Antipolo Resorts: Private Pools of Cattleya Resort… Dominique Review

Antipolo swimming resort

In December, I attended our high school reunion held at Cattleya Farm Resort in Antipolo. Online, Cattleya’s website is pretty impressive with complete details on price, photo galleries,  a 360-degree view of all available spaces to rent out and reservation information. As I recall, Cattleya can be booked quickly via its online reservation form. We were lucky enough to have it reserved after a client cancelled on that date.

Antipolo swimming resort

Two weeks later, one of my high school classmates wanted to book the place for her son’s birthday. For a season not so good for swimming (it was a week before Christmas), all resort houses were fully booked. Cattleya is in-demand for a reason. The place is a must-visit when you’re looking for near-Manila out-of-towns but with a peaceful vibe.

When we arrived at Cattleya Farm Resort, the compound was quiet, except for a few houses that were hosting other guests. The spacing of each house was enough to have your own privacy and NOT hear videoke-singing from the other groups.  That goes without saying that you can also sing your hearts out with videoke and not get your “temporary neighbors” bang the doors on you. Also, as per barangay ordinance, you can only use it until 12am.


Upon entering Dominique, you’ll be greeted with a huge sign listing down resort rules. It included basic pool rules like no eating/drinking in the water, no rough playing,  use swim wear only, and so on. You’ll see everything from the entrance – including the space for parties, the big pool, a small Jacuzzi, a nipa hut, the comfort room at the top of the stairs, and a very very nice view of the city.

CAPACITY: Most of their houses can accommodate 50 people. My former classmates who attended the reunion were only about 25, so the place looked pretty big for us. It’s perfect for any kind of gathering, but it’s probably too casual for weddings.

PESO POWER: All of the pools at Cattleya resort have two types of rates – one for day rental (9am to 5pm) and one for night rental (7pm to 7am). Day rates are about 2,000 pesos cheaper than night rates. We got Dominique for 9,600 for an overnight stay. Although there isn’t any room for sleeping, except for one nipa hut with aircon. If you’re planning to stay here overnight and you’re bringing kids, check out other pools with rooms they could sleep in. Here’s the page for Cattleya Resort rates.

INSIDER TIP: There’s a small sari-sari store within the Cattleya Resort, but just like any other Antipolo resorts, the prices are way too high. Since the management isn’t strict about bringing in food and drinks, make sure you buy everything you need. There’s also a market about 30 minutes away, if you really need to buy something at the store. 🙂

How to get to Cattleya Farm Resort: To get to the resort you can go to Antipolo either thru Ortigas or Sumulong highway. Once you get to Antipolo proper, the easiest landmark to find is the YNARES Sports Center. From there, proceed to Unciano Hospital. Turn into the road right between the hospital and gasoline station. Follow the road on the map below. Cattleya Resort will be on your right.

Click for larger view


  • You can send a text message for Information at 0917-8169759
  • Call Mr. Peregrino for Reservations at 6970769 / 6965839
  • Call Vicente S. Benito (Resort Manager) at 9114341 / 9114407
  • FACEBOOK: For updates and promos, check the Cattleya Resort Facebook page

Villa Infant Jesus (Formerly Villa Sto Niño) in Marikina

Villa Sto. Nino resort is another event venue/swimming party venue within Marikina.

Located at the far end of Vista Valley Executive Village, Villa Infant Jesus offers sports and recreational facilities, such as basketball court, billiards table and a well-maintained pool. The place also has two large gazebos, a fountain and a spacious red-tiled garden that can squeeze in 300 guests for debuts or weddings. The area used for events features a large, semi-transparent green ceiling so those who choose to hold their weddings here shouldn’t worry about rain or sun.

Villa Sto. Nino also has two air-conditioned rooms with their own comfort rooms, which can be used by the bride and groom, debutants or the entourage. The place also has ample parking space (for 10 or more cars) and has a standby generator. Villa Infant Jesus scores brownie points in my book because they don’t charge corkage fee.

PESO POWER: Like Cobo Pavillion, Villa Infant Jesus has different rates. One rate covers the swimming pool and one gazebo, while the other covers the garden area. You can rent out the place exclusively, but it will cost you about 25,000.

