Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram
Cairo | Egypt. a surreal moment at the great pyramids of giza

Nature & Chill at Glamping, Etc. in Cavinti | Laguna

After spending much of the Covid-ravaged year socially distancing myself from other people and the great outdoors, I welcomed the spontaneity to experience nature once again when I received an invitation from an old friend. “Hi Marky, are you free this Sunday to Tuesday?” Jackie wrote to me on messenger. “I’m going to Cavinti. I was going solo, but the place is kind off the grid so maybe I shouldn't go alone. Would you like to come?” she wrote on a follow-up message that reached my inbox just as I was about to reply “Yes”—even without knowing the details yet. 


Sandra Santiago

Like a mana from heaven, Jackie’s invitation was like what the doctor ordered as I am about to go out of my wits from reading travel books and watching NatGeo shows to cure my thirst of wanderlust. It has been a couple of months since I last went out on a trip—a travel writing trip visiting organic farms in Quezon. 


Charisse Vilchez

After we set the time and place of our meeting place, I hurriedly pack my things inside my backpack since the journey is only two days away and because of my sheer excitement. 


“Not a Romantic Vacation”


Marky Ramone Go and Jackie Meneses

Already appreciating Jackie’s gesture of inviting me, I also valued her straight-to-the-point declaration that the trip should be a friendly one. “I’m sorry, but i have to say, this isn’t a romantic vacation. ha-ha. I just want to reset. So, flirting is off the table”. Since we hanged out on a few occasions that can be labeled as dates in the past, I appreciate her candor in clearing up any expectations she thinks I might have.

 

The Road to Cavinti


Her Waze directed us to drive through the backroads of Rizal going to Laguna as opposed to the straight up path from South Luzon Expressway. It was a longer route but one that is blessed with photogenic sight of the rolling hills of Rizal passing through the windmills of Pililla and the winding roads of Baras before moving towards the lakeside roads of Caliraya and finally, Cavinti, Laguna. 


Jackie Meneses


It was a Sunday, so the roads are filled with cyclists coming from both directions. Throughout the ride I was salivating at the thought of doing my own bike ride over the same route. However, I thought to myself that I would need more training first, so I can negotiate the uphill terrains with ease. 


Glamping, Etc. 


Situated on a lakeside property dishing a sense of isolation since you need to ride a boat from a nearby small port to reach the place, Glamping Etc., appear lush with smooth lawn grass, towering trees and an air of Zen. 


Sandra Santiago

From the docking bay, you'll walk on a short uphill trail leading to the restaurant and reception hall and from there, a footpath leads you to the spot where three Geodesic domes and a Triangle tent are built with ample space for free movements allotted for each.


Jackie Meneses

Inside our tent, there is a double-sized bed, two chairs and a small table positioned beside the see-through wall (covered with plastic cover) that offers a magnificent view of the lake.  


Jackie Meneses

Our Geodesic Dome facing the Eastern side of the lake was a cozy one with more than enough space to move around, hangout and even do yoga. Each Geodesic Domes are good for 2 persons while the Triangle tent can sleep up to four people. Each one has their own private toilet and shower rooms.


Koryn Iledan

The property, according to its Airbnb page and as told to us by the staff, is owned by an Indian couple. That explains the Indian influence on the menu as we had Chicken Biryani on our first night and Chicken Masala for our lunch the next day.

 

Sophie Gianan

The staff manning the property is composed of one extended family who are long-time residents of a small town near Lake Lumot. Therefore, staying at Glamping, Etc. emits more of a sense of immersing in a community rather than staying in an exclusive resort. When I say a whole extended family, adorable little kids running around are included. 


Jackie Meneses

Waking up on consecutive mornings to bird songs and quack ducks was something to behold. After a night of starry-staring, downing a bottle of wine and musing conversation, it was a delightful feeling opening my eyes to a serene scene. 


Althea Aswani

Jackie and I spent our early afternoons kayaking around the lake. The water is so still with barely a ripple of current, making it a lot easier for us to paddle and explore the lake by slicing our way over the glass-like water circling smaller islets and passing by other lakeside houses and resorts. 


Sandra Santiago

Afterward, we’d wait for the sunset seen on the side facing Mount Banahaw while swimming on the shallow part of the lake near a bamboo jetty. I can say, life is ideal in this lovely spot of Cavinti. 


An Escape from the Pandemic Reality


It was the week after my birthday in January and the anxiety caused by the unstable curve of new infections and the uncertainty of when will our Government procure the vaccines needed to achieve herd immunity, has piled up a mountain of worries in my head. Same with Jackie, I am also in badly need of some nature resetting. 


Marky Ramone Go

The three days we spent at Glamping, Etc. comprised of a blissful cycle of swimming and kayaking in the lake, chilling on a hammock, meditating and practicing yoga—plus the usual eat, sleep, talk and wine drinking. 


Marky Ramone Go

I sure did milk every moment of it because of one thing this pandemic has taught me, it is how the universe can press the pause button anytime. 


Jackie Meneses

After being faced with the ambiguity of when can I experience doing all the things I love again, this quick nature and chill trip to Cavinti gave me a glimpse of the old normal as we wiggle our way out of this pandemic.