Momarco Resort: One With Nature

Living in Cubao has its ups and downs. For one, it’s just plain bothering how busy the streets are even at 3 in the morning. The good thing, though, is that it is very accessible to different places where you can get that much deserved relaxation–for an instance, Momarco Resort in Tanay, Rizal.

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My visit to Momarco Resort was not really planned. I just came home from work (yes, nightshift!) and my grandmother and aunt wanted to spend some time away from the city. Through referrals from good friends, they found this resort. The travel time to Momarco is a good hour to an hour and a half without heavy traffic. To be fair, we did not take the Montalban route but instead took the Sumulong road which can be congested at times because of schools along it.

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We arrived at Sampaloc road which eventually led to the resort. I suggest that you drive slow once you pass the road heading to Daranak Falls. Momarco Resort is deep in the mountains and the only way for you to determine that you would need to make a right turn is through Google Maps or the small signage along the highway.  It’s all rough road after the turn until you reach the resort proper. If you will be taking the public transport, it is best to proceed to the Tanay Jeepney Terminal and ride a trike. It’s a little bit expensive at Php 150 to Php 200, but the length to which you will be travelling compensates the price.

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We were welcomed by a picturesque site upon arriving at the resort. There were trees everywhere! The receiving station is elegant with rattan couches, tables, and chairs. What I like most is the calesa at the center of the receiving area. It looked charmingly simple, festive, and welcoming, just like the Rizalenos!

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They have an in-house bar called Bathala Bar which serves a variety of cocktails and bar chow. There is also a stage probably for acoustic nights and other shows.

One of the highlights of Momarco Resort is its mini zoo. I can tell from their collection of animals that the owner is a reptile fan. There were snakes. Huge ones, but docile and enthralling (if you are into them)! They also have an aviary of cockatiels and lovebirds, which is another one of my interests! There is also a pond-full of Kois and if you would ask me, they are very much well-taken care of considering their size!

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Rock Balancing is an art form that is a cross of physics and a person’s ability to exercise patience. An organization, Rock Balancing Philippines, took their art here at Momarco Resort. They have a designated place for the art and if you would look around and pay close attention, you would see rocks on top of each other around the place! Oh yes, we tried it!

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My entry with Kim’s at the background 🙂

Momarco Resort also houses a Bonsai Garden. There is so much to see! I wanted to take a picture of every Bonsai plant! All of them looked well-crafted that their branches stretched evenly and gracefully!

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Of course, Momarco Resort wouldn’t be called such if it weren’t for their pools! The main pool is extensive. There is even an aisle to the center, accented with lush greens. Just be careful, though, and be mindful of the varying depth of the pool.

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Their man-made lagoon and waterfalls are sights to behold! The water is cold and refreshing, just like in real ones! It’s not as deep and you can just hang out and relax here.

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Normally, when I travel after work shifts, I instantly fall asleep at the sight of a bed. Here, I was more alive than ever. My titas, titos, cousins, ,lolas (2 of them! This turned out as a spontaneous mini-reunion), and my dad all enjoyed good conversation over the best home-cooked meals! You can bring your own here, heck you can even cook here! There is just a small corkage fee that you would have to pay in respect to their restaurant. I just sat there after swimming and chit-chatted with them.

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Here’s the (not-so) baby doggy I met while the family is bonding. He was begging for food so I gave him liempo and in return–this selfie 🙂

Nights here at Momarco are peaceful. It may be because it’s a weekday but you cannot deny the fact that the place just gives you that flora and fauna vibe. It may even unleash your inner Ceres. While my uncles were drinking the night away, I just lounged near our room which is a good walk up a makeshift stairs. I didn’t have a photo of the room we stayed in because of my makukulit cousins but they do offer a good space to sleep. We stayed at their Regular A/C room for 4, which has 2 bunk beds and a wide bath. You can even request (with extra charge but it was free for us. one of my uncles has this chikador character and is the town doctor) for extra mattresses since the room is spacey! Take note, the room rates are very affordable! This room only costed us no more than Php 3,000!

