Kawayan Farm Pililia, Rizal: Dine With Mother Nature

Do you ever miss the simple life? Having to eat a gracious, fulfilling meal with nature buzzing around you; strolling after dining, having talks in between about life and whatnot? How about a literal breath of fresh air that we find so rare nowadays?  When was the last time you’ve given your respiratories a treat? This is the reason why we searched far and wide to have a meal at Kawayan Farm, Pililia, Rizal.



Hidden in the picturesque roads of Pililia, Rizal is a restaurant  that promises to remind you the simple joys of life. From the outside, you will be greeted by an array of bamboo and native installments that looks as though it’s stretching its arms in a frenzy of warm welcome. Once you enter Kawayan Farm, you will also be greeted by their resident Philippine Macaque, Muymuy. It was love at first sight for me. The staff allowed us to give him ripe mangoes. According to them, he loves fruits a lot! As a sign of his gratitude, and perhaps excitement, Muynuy bounced in elation and have us an amazed look. This was a heart-warming moment for me.


Muymuy: “Master has given me mango!”

We were given a choice to eat inside the restaurant or in one of their kubos (native hut) outdoors. Definitely, we chose the kubo for a full experience. The hut where we dined in can fit 4 people having a meal comfortably. It has an electric fan and a complete dining set. There was also a lingering tegu inside the net that contained the dried cogon roof. While this can be something that can put customers off, I was honestly glad to see one. Goes to show how healthy the environment still is in this side of Rizal. The air was fresh and had a hint of the faint aroma of burning leaves or “siga” which is a treat to my senses because it takes me back to the good old days in the province.



While waiting for our food to be served, my partner and I wandered around the premise. We found a small bamboo chapel complete with an altar, pews, and stations of the cross along the pathway. It looked serene, solemn, and in touch with nature despite its simplicity. The church is still open and is still holding mass as displayed by the entrance.


Kawayan Farm also has a Bamboo forest which we gladly hiked. Just be careful, though, as the trail tends to be slippery when wet. It will also help to apply a mosquito repellent if you are not used to the great outdoors (just for safety measures). While on the trail, please do not bring food and avoid littering at all cost!




Opposite of the trail is the Viewpoint here you can marvel at the mountain-side view of Pililia. We were taken by the site of Laguna de Bay peeking from behind the ridges of Rizal. Although there was an electricity line running across the scenery, it was just too darn beautiful to be spoiled by that.




Along the path, you can find signs introducing you to the “Kawayan” (Bamboo tree) and how we can benefit from it. According to one of their signage, the Kawayan plays a big role against soil erosion, a major effect of deforestation. This is timely since there are some parts of Rizal where logging is prevalent. The signs also mention the many uses of this sturdy tree. You can create furniture from Bamboo, rafts, and even the house itself.


There were also different kinds of Bamboo which surprised me. All the while I thought there was only one class of Bamboo! Among those I saw at Kawayan Farm are the Australian White, the Thailand Bamboo, and the Pole Vault Bamboo, each slightly different from the other.



Chickens were also free roaming. We saw a huge rooster and even joked about him being the inspiration for Foghorn J. Leghorn of Looney Tunes. Yeah, we’re old.


Our food was served as we were returning from our hike. We ordered Kawayan Farm’s specialty, Bulalo (beef shank stew). The serving was generous just as the staff honestly described. It can feed 3 to 5 people and had we ordered more, we would not have been able to finish it. Such a tragic waste!


I can also tell why Bulalo is their specialty. How do I say this without overly patronizing Kawayan Farm Restaurant? Their Bulalo is the tastiest I had in a long time! The soup reminds me so much of a well seasoned corned beef that was manufactured and sealed to goodness! The beef tasted so fresh and succulent and there was no sign of artificial flavoring!


The staff were nice and caring. Their hospitality is gold. They even instructed for us to clap to get their attention if we need anything to which we did not do. We find it degrading on their end.


The meal at Kawayan Farm was hearty, palatable, and abundant. It was well-worth the drive! It wasn’t just a restaurant but an overall experience going back to basics. It serves as a reminder that it is still satisfying to share a meal with Mother Nature once in a while.

