From 22-27 February 2015, I was out of the house for 6 days for an out-of-town work. We stayed in Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel in Antipolo City where the Writeshop we were organizing (I was part of the secretariat and a documentor for day 1) was held. It was tiring, and I missed the company of my dogs.
Not to waste my moment there, I made a conscious effort to just enjoy and appreciate what was around me, which includes mingling with other participants during our brief meaningful trip to Hinulugang Taktak when the Writeshop ended. It was meaningful because it was my first time to be there. It was also meaningful because it was so sad to discover that the waterfalls stinks. Antipolo, a former province now a city, despite its progress still has a lot of things to do with regard to nature conservation.
After our disappointing trip to Hinulugang Taktak, where some participants still took some snapshots because of its nice appearance (it must have been so wonderful in the past), we went to Mystical Cave which was called as such because of rock formation that appeared to represent stories from the Bible. Like the Noah’s Ark. An image of Jesus Christ praying and so many other stuff that was, as told by our guide, thought of by the priests who discovered the cave many decades ago. Frankly, I must say that those ancient priests got imaginative minds to think of those rock formations, those crystals, those shadows to be holy images. And strangely, those discoveries did make sense because we were like children in a Science Museum excited at what we were seeing.
It was just sad that some low breed of human species vandalized a portion of the cave, even stole rocks. It was my first time to be inside a cave. It wasn’t hot, as I discovered. What really made us perspire was our climb of many steps up to the mouth of the Mystical Cave. Inside, it was breezy. And I bet totally dark, well, that’s for sure. We could see things inside the cave because of a few lamps placed inside. We paid P40 per head for maintenance just to get inside the cave.
Then we went to the market to buy pasalubong. I bought kasoy or cashew nuts as pasalubong to my family. Ang mahal pala ng kasoy! Bought two small containers for P400! I need not buy too many kasoy since, as told by one of our participants, it can perk up your uric acid and provoked arthritis. I don’t have that yet but I have an old man so two small containers of kasoy were enough. However, what pissed me off were sellers both old and young (children, to be accurate) begging me to buy their items. An old woman was selling to me a scapular, she said she needed money to buy food. I refused. Then as me and my companion left, the old woman said “Walang hiya ka!”
During our last day, while the rest of the participants left already while some remained in the hotel since their flights were scheduled on another day, I had a pleasure of exploring Cristina Villas all by myself. It was my second time there and I would say that there are so many beautiful things to see in Cristina Villas Mountain Resort and Hotel. These pictures did not give justice to how wonderful the place was but still, let me share with you a glimpse:
Well, Welcome to Cristina Villas!