BALI IN BATANGAS
by Danny Tariman
It was a pleasant surprise for us to see and experience an entire garden resort in full Balinese theme — from its gate to the gardens, to the restaurant, to the bedrooms, and others. In just about 1-1/2 hour drive from Alabang, we were transported to “Bali, Indonesia”.
I am talking about the Cintai Corito Gardens in Balete, Batangas. It was an easy drive passing through South Luzon Expressway, turning right to Star Tollway and exiting at Lipa.
We arrived early at about 9:30am. Upon entry at the resort gate, we were greeted by the driveway on a rolling terrain with well trimmed grass on both sides of the road. Few minutes later, we were on another “world” – a Balinese-inspired garden.
Since it was early for checking-in, we decided to tour the place in the meantime. We were immediately offered a refreshing blue-colored drink while seated garden setting surrounded by lush greenery.
It was still early for lunch, so we drove out and had a side trip to the Marian Orchard, just few minutes from Cintai Corito. Among the beautiful sights here are the statue of the Risen Lord (a smaller version of Brazil’s famous statue), the garden of Mary, and a garden with sheep. This place is good for meditation or simply to commune with nature. See the photos to see how beautiful this place is.
Cintai Corito is really good for getting total rest from the hustle and bustle of city life. It has swimming pools where you can take some laps. Or you may want to try biking around the resort using in-house mountain bikes. The resort has mini-zoo and some animals are freely roaming around like peacocks and other domesticated animals. The place has many nooks and gardens for relaxation and even for meditation, too.
In the evening, my family watched a movie in the resort’s viewing room – with snacks served! I do not have to tell to you how beautiful the place is. Just look at the photos.
If you want a truly restful weekend, this is the place!
Tip: when you visit Balete, you should try the “pansit lomi” (egg noddles in thick sauce). This savory noodle is very different from the pansit lomi noodle you will usually have in Metro Manila. Another dish to try is “chami” – a spicy and sweet stir-fried noodles. You can have this food trip in Lipa City, just before driving to Balete road.