Kawayan Restaurant is located here:



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!

Rambull’s Bakahan sa Tanay: For the “COBOY” in You.

The road of Tanay, Rizal is often ventured by the adventurous. It is the portal to many natural wonders such as the Daranak Falls, Palo Alto Falls, Masungi Natural Reserve, Calinawan Cave, and so much more! Tanay is also known as the refuge of art and culture. You will see man-made wonders like the 71-foot high statue of the Queen of the Holy Rosary, the Tanay Church, and a dozen more art galleries that prove how the people of Tanay are not only talented but persevering in the preservation of their work. The roads of Tanay Rizal can also induce an elaborate feeling of hunger. Really! And what would be more strategic than finding Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay along the road’s shoulder?

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Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay is so hard to miss. The place looks like a saloon that just popped out of a Western Cowboy movie.  With it swinging doors and an endless display of cow skulls, you would know from the outside that you are in for a treat. Plus, it is so hard not to be drawn to it with its numerous vehicles parked outside. That in itself is a sign that they serve good food.

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We were seated on the far right side of the restaurant. The place was buzzing with excited chattering and we were all caught in anticipation. We stood in line and patiently waited for our orders to be taken. Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay adopts the turo-turo restaurant format. This adds to the place’s appeal. You can see the food about to be served. I was staring at the Balbakwa for the longest time!

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We ordered Bulalo, Beef Steak, and Kalderetang Kambing. The taste was absolutely commendable. We even concluded how the meat is slowly cooked under crisp firewood. It almost melts in your mouth! We paired it with a tower of iced tea and were more than gracious for the good food.

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Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay offers both the healthy and the mouthwatering. Just beside the Lechon station is an ad about Lemon Grass and its benefits. You will also see the seedlings that they are tending in their backyard.

I loved how the staff is always jolly and willing to help. We gave them a generous tip and I suggest you do too!  We also found out that they also compete in the annual Tanay Rodeo Festival and that in itself is another reason to admire them!

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The next time that you are bound to Tanay, take 5 and visit Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay. You will not regret it! It is slowly becoming a tourist spot so assure yourself a seat and savor their hearty Bulalo and Balbakwa!!!

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**Rambulls Bakahan sa Tanay is located at Manila East Rd., Brgy. Plaza Aldea; 1980 Tanay, Rizal …Rambulls Bakahan Sa Tanay, Tanay, Rizal. **





Palo Alto Falls: A Quick Adventure

If you live in Quezon City and would like to commune with nature without the hassle of eternal bus rides, then going to Antipolo would be your most favored bet.

Let me tell you a story of how we spent 300.00 Php and had the mid-week adventure we never expected. The original plan was to visit the series of falls along the Antipolo-Quezon Transverse. We didn’t have the budget for anything spectacular. We were just scratching the usual wanderlust’s itch. We will just take a peek at the areas and blow all our budget on local delicacies.


We started our trip with an FX ride to Cogeo and ended up asking around where to go next. We were told to ride the jeep to Sampaloc and advise the driver to drop us off at the nearest point where the first waterfalls is located. That we did!


The Palo Alto Subdivision was where we ended up. The guard pointed which way to the falls and since it’s not that far (and that there’s a significant absence of transportation), we decided to just walk.


It was a sad lot, though, because what greeted us the moment we stepped in the entrance of the falls was one of the caretakers advising us that the premise is close for the day for its routine cleaning and maintenance. Disappointed, we begged to just do what we really came for: have a peek of the falls’ grandeur. To this they concurred.



The flight of stairs going to the waterfalls was extensive! To add to the challenge was the rain, making each step unreliable. The good thing though, was Palo Alto’s Management Team’s idea to cement each step of the way making it easier for the general public to climb. Like any other falls, it is a given that the inclines can be tremendously extreme–or it’s just me being out of shape. Please consider stretching before the climb. Let’s avoid any untoward injuries.