HOW TO GET TO VILLA INFANT JESUS: Villa Sto. Niño is 5 minutes away from Our Lady of Fatima Chapel and Our Lady of Abandoned (OLA) Church.
CONTACT: Villa Infant Jesus
T: 4019657 (Look for Gardy) or 6825266
M: 09209155954, 0919-8666865

UPDATED NUMBER: 6828694 Look for Edith or utak (As of 1/10/2012)

LOCATION: Lot 30 Blk 4, Macapagal St. Vista Valley Executive Village Brgy. Sto. Nino Marikina City, Philippines

Goodbye NU 107

Another one bites the dust indeed. Just past midnight of November 8, 2010, NU-107 signed off after 23 years of rock music.


I first heard the news through the blog of NU 107’s former DJ jaeDee. Although the post isn’t live anymore, she announced that NU 107 is going through major re-formatting by start of 2011. (You can check out the cached post here) The DJ revealed this formatting would slowly be integrated into the schedules until the day it formally turns into another station playing masa pop songs probably with their own version of “kailangan pa ba i-memorize yan?

The revelation, of course, shocked many people particularly those of us who grew up listening to the station. It was NU who introduced us to OPM bands like Rivermaya, Eraserheads, the Teeth, Yano, Put3ska, Sugar Hiccup, Queso, Greyhoundz and aired Nirvana, Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Cure and other foreign acts you couldn’t listen to anywhere else. Aside from RX, my brother and sister used to withstand Rosario traffic going to school with Zach and Joey.

DJ jaeDee’s announcement wasn’t completely true. Since the “slow transformation” didn’t occur because the station didn’t torture their loyal listeners to a formatting they didn’t tune in for. Instead, on November 3, Quark Henares confirmed the news with:

It’s time to come clean, everyone. after 23 years, NU107 is finally closing shop. we’re sorry it took so long for us to confirm this. we were hoping for a miracle, I guess. so just hear this and then we’ll go. you gave us more to live for, more than you’ll ever know. 🙂

He also announced the schedule for a week of tribute and farewells:

People from all over came to visit the station throughout the week, even lighting up candles on the street. But the last day was an emotional one with all-out support for all NU DJs (both past and present). After plenty of tears and visits from local bands, it was down to the last hour. The second to the last song played was “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths, which was followed by farewell statements from Francis Brew and Cris Hermosisima who said “This is NU 107… and we are signing off.” The final song from NU-107 was Eraserhead’s “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” which I think is pretty appropriate. After the last Lupang Hinirang was aired, people mourning for the station stayed for a good 5 minutes.

Video not available

Now if you tune in to 107.5, you’ll hear 107.5 Win Radio – a new station that would probably be playing Justin Bieber and the like. Atom Henares said in one of the interviews that they’re thinking of continuing NU’s rock format in the internet. I do know from inside sources that the DJs fought tooth and nail to keep the format, so whatever NU bosses decide, no one can argue that closing down of NU-107 still is the end of an era and the station will still remain a part of our lives forever.

Photos by Malaya Echevarria

Isabelo’s Secret Garden Restaurant, Marikina

Isabelo is a garden restaurant in Marikina that serves homemade food. We found this place while I was searching for a wedding venue a few months back.

Although my partner Glenn is from Marikina and has hanged out in bars at Riverbanks, which is about 5 tumblings away from Isabelo, he has never heard of the place. We were quite pleased after we discovered it’s only a two-minute walk from Kapitan Moy and OLA, since we’re familiar with the place. Those with cars would probably think-twice about parking, but once you find Isabelo, you can park your cars inside the premises – they have a parking space that can fit around 5 or more cars.

Unlike most restaurants in Manila, Isabelo is strictly by reservation only, so you’ve got to e-mail or text the beautiful Ms. Portia about your orders a day or two before you visit. Because of this, you’ll share the place with only a small group of people when you dine in. When we visited Isabelo, only two other couples were there with us.

As you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by eclectic pieces of hanging bottles, paintings, mix-and-match plates, plenty of cafe lights in different colors, hanging beads and your personal waiter for the night. Each dining table is divided by a makeshift gazebo, which gives you and your date the privacy while dining.

We ordered the Spinach Artichoke Dip (P350♥), Seafood Salad (P482♥), Spaghetti and Meatballs (P410♥) and Italian Sausage Pizza (P410♥). I went gaga over the spinach  artichoke dip with homemade  bread, while Glenn gorged on the  seafood salad. When the pizza and  spaghetti came, we were so full we  had to have them packed to take  home.

Our bill was P1,652, which fed about 4 people (including my mom and brother who ate our take-home food).

The only complaint Glenn had was he wished Isabelo served beer. ***Note to beer-drinkers like us: Isabelo only serves wine 🙂 Also, if you prefer restos with air-conditioning, be aware that Isabelo serves dinner in a garden setting, so you got to be OK with electric fan while you’re there. Our waiter was kind enough to give us two fans, since no one was reserved on the next table.

