Cintai Corito’s Garden

It has always been my dream to visit Bali, Indonesia. It offers jaw-dropping sceneries, authentic culture, mouth-watering delicacies and welcoming locals. I guess these could be some of the reasons why it is one of the most visited tropical countries in the world. But due to a lot of things to consider even now that I have my own funds to finance my trip, traveling to Bali, Indonesia remains a dream travel destination for me.

Though this dream is still construction in the making, my feet could not be stopped when I knew about the Balinese-inspired sanctuary in Balete, Batangas, Philippines.

A brief of history of Cintai Corito
The Garden started out as an ordinary private family rest house that the family visited every weekend. In 2005, however, their mother Corito was diagnosed with a terminal disease. To help her recuperate from treatment, the family often brought her to the garden because the place made her relax and temporarily forget her sickness. Two years later, Corito finally succumbed to her illness.Her husband together with his 4 children then decided to focus all their efforts on making the garden a paradise since she loved the place so much. They wanted the beautiful memories they shared there to live on thus the creation of Cintai… love for their mother and love for his wife. (Source)

Getting to Cintai Corito’s Garden
Cintai Corito’s Garden is located at Sitio Pandayan, Malabanan Balete, Batangas which can also be easily reached thru public transport.

I arrived in Balete, Batangas as early as 9:00 am and considering that my reservation in Cintai Corito’s Garden was for a lunch buffet, I opted to pay a visit first at Marian Orchard Garden.  Thus, this was my point of origin getting to Cintai Corito’s Garden.

  • From Marian Orchard Garden, take a jeepney bound for Lipa and alight at Cintai Corito’s Garden.

It is really true that Cintai Corito’s Garden was built with love and passion. As I passed the doors and walk through the pathways, there were moments when I couldn’t do anything but be amazed. While the food/s they served were not really outstanding, the details of their landscape design outside the pavilion were terrific. Indeed, it was a Balinese-inspired experience for me.

Here are some tips that I can share about this trip:

  • Book a reservation 2 weeks prior your planned travel date.
  • If you are on a DIY trip, be prepared for a 5-10 minute walk from the entrance to the pavilion.
  • The guard at the entrance will contact the receptionist to verify if you have a reservation. In other words, no reservation, no entry.

Travel Photos
All photos are taken by Wanderingdude PH Team and post processed thru Adobe Applications. Feel free to download or share them but please give credits to our Facebook and blog site as shown on the watermark.

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Going back to Cubao, Quezon City
Cintai Corito’s Garden was my last destination in this Balete, Batangas trip so from here –

  • Take a jeepney/tricycle bound for Lipa and alight at Levi Town Market / Jollibee Maraouy / Caltex Maraouy.
  • From Levi Town Market / Jollibee Maraouy / Caltex Maraouy, take a jeepney / multi cab bound for SM Lipa and alight at SM Lipa.
  • From SM Lipa Grand Terminal, take a bus bound for Cubao.

Travel Expenses
Jeepney Fare (Marian Orchard to Cintai Corito’s) = Php 8.00 
Cintai Corito’s Garden Lunch Buffet = Php 530.00
Tricycle Fare (Cintai Corito’s to Levi Town Market) = Php 20.00
Jeepney Fare (Levi Town Market to SM City Lipa) = Php 8.00
Bus Fare (Lipa Grand Bus Terminal to Cubao) = Php 165.00

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Marian Orchard Garden

This is my first stop during my day-tour-rific Saturday getaway after hectic weekdays at work. I guess it is not bad at all visiting a prayer park/garden every once in a while to reflect and contemplate about what’s going on with your life. So, let’s get to know more about Marian Orchard Garden.

About Marian Orchard Garden
The Marian Orchard was started by Lazaro L. Katigbak in the early 1990s, when he acquired this land where the Marian Orchard now stands. Through the years, the Marian Orchard has grown into a prayer park that has now been visited by thousands of visitors from different parts of the country and all over the world.Then came a time when Lazaro L. Katigbak started to ponder about the long-term sustainability and continuity of the Marian Orchard. In January 2015, Lazaro L. Katigbak and First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities (FAITH) entered into a partnership.

This led to the establishment of the MARIAN ORCHARD FAITH ASSOCIATION (MOFA) which has been duly registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission.MOFA, with the active involvement of FAITH, is now tasked to manage the overall affairs of the Marian Orchard. (Source: click here)

Getting to Marian Orchard Garden
Marian Orchard Garden is located in Brgy. Malabanan, Balete, Batangas and it is only a few hours drive from Manila. When my Friday shift has ended, I quickly badge-out so I can catch the earliest bus trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Batangas.

  • From Cubao, take a bus bound for Lipa / Batangas and alight at Robinson’s Lipa.
  • Take a multi-cab bound for Lipa (like a small L300) and alight at Levi Town Market.
  • From Levi Town Market, take a jeepney bound for Malabanan and tell the driver to drop you off at Marian Orchard Garden.

It is not really my first time to visit a prayer park/garden. And, I must stay that Marian Orchard Garden is part of my top three picks under prayer park/garden category. Although there were some ongoing renovations, I am impressed on how the place is maintained. The restrooms were neat enough for me. There were also prayer rooms for those who wish to spend some quiet time.

Here are some tips that I can share about this trip: 

  • Do not forget your skin protection whether it is long sleeves tops or sunscreen lotion.
  • Observe silence most especially when lobbying close to the quiet rooms with open doors. The place is a prayer park/garden and not a club where you can yell everywhere.
  • Selfie stick is allowed but please be cautious when using it. Do not sway it whenever you want as if it is a magic wand. You may accidentally hit someone.
  • Dress appropriately. You are visiting a prayer park/garden and not a mall, market or club.
  • Bring bottled water to replenish your fluids. The sun will try to dehydrate you big time.
  • Take your own trash with you.

Travel Photos
All photos are taken by Wanderingdude PH Team and post processed thru Adobe Applications. Feel free to download or share them but please give credits to our Facebook and blog site as shown on the watermark.

Travel Expenses (Php 205.00)
Bus Fare (Cubao to Robinson’s Lipa) = Php 132.00
Multi-Cab Fare (Robinson’s Lipa to Levi Town Market) = Php 8.00
Jeepney Fare (Levi Town Market to Marian Orchard Garden) = Php 15.00
Marian Orchard Garden Admission Fee = Php 50.00

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Hinulugang Taktak Falls

We were visiting one of our friends who’s living in Antipolo, a city in the province of Rizal when our group decided to go on a quick stop at Hinulugang Taktak Falls.

Hinulugang Taktak Falls has a height of 21.5 meters from the water surface and width of 25.8 meters. It played a very significant role in the landscape of Rizal province while giving distinction to the historical and cultural heritage of Antipolo. According to the word of mouth of Antipolenos, in 16th century the local people forced a priest to drop a church bell into the river due to its unpleasant sound when rung during Angelus.

Since then, the waterfall was once a famous tourist spot in Antipolo. Sadly, as the years came by and more people resided within the area, the beauty of Hinulugang Taktak started to tarnish.

But let’s not fret! Like the continuous flow of the river, there’s also an infinite hope to revive the prime beauty of this waterfall. Through the joint efforts of the residents, local and national government agency, Hinulugang Taktak Falls is gradually becoming alive and more welcoming to its visitors.

Getting to Hinulugang Taktak Falls
Hinulugang Taktak is located in Taktak Road, Brgy. Dela Paz, Antipolo City, Rizal. It can be easily reached by land with several routes to choose from which are all budget-friendly. However, what I can share for now is the route my friends and I had taken since we visited a friend who’s been living in Cogeo, Antipolo.

  • From Cogeo Gate 2 Market, take a tricycle bound for Taktak Road. Tell the tricycle driver or barker that you are heading to Hinulugang Taktak. 
  • From the unloading station of Taktak Road, walk to the entrance of Hinulugang Taktak Falls. It may take you 2-3 minutes to get there.

