Although the Philippines has been known for its tropical climate, ironically, Filipinos are still fond of summer. We welcome one of the warmest seasons like how people from colder countries do. And since it’s the start of summer, travelers and beach bums are starting to work on their to-do-lists because in the Philippines, summer means party.
Well, I’m not much of a traveler but I love the beach like how I love getting a free meal. I love the sea, its musky smell, its brilliant color, the feel of the shifting sand beneath my feet and finally, the awesome booties scattered everywhere like trash. Yes, like trash.
Now let me tell you what’s on my summer bucket list for the last decade:
Doesn’t it surprise you? Well, I think it should.
I’m always excited to go to the beach and get myself toasted regardless of my current relative mass. There is something about summer that changes a person’s mood or aura in a more positive manner. It doesn’t only change a person’s personal outlook, it also intensifies the jubilant atmosphere that we already have. I, for one, would involuntarily turn into a masochist during summer, beating myself up with ultraviolet rays (so help me God).
But just a week ago, I decided to give my bucket list a little revision. Just for a change. I wanted to do something new or go to a slightly different place other than the beach. Maybe go to a lake or mountain climb or maybe just do a simple road trip. But I know road trips can sometimes be deceiving because it often leads me to beaches. Luckily, a friend told me about a place near the city where we can hang out with and have our summer kickoff.
The place is located in the mountainous part of Guadalupe, Cebu City called Lanipao Rainforest, a twenty to thirty minute drive from Guadalupe proper by motorcycle locally known as habal-habal. Fare is between forty to fifty pesos depending on how good you are at haggling.
So to satisfy your curiosity, here are some amateur photos we took with my infamous cheap camera.
This is the gated entrance. We were greeted with huge trees, thick bushes and fresh mountain air. The entrance doesn’t have a doorbell, you really have to call the caretaker out to be able to get in. At the left side are outdoor wood log table and chairs. At the right side of it is the base of a mountain.
This is the right side of the entrance. The edifice serves as a front office that didn’t have a receptionist.
This is the opposite side of the entrance. The blue tin roof under the mango tree is actually a tree house where
the caretaker lives. The garden pavilion is for their pets.
And this is me trying the infamous “selfie”. I was trying to get a full view of the entrance but failed. Those colorful objects hanging on the tree were actually Christmas lanterns. Maybe the caretaker got too lazy to took them down.
We had to go down by this concrete stairway in order to access the swimming pool. Yes, the water hose is a part of it. If you’re too stupid not to watch your steps, you’ll surely reach the pool head first.
This castle-like deck serves as the base of the twin slides. And yes, there’s the water hose. I’m starting to think it’s part of the exterior design.
This is one of the cottages/kiosks/shack which is made of nipa and bamboo. It will cost you ₱250 for a day and ₱1200 if you wanna stay overnight.
This is how the shack looked like up close. Very typical and user friendly.
This is how the first pool looked like from our shack. The pool itself is surrounded by canopy of native trees.
From our shack, we had to take few more steps to reach the first pool. Oh yes, the water hose.
My friends showed their underarms off while enjoying the slide.
This is how the slides looked like when viewed from the pool. What’s so special about it is unlike most slides, they were supported by the ground itself going downhill.
The area is enclosed with mountains on each side and is practically surrounded with variety of plants and trees in all shapes and sizes. You can even see huge chunks of limestone everywhere.
A late afternoon view of the place when viewed from a higher ground. Lanipao Rainforest is mainly located at the very edge of a stream in Sapangdaku, Guadalupe. When we got their the stream was all dried up so I don’t know how it is going to look like when there’s water in it.
The kids pool is located at the lowest part of the area. The pool were divided into three parts according to depth. The largest shack can also be found at the lowest level opposite to the pool.
On the photo is a huge rock in front of the kids pool. As I have mentioned earlier, chunks of rocks can be seen everywhere because the place is a part of a dried up stream.
Taken in the lowest part of the place nearest to the stream with part of the larger shack seen on the photo.
The place also has playground for kids. On the photo is a playhouse made of wood and plastic which is great for toddlers and even bigger kids.
The playground, although underdeveloped, is promising. It can surely be one of the place’s highlights once it will be fully developed. This kids section is soon to have zip line for kids and motor rides.
In the opposite side of the place across the stream, adjoined by an iron bridge are two developing villas. They are going to be fully furnished cabins with small kitchen and two rooms for ₱4,500 a night and each can accommodate 4 to 6 persons.
This is the front view of one of the villas. The exterior part were designed to look like round timbered walls but
they’re actually concrete walls at a closer look.
This is the villa’s interior. I was trying to take a picture of its bedroom at the second level but the paint was still wet at that time and I didn’t want to mess it up so you can only see a small portion of the area. It is designed to maximize space which is good for small houses like this.
On the photo is the tiny kitchen and the bathroom.
This is the marbled stairway from the villas down to the bridge. And since there’s an ongoing construction, wood pieces, ropes and water hose can be seen here. Yes, the infamous water hose.
If you are a nature lover or a conservationist, this place is just right for you. It’s peaceful and relaxing and is great for recreational activities. Just be careful with your kids on those rocky slopes, concrete stairways and the stream itself especially on rainy days. And one more thing, you must bring enough foods because there are no stores in the area and the resort itself only offers soft drinks. I remember seeing a “No alcoholic drinks allowed” sign somewhere but it looked too old and abandoned and the paint was hardly visible so I’m not so sure if they’re still implementing it. The area is a dead end so if you don’t have a car, make sure to tell the habal-habal driver to take you back to Guadalupe church on a specific hour.
My overall experience in Lanipao Rainforest was great with the place’s unique feel and the presence of my fun loving friends. If I were to rate the services and the place itself from 1 to 10, I’d give it a 6.
₱8.00 – jeepney fare to Guadalupe church
₱100.00 – habal-habal fare (back and forth)
₱50.00 – resort’s entrance fee
₱250 – daytime cottage
₱250/day – cottage
₱1200/night – cottage
₱4500 /night – villa (good for 6)