Saturday)
Unlike others, we don’t have a car. We don’t know how to drive. So commute it is! We departed from Manila by 3:00pm. Yes, it’s late. We took a DLTB Co. bus bound for Sta. Cruz, got off at the Pagsawitan Terminal past 6:00pm. Then rode a Lumot bound jeep on the other side of the road. We arrived at the resort a little past 7:00pm. The staff were really accommodating – probably the most commendable thing about this place. We checked in, settled into our tent, had our dinner, walked around and took some shots of the night sky, then went to sleep.
I’d also like to point out that the guests were still awake and alive at night. Some were swimming, others enjoying each other’s company around a bonfire, some in the dining area chilling the night away. I had to mention this because we had experiences where the place had no night life.
Day 2 (March 26, 2017; Sunday)
We started slow, so this day we make it up! We almost didn’t get to breakfast though because it was already 9:00am when we woke up. (Breakfast is from 7:00am to 9:00am only). Part of what made the staff so kind was how chill they were to us. We got to the dining area by 9:15am so when we asked if we can still have our breakfast, I didn’t expect to get big, enthusiastic “of course!”.
After having our first hearty meal of the day, we decided to go kayaking.
It’s both our first time. So it was funny how the person who assisted us to the bank of the lake didn’t orient us on the do’s and don’ts of this activity (if there was one). He simply helped us into the kayak, gave us our paddles, and left us to our merry way. The only note he told us was that we are only allowed until the line that’s setup on the far side of the lake.
It was probably a wrong idea to this during noon time. Whatever, we had our time and it was fun! Note that we aren’t allowed to swim in the lake.
12:00nn – check out time. But we still don’t want to go! So we asked our friendly staff if we could pretty please extend our time. Again with the enthusiasm, they said of course, it’s just that the last shuttle out of the Marina was scheduled 5:00pm. We said that until 5:00pm is more than enough and thanked their kind gesture.
We then proceeded to relax in a shaded bench area – just to let the sun pass and not burn us on the next thing we want to do: swim!
We don’t know why we take so long in the pool, but we do. We somehow find it relaxing and comforting to lull around in the pool. Just like the other parts of the day, we appreciated the wonders of nature: the pure blue sky kissing bright green grass. We’re also blessed with the view of Mount Banahaw from the distance, with clouds as its toppings.
Our time here has finally come to an end. It was a day well spent indeed. We had the shuttle service take us to the main road. While we wait for our possible ride back to the bus terminal, I take some timelapse of the sunset. The trike ride to the city was probably one of best I’ve ever had. The view is beyond spectacular! It was indie film feels and colors all around me; the colors reminded me of the indie film King Jack. Thinking about it makes me meeltttt.
We passed by this beautiful old house called Balai Ilocos. We asked to be dropped there instead, talk about spontaneous. This old house called our attention and here we are, having our dinner in this Marcos’ house-like restaurant. We had Ensaladang Pako and Bagnet rice meals. I’d suggest eating here during the day, unless you like eating in a creepy, museum looking place (not an insult, by the way).
At 8:30pm, finally! We’re on the way back to Manila. As much as I’d like to stay, I can’t afford it anymore, hahaha. I’ll be back to these places in the future for sure! There’s so much more in Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort that we haven’t seen and tried yet. The Marina is just a part of the gigantic lot of this place. It’s perfect for team buildings, family outings and simple weekend getaway with friends and your significant other. It was a short weekend trip but it did us well for sure. We will definitely be back to try the other activities and areas.
I’m going to be editing a video on this, which shows more of the place. Will update the site once it’s up on my Youtube channel 🙂
Tally of expenses