Sunday, February 20, 2011

ARGAO: 02 – Coal Mountain Resort


It was almost dark when we arrived at the place. I felt relieved that the darkness did not catch us on the road because we braved a lot of unconventional paths just to get there. That is what I admire about our habal-habal driver cum tour guide. Not only was he chatty in Tagalog, he also had a twisted sense of adventure.


We were greeted by the caretaker and two other women who lived there. There were no other visitors and I realized that it was not a typical inn or hostel. Actually, it is more like a rest house. The place serves as a vacation spot atop the mountain for the family owning it. Since they do not advertise the place at all, only a few tourists have actually been there.


One immediately sees the two mini pools by the gazebo. One is shaped as a heart and the other as a mango or whatever yellow fruit that suits your fancy. Next to the heart-shaped pool are giant mushroom-shaped cement umbrellas covering a reclining bench or two overlooking an empty pool, next to which is a Mama Mary grotto with a beautiful series of mountain ranges as her backdrop. Adjacent to this grotto is a Nipa hut, which is actually one of the accommodations (600 pesos/night) next to animal cages housing birds and snakes. The said animals are housed in separate cages so that the peacock would still be there in the morning and not in the belly of the snake.


Next to the grotto is the common area where one can dine, watch TV, or play with Rosita. No, Rosita is not the caretaker. Rosita is the small resident monkey chained to the veranda. And then there is the dog, and the caretakers. They would probably be very happy to cook for you if you bring the goods to be cooked from the market. Otherwise, I doubt they would have anything stocked because the place is so far from the town center.


After eating the food we bought at the market, my friend decided to take a swim in the heart-shaped pool. I had to say pass because I have not slept for a day and we were on top of a mountain and I would not have risked catching pneumonia seeing how emaciated I already was. She said that the water was not too cold though. In any case, I would have fallen asleep and drowned because they were saying that the pool was eight feet deep. And so, I slept. We decided against the Nipa Hut since I could not tolerate very low temperatures and the said hut was open. We instead took one of the rooms with wooden partitions. