It was after an hour, I was struggling with my balance, coordination, endurance when I heard someone shouting behind me, “OOTD pa more” (sige push natin ‘to).
I can still imagine a 90 degree vertical railings which can only be done through rappelling or through the vertical ladder steps. Almost an hour and a half of trekking adventure to Cavinti Falls via Pueblo El Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove.
I knew I’m such an old dude for another obstacle course!
Our drop off point was Pueblo El Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove where our friendly tour guides placed our safety harness. After our safety harness were all set, we descended the steep metal path way ladder going to the Cavinti Falls.
It was an early Saturday morning when some group of bloggers gathered at HM Transport Bus Terminal in Cubao for a fun-filled weekend adventures. All of us seemed to be hyped up with the day’s activities. The group boarded a Sta.Cruz-bound bus (150 pesos) and after 2 ½ hours we arrived in Sta Cruz, Laguna where the rest of the bloggers waited for us.
Our group was first herded to the first destination for the day boarding inside a local jeepney heading to LGU Tourism Office of Cavinti.
Before we trooped ourselves to a tiny room for a short orientation, a hot cup of coffee, hotdog, eggs were graciously given to us and along with it, the most excellent Dinuguan I’ve ever tasted. If only it was a tad hotter, I would have given it a perfect ten. But nine isn’t a bad score either. Ms. Nitzshell Dela Torre of the LGU Tourism Office of Cavinti officially welcomed the rest of us in their humble town.
With renewed energy from the eggs and hotdogs, I braved the coldness of the midmorning breeze.
We had a short trip at the Kalakal (Pandan Weaving Center) for our “sambalilos” to protect us from the sun and rain before finally reaching the Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park.
Then I found myself climbing, rappelling over 500 steps of metal stairs or ladders that tested my balance and endurance. It feels like a breath of fresh air when you’re about to reach the finish line. I had to face that fear again, enduring the hardship of rappelling down into the depths below supported only by a harness and a rope while a man lowers us safely.
We forged on, passing and exploring Camarin Resort where lush gardens greeted us. Impressive manicured lawns, the sprawling grounds of Camarin Resort include swimming pools, tree houses with hanging bridges and so much more. We were also treated with afternoon snacks; “pandit” and “pichi-pichi” while the youth scholars performed a cultural dance for all of us.
Villa Oliveros Resort is owned and managed by Cavinti Laguna’s Mayor Oliveros. After the courtesy call with the Cavinti Mayor, he was generous enough to prepare dinner for us and offer his villa to accommodate all the bloggers overnight. My diet went on hold as I saw a tray-ful of local menus featuring “Pinais” (mixture of coconut and shrimps), “Tinuto” (mixture of Taro leaves, coco milk and fish) and Kaldereta.
Admittedly, I was too tired from our extreme adventures at the Cavinti Falls that I forgot to charge all of my gadgets.
The night would not be complete without horror stories. Trust me, it does get creepy when you’re alone at night. To be fair to the Villa Oliveros Resort, everything is well; I just did not have a blanket and my over-imaginative and paranoid brain cells were taking over.
But I’m glad to tell you that there was no need for the Ghostbusters that night and morning sunshine welcomed us brightly the following day. No more obstacle course at last but to simply hang and let loose.
The next day, we were off for an early morning mass at the Cavinti Church. Right after the mass, we’re fortunate enough to experience getting through the belfry as it’s not open to the public.
The first church was built using temporary materials as the stone version came later. The church was constructed at an unusual location that had been revealed to two men known as the Puhawan brothers. This legend says that these two brothers were searching for something to eat when they found an image of El Salvador at this location in the early 1600s. When they took the picture to their home in Lumban, in their amazement, they discovered that the image is lost. They continued to look and were fascinated to find the image in exactly the place they first found it. The church of Cavinti now stands on the holy ground where the image was discovered.
Lumot Lake, also known as Sierra Lake, is a man-made water reservoir located in the towns of Cavinti and Lumban, province of Laguna, in the Sierra Madre Mountains of the Philippines. The lake was created when Lumot Dam, an embankment dam, was constructed damming the Lumot River, creating an auxiliary water reservoir for Lake Caliraya as part of the Kalayaan Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Plant.
Mountain Lake Caliraya Springs is a golf course; a world-class nine-hole and eighteen-hole affair designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer.
The resort is located near a brook that branches out from Lake Caliraya. The walls of the huts are made of bamboo and the roof made from thatch. There’s no air-conditioning, but its interior is cool enough; even without the use of the ceiling fans. A single hut can house up to ten individuals.
But the highlight at the Mountain Lake Resort was their obstacle course. They have a basic and an advance course; I personally tried both basic and advance when I first visited Mountain Lake Caliraya Resort back in September 2014.
Experience Nature living at Lago Fishing Village.
Fishing is one of those pastimes that will absolutely make you relax and enjoy at the same time.
It is enjoyable since there’s nothing like the rush you get whenever you’re trying to reel in the fish and the anticipation of discovering its size, and relaxing since while you’re waiting for a fish to bite, you can enjoy the scenery and perhaps have a peaceful chat with the people you’re with.
Our last stop was Japanese Garden in Caliraya, a memorial park built to pay homage to the fallen Japanese soldiers of World War II.
Adventure, amazing scenery, good food and superb friends; it was a weekend well-spent with these awesome bloggers! Not convinced? Check out this video blog.
#CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour
Municipality of Cavinti
The #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour is a Tourism Advocacy Campaign to help generate online buzz for the upcoming Cavinti Water Sports Olympics: 1st International Competition happening on February 8-14, 2015.
The #CavEAT: Cavinti Eco-Adventure Tour is organized by Herald C. Bebis for the Municipality of Cavinti headed by Hon. Mayor Milbert Oliveros. The event is fully supported by the Municipal Tourism Office, DigitalFilipino, Pelikula Padayon, Caliraya Lake Mountain Resort, Camarin Resort and Lago Fishing Village