Work-from-the-beach at Birdland Beach Club

Some of us are already working from home when the pandemic started. This gives us the flexibility of taking our jobs anywhere where there is an internet connection. And that is how Birdland Beach Club came up with the idea of making their beautiful resort into a tech-resort to allow online workers to work from the beach!

ABOUT BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB

Birdland Beach Club is an eco-oriented resort in the heart of Bolinao, Pangasinan. This resort was built around existing corals and trees without destroying them. It’s a pet-friendly resort that also offers high-speed internet for working from home individuals who are in dire need of a trip to the beach.

The resort offers several accommodation options like modern-airconditioned cabanas, Ifugao-inspired wooden homes, and outdoor Kubo huts.

HOW TO GO TO BBC Bolinao?

Bolinao, Pangasinan is a 6-hour drive from Metro Manila. Here are a few tips on how to get to BBC Bolinao:

PRIVATE CAR: If you’re up for the challenge, you can drive north to Tarlac via NLEX. Bolinao is just a couple of hours away from Tarlac.

*You may also opt to rent a van for your family’s trip through Van Rental services. I highly recommend Taong Kalye Van Rental Services. Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/noahoberez

COMMUTE: Five Star bus offers a direct trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Bolinao. You may also take a bus to Tarlac, and then take a regular bus from Tarlac to Bolinao. From the bus station, you can ride a tricycle to the resort which is just 6 minutes away.

WHAT TO DO IN BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB?

Birdland Beach Club is a birds’ paradise. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of singing birds. It’s certainly one of the best ways to relax your soul. There are also several things to do here since Bolinao is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pangasinan. Here are things that you can do while in Bolinao:

  1. Take a dip at the resort’s swimming pools

Birdland Beach Club has two swimming pools that you can enjoy. Each pool has its own identity and both are artistically designed to match the resort’s rustic jazzy style.

2. Visit Patar Beach and Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Although Birdland Beach Club is right at the beachfront, you should not miss taking a side-trip to Patar. Patar Beach is a public beach area in Bolinao, but it’s the best beach in this municipality! The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is just a few minutes from Patar beach.

3. Waterfalls chasing in Samang Norte

Samang Norte boasts of three waterfalls in its barangay. The waterfalls are only 30 minutes away from the resort, and it’s certainly worth driving to.

4. Discover the underwater caves along Patar Road

There are three underwater caves along Patar Road. Each cave has a natural spring water pool inside. It’s a must-visit in Bolinao! These caves are just a few minutes away from the beach.

5. Work-from-the-beach!

I was so amazed that I was able to work and speak with my US-based clients on my mid-range laptop without any technical issues. There are three working stations in Birdland Beach Club with decent Wi-Fi connections sufficient for online tasks. I also tried using my cellphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and Smart Postpaid’s connection in Bolinao didn’t disappoint.

WHY VISIT BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB?

Birdland Beach Club is one of the few eco-tourism resorts in the country. They also support sustainable tourism by growing their own fruits and vegetables and serving them directly in the resort.

This rustic-style resort has been featured several times on TV. It was also nominated as the best resort in Pangasinan in 2017. We have been to Bolinao several times already, and I can say that this is indeed the best place to stay in the province of Pangasinan.

During this pandemic, tourism is one of the most affected industries globally. Though it is unsafe to go out on a leisure trip at this time, supporting resorts such as BBC Bolinao is one of many ways on how we can help in these trying times.

Please visit Birdland Beach Club soon and take your office works on the beach!

You can book your stay by contacting them using the following information:

Birland Beach Club, Bolinao
Website: https://www.birdlandbeachclub.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birdlandbeachclub 
Phone number: +63 977-807-4794

Links to previous blogs: Antipolo, Bolinao, Cebu.

Antipolo City, Pilgrimage City of the Philippines

Antipolo city is the new capital of Rizal Province. Antipolo has been the most populous component city in the Philippines for years, but it did not become the province’s capital until July 2020.

This highly-urbanized city prides itself as the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines. Religious Catholic people will never miss visiting Antipolo during the Lenten season. Antipolo is also one of the best choices for a quick vacation with its proximity to Metro Manila.

WHAT TO DO IN ANTIPOLO CITY

To some religious Catholic people, Antipolo is the pilgrimage capital of the Philippines. During the Lenten Season, my Catholic friends will never miss visiting Antipolo Cathedral, the Mystical Cave, and the White Cross of Antipolo.

But Antipolo is actually a mix of urban and rural life. You’ll get both the taste of crowded city life and the tranquility of a quiet camping area not too far from the city proper. The city, with its high elevation, also boasts of a panoramic view of Metro Manila. Thus some resorts and restaurants are too perfect for relaxation.

