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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!~~~)

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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!

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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.

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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