The time came when we wanted to take a break from the usual beach trip and the first thing that came to mind was a nature adventure to one of the mountains of Antipolo city. Off we went to Mount Purro Nature Reserve (MPNR) – a place to unplug from the daily city grind, breathe in clean fresh air, and bathe in the sounds of crickets and chimes.
After a two-hour drive from Metro Manila, we arrived at the foot of the mountain to what seemed like a private village of “kubos” (cottages) accessibly connected with pebbled pathways surrounded with trees and well-maintained landscaping of mountain greenery. The area was huge; simply walking around the resort was enough to clear the mind and feel reconnected with nature.
We were welcomed with a bit of a surprise, unsure how to react to having no wifi and limited cellphone signal. Feeling a bit of anxiety led to a sudden realization of how dependent and attached us city people have become to our phones and the internet. After taking a moment to embrace our new reality, the experience turned out to be just what we needed, perfect for being in touch with ourselves again, and getting to know each other better. It truly is surprising how long a day really is and when we disconnect from the smart phone we’re all guilty of being slaves to. The setting made us inclined to interact with other people, get to know them, or simply polish our small-talk skills. For some alone time, it’s also a great chance to read that book we’ve been longing to finish, or align our mind and bodies with some meditation and yoga. Three days felt like four. If time is gold, we were blinging here.
When we wanted a break from eat-pray-love mode, they had several activities in store for us. From a chill game room which included videoke, a pool table, foosball, and table tennis, to the more extreme mini Zip-line and high-ropes course. For something in between, guests can easily hike to the top of Mount Malvar with a tour guide. It took us around two hours to do at a beginner pace, which of course included excessive selfie breaks. We found a big Mother Mary statue on our way up, which gave a feeling that we were climbing a holy mountain. Add a beam of sunlight piercing through the dense trees and we couldn’t help but feel that it was. Majority of the parts of the trail were guided with pebbled staircases, making it possible to climb even for our friends living the zero-workout lifestyle. There was also another hike to the waterfalls, and horseback riding, but these activities were left for us to try another day.
Naturally, after “conquering” a mountain, we felt like dining like royalty. We gravitated towards the mess hall, which we liked to refer to as “Bahay ni Lola” (Grandma’s house). The room was saturated with a homey vibe brought about by the ever-present wooden furniture, that instinctively made us talk with softer voices and behave with proper table manners. The food came across as “lutong bahay” (home cooked), prepared with love, accompanied with the appearances of ever-smiling chef Vladimir to ask how else he could serve us.
Traditional Filipino food served was tastier with the fresher ingredients of province living; after all, we were in the mountains. Our ‘healthy-but-delicious’ choice of beverage came in the form of their papaya shake – an uncommon refreshing complement to the meals. Collectively, these simple things brought about the good energy of life, love, and laughter among us.
Tucked in the simplicity of their “kubos” was the convenience of modern bathrooms, meticulously well-kept to impress even the germaphobes in our group. This was a big plus in allowing the outdoor vibe to mesh well with benefits of technology. Mosquito nets served as windows, which allowed the natural cool weather in — no need for air-conditioners. There were several cottage types, and sizes spacious enough to accommodate a small group of 4, to a massive gathering of 40. From the couple who wants quality time, to the group of friends who wish to bunk together, to the extra large group out for team-building, or a wedding, there is a place for you.
Below is a list of their accommodations with more details:
Good for 5Max capacity: 8Additional 450 per extra personPrivate toilet and bath (2)Complimentary breakfast for 2Inclusive of 12% VAT
Loft Cottages (P5000)
Good for 5Max capacity: 12Additional 450 per extra personPrivate toilet and bath (2)Complimentary breakfast for 2Inclusive of 12% VAT
Suite Home (P5500)Good for 4Max capacity: 6Additional 500 per extra personPrivate toilet and bath (hot shower)Mini-refrigeratorComplimentary breakfast for 2Inclusive of 12% VAT
Bamboo Cabins (P3700)Good for 5Max capacity: 10Additional 350 per extra personPrivate toilet and bathComplimentary breakfast for 2Inclusive of 12% VAT
The Pavilion Dorm (P500 per head)Max capacity: 40Min. of 8 pax to bookBunk bed accommodationsShared toilet and bathInclusive of 12% VAT
Garden Tent Area (P400 per person)Overnight tent stayBring your own tent and sleeping bagsCommon toilet and bathAdd 200 pesos for a bedtime set (mattress, pillow, blanket)
How to get there
Note: If you’re used to commuting, it’s a relatively easy commute and you won’t run into any trouble Along Aurora Boulevard/Marcos highway, you can take a Jeep going to COGEO|From COGEO, take another Jeep that says PAENAAN. Tell the driver you would be going down at KANTO VETERANSFrom KANTO VETERANS, ride 2 tricycles to Mount Purro Nature Reserve in Barangay Calawis. (130 pesos for the 2 trikes)
In our opinion, commuting is the best way to travel to our place because along the way, you can already experience the refreshing sights and sounds of nature
Travel tip: Bring travel buddies to save on expenses!
DIRECTIONS TO MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE IN BARANGAY CALAWIS, ANTIPOLO CITY:
Our home away from home may seem far and the directions may seem complicated but all it takes is 2 LEFTS! There will be signs along the way to guide you, too. And of course, there is always WAZE TIP: If you feel like you’re lost, most of the time you’re not!1. Take Aurora Boulevard / Marcos Highway2. Keep going straight. Wave ‘hello’ to Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall and Burger King on the right side3. Upon reaching the Masinag Market intersection, just go STRAIGHT4. Eventually, you will see a green concrete pedestrian overpass. This is Cogeo Junction. Go STRAIGHT.5. JUST FOLLOW THE ROAD. You will see an Arc that says you are entering the UPPER MARIKINA RIVER BASIN PROTECTED LANDSCAPE. ENTER THAT ARC!6. Landmark to watch out for: Boso-Boso Highlands on the LEFT side. MARVEL at the SPECTACULAR VIEW of the SIERRA MADRE MOUNTAI RANGE. Stopover for a PHOTO OP!7. Keep going straight!8. Once you pass a BRIDGE, begin to SLOW DOWN. You will take a LEFT in the NEXT CORNER. This corner is called KANTO VETERANS. After turning, just follow the road.9. About 4 kilometers from KANTO VETERANS, TURN LEFT to MARCOS S. GARCIA ROAD.10. Keep going straight!11. You will see a sign that says “BARANGAY CALAWIS”12. Keep going straight!13. Cross the bridge over not-so-troubled waters.14. Say ‘Hi’ to a basketball court to your right and an elementary school to your left.15. Keep following the CEMENTED road.16. In a few minutes, you will see a wooden steel gate on the right and our sign: MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE.17. Let out a big sigh of relief, you made it!
From Katipunan, Quezon City, it usually takes 1 to 1.5 hours to get to Mount Purro Nature Reserve. Please be advised that the only reliable TELCO providers in the area are SMART and SUN CELLULAR. If lost, you may contact TJ Malvar at 09985449492, Angela Malvar at 09175218089 or Baby Malvar at 09209268848. See you soon!