PLACES TO VISIT IN ANTIPOLO

Here are few places worth visiting in Antipolo:

Mystical Cave – A cave full of beautiful stalactite formations and shiny minerals. This cave is just 30 minutes away from the city proper. It is popular as one of the pilgrimage destinations in Antipolo.

LULJETTA’S HANGING GARDEN SPA – Luljettas is a resort and spa that offers a spectacular view of Metro Manila. It’s a beautifully designed resort sitting on the cliffs of Antipolo ridges.

CLOUD 9 ANTIPOLO – Cloud 9 is a hotel and restaurant that offers a 360-degree view of Metro Manila and Antipolo. They accept walk-in tourists, so you don’t necessarily need to book accommodation or a pricey dinner to get access to the viewing deck. A hanging bridge connects the restaurant and the viewing deck.

Cloud 9

MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVES – Mount Purro is a 36-hectare forest sanctuary in the Sierra Madre mountain range. It offers Filipino hut accommodations and camping options for its guests. For more information, please read my Mount Purro blog.

BUNSURAN FALLS – Bunsuran is the most accessible waterfall in Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City. It has few swimmable basins, and its water flows on a huge wide rock. Read more about Bunsuran by following this link: Bunsuran Falls.

Bunsuran Falls

HINULUGANG TAKTAK PARK– Hinulugang Taktak was the flagship of Antipolo long before it became a city. It used to be a beautiful waterfall. Today, the waterfall is no longer swimmable but still offers a magnificent view.

PINTO ARTS MUSEUM – A museum with a gallery, a cafe, and a park all in one place. It’s a museum in the middle of a forest!

 WHERE TO STAY IN ANTIPOLO

Due to its proximity to Metro Manila, a day trip to Antipolo is more than enough to visit a place or two. But staying for more than just a day is not a bad idea at all. Here are the recommended places in every corner of the city.

LULJETTA'S HANGING GARDEN SPA
https://luljettas.com/
Address:  Sitio Loreland, Barangay San Roque Antipolo City, Rizal 1870
Contact Numbers: (+632) 534 2517, (+63) 925-766-7544
MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVES
https://www.mountpurronaturereserve.com/
Address:  Purok 5, Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870
Contact Numbers: (+632) 534 2517, (+63) 925-766-7544
LEBLANC HOTEL AND RESORT
https://www.facebook.com/LeblancPhilippines
Address:  3 Taktak Rd, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870
Contact Numbers: (+632) 518-9303
CAFE LUPE ANTIPOLO
https://cafelupeantipolo.com/
Address: Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870
Contact Numbers: (+632) 470-3201, (+63) 945-432-1056
CITY SUITES
http://www.thecitywalksuitesapartment.com/
Address: M.L. Quezon Extn. Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City, Rizal
Contact Numbers: (+632) 954-8607, (+63) 917-793-0973

HOW TO GO TO ANTIPOLO

Antipolo is really just a 30-minute drive from Makati City. This travel time may take up to two hours during rush hours. Ortigas Ave Extn and Marcos Highway are the most common way to Antipolo, but you may also travel via C6-Floodway to Angono Baytown to avoid heavy traffic.

UV express is the most convenient public transportation to Antipolo. UV stands for Utility Vehicle. They are mostly SUVs, and 18-seater Vans turned into non-metered taxis. There are several UV terminals in Metro Manila located in each Business Centers in Makati, Pasig, Taguig, etc.

Jeepneys and buses are also available as cheaper alternative transportation. Terminals are located in Cubao, Quezon City, and Edsa-Shaw Mandaluyong.

NEW TAGAYTAY?

They say Antipolo is an alternative to Tagaytay. Its high elevation provides cold weather and beautiful views of Metro Manila. Personally, I believe that Antipolo City has a totally different identity. Some tourists visit Antipolo for religious reasons, that’s why they call it the “Pilgrimage Capital.” But there is more to this city than just religious practices and sacrifices.

Antipolo City still has a long way to go with its tourism. At this time, it is not yet comparable to Tagaytay at all. But like what Tagaytay used to be (when it wasn’t yet too crowded), Antipolo is a perfect definition of tranquility.

See you around! À bientôt!

Bunsuran Falls, a Waterfall in Antipolo

There is a waterfall in Antipolo City known as Hinulugang Taktak. It used to be the flagship of Antipolo long before it became a city. Unfortunately, it became polluted in 1960, and it never recovered despite a few rehabilitation efforts. But did you know that there is another waterfall in Antipolo City? I just recently discovered Bunsuran Falls.

Bunsuran

Bunsuran Falls is flowing at the foot of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, in the heart of Upper Marikina Watershed, Calawis, Antipolo City. The Upper Marikina Watershed is a protected landscape. Its preservation is crucial to Metro Manila as its streams flow directly to Marikina and its nearby cities. This gives us hope that Bunsuran will not end up like Hinulugang Taktak.