Momarco Room

Photo Courtesy of Momarco Website

Come morning, I was woken by jovial music. Funny, I knew instantly it was Zumba! I expected to see mothers dancing to the upbeat music, and I was correct! This made me inexplicably cheerful! I dressed up and hurried to the Lanai Restaurant. We ordered silogs and my morning requirement: iced coffee! Their breakfast is considerable but their iced coffee is good! I also like the paper flowers on the wall. Such a sight to see in the morning!

Outside the dining hall, there is a quaint photo exhibit of what defines Rizal. There were pictures of festivals, mountains, and people from different walks of life. It would have been better if these photos were framed or placed inside the hall where people can muse over them. The photos showed the essence of Rizal! How I love exhibits like these!

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Sadly, I was not able to fully explore the place. Apparently, there is so much to see! They have a bike park, pump track, and a hiking trail! Had I known, I would have hiked that morning!

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When it was time for me to go home (I went home earlier than my family due to appointments! argh~), I decided to do the trike-UV express way. It was a friendly-enough trip but I hated the part near SM East Ortigas. It was congested and my initiation back to the real world.

Overall, my stay in Momarco Resort was pleasant. It simply revives a person inside. If you are the kind of person who is borderline workaholic and cannot go far from the city, then this place is right for you. Momarco Resort is one of the reasons I like living in Cubao. Places like this is easy to reach!

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***How to Go to Momarco Resort***

  1. Take the FX/UV Express from Edsa Central or Starmall bound to Tanay Market. — Php 70
  2. From Tanay Market, ride the trike to Momarco! – Php 150 – 200

**Momarco Resort is located at Sampaloc Road, Sitio Bathala, Bgy. Plaza Aldea, Tanay, Rizal. You can visit their WEBSITE or call the numbers on the website for a faster and more comfortable booking experience!

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Tiang Yun Dian: The Chinese Temple in Bandar Seri Begawan

Religion is subjective and proposes a very sensitive subject during discussions. I, honestly, veer away from those topics on my blog. However, seeing Bandar Seri Begawan and discovering a new-found diversity in a, rather, conservative Muslim country, gave me hope for humankind. Seeing the Tiang Yun Dian Chinese temple, sitting in all its intricate beauty, in the heart of Brunei’s solemn Ramadan, brought about so much emotions that I thought was courtesy of PMS (LOL).

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I couldn’t help but fall dead silent on its foot. I was staring at its crimson walls and golden ornaments in reverence. When we arrived, we of course asked for permission from the temple custodians if we can take photos. We didn’t want to break the place’s solemnity with our touristy cheer. We proceeded with the photos when they gave the go signal.

Every corner of the place is beautiful. It was almost hard to believe that it barely survived history. The original Tiang Yun Dian temple was built by the wharf in front of  Kampong Ayer. The Chinese community contributed funds for the building of their place of worship until such time that it was fully established. Sadly, World War II happened and threatened the aesthetics of the temple. The Temple of the Flying Clouds, as it is more commonly known, is as steadfast as the faith of the people worshiping here. They slowly restored the temple’s splendor.  The time came though when the land where it was situated was acquired by the government and they had to transfer to where it is located now — at the corner of Jalan Elizabeth Dua and Jalan Kianggeh.

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How I marveled at every corner of the temple. Even the tiled walls tell so much of the religion’s story! With the Four Heavenly Kings nestled securely at the north, and the sky wells that welcome the sunlight, taking a photo is the best way to preserve the memory of the place.

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The smoke from the incense takes you to their tradition as the prayers made through it ascended to heaven. A woman was making her supplications while we were there and in her silent reverie, even the trees seemed to surrender. We knew that we had to go to avoid being a nuisance. We thanked the man in charge and made our way out.

A lot of great legends surround Tiang Yun Dian and the faith of its worshipers, including the bomb which did not detonate during the war. I am proud to have experienced its history, solemnity, and beauty. I am honored to see Brunei’s consideration to all sects. I hope to have honored the place with my blog entry, as this is the least that I can do to return the pleasure it gave to my senses.

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**To read more about our trip in how we enjoyed Brunei with just Php 3,000 and how we earned 8 Passport Stamps with just 2 countries, please click the respective links 🙂

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