Travel Expenses (Total Amount: Php 30.00)
Tricycle Rental – Cogeo, Gate 2 Market to Taktak Road (Php 60.00 / 4pax) = Php 15.00
Tricycle Rental – Taktak Road to Cogeo, Gate 2 Market (Php 60.00 / 4pax) = Php 15.00

Travel Photos

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If you had already visited this waterfall, you can definitely agree with me that the place has a lot of things to improve on. To revive the grandeur and beauty of this tourist spot would require greater efforts not only from the local and national government but also from the visitors and residents.

If you have more time touring around the city of Antipolo, you may want to try combining this trip with the following travel destinations:

  • Mount Purro Nature Reserve
  • Mystical Cave
  • Pinto Arts Museum
  • Our Lady of Antipolo Shrine
  • Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
  • Casa Santa Museum
  • Phillip’s Sanctuary
  • Shrine of our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage
  • Boso Boso Church

“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.”

 

 

Mount Pinatubo

Located between the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in the Cabusilan Mountains on the island of Luzon is where you can witness an active compound volcano called Mount Pinatubo, also known as “Bundok ng Pinatubo” or “Bulkang Pinatubo” in Filipino language.

In 1991, its eruption was recorded as by far the largest volcanic activity that took place in a densely populated area. It was extremely traumatic as it produced pyroclastic materials, giant mudflows and dark bed of clouds while it slowly grabbed the lives of every families who tried to evade the catastrophe.

The aftermath of this eruption unbearably escalated the death toll as Typhoon Yunya reached the area amplifying the effect of the disaster. Its effect also manifested on the agricultural livelihood of the locals while the entire nation felt the economic and social distress.

Although 25 years had already passed, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo did not miss to leave a trace – the ‘lahar’. As this ‘lahar’ solidified  and contoured the affected area, it is very inspiring to see and meet the resilient Filipinos of Central Luzon as they welcome all tourists who would want to see the beauty and calmness of Mount Pinatubo today.

Getting to Mount Pinatubo 
My friends and I decided not to make a DIY travel to Mount Pinatubo as we were suspecting the hassle of transferring from one PUV to another. In other words, we sought an assistance from a tour operator – Filipino Travel Center. Though we opted to have a private tour, I still did my research about heading to Brgy. Sta Juliana, the starting point of Pinatubo Trek. So, here it is:

Take a bus (Fivestar Bus Line) heading to Capas, Tarlac. Get off at Mc Donald’s in Capas. You may be wondering which Mc Donald’s branch you need to drop-off. I may not be able to remember but you can always ask the bus conductor/driver to drop you off at the right branch. Beside Mc Donald’s Capas, you can hire a tricycle for around 26 km ride to the tourism office in Brgy. Sta. Juliana.

The tourism office in Brgy. Sta. Juliana is  the starting point of the Pinatubo Trek and you must remember to complete the registration and leave the place on or before 6:00am. Otherwise, you may be asked to return the following day as they do not allow tourists to start their trekking later than the said time for safety reasons.

Travel Expense (Php 2,850.00)
As mentioned earlier, we sought Filipino Travel Center’s assistance for the sake of convenience. We had 10 members in the group and availed the tour operator’s promo for 10 pax with a visit to Capas Shrine.

Private Van, fuel, toll, tourist guide, 4X4 fees – Php 2,650.00
Visit to Capas Shrine (Php 500/10 pax) – Php 50.00
Food and Water – Php 150.00

The price of this tour may really vary depending on the number of your squad members. If you want to check the promo rates of Filipino Travel Center, please click here.

Travel Photos

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It was my 3rd trekking experience but my friends and I all agreed that we were caught off guard because of the need to exert more effort walking on the sand. Be that as it may, the over-all experience was awesome! Seeing the grandeur of Pinatubo lake at the end of the course pays off the pain of walking on the sand while under the scorching heat of the sun. Indeed, it was another paradise that our country must be proud of.

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“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints…”