ROILO GOLEZ, Philippine National Security Adviser (2001-2004). The world and the Philippines as Roilo Golez sees it. With focus on national security, geopolitics, geo-security, economics, science and government.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
THE SIERRA MADRE HOTEL AND RESORT Posted by: Carlo Lorenzo
If the breathtaking view here at The Sierra Madre looks familiar, don’t be surprised. Many scenes from movies and soap operas were shot here. And I don’t see why not. But it’s not just about the fantastic view because there’s so much more about this resort.
And that’s exactly the spectacular sight of the mountain range you’ll see from here.
It’s an hour away from Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. This resort in Tanay Municipality, Rizal Province, is a pretty convenient getaway.
The road trip itself is a treat. The road condition is great. No humps and bumps. My friends and I had to make quick stops though, but just to take pictures.
When I first saw the facade of The Sierra Madre, I thought it was very simple and modest…until I started going around the place.
The viewing deck is amazing. Sit here, relax and enjoy gazing at God’s awesome masterpiece while the cool Tanay breeze carries your worries away.
Early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s drizzling the draft makes the place foggy. I like that.
The marvelous scenery and comforting climate are complemented with the energizing activities you can do here.
You can enjoy the zipline and fly from the top of the place and over the pool with the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in the background.
Challenge yourself and cross the rope bridge. The first time I attempted to do this, I only made a few steps then went back. I had this fear of slipping and falling down below.
The third time I went here at The Sierra Madre was during the team building of the UP Campus Feast Organization. I had no choice. Everyone had to finish this and test our personal limits. So I went up and braced myself for the rope bridge.
It’s better to hold on to the ropes at the side which is leveled slightly above the waist than the rope above your head.
Each step was difficult for me, especially because someone behind me was shaking the ropes to tease me. Was I going to fall? My grip was tight. I kept on moving and didn’t look down. Hahaha. I probably took the longest time to finish, but I did it!
Another must in the itinerary is the visit to the falls. You can ask the staff to get directions or request for a guide to go with you to the Sto. Nino Waterfalls.
It’s a 30-45 minute trek. Make sure you do this hours before sunset so you’ll have still sunlight on your way back.
You can hear the waterfalls from afar but before reaching it, you’ll have to climb down the steep stairs.
And then finally, the Sto. Nino Waterfalls.
My legs were tired so I took off my slippers and took a dip. The water is very cold. Dipping takes away the weariness. My legs felt good as new.
If you can take the icy water, then take it a step further. Go up to where the water falls down and feel the pressure of the cold water falling on your head and shoulders.
The area is small and you won’t have space to swim. There are also a lot of rocks so it really won’t be safe to swim. Jumping in the water must not be done to avoid injuries. But picture taking is very much encouraged.
My friends and I stayed there maybe for about half an hour. Most of them considered the trip to the falls the highlight of their day.
Along the way back, we passed by this rope course. This spot is actually where the zipline ends.
Visitors are allowed to climb this when there are facilitators available.
It’s a rope wall you can climb but none of us reached the top. It’s a pretty tiring climb and we’ve had so many team building activities already for the day.
There are three hanging bridges at the Sierra Madre Hotel. The shortest one is near the viewing deck.
The longest hanging bridge and highest is at the back.
When you get hungry, there’s a restaurant here that’s open from 7am until 9pm. Although there are readily available food, they encourage guests to notify the staff at least a day ahead so they have more time to prepare requested meals.
If the day tour isn’t enough, you can spend the night here. The cellphone signal is poor though. But maybe that helps to take the mind away from work.
For groups on a budget, they have dorm-type rooms that can fit 10 people and has a bathroom. Php5,000 for an overnight stay with aircon and Php4,500 without it.
The rooms good for 7 persons without aircon costs Php3,500 while rooms good for 5 is priced at Php2,500 per night.
Their log cabins good for 2 with aircon is Php2,500, and without aircon is Php2,000.
Standard rooms with 2 beds is Php1,500 with aircon.
Their best room is the honeymoon suite, good for 2 at Php4,500. It has a sala set, kitchen area, aircon and bathroom.
If you really want to be one with nature, try camping for the night. Bring your own tent, the staff charges Php350 per head.
For parties, big meetings and other events, the Sierra Madre Hotel has a conference hall, the Bulusan Hall. You can rent the place for Php5,000 for the first three hours and Php1,000 per succeeding hour.
Entrance Fee for the day tour: Php50 (fee is waived for those checked in) Zipline: Php200 Hanging Bridge and Rope Bridge: Free Trip to Sto. Nino Waterfalls: Free Swimming Pool: Php150
How to get here: If you’re bringing your car, from Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, make a turn to Aurora Blvd going to Marcos Highway passing through Antipolo and Marikina City. Just follow the road. For public transport, ride the jeep from Katipunan Ave. cor. Aurora Blvd. going to Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall. From the Mall, take another jeep going to Cogeo and tell the driver to drop you off at The Sierra Madre Hotel and Resort.