Rizal Escapade:Sierra Madre Resort, Tanay Rizal

               We’ve been waiting for months just to have a team outing again. December 2014 we went to Batangas and a week ago, we opt to spend our weekend in Sierra Madre Resort in Tanay Rizal.

 Apollo – our team name, and this is  the wildest team I ever joined. :))

              We had very little time of preparation and we’re actually ready to commute, but miracles can happen! Last minute, one of us was able to find a van to rent from Megamall. Sadly, we are 19 and had lots of baggage thus the driver said only 15 can ride since it would be difficult to travel uphill, 4 of us commuted. We left taguig around 5:30 PM Saturday because we let others to finish their shift first and made last minute grocery. We traveled around 2-2.5 hrs due to traffic but based from google map it can be just a 1.5 hrs long.

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 One thing I enjoyed during ride is the view and  looking forward to a new place to discover. When we are traversing the mountain, we saw so many STARS!!! 🙂 I’ve never seen a lot before. As a frustrated astrologer, I really had fun identifying different constellations even though my neck hurt looking up. The road was very dark thus ghost and scary stories arises. We stopped sharing when we saw the  resort’s gate. YEY!

        We got 2 air conditioned rooms which can accommodate 8- 10 people for only 5000 Php each. This was a good deal actually. Very spacious and had a decent bathroom – small but clean.

               Bad Part:  I was not in the mood to take pictures during the night because I found out that 1. there’s no signal– I can’t even notify my mother if we’re safe. 2nd: we are not allowed to have night swimming. O_O  3rd, We don’t have enough food. We only had Pork and Hotdogs for dinner. Most of the budget for the food went to liquors tsss… To add, we have less spices for our liempo, no one brought kitchen knife and we have less containers for the food. Somehow I blame myself for not listing everything we need but I thought they already knew what to do since we had our outing before. Its already around 8:30 PM but we can’t start preparing the food because of the missing ingredients. Caretakers told us that the store within the resort will open around 9pm so we waited.

             9:00 PM we went to the store and we didn’t get all the ingredients we need so we decided to go out of the resort because they told us there is a store just 100m away. Our light came from our cellphones, and we hear barking stray dogs! 3 of us got scared so we came back while others went on- they succeeded eventually. 

            I just stayed in the room while others are preparing the food- sorry. My reason is that I was tired last outing helping out and leading, so this time I was selfish. While waiting, our small group in the room had a really good conversation. Sharing about family, work, ghost stories again, problems, love life etc. This is the benefit of not having any signal, we separated ourselves from our useless gadgets and just enjoyed each others company. I really felt the retreat ambiance. 11:00 PM we had our dinner. It was delicious and I thank Lea, Kash and Ranier preparing the food. In return, I helped in cleaning afterwards.

           It was a very LOOOOONG NIGHT! We just talk and talk and talk until 4:30 AM because there’s nothing else to do. while on the other room they’re playing games and getting drunk!

           5:30 AM the tipsyssss went to our room and borrowed  a go pro because they are going to the falls. I didn’t mind them because I want to sleep.

          6:00 AM, Genesis woke us because of the nice view. Though sleepy, we pushed ourselves and went out.

WOW! First word i said when I saw this:

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Its more fun in the Philippines 🙂 I thought we were in Batanes because of the rolling mountains. This is Sierra Madre btw, the longest Mountain Range in the Philippines, covering. 10 Provinces including Rizal.

Further we tour the resort to see more landscapes.I didn’t have pictures of the sculptures around because I was focused on the scenery.  Here are some shots:

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In the hills, we came across our drunken boys, topless and disappointed… why? because There is no falls! haha I mean, the falls is dry. Thus, they just decided to run, jump and roll in the hills. We had a lot of videos but I can’t post it here without their consent, just pictures:

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For a few minutes we rested and just enjoyed the view- RELAXATION!

I think it was around 8:00 AM when we go back to our room and sleep.

11:30 AM, The now-sober-boys woke us up to have some lunch. The resort has canteen thus you’ll never get hungry. You just need to consider that it will be more expensive rather than bringing your own food.  I had Tapsilog for 130 PHP and we dine in the garden. Xial!

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Since everyone are already full we decided to tour the resort again and test our skills and courage in their bridge obstacle courses.

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More picture takings:

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They suggested to hike afterwards,  however it’s already 2:30 PM and crazy hot.  They said, It would take 1 hr so it’s not ideal since we should leave by 4:30 PM. We decided to swim instead. The resort only has 1 pool and quite small for all the visitors. It is round and got 4 feet- 10 feet deep. I wish they built another one since the resort is too spacious.  We spent less of our time here because we didn’t enjoyed it much.

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Around 4:00 PM we finished cleaning up and  waited for our driver. We did last minute card games and of course more picture takings.

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As for the expenses: we paid 1,250 PHP overall inclusive of food, transpo and the resort. If you’re planning to go to this resort, you can customize your expenses a little  cheaper. The resort has Greek motif, they have playgrounds,courts and ballroom. For more info, you may check out their sites and other testimonials from their guests:  https://www.facebook.com/thesierramadrehotelandresort 

I would recommend this place for retreats,team buildings,hiking,wedding, events, photo ops, family and group outing but not for company offsite due to unavailability of signals specially if they need to work.

For our last photo, we took it outside the resort….  our DO OR DIE POSE! 🙂

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 Another unforgettable outing with them ended. Short but very worth it.  Apollo is <3

*Credits to JR for some of the photos.

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