Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Impromptu Getaway to Hidden Valley Springs

Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.
~ Blaise Pascal

It was Friday afternoon when my boyfriend asked spontaneously, "Have you read Happy Sole's blog?"

I told him, "Yes. Why?"

Point-blank answer. Pregnant silence. I always do that whenever I'm anticipating an answer which I know will paste a wide smile on my face. I know he's referring to Happy Sole's latest post, so I waited. I was thinking, "C'mon, just say the magic words!" But I mustered enough patience for few precious seconds. Thus, I waited. Tick, tock, says the clock!

Then he said, "Tara! Punta tayo bukas!" BINGO! Magic words.

A big smile which was a few seconds delayed widened up my face. Who doesn't love impromptu weekend getaways, much less a nature trip? I love anything nature. I love the trees, the shrubs, the herbs, the weeds and the moss in a tolerable state.

I said, "Sure! Wait, are you sure?" That's me, playing uninterested for a moment. I repeated it word for word just to be sure.

He said, "Oo. Tara. Mukhang maganda eh."

I couldn't agree more. Happy Sole's blog pictures seemed to pop out from my screen, very much inviting. Again, I am a nature lover. Give me the sun, the beach, the mountains, the trees, and I'll be happy. And I thank Happy Sole for sharing her wanderlust fever.

We went home, stuffed our backpacks with swimwear and all, and nappy time in beddy-bye land it was.

Then early Saturday morning sun greeted us with mild UV rays at the Lucena Bus Lines Terminal in the City of Stars. So we seated ourselves comfortably in the semi-full AC bus bound for Lucena, armed with a generous amount of childlike excitement, a bottle of Hidden Spring water (coincidence, yes?) each and, of course, our respective backpacks.

After almost two hours, we found ourselves saying "Wow!" to the secluded and private resort in Alaminos, Laguna. Hidden Valley Springs quenched my thirst for nature. Everything in Happy Sole's blog came to life, save for some forgivable wear and tear of years gone by.

 Top to bottom: A pretty lotus flower in a pond, the resort's welcome lobby, lovers in lovers pool & BF showing his muscles with the reflecting lake as backdrop

A daytime tour costs Php 1,800, inclusive of entrance fee, welcome drinks, lunch buffet, afternoon merienda and use of resort facilities such as air-conditioned dressing rooms, showers and lockers (you have to shell out Php 200 which is refundable upon return of the lockey key), unlimited dipping/swimming/peeing (kiddin') in the warm & cold natural swimming pools and trekking/hiking to the hidden falls. 

Smooching and talking or laughing out loud are not all prohibited. Why? You're in the middle of the jungle, dude! Only snakes (my ophidiophobia sometimes spoils my nature trips) crickets, large black ants, birds and elementals are presumably there.

More pictures in the hidden paradise...

Top to bottom: enjoying the instant back massage courtesy of the falls in warm pool area, smiling yet calculating moves in the tricky rock formations in the hidden falls area, smiling on cue while having lunch & BF silently cursing himself for eating too much kakanin during afternoon merienda

Here's the catch. As the resort's name tells us, it's really hidden. Unless you bring your car, transportation might strike as a problem since it's four (4) kms. away from the highway. And yes, we became instant victims of scarce transportation in the area. Images of NPA and wild barrio folks scared me a bit. Thank heavens for typical Pinoy hospitality because some kindhearted locals gave us a hitch to the highway. 

Despite that, I wouldn't mind going back to where my urban self got de-stressed from all the metro's pollution. I wouldn't mind waking up early just to see anything foliage. For some precious hours, we were trapped in a bubble bliss in the middle of a jungle.

While on the bus to the metro, my boyfriend asked, "Kailan kaya tayo makakabalik dun?"

I simply replied, "Kung kailan maisipan." 

Our trip to Hidden Valley Springs was very spur-of-the-moment. More often than not, impromptu plans are the ones which really happen.

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