Now let me share my two cents. Despite the comfort the stairs propose to the tourists, I felt a dismal tug as I was looking at it and climbing it. The feeling just got worse as we arrived at the falls. It was everything BUT natural.


The water coming from the falls is welcomed with open arms by a man-made pool. When I say pool, I meant that, like the stairs, there was cement to accentuate the location and cabanas for the tired visitors. For some, it can be that thing they can let go. However, on my end, I was a little put off. Imagine how much more when I found out that sooner or later, the public will no longer be allowed to enjoy the place as they will be making Palo Alto Falls exclusive to the tenants of the subdivision.


It was sad. For the developers, it may be the plus factor in their marketing pitch. For the locals, it may be a different story. Sure, there is Daranak and Batlag nearby, but still, nature should be accessed by all. My partner and I headed back with a heavy heart wishing we didn’t know about their plans.

As we were going home, reality struck us with the unavailability of public transportation. From the falls, we realized that it was easy walking to it because the road was going down. Returning is going to be a strain. After around 5 minutes of walking, I just had to throw the towel. Fortunately for us, there was a truck passing by. Guess what? I hailed it and we hitched a ride. It didn’t have any place for passengers so we just climbed aboard and held on for our dear lives! Later did we found out that it was a truck carrying a septic tank (LOLOLOL!!!~~~)


We asked the driver to dismount us near the entrance. Now going back to bayan is a whole different story. My partner and I waited for almost an hour and no jeep passed by! Luckily, by some fateful grace, a private L300 passed by as I was waving my hands frantically. Oh yes, we hitched again!


Turns out, the people inside were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. They were a nice group of people and they even offered us something to eat. They even joked that they were on their rounds looking for people to apprehend–with that they showed us their handcuffs.


The adventure soon ended when they dropped us off an area we can grab a ride back to Cubao. Sure, the visit to Palo Alto is a little bit disappointing but we are considering ourselves lucky to have seen the wonder before it was deprived from us. It is not yet too late for you. Witness her in all her glory and I sincerely wish you a wonderful time!

How to go to Palo Alto Falls:

1. From Cubao, ride a UV Express bound to Cogeo Gate 2 and alight at, you know what it is….COGEO! – Php 50.00

2. From Cogeo, cross the footbridge and walk your way pass the market.

3. Ride a Sampaloc Jeepney and ask Kuya Driver Beshie to drop you off at Palo Alto Subdivision. – Php 25.00

4. Walk your way from the subdivision gate to Palo Alto Falls. It’s 1km far but roads are paved.

Budget of a Typical Wanderlust (Public Transpo + Tipid Tips):

UV Express Cubao-Cogeo – Php 50 x 2

Jeepney Fare Sampaloc-Cogeo – Php 25 x 2 (Wag mag trike– mahal!)

Palo Alto Falls Entrance Fee – Php 100 (on a normal day — this is if you will swim. it’s free if you’re just there to look)

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Total: Php 250.00


**Palo Alto Falls is located at Valle St. Tanay, Rizal. For inquiries you can  visit their Facebook Page or contact them at (0905) 515-4778 


Quick Peek Thursday: Avilon Zoo

Avilon Zoo, Rodriguez, Rizal

+ Currently the largest zoo in the Philippines
+ They currently house more than 3000 specimens of exotic wildlife, all of which are well-taken care of
+ The entrance fee may be costly at 700 Php however, all proceeds go to the preservation and care of all the animals residing in the zoo.

Visit my blog at https://jannispaghettiisawanderlust.wordpress.com/
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @where_to_go2

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Park, Rest, and Dine: Nature’s Canopy

Park, Rest & Dine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It was around 2 years ago when I first read about Park, Rest, and Dine at the border of Antipolo and Baras, Rizal. I couldn’t say if it was curiosity or the thought of an all-day unlimited coffee that caught my attention, but I swore to visit the place as soon as possible! Sadly, it took me a couple of years to make it happen. Yes, with all the changes in my professional standing (NUKS!) it was only now I got the chance to see the place myself.


