I wouldn’t be able to meet the most wonderful travel
bloggers from my country or learn much more about blogging if I didn’t join
Travelbook.ph Affiliate Program contest. My face lit up with glee when I
learned my article on Travelosyo website won. Personally I didn’t feel like it was a goal to win. I was more
interested in the affiliate program itself and the possibility to work with other
hotels in the Philippines.
Being among the chosen bloggers, I was entitled to enjoy an all expense paid 3D/2N getaway at Mountain Lake Resort in Cavinti, Laguna. The resort is a 300 hectare property that is fit to be a temporary home if you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a perfect nature respite with adventures geared for all family members such as lake cruising, pedal boating, fishing, camping, glamping (to
name a few).
The itinerary for our three day getaway seems really interesting to me. Here let me share the first day
of our getaway—which mainly involved the road trip to Cavinti, settling down in
our respective cottages, dining and socializing with fellow travel bloggers.
I and Kim of Mom on Duty traveled together because
we are from Rizal. Kim was kind to let me accompany her driving the Antipolo-Laguna route. The other bloggers met up at Travelbook’s office in Pioneer, Mandaluyong City.
I met Kim at 6 in the morning. I also met her lovely kids. We dropped them off at their schools in Antipolo City and then head our way to Caliraya. Kim was very familiar with the way because she had lived in Pililia for some years. At around 8 am we stopped by The Daily Bean. This is a great cafe along Pililia main road. We had our breakfast there and worked on our laptops for a bit.
|At The Daily bean for our breakfast|
At 10 am we went our way to Cavinti but had a few stops at some sightseeing spots. I was really lucky because Kim granted my request to see the wind farm in Pililia, Rizal.
The windmills are gigantic! I thought they are bigger than the ones in Bangui or at least to me they seem to be… I wanted to take more photos but it was a windy and rainy morning. In fact, the wind almost broke our umbrellas and left us soaked and freezing…
The route that we took was my favorite. We used to go through this route when I was younger, when we visit my relatives in Laguna. Having that said, I kind of missed having road trips with my family, especially when my dad was driving for us.
|Wind Mills in Pililia, Rizal|
Arrival at Mountain Lake Resort
We arrived at Laguna past 1 PM. It took us a bit longer because we had some side trips. It was a rainy day and it was colder in Cavinti than I expected. Mountain Lake Resort was not difficult to locate because we have our private car. But I thought if I commute, maybe it would be difficult for me? I don’t know if they have Uber in the area.
Even if it was all raining and chilly, I still could see the vast golf course the resort prides itself about. Unfortunately, I’d need to wait for the weather to calm down to be able to take more decent photos.
A few minutes then, we met the Travelbook people and the bloggers inside the function hall. Everyone looked exhausted. It was indeed a long trip.
While waiting for lunch to be served, we had our introductions. The bloggers present were:
Mon Villaverde of Terrific Traveller;Apple Llave of Apple Llave; Kim Reyes of Mom on Duty; Shiela Aguado of Shiela Travels; Evo Joel of Evo and Grace; Allan Bough of The Filipino Rambler; Charlotte Anne de Peralta of Charlotte Anne; Lloyd Kevin Uribino of Yogo and
Cream ; Julia Macaranas of Julia
Antoinette; Hazel Asoy of Wannderzel; Jhenn Delos Santos of The Ultimate Adventurer.
Lunch with the Bloggers
Our lunch was mainly Filipino dishes such as: Sinigang, Sisig, Caldereta and some vegetables. Our drink was Iced Tea. We could request for tea or coffee. I badly needed coffee!
After lunch, we took our stuff and got on the resort shuttle that transferred us to Marina.
Accommodation in Marina
Marina is the part of the resort where most activities happen. The accommodation is mainly Nipa Huts that can accommodate 2-4 people each.
The Nipa Huts are fronting the Obstacle Course and part of the Caliraya Lake.
From the floor bed, you can see the ducks walking and playing in and about the water.
|Amihan cottages fronting Caliraya Lake|
Inside the Amihan Cottage
The Amihan cottages are not a glamorous accommodation. It may take a little hacking to make it work for guests seeking a different level of comfort or for guests with children. As mentioned by mommy Kim, kids could easily get into the water if they happen to wake up before their parents do and they are feeling adventurous… I suggest staying in the main hotel or bringing insect repellent, extension wires, ear plugs and tons of supervising skills…
But for team building activities or barkada getaways Amihan Cottage is not a bad choice especially when everybody is expected to be outdoors most of his/her stay.
Here’s what you can find inside an Amihan Cottage:
Bed, pillow, blanket
There are two main outlets with 2 outs each. I brought my extension wire
Warm bulb lights for a more cozy appeal inside the room
There is one ceiling fan. I think this will be very useful in summer but during our stay, we didn’t use it mostly because it was really cold and windy already
You can place your shoes here
There are about 9 lockers inside our Amihan Cottage. You need to have padlocks to be able to use them for yourself
|Travelbook.ph staff and getaway winners|
The first night was a blast! It was a clever thing to have interactive group games to break the barriers of first time meeting.
We were grouped into three and we played charades. Our team won because I was with hardcore movie buffs. Also I think, the other groups were very lenient when it came to choosing the title of the movie. They put easy to guess movies such as “Star Wars” or “Cars” while my team put “Isprikitik:
Walastik kung pumitik“. Seriously how can you pantomime this movie?
We won gift certificates from Zalora and Lazer Xtreme.
The first night ended with a happy night’s rest at our Marina accommodation.
[Continue reading: Travelbook.ph’s Blogger Getaway at Mountain Lake Resort – Day 2]
This three-day blogger getaway is organized by
TravelBook.ph Blogger Affiliate Program in partnership with Mountain Lake
Resort – Caliraya.
Special thanks as well to our generous sponsors, Céleteque Philippines, Alfox Printing Services, Century Pacific Food,
Inc. (555 Tuna), Vivo Lumio, Cetaphil Philippines, Mystery Manila, Totem Philippines, Escape Hunt Manila,LazerXtreme, Sidlan, and Zalora Philippines.
If you want to earn and score free blogger getaways to
different Philippine destinations, be a TravelBook.ph Blogger Affiliate by signing up at affiliate.travelbook.ph.