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JADSpirits Travel Log

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JADSpirits Travel Log

Daday's Kitchen

Daday's Kitchen
Daday's Kitchen

Our Glamping Experience at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort

Caliraya Lake is a man-made lake 1200 above sea level
Lake Caliraya is a man-made lake situated in the municipalities of Lumban, Cavinti, and Kalayaan in Laguna province, Philippines. Lake Caliraya was created after the construction of Caliraya Dam, an embankment dam started in 1939 by US Army Corps of Engineers, with the approval of Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon. It is situated approximately 1,200 feet above sea level, and is perched high in the Sierra Madre. The lake experiences cool climate all year round.

This 2016, October 29~31 and November 1 was a long weekend. It was supposed to be a 4-day respite from work…to go on a vacation…go far on a road trip. But for employees of private company, like me, Saturday is work day. The last day would mean an influx of public and private transport. So for me, it’s just a 2-day vacation, October 30~31, as we need to be back in Pampanga By November 1 to avoid traffic jam.

Going home to Bicol to pray in front of my parents’ grave is out of the question. So Jonjie and I decided to take advantage of the 2-day period by visiting first the graves of our dearly departed, on his family side, and have an overnight vacation somewhere nearby.

We left Pampanga and then Las Pinas, without any concrete destination…as usual. But we have a few places in mind - Puerto Galera…Quezon within the area of Kamay ni Hesus…Tagaytay…Lake Caliraya in Laguna. We chose the latter.

Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort is situated in the almost 300 hectare property
Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort is nestled beside Lake Caliraya in the town of Cavinti, Laguna and overlooking the majestic Mount Banahaw of Quezon. Situated in the almost 300 hectare property, the resort perfectly blends sumptuously tropical accommodation and fun-filled outdoor activities.


LAKEHOUSE CAFE AND FUNCTION HALL

Caliraya Lakehouse Cafe and Function Hall caters to the guests needs and requests
We were greeted warmly and were informed that the only remaining accommodation is Amihan Cottage with common toilet and bath, and only 2 units are left.

We inquired about Glamping, as indicated in their website. But they politely discouraged us because of the threat of rain in the horizon.


THE AMIHAN COTTAGES

The Amihan Cottages are non-airconditioned cottages fronting the lake
One of their staff show us the Amihan Cottage, patterned after the traditional bahay kubo (nipa hut) that can accommodate 4 to 6 guests. The cottages are not air-conditioned so it was built facing the lake to allow the natural breeze from the lake to flow through.

GLAMPING

Glamping is a blended word from glamorous and camping
The Glamping Tent is equipped with matresses, linens, fan,lights and power outlet
Though it was not being offered but we insisted on seeing the glamping tent. It was a special tent with sleep mattresses, linens, fan, lights and power outlet. It can accommodate 2 to 4 persons. The brochure given to us indicates “glamping is not available from August to October due to Monsoon Season”.

COMMON TOILET AND BATH

Common Toilet and Bath with 5 cubicles for shower and 5 for toilet
There are 5 shower cubicles: 3 with hot and cold water and 2 with big shower head. Opposite these cubicles are the toilets. On the other side in green color, with the same set-up is for the male guests.

OVERNIGHT GLAMPING

Our Glamping Tent was set-up in between two trees
One look at the tent and we are hooked. My daughter Daniz immediately made a choice…its glamping.

Inside our Glamping Tent showing our beds for the night
Inside our Glamping Tent and looking at the trees through our back window
With much persuasion and assurance that it is our choice and will not be their fault, they agreed to set-up the glamping tent for us, for an overnight accommodation.

SWIMMING TIME FOR DANIZ

Daniz enjoying the swimming pool at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort amidst the cool mountain air
After settling in, the first thing Daniz did is change into her swim wear. Not even the cold mountain breeze nor the drizzle or an icy cold water could stop her from dipping into the pool. She really is a water person.


PICTURE TAKING

While Daniz is swimming and Jonjie watching over her, I explored the nearby areas and took pictures.
The spider net is part of the slide and drop at at Caliraya Mountain Lake ResortThe ducks in queue about to go into the water at Caliraya Mountain Lake ResortThe Hanging Bridge at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
The kayak shed and the hanging bridge at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
Late afternoon view of Caliraya Lake at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort


THE HANGING BRIDGE

While taking pictures of the hanging bridge and the lake, Daniz joined me. She went into the bridge and shouted “Mamay, picture…”
My daughter's photo op in the hanging bridge at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
My Daughter and the Hanging Bridge at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
But that’s just the beginning. Next thing I knew, I was on the bridge with her…requesting her for a selfie. She readily agreed on a condition that we would cross the hanging bridge together. I said yes only if she promise not to shake it.
Daniz and I before we cross the hanging bridge at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort

I made my way slowly to the other side, hands tightly grasping the rope, holding my breath before taking a step. She kept her promise...

But going back is a different story. She’s not shaking the bridge but she’s running so I told her to go ahead. She’s more than halfway through when I willed myself to walk…slowly…one plank…one step at a time.

Another hanging bridge conquered, though this one was an easy feat because it is not so high.
Daniz halfway through the hanging bridge on our return trip


DINNER TIME

Bulalo for dinner from La Cucina Restaurant at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
After our hanging bridge episode, our dinner arrived from La Cucina, the hotel’s restaurant.

Earlier, while waiting for our glamping tent to be set-up, we ordered through the Lakehouse staff. Since the weather is chilly, we wanted a hot meal…it’s a choice between bulalo or pork sinigang.

A few minutes into our dinner, we realized our mistake…

TIME TO SLEEP

Then its time to savor the new experience. Our first ever sleepover on a tent under the trees, pitched high above the Sierra Madre.
Preparing to go to sleep inside the glamping tent at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort
Night view from our glamping tent taken just before we close it for the night

With the cool mountain air, the smell of wet grass caused by the afternoon rain and the sound of the night crickets…we were lulled into a deep sleep.

The next thing we know, it was already morning...a glorious morning.

FOOTNOTES:

  • For contact and accommodation details, please access Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort’s website, http://mountainlake.ph/. The mobile numbers are still active, just be patient if it cannot be contacted. You may send a text message first.
  • Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort offer different type of accommodation:
    • The Residences Hotel – located in the Clubhouse, it offers 21 rooms of various sizes and can comfortably fit 65 persons and offers 4-stars quality accommodation and services.
    • Amihan Cottages - 20 non-airconditioned rooms designed to allow fresh air from the lake to flow through, providing the occupants the best experience away from the metro.
    • Boat House - 2-4 pax, built floating on the lake, the Boat house Suite offers a large sun-deck and a private, open shower for ultimate outdoor experience!
    • Glamping Tent