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Friday, November 23, 2012

Greens and Sierra Madre as Far as the Eyes Can See.


A couple of months back, while me and Lauren was in the midst of what we call as epic moments construction phase as friends, we always find ourselves opting to take an out of town trip as opposed to hanging out on smokey bars. The most recent was our 6-day Mindanao trip which took us to the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Sultan Kudarat. During the early stages of our timeline as best friends, we went to this place situated in Tanay, Rizal. Lauren discovered it about a year ago when she was looking for affordable travel deals online.  Sierra Madre Resorts at first glance looks like the rough and tumble, long forgotten and abandoned resort - protruding in a low-key appearance beside Marcos Hi-Way in Brgy. Mayagay. 

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The gloomy weather didn't helped my first impression of the place. Even though we're like only a couple of hours away from the maddening crowd of Cubao, I quickly sensed a feeling of isolation. Standing at the roadside with Lauren, we saw the highway all by itself, alone and nary a vehicle passing by - except the jeepney we got off from, which is then heading to disappear in the curb about 400 meters ahead.

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We rang the receptionist at the desk while a friendly dog licks Lauren's foot. We settled for the cheapest room for two (without a view) and quickly laid down our backs on the firm but comfortable bed. After a few minutes we took a walk around the resort and soon I realized that my first impression of the place based on  its Bates Motel-like entrance was anything but with bulls-eye accuracy. 

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It was already late in the afternoon and the fogs are starting to claw itself into the tall trees and cover up the vast landscape of the Sierra Madre. But, I only needed a couple of minutes to appreciate the scenery and I got a chance to see the rest of the place. There is a swimming pool a few meters down near a few rows of cabins while the other rooms with a view are built on an elevated platform rising at level to the view deck where we were hanging out.

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We tried to find our way to the nearby waterfalls by following a trail down which led us to a natural pool, where the water comes from an underground spring. We ditched the idea of going to the waterfalls. Rather , we just took a detour that led us to the middle of the woods and pretended to be crew members of the Twilight movies who were out to sabotage the stunt scenes of Edward and Bella.

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It got colder during the night so we ordered bulalo for dinner and feasted on it while another dog, a really smelly one, tries to put up its beg face on. The staff were very friendly and even told us that actor Robin Padilla and his wife Mariel Rodriguez love to spend the weekend at the place. I reckon, they usually stays at the cabin and not on the view-less room we rented for the night. Me and Lauren weren't really a fan of expensive accommodations though sometimes we would look out for great deals and leisure coupons online. To make this post short, I'll skip from the Robin Padilla-Mariel Rodriguez info gathering to the next day just as the sun was about to rise.

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Like a rejected cab scout and girl scout we have no sense of direction and didn't know where the sun will rise from. In any case, we wouldn't have spotted it because of the thick fog early that morning. However, once it all settled out from our view, it was like a curtain revealing the grand show. A vibrant color of Greens and Yellow Greens greeted our sight.

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Towering pine trees, carpet-like lawns, colorful flowers and a few horses moonlighting as landscape architects. There's also a zipline which we laughed at the thought of riding it. During lunch time a number of motorcycle riders and crazy people who spends millions on cool cars dropped by the resort. We found out that its a favorite stop-over for both riders and drivers. Here they can gulp a can of coke and eat their salami sandwich while visually feasting on the magnificent view of Sierra Madre.

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While me and Lauren feasted on a prolonged talk about what we wanted to do with our lives. I'm glad to report that, our plans do involve a lot of travel. Unlike the scattered statues, our life isn't still. It's moving rapidly forward and into the grand scheme of this world's designs. 


As green as far as our eyes can see, the astonishing view of the Sierra Madre mountain range, stretches on for miles into as far as Cagayan province up north. 

                                                                Rare tips:
From Cubao: Take a Cogeo bound jeepney.
From Cogeo market, take Sampaloc-Tanay jeepney. Kindly advise the driver to drop you off Sierra Madre Resort. 




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