rainy rendezvous in Rizal
Another weekend, another trip to Rizal. Last time, we got a bunch of our friends together for an adults-only playscape adventure. This time, we planned the outing with our kids’ social circle in mind, joining forces with another family for a weekend getaway in the foothills of Mt. Purro.
We have quickly learned that so-called nature reserves abound in the Philippines. The term is used rather loosely here and does not have the same connotations of conservation and bureaucracy to which we are accustomed. Whereas the Masungi Georeserve was indeed the result of decades of conservation, the Mt. Purro Nature Reserve, where we spent this past weekend, seemed more like a private lodge that had the good fortune to be built on the outskirts of a small forest.
The accommodations were rather basic, the showers ran cold, and the beds left a lot to be desired. Our room came with half a dozen twin beds whose frames had been cobbled together out of bamboo. We are not tall people, but S just barely fit in her bed, and D had a hard time with his: even with his head touching the headboard, D’s feet hung over the mattress.
What the Mt. Purro Nature Reserve lacked in luxury, it made up for with activities. There was a pool, an outdoor playground complete with mud kitchen, a game room, and a zip line. In the evening, there was a bonfire and marshmallows. The lodge also offered conference facilities, and our weekend getaway coincided with a doctors’ convention. There was also a clearing where some visitors pitched tents. As we haven’t found many places close by to go camping, we tucked away this bit of acquired intel at the back of our minds. We’ve only taken Munchkin camping once, and Junebug has never been.
The lodge offered guided nature walks through the forest and to a nearby river. We went on a forest walk Saturday evening, but the short uphill hike proved steep and slippery and was not to everyone’s liking. Munchkin joined his friend in protesting the suggestion of a Sunday morning river walk, so we split along gender lines, with the guys staying behind to splash in the pool while the ladies checked out the river.
What we appreciated most about this getaway is how little we had to drive to leave the traffic, pollution, and crowded streets of Manila behind. Even though it rained a good part of the time we were at Mt. Purro, we were able to spend the entire weekend outdoors, breathing in the fresh rainforest air. There’s a good chance that we’ll return with our tents the next time we need a quick nature break from the capital.