Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pahinga Riverside Retreat House: the name says the Rest

To mention its name and say that this is a place where you can forget your stressful urban life and drown your worries in the chorus of rustling bamboo leaves, singing birds and flowing river in a single sentence would be utterly redundant. So, we won’t.

Instead, we’ll just tell you that peace of mind comes cheap here in Pahinga Riverside Retreat House in Pilar, Bataan. We’ll let the photos do the talking from here.

The guest house bedroom

The Glass house is the one with the best overlooking view of the river.
Fancy taking a bath with a breathtaking view?

The lower glass house bedroom.

The Main House

One of the main house's several bedrooms
There are additional bedrooms in the attic of the main house.

Our thanks to our friend, Lean, for leading us to this wonderful place. And so, we are duty-bound to pay it forward:

From Pasay or Cubao, ride a bus bound for Mariveles and ask your conductor to drop you off at the Total gas station in Ala-Uli. It’s a 2-3 hour bus ride and when you start seeing signs that you’re in Balanga, you’re almost there. Once in Ala-uli, you can do a last-minute shop for supplies in sari-sari stores nearby. After that, go to the nearest tricycle terminal and ask the drivers to take you to Pahinga rest house. If that doesn’t work,  you can just mention Salaya Farm. If that, too, doesn’t work, contact Kuya Dondi, the trike driver, through his mobile phone 09433604523. If tha--- Nah! You don’t wanna hear the rest. Just know that 50 PHP for each person is a fare that’s fair enough to get you there.

What to do in Pahinga?

Well, aside from sleeping ‘til your eyes fall off [which we did], wading through the river during this rainy season is fine but it’s best done during summer when the water is clearest. Morning walks around the surrounding farms are said to be just as refreshing and photo enthusiasts will also find beautiful subjects inside and outside of Pahinga. The other houses are also left open for visitors to see. Best to go here as a group.

Oh, and cook! Bring and cook your own food. Just make sure to buy all the ingredients beforehand and Pahinga’s dirty kitchen has all the rest. ALL. THE. REST.

Not your average-sized butiki.

Pahinga is also strategically located in between two of Bataan’s popular attractions: Mt. Samat and Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

To go to Las Casas, ask Ate Fe, the caretaker to take you out to the main road. From the main road, you can take a bus/jeepney bound for Bagac and ask the conductor to drop you off at Las Casas. The fare should be around 30 PHP for the 30-45-minute ride. The day tour fee through Las Casas’ vintage residences should be around 650 PHP.

On the other hand, a 5-10 minute jeepney or tricycle ride bound for Ala-uli and you should pass by the gate to Mt. Samat. Just ask the driver to drop you off there. From there, you can rent a tricycle to the zipline, supposedly the longest in Luzon, which well then take you to Dunsulan Falls. Alternatively, for P100 per person [or maybe you can do better than this deal], the driver can take you up to the Dambana ng Kagitingan. Patriotic citizens that we are, we chose the latter.

A big cross for all the brave souls who held their ground...

...even when faced with certain defeat.

And I'm buying a stairway to heaven...

The viewing deck at the top of the cross... is wet.

A stunning view from the deck even with the heavy rains.

So, if you have a mind to take a time off from your daily hassles, or just want to reminisce that 90’s afternoon TV teen drama, remember that there’s a place in Bataan with a name that is as good as the deed.

The name says the Rest.

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