HOW TO GO TO BUNSURAN FALLS?

PRIVATE CAR: Drive to Marilaque via Marcos Highway, passing Cogeo/Padilla. A few minutes after passing Boso-Boso Highlands resort, there is a wet market. Turn left as soon as you see the busy marketplace. Follow the signs that lead to Mount Purro Nature Reserve, and then turn left when you see a bridge and a sign that says ‘Bunsuran Falls’.

COMMUTE: Take a jeepney to Paenaan. There are terminals in Marikina and Cogeo. Tell the driver to drop you off at ‘Veterans’ or ‘Kanto ng Veterans’. Then you can take a tricycle going to the falls jump-off point. There is no hike required. The waterfall is just a 5-minute walk from the parking area.

Bunsuran

WHAT TO DO IN BUNSURAN FALLS?

Bunsuran has an interesting landscape. Its water flows on a huge wide rock that creates a series of steep drops to a few basins. One of its basins looks like a natural jacuzzi, while another one downstream is a deep basin where no one is allowed to swim. Here are a few things you can do in Bunsuran:

Relax on a Natural Jacuzzi made by Nature

Bunsuran

One of the basins of the waterfall is a 3-foot natural pool rock formation that looks like a Jacuzzi. This is one of my favorite spots on the falls.

Cliff jump

Antipolo

We have seen some locals cliff diving from a huge rock towards a 6 ft water. Please be careful though, it only has a tiny space between the rocks and the water, and it may be prone to injury.

Camp

Bunsuran

Outdoor enthusiasts can camp by the riverbanks. A local guide is required if you are staying overnight.

Swim

Bunsuran

There are only a few areas for swimming in Bunsuran. Most parts of the river are shallow with less than 4 feet depth of water. And that’s a good thing for non-swimmers. 

Picnic or Foodtrip

You can bring food, or grill a barbecue on the riverside. There are also food stalls near the falls. Please be responsible for your own trash. Clean as you go and leave nothing but footprints.

WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BUNSURAN FALLS?

The best time to visit the falls is BER-months or rainy season in the Philippines. If the stream does not have enough water, the place looks too dull and unattractive. In Bunsuran, the more water, the more fun there is! Let me share some additional photos to help you decide if the waterfall is worth visiting.

SAVE THE STREAMS!

Antipolo City has become Rizal Province’s capital since July 2020. With this, we can expect more infrastructure buildings and subdivisions in the next few years, but it’s good to know that Antipolo has not totally lost its natural beauty. We really hope that we can keep Bunsuran Falls as it is and protect it from becoming polluted like the other streams in the city.

P.S.

If you like this post, please consider clicking on the following promo links:

Lalamove, Lazada, Zalora, The Luxury Closet.

Read more about Antipolo and Rizal Province. And follow our Facebook Page, Backpacking Stories Philippines.

Mount Purro Nature Reserve

Tourism allows us to witness the most breathtaking natural wonders in the country. It also has the power to significantly change a place and the local people’s lives positively or negatively. When there is a balance between earning a livelihood and protecting the environment, it’s called sustainable tourism. We have seen how a beautiful beach paradise can easily turn into a garbage and waste dump site when sustainable tourism is not practiced. Unfortunately, only a few organizations promote sustainable travel.

Recently, I learned about Mount Purro Nature Reserve (MPNR).

WHAT IS MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE

Mount Purro is a 36-hectare forest sanctuary sitting in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range. It is part of the Upper Marikina Watershed, a protected landscape area in the province of Rizal. It offers Filipino hut accommodations and camping options for its guests.

WHAT TO DO IN MOUNT PURRO

Mount Purro Nature Reserve’s tag line is #disconnecttoconnect. Visiting MPNR allows you to disconnect from your daily lifestyles and connect with mother nature. You can choose to do nothing all day long. The relaxation that nature brings is sufficient to make your stay so worth it.

Just in case you are easily bored, there are also several things you can do in MPNR. Here are some of the things worth doing while you’re there:

Forest Hike – A one-hour trek to Malvar’s peak is one good way to start your day in Mount Purro Nature Reserve. The trail is not that difficult. It even has some stairs on the descending part.

Swim – There is a swimming pool inside Mount Purro. Taking a dip in a pool surrounded by tall trees in a quiet sanctuary seems a perfect way to relax.

Game Room – You can play some game boards, table tennis, billiards, sungka, and foosball in the game room without an extra fee. Items can be borrowed at the Reception Area.

Kids Playground – There is a playground for kids where they can climb and play. There is a small obstacle course, swing, slides, a small hanging bridge, and toys that kids can play with.

River Trek – They say that flowing water can provide deep relaxation. A guided trek to the river is also one of the fun activities that should not be missed in MPNR.

