Beach or mountain? Which spurs your wayfaring spirit the most?
As for me, I love them both but the thought of going up the mountain excites me the most. I actually have fear of heights but that fear seems to vanish whenever I’m doing trekking.
In this particular trip with my family, we didn’t actually go up Mt. Banahaw (in as much as I wanted to), but we more like experienced the serenity that the place surrounding the said mountain conjures.
This nature-filled weekend happened last February 25-26–a summer kick-off more or less:-) All thanks to a really nice deal at Metrodeal where we got a bargain of only Php1999 for 4 persons at Nature Villa Banahaw, breakfast included. We were 8 in the group so we got two vouchers for only P3998 (okay, I had to click on the calculator for this!). It was supposed to be a ‘cousins getaway’ but since our mom’s also game for such kind of adventures, we also tagged her along.
Dolores, Quezon wasn’t actually a long drive from Manila–like approximately 2-3 hours only. Okay for some, that might already be a long drive but for me, long drive is around 6-10 hours or more.
We rode a JAC Liner in Buendia going to Lucena, Quezon. We asked the driver to drop us off to where we could ride a jeepney or a trike going to Dolores, Quezon. The driver dropped us off at a junction in San Pablo where we rode a jeepney going to Dolores town proper. The jeepney driver charged us P400 for the entire ride going up to the last stop where we could only take a short walk going to Nature Villa Banahaw. We took the deal since it was a special trip and if divided to 8, it’s only P50/head (another clicked on the calculator!).
There were signboards of Nature Villa Banahaw around the street where we walked on so it was easier for us to find the said bed and breakfast inn.
A modest and serene ambiance welcomed us at Nature Villa Banahaw. The place was just like an old house converted into a bed and breakfast inn with the standard sleeping area located on the first floor and 3 deluxe rooms on the second floor. Initially, their very antiquated door bell really caught my fancy. It was a bottle strung to the door that when someone opens the door, it would produce a sound to notify the staff that someone got in.
And my fascination over the place didn’t stop there. In fact I think I love almost every part of the house. I love their wooden stairs which looked like it was chopped from a big tree (which I hope not or at least I hope they’ve already replaced that tree if ever they cut one). I think staying in their standard room would give a feeling that you’re really resting under the tree or at least inside a tree house as the interiors were very tree-ish (if there’s such a word).
Another thing I could rave about Nature Villa was their yummy food:-) I specially loved their fried porkchop with a super yummy gravy! Just thinking about that now while writing this post is already making me crave for it:-) Their pancit habhab is also a must try although I love the one I tasted in Sariaya better:-)
The staff were very nice and accommodating, too:-) Since the place is not really big enough and could only house approximately 20 pax, they only have 3 staff manning the place. That, however, didn’t make their service crappy since all three staff love their jobs and they are working in harmony with each other ( well, that’s what ‘ate’ receptionist told me when I had a mini interview with her). If only I could talk to the owner of the place and recommend his/her staff, I would really do it just because I was really satisfied with how they served us–always ready and always with a happy smile:-)
There’s nothing much to do in the place since there’s no television or computer to keep you busy–basically to veer you away from the usual activities in the city. Thus, after we had lunch and rested for a while, we decided to have a tour of the mystical surroundings of Mt.Banahaw. We had limited time so we decided to just visit the Sta.Lucia Falls and Jacob’s Well (Santong Jacob). I would love to really go down the very steep and narrow Jacob’s Well but the two locals whom we’ve talked to while waiting for our turn told us that those with monthly period are not allowed to go down. Maybe because the locals there are drinking the water from the well so to avoid contamination in the baranggay, I no longer insist:-)
It was indeed a nature-filled weekend I’ve got to enjoy with my family. My mama was also very happy about the trip that she even requested that we do the adventure again soon:-)