Given the busy schedule at work, there is really not much time for a long ride out the metro, and since I prefer peaceful and secluded destinations, I prefer to stay at home during peak seasons.
However, when I found out about our team’s quick getaway in an uncrowded place in the North West end of the well-known southern highlands of Rizal, I made sure that I can make a time off from school and work, to join my colleagues for a 2-hour road trip to Martessem Mountain Resort in Tanay, Rizal.
This family owned-resort sitting on the hilltop, 2000ft above sea level took my breath away when I witnessed its panoramic view of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
The view reminded me of the summit of Mt. Pulag because of the 360-degree view of the foothills and rolling green valleys. If you arrive in time, you can witness the beautiful formation of the sea of clouds just before the sunsets, less the 11-hour hike and the steep assaults of the Tawangan trail to the summit of Mt. Pulag.
After we have settled in our Mountain View room, we were invited by the resort’s in-house manager, Mr. Allan, to a scrumptious home cooked dinner at their restaurant.
One of the viands that they offered to us is the Ilonggo dish, Binakol na manok. Binakol is a popular dish in Western Visayas that originated in Aklan. It resembles tinola, except that it is cooked using young coconut water with coconut meat.
I am excited to try out this dish as this used to be my comfort food when I was a kid. My grandmother will cook this dish whenever I came home to Iloilo to spend the summer, the only difference was native chicken was used.
However, some of my colleagues were hesitant to try a bowl but some have tried to satisfy their curiosity. For me, the binakol was really good – mildly sweet and tasty. It satisfied my hunger and cured my homesickness.
After dinner, we went back to our room to try out the grand videoke that one of my colleagues brought with her.
Martessem Resort staff were very kind to allow us to bring one and help us set it up in their flat screen television. They even provided us equalizer for a better sound! And heaven knows how we enjoyed the whole night with unlimited songs to sing and dance until the wee hours!
When I woke up the next day at around 5:00 am, I took a peek in the window, and immediately got up on my feet, change to my running clothes and drag myself for a quick run to catch the sunrise.
Despite the lack of sleep, I managed to finish a 3k run around the resort, the view helped me as it was just perfect. The weather reminds me of Tagaytay: cool, calming and refreshing.
When I went back to our room, Pia and Ina were already awake so I invited them to try the pool and squeeze in some practice swim before breakfast and the others wake up.
Good thing that these two also loves to swim so they agreed right away. We only swam for 40 minutes as we need to eat breakfast together with the rest of the team who just woke up. After breakfast, the rest of the team joined us for a swim and quick “photo shoot”.
It saddens me that we need to leave such beautiful place.
Martessem, true to its promise, is homey and takes your stresses away.
Because of its picturesque view of the Sierra Madre mountain range and the sea of clouds,you will definitely regain the energy you’ve lost from a long week of work. It is a unique, and pristine place to visit for quick relaxation near Metro Manila.
Martessem Mountain Resort will surely satisfy your dream of living in a truly green and relaxing environment, a haven that boasts exclusivity, sophistication and affordability.
Will I go back? Definitely.
Address: KM 58 Marcos Highway Sitio Mayagay 1 Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal, Philippines 1870
Direction: From Cubao, ride a jeepeny going to Cogeo gate 2 and ask where the jeepneys are going to Tanay, Sampaloc. Board the jeepney again and inform driver to drop you off Martessem Mountain Resort
Check-In Time: 14:00
Check-Out Time: 12:00
Article by: Cyra Penol