Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lake Caliraya Surf Kamp, Japanese Garden and Lagos del Sol

The following is a post I drafted while we were staying in Casa San Pablo last Feb. 14, 2010. Can I just say that so far, this has been the best Valentine weekend celebration of my entire life?! ^_^

For those who want to read this Valentine travelogue from the beginning, please clickthe link below:

Valentine 2010


It's amazing how when you've done something you never really thought you could do, you open yourself up to more creative ventures you never even bothered to think about before. This phenomenon may have something to do with being able to accept yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, and acknowledging the fact that you can be limitless, albeit imperfect, if you really want to be.

Take for instance what happened to me this Valentine weekend. I did plan to take up windsurfing lessons. I first fell in love with this water sport, no matter how superficial it was at first, when I marshalled the Neil Pryde Fun Board Cup in Boracay last January of 2008. Being a marshall at that time, for one whole week, I witnessed a lot of action in the windsurfing and kite boarding divisions. They all looked fun and I thought if these people can do it, maybe I could too! But weeks turned to months, and months turned to two years, and still, I didn't have the courage nor the time to go windsurfing. Then finally, on our Valentine weekend this year, I thought it's about time that I give it a try.

Caliraya Surf Kamp

Entrance is Php75 for day trippers and Php150 each for overnight campers. You can rent a tent for about Php300 or bring your own.

We went to Caliraya Lake in Laguna in the early morning of Feb. 13, 2010. It was freaking cold... I wasn't wearing any bra (like I usually do) and so my nips were really crying for attention. It was even colder than that time when we went to Baguio for my birthday 3 years ago, and with the wind blowing so strong plus the occasional drizzle, I started getting anxious. Could I really do this? Am I really up for it? Do I really, really want this? And so like my doubting psyche would sometimes do to me, I started noticing the other unpleasant things about this whole trip. The venue was at Caliraya Surf Kamp where the famous lake is located. It was pure nature. There were no cottages, no proper toilets and bathrooms, the soil was made of silt, full of moss and other seemingly yucky and slippery substances. It would surely be uncomfortable and I didn't have to undergo this kind of hassle.

So, with a semi-wavering spirit, I urged my hubby that we go... go somewhere else that is. I told him that the cold weather was too much for me to handle and perhaps we can just do some other exciting things. A part of me felt sad for giving up so easily. What happened to the Jen I know who used to just go and do whatever she wants and whatever it takes? I guess she's getting old. Too old for her own good. I tried to let go of these unwanted thoughts. It was supposed to be a happy Valentine weekend and I didn't need to go psycho on myself.

Japanese Garden

Moving one, we drove back to the highway and decided to just let the road take us wherever. After about 5 minutes, we spotted a place called Japanese Garden. We turned at the corner and decided to explore it. it was soooo beautiful.

The huge property was so quiet, there were only very few tourists around (five to be exact), with the trees and grass swaying with the wind, and a quiet little lake sitting in the middle.

The sight of the Caliraya Lake below the cliff was so breathtaking. There were no other people but us and with an entrance fee of Php10.00 per person I wondered how they are able to maintain a place as huge and as beautiful as this. Then Peter said it's owned by the Japanese Embassy so they're most probably taking care of it.

Anyway, upon reaching the top fo the cliff, my husband, Peter, started getting kinky. Being the obedient wife that I sometimes am, I obliged. Hehe. I took off my top and let him take photos of my haf naked glory. Hahaha! I admit, it felt exciting and quite adventurous. It made me forget for a little while the regret I was starting to feel about letting go of the windsurfing thing earlier.

Anyway, I wasn't really in the mood to display my sexual exhibitionist side so I put my top back on and started trekking back to the parking lot. My next thought was, where else could we go?

Heading back to the car, that's when we fully realized how huge the place was. It was such a long trek along the hilly slopes and grassy lands. So we just took everything in and enjoyed the view. It was awesome!

Peter even had his little play time coz there were practically no one else around. We had the whole Japanese Garden to ourselves. How lucky for us, considering that we're no longer very fond of being in crowded places, especially on a holiday weekend like this. The whole time, I was thinking, "Thank God we didn't go to the balloon fest. I heard that's where everybody was , which is exactly what happens every year. And once you've seen it, you've seen 'em all. Hihihi." I was really beginning to love this weekend... just me and my baboo. How romantic!

I consulted our map and saw that a well-known resort is just about a few kilometeres away. I told my husband that's where we'll go next, just to see if the place is really nice and then maybe we coud check-in and spend the rest of our Valentine's there.

Lagos del Sol

Lagos del Sol was indeed just a few minutes away. Parking our car, I was starting to feel a little better. The rain has subsided and the sun was peeking behind the clouds. Great! It was going to be a sunny weekend after all. We immeditaely headed to the pool area and I was enamored by the view. The lake was just there, right in front of the swimming pool. With the umbrella tables and chairs uniquely positioned all around the swimming area, I could already picture the two of us sitting in one of them, and having a fantastic lunch by the pool side. If we happen to love the food, maybe we can even stay the night.

So Peter went ahead and asked for a brochure. I was surprised that accommodations were priced so high (at least in our opinion... the place, after all, is no longer new and a bit creaky & old for our taste). We went in one of the expensive suites which looked fine. The room was spacious, there was one master bed in the middle and a double bed at each side, a TV, a small ref, cabinets, a clean and spacious bathroom, and a huge balcony overlooking the Caliraya Lake. But how come no other people seemed to be checked-in? It was priced at Php2000/person /night, and we both didn't feel sold about the whole idea.

Lagos del Sol's Restaurant

We went to their restaurant, looked at the menu, saw that the food was priced like that of a normal 3-star hotel and just went for the hills from there. It just didn't fit our taste and our budget and we figured that with the same amount of money, we could do, eat and explore more! You know me, I'm all for the value of money. ^_^

So after stealing a lot of photos of the nice-looking resort, we again headed for the road....

To be continued...

If you want to see more photos, pleaseclick:

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