Amansinaya Mountain Resort Escapade Reviewed (One down 11 to go!)1:46 PM
Finally, after three months, 94 days to be exact, we had accomplished 1 of our 12 things to do with bff's Jui and Mean. We are actually lagging behind but it's better late than never. Last Maundy Thursday, we actually nailed one off, finishing the hiking part in the Ambon-Ambon falls. Thanks to Ensogo for this. Well actually, this has been planned since January. The trip was originally scheduled on January 28-29 but since we were all busy with work and study stuff, we decided to postpone it and voila! we had an instant summer vacay.
Actually, I thought this trip will not proceed as I was having a bad day a day before the trip. I had some sort of light hangover and rashes due to allergies from the all-night videoke "Whitney Houston Tribute" with my office mates where I drank a little, plus the fact that I got my period! (grr) Anyway, since Mean was very insistent and she had this "I already packed my bag and I was really looking forward for this trip" guilt-bugging text message, well we continued with our original plan.
So here we are, the four (4) of us, my bff's and my sister went our head off to Amansinaya Mountain Resort really unprepared. (Haha) Actually, we didn't know how to get there and since we don't own a car we commuted to Batangas. Well, what I had was some instruction from the Amansinaya office, which we later on found out very useless (I'll share later the best way to get there). Well, since we stick of to the plan of going to Tanauan Batangas as instructed, we went off to Cubao as early as 6:30 AM, but since it's holy week, there were no bus available. (Demmit!)
We planned to arrive at the resort at 9:00AM and join the morning trek so we thought of looking for another bus station. We hailed a taxi cab and boom! We came up with the idea of hiring the cab to take us to Batangas! (Hahaha) I know right! It's crazy but we just did. So this is it, we agreed to the price of 2000php since we know that Tatang Lito (we came to know him because of the length of the travel) will need to pay for the toll fees and gasoline plus the fact that he might not be able to pick up passengers from Batangas to Manila. However, as I was saying a while ago, the route from Tanauan Batangas is not advisable as it is as if you take a very far u-turn when you can actually take a left turn and went straight ahead if you know what that means. We were just lucky that Tatang Lito is so nice and really like a lolo to us. Just an anecdote, he actually told us that he feels that his grandson is gay and that he caught him playing jackstones with girl classmates while he is picking him up in school. (Hahaha!)
We really thought that Amansinaya was not existing and just a hoax because while we are traversing the Tanauan-Talisay road, no one knows where the hell Amansinaya is. To cut the story short, from Star tollway, Amansinaya is still 35km! so do not take that route. Instead just take the route 2 from Tagaytay as instructed in their website. So when we reached the resort we were like "the moron 4 and a crying manong"! Seriously, the place is very hidden! Well anyway, the most important was we arrived. Since the place is really hard to locate, we decided to give Tatang Lito an extra 500 bucks and paid him 2,500php. We arrived at 10:30AM.
|Our taxi meter from Cubao to Amansinaya|
How to get there the fastest way?
By the way, if you really want to get there fastest, cheaper and in convenient way, just take a bus going to Tagaytay, tell them to drop you off to Splendido, that is some sort of subdivision there and take a motorcycle. (Yes! a motorcycle) The motorcycle will cost you 150php each as it can only accommodate one (1) person. Don't worry there are a lot of motorcycles there and they are harmless and actually locals or I think employees of Amansinaya. Well, once you take this route, I am sure that you will enjoy it as you will traverse into a beautiful scenery. However, just a caution, this way is not for the fainthearted as you may encounter some dangerous curves and very steep road ahead.
So, back to my story, what will you expect upon arrival? You need to proceed to Patio Filipino as this is where the reception area is. The personnel there will brief you about your stay, what to expect and for your accommodation. Our group is lucky because we bought the Amansinaya Ensogo vouchers with overnight accommodation for only 650php each.
Because of the travel, we decided to take an early lunch. Well, this is the bad news, they only offer the resort restaurant which does not offer food that much. We hate their food! The choices were limited and they have a very slow service. You need to make a reservation ahead of time so you will not starve to death. It's kinda pricey also, but not worth it as it was not satiable and their servings do not commensurate to the price that you're gonna pay. So again, a friendly advice, just bring a lot of cup noodles and biscuits. (Just be sure that it will be hidden, as the voucher says that no food and drinks are allowed). If someone from the resort will read this, just an advice, you really need to improve on your food service, invest on a great chef, and professional staff (not like those lame, patay na bata, petiks and staff who doesn't really know what they are doing). Since the resort offers a lot of physical activities, the people will easily be hungry and the last thing they need is a bad food service.
Trekking in Ambon-Ambon Falls
This is actually the highlight of the whole trip to Amansinaya in order to already cross-out one of our things to do. Since we came late, we trekked at around 1:00PM. Amansinaya offers two (2) trek schedules, one at 9:00 AM and at 1:00PM.
First, I just want to comment on the tour guide, in order to be a tour guide, you should have a very strong interpersonal skill. Unfortunately, the one assigned to us doesn't have one. He did not gather us together and explain what to expect or whatever, we were just quite shock that people have already started walking. I've been to Sagada so I know that tour guides specially those in big groups should composed of more that one tour guide to ensure that nobody gets left behind, but not in this case. We actually were lost on our way back to Amansinaya as we were left behind, take note not only the four (4) of us but also two(2) more groups, we lost sight of them and the tour guide was already near the exit. I was just able to figure out that we were out of way. (Take note, there were no signs or whatever.)
Anyway, it's really hot there, so I advise all of you to bring hats or whatever that will protect you from heat. You also need to be in slippers and shorts as you will cross rivers (nothing to worry, it's just knee-high). But to be fair about it, if not for the tour guide, the trek was quite ok, especially for first timers. The thrill of crossing rivers, walking, crossing bridges actually paid-off the bad service, but still I suggest that the resort should give further trainings to their employees.
|Ambon Amabon Falls|
|The sunlight illuminating the place|
Not all things were bad, the nipa hut experience was superb I must say. I also find it so cool that we were sleeping in nipa hut and the only thing that was inside are rows of bed. The exterior design as well as the interior were also great! Just don't leave your foods on your bed as ants will come drooling over it. When I said ants, I mean those "Antik" ants. Hahaha. Anyway, it's so cold at night and you don't need any electric fans anymore.
Other physical activities
I don't have any comment with other facilities. I love it all especially the mudslide! :) Their facilities include wall climbing, zipline, rappelling and other physical activities such as playing volleyball using a giant ball. My favorite part was the slide to the mudslide.
|Upper Left: Mudlside Upper Right: Giant Ball Lower Left:Rappelling Lower right:Wall Climbing|
The way home
As I have already explained earlier, if you are commuting, the best route will be from Amansinaya to Tagaytay. (Ride a motorcycle to Tagaytay and take a bus to Manila from Tagaytay) This way, you can still stroll Tagaytay, which we did! Actually we just looked for a real food in Tagaytay because as I have said we were food deprived in the resort.
So there you are. Hope this review helps! Overall, I will rate the Amansinaya resort 6 out of 10. I really advise them to train their staff well, it's just so sayang because they have great facilities out shadowed by its bad services.