Portia Dee Baluyut, the lady behind these dishes, will meet with you personally after your meal. She’ll also ask you to write on her guest book, which sort of reminded me of my high school days.

If you’re looking for a romantic place for an anniversary, or a place to get-together with your friends, Isabelo is a cozy little garden in Marikina you should check out. Ms. Portia is online everyday: you can check out her website, Facebook or just e-mail her directly for reservations.


Facebook: Isabelo Garden Restaurant
T: (02) 510.6914
M: 0908.7401645
Email: isabelogardenrestaurant [at]
Address: 11 Isabelo Mendoza St. San Roque, Marikina

    Cobo Pavillion, Marikina: Party Venue with Pool

    If you’re looking for a swimming party venue, but don’t want to go as far as Antipolo, there’s several resorts in Marikina. One of them is the Cobo Resort. It’s an all-in-one venue with a huge ballroom, a red-tiled patio, a small bridge with a pond, a large pool, a jacuzzi for kids and a hidden spot with a fantastic view of the entire place.

    Continue reading “Cobo Pavillion, Marikina: Party Venue with Pool”

    Things to Do: Adventures in the Sun

    The tropical climate of the Philippines and its spectacular beaches has made it a popular destination for tourists around the world, especially those seeking to escape the cold weathers of their home. The waters are filled with abundant marine life and teeming with biodiversity, making it a world-famous diving and snorkeling destination. Visitors have endless choices when it comes to accommodations; and although inter-island travel in the Philippines is generally affordable, there are also a number of luxury resorts in many beaches as well as backpackers’ accommodations to suit travelers with varying budgets.

    The different beaches in the Philippines have unique characteristics, with something to offer for discerning travelers who have varying needs and wants when it comes to their travel experiences. While many go to beaches to relax, there are also beaches that are famous for its nightlife and party vibe, and among the most popular of these is the beautiful island of Boracay. For those that are seeking beaches that blend nightlife with scenery, other choices include Cebu, Puerto Galera, Negros Oriental, Puerto Princesa, and Panglao. Thousands of foreigners have made Philippine beaches their homes, after being unable to resist the lure and charm of the islands.

    On the other hand, there are also many beach destinations if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing escape where you can just sit back, read a book, and still be treated to breathtaking scenery. These include Palawan, Camiguin, Davao, Pagudpud, Batangas, Batanes, Bataan, and Cebu as well. In many beaches, you will also find friendly locals who are more than happy to provide you with interesting bits of history and information, and even great secret spots that have not been published in many travel guides.

    Apart from beach activities, snorkeling and diving, many beaches around the country are blessed with exciting landscapes and mountains where travelers can trek and hike. From simple routes to more complex treks, hiking is a great way to get a panoramic view of the coastline, and get some exercise at the same time. However, be sure to talk to a guide who can offer information of the trail, and bring along the proper footwear. Some resorts include these in adventure tours, as well as on trails that will tour travelers on the best of each island.

    The rich flora and fauna endemic to various locations in the Philippines can also be seen in many adventure tours, such as touring Bohol and seeing the infamous tarsier, which is also an endangered species. Because the country’s landscape is very diverse and blessed with rich animal life that live in the mysterious forests and jungles close to many beaches, travelers also have the option of exploring these during their trips.

    Apart from enjoying outdoor activities, don’t forget to refresh yourself by trying local specialties such as mango shakes and the “halo-halo” ice cream. Both cold chillers are famous in the Philippines and are available in many resorts.

    Top 10 Attractions

    The Philippines is endowed with natural beauty: miles of beaches, white sands, turquoise waters, abundant marine life, lush mountains and hills, breathtaking coastlines, flora and fauna, and great tropical weather to enjoy it all with. The Philippines’ beautiful 7,107 islands are truly a pride of the locals, and enjoyed by visitors who come from all corners of the globe.

    1. Boracay – Located in Western Visayas, the island of Boracay has been a favorite holiday getaway for Filipinos; and because of its popularity and reputation for being the finest beach in the world, has also been a much-loved destination for foreigners. Developments on the island now offer visitors complete amenities and endless choices when it comes to food, accommodations, and beach activities. One aspect that makes Boracay particularly popular is its nightlife. The island seems to come alive at night, with every bar and restaurant pulsating with music, rhythm, and a generally pleasant atmosphere.