Camp – There is a tent-pitching option for outdoor enthusiasts. The camping ground is safe and secure. It is just right beside the Pavillion which is a dorm-type accommodation.

HOW TO GO TO MOUNT PURRO

Mount Purro is located in Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City. It will take a 1-hour drive from the city proper to MPNR.

The most convenient way to MPNR is via Marcos Highway, passing Masinag and Cogeo, Antipolo through Marilaque Highway. You can easily navigate the place through Google Maps and WAZE. MPNR will also provide you with very detailed driving instructions.

You will reach this bridge after 20-30 minutes of driving from the highway. Mount Purro is just a few meters away. Drive straight ahead.

Alternatively, you may also take a jeepney from Cubao to Cogeo. And take another jeepney from Cogeo to Sampaloc Tanay or Paenaan. Advise the driver to drop you off in Brgy. Calawis or ‘kanto ng Veterans’. There is a tricycle terminal right across the market.

Your first landmark is Boso-boso Highlands, and then, this. A wet and dry market in Paenaan, or kanto ng Veterans village.

THINGS TO NOTE

Here are some things, you need to note before deciding to book your stay in Mount Purro Nature Reserve:

  • No walk-ins are allowed during the pandemic, prior reservation is required.
  • There are no ATM’s in the area, please bring cash with you.
  • MPNR is not like any resorts, you need to bring your own towels and toiletries.
  • Camping is allowed, but cooking is prohibited.
  • Outside food is allowed but can only be consumed at the Pavilion area which is right beside the camping area. There are tables and monobloc chairs available there.
  • Food is available in Loli’s kitchen but you need to order it in advance during the reservation for 300 pesos per meal. The serving per meal is plenty for people with a small appetite like myself.
  • There is a curfew policy which is 10 PM. Please show respect to the people around you by observing silence all the time, most especially after the curfew hours.

Possible side-trips near Mount Purro

  • Bunsuran Falls. Just 1.2 kilometers away, or a 5-minute drive.
  • Boso-boso Highlands Resort. 11.8 kilometers away.
  • Palo Alto Falls. 17.9 kilometers away.
  • Masungi Georeserve. 19.1 kilometers away

WHY VISIT MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE

Visiting Mount Purro has been an eye-opener for me about Sustainable Tourism. I admire the efforts of Mr. Toto Malvar in creating the forest sanctuary and educating people about the importance of a watershed like the Upper Marikina Watershed. Mount Purro Nature Reserve is the perfect place to visit if one wants to experience nature in a safe and secure environment.

Please follow Mount Purro on Facebook or contact them directly using the following information:

Mount Purro Nature Reserve
 www.mountpurronaturereserve.com
 Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City
 Phone: (+632) 8 542-3005
 Email: gnp@mountpurronaturereserve.com 

MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE GALLERY

Project 81

Project 81 pertains to the eighty-one provinces of the Philippines. It’s a goal to revisit the whole country and share it with the world. The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It has 7,641 islands scattered among the 81 provinces.

LUZVIMINDA

The Philippines has three main island categories; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon, where the capital Manila is situated, has 38 provinces. Mindanao and Visayas have 27 and 16, respectively.

The Gems of Luzon

There are a few notable tourist attractions in Luzon often missed by first-time visitors due to the popularity of Palawan and Boracay. Mount Mayon, Batanes, and Batad Rice Terraces are amongst a long list of the most awe-inspiring places in the Philippines.

Best Beaches

The Visayas region is a group of islands in the central part of the Philippine map. One of its major cities is Cebu City, the Queen City of the south. The Visayas’ most popular tourist destination is Boracay. Boracay is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the whole world.

They say that you can find the best beaches in the Philippines in the Visayas region. Cebu, Bohol, Ilo-ilo, Aklan, Leyte, and some other Visayan provinces all boast of fine-white beaches of their own.

The Land of Promise

Mindanao, on the other hand, is further down south. Its major cities are Davao and Cagayan de Oro. The surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao Island is probably the most visited place in that part of the country.

Mindanao is also known as the Land of Promise due to its rich biodiversity, natural resources, and some unexplored forests.

The Land of Ophir

Some biblical historians said that the Philippines might be the Land of Ophir, a land of wealth and the most precious type of gold. Honestly, I have never seen a genuine gold bar my entire life. But I can agree that this country is indeed wealthy.

Our wealth is our natural resources; enchanting reefs, vast marine life, unique wildlife, fine white-sand to pebbly beaches, magical rivers and waterfalls, well-cultivated farms, some naturally-engineered landscapes like hills, volcanoes, and unspoiled forests and mountains.

Let’s revisit the whole Philippines as soon as this pandemic is over.

Please stay safe. À bientôt!