We were on our usual backpacking adventure, me and my partner, to Palo Alto Falls and I thought that the best place to take five would be this ever-longed place. We were so ecstatic when we saw the sign outside, you could just imagine! According to the write-up on one of the blogs I read, Park, Rest, and Dine is an ideal place should you wish to commune with nature. Having breakfast or lunch under the canopy of trees, amid the melodic orchestra of birds and insects, is one paradise for the nature lovers.

Kuya Dodong greeted us as soon as we climbed up the restaurant and although I could sense that he was busy, he made sure we feel right at home. He offered us a good seat and gave us the menu. We also asked politely if we can smoke, considering that the place is environment friendly, he answered yes as long as we throw our cigarette butts on the ash tray (thank you for understanding!!!).


When the food arrived, I was a bit overwhelmed as the servings were huge! I thought that every dish was good for just 1-2 persons and was taken aback on how generous it was. I ordered Bulalo while my partner ordered Lechon Kawali. The Bulalo was exceptional! It was even on a gourmet level with the variations of vegetables in it. It was nothing like your typical Bulalo with cabbage. It has potatoes, carrots, onion leeks, corn, and others which I don’t know the name of, but extremely delightful to the pallet. If you think that this could have been a marketing technique wherein there’s more veggies and less meat, you’re wrong! The beef was anything but quaint. I tell you, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!


The Lechon Kawali is also something to rave about. Here in Manila, Lechon Kawalis are fatty, oily, and super salty. At Park, Rest, and Dine, their Lechon Kawali practices moderation to the dangers of cardiac arrest. We enjoyed it very much since it comes with potatoes which you can wolf on when “umay” comes knocking at your intestines.


Our stomachs were filled with the good food and our senses were pleased. We also adored how Kuya Dodong took care of us whenever ice would run out, he would come along and bring us some and water without being hailed. He even told us stories about the place and how their visitors were allowed to go around the lot and harvest vegetables and fruits. The place was comfortably home!


If it couldn’t get any better, we were greeted by their resident fur babies! Four cute doggies came and said hi and we knew that they were the owners’ beloved by how nice they were. We gave them vegetables and promised to return with vaccines to help out.

As we were about to leave, a woman came by and greeted us. We were pleased to know that she was one of the owners. Her name was Meludy Sayaman and she was very welcoming. She thanked us for dropping by and the small talk escalated to a friendly chatter. We told her how beautiful the place was and she mentioned that they valued the place very much, she and her family. She said that the place started out simple but through time, they were inspired to beautify and enrich the nature surrounding it. Visitors would drop by and they would treat everyone with trust and the hearth of home, and it simply brought success to the business.

Below are the lovely owners of Park, Rest and Dine ♪~♪ d(⌒o⌒)b♪~♪

Ms. Meludy also mentioned how grateful she was with Kara Santos (she is the blogger we learned Park, Rest, and Dine from! ❤ You can visit her blog HERE ) as she had given the place a chance to be discovered by the travelers and foodies alike. I, for one, was thankful as well!


Park, Rest, and Dine is as glorious as it can get. With the rural feel paired with bohemian interiors and furniture, everything was well thought of! The place was an inspiration and a refreshing idea that not just because you’re nestled in the mountains, you can’t share your craft (arts and cooking) to the world. In fact, celebrities has crawled up their wonderful place. Talk about Sonny Parsons and various famous motorcycle and cycling clubs!

Visit the place and know exactly what we are talking about and I kid you not, you will be raving like us!

How to go to Park, Rest, and Dine:

  1. From Cubao, ride a jeepney or FX to Cogeo and alight at Gate 2 = 35.00 Php (FX)
  2. Once at Cogeo, cross the street and walk to CMA Market and ask where to ride the Sampaloc, Tanay jeep.
  3. Take the said jeepney and asked to be alighted at Park, Rest, and Dine. Fare would vary from 20.00 – 35.00 Php. Don’t worry, it’s not a rip off. It’s just that it’s really far! (^○^)/

**Park, Rest, and Dine is located at 4 Provincial Road, San Jose, Antipolo, Rizal. You can check their FACEBOOK PAGE for inspiration and information ♪♪