    2. Tagaytay – Just 37 miles south from the country’s capital of Manila, Tagaytay is an ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially during the summer because of its high altitude. Tagaytay has clean air, a crisp, cool climate, abundant greens, and a wide array of delicious restaurants and comfortable accommodations. The highlight of visiting Tagaytay is the spectacular view of the Taal volcano, which is situated within Taal Lake. Popular activities include picnics, horseback riding, and golf.

    3. Bohol – Situated in Central Visayas, Bohol is a popular destination; it combines the best of beaches, natural beauty, as well as historical and cultural attractions. Many historical structures and churches dating back to the time of the Spanish colonial period have been well preserved. Apart from its white sand beaches, other must-sees in Bohol include the Chocolate Hills, which is probably the most notable tourist attraction of the province; its magnificent waterfalls, and the Bilar Mahogany Forest.

    4. Camiguin – Camiguin lies in the northern area of Mindanao. The small island province is small enough that one can tour its perimeter by car in one day. It is known for several attractions, such as the White Island, a tiny patch of white sand and clear waters which is just a few minutes away by bangka. Camiguin, being a volcanic island, also boasts of 7 volcanoes. One can never run out of things to enjoy in the island, with its Sunken Cemetery, which is especially majestic during sunset; breathtaking waterfalls, cold and hot natural springs. Historical attractions also abound, such as Old Catarman Church Ruins, and the Stations of the Cross.

    5. Baguio – Located in northern Luzon, Baguio is a favorite getaway during summer for its cool weather. It has been highly developed and boasts of numerous cozy inns, but has also preserved its historical attractions. Visitors of Baguio are treated to sunny mornings, cool afternoons, and chilly nights, which many find to be romantic. Coffee in Baguio is exquisite, and the food is wonderful. There are a number of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as picnicking and horseback riding, as well as attractions such as the Burnham Park, Session Road, Baguio Cathedral, Mines View, Wright Park, Baguio Botanical Garden, Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Lourdes Grotto, Asian Hot Springs, Bell Church, Wood Carver’s Village, and the Easter Weaving Room.

    6. Siargao Island – Located in Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island is a favorite destination of local and foreign surfers, giving it the nickname of Surfing Capital of the Philippines, and hosts a number of surfing competitions every year. Apart from surfing, the tear shaped island of Siargao also has white sand, coconut-tree lined beaches, a sand bar, lush jungles, and a very relaxing atmosphere. Popular activities aside from surfing include caving, fishing, kayaking, island tours, and boat trips.

    7. Pagudpud – The sleepy little coastal town of Pagudpud is situated in northwest Luzon. Here you won’t find a highly developed resort area; but rather, many nipa huts, little stores, and stretches of glorious coastlines and spectacular beaches that are ideal for camping. Instead of hotels, Pagudpud offers a number of affordable inns that make it easy for any tourist to commune with nature. Because of the town’s remoteness, Pagudpud is an ideal destination for tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of Philippine nature in isolation, probably shared with a few other campers.

    8. El Nido – Located in Palawan in Western Visayas, El Nido possesses majestic natural formation and spectacular beaches that have intrigued and enticed tourists. It also has extremely diverse ecosystems, white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, abundant marine life, rainforests, and breathtaking, mysterious lagoons. The sleepy province of El Nido offers a range of accommodations, but the islands also have five star exclusive hotels. Boating is a popular activity and mode of transport, as the region has countless islands waiting to be discovered. El Nido is also a preferred destination of divers for its stunning marine life.

    9. Dumaguete – Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental boasts of the best of historical and natural attractions. The city was significant during historical times, and the Japanese Imperial Forces occupied the city during World War II. Over the years, people from other countries have been unable to resist the charm of the city and have made it their home. The Rizal Boulevard is especially charming during sunset, as one can watch people from all walks of life. Other popular attractions include Silliman University, Twin Lakes, Apo Island, Dolphin Watching, and the Sugar Mills.

    10. Sorsogon – Situated in the province of Bicol, in Sorsogon you will encounter probably one of the most unforgettable experiences possible in the Philippines – swimming with whale sharks. These gentle giants have long called the Bicol province their home, enthralling thousands who have come to swim alongside them, many who claim the experience is “surreal”. Apart from this, Sorsogon offers a plentitude of choices when it comes to exploring the island, which include Bulusan Lake, Rizal Beach, Bacon Beach, Paguriran Island, Pagol Beach, and Sta. Magdalena. Many beaches here have affordable resorts, and are also scenic and idyllic, a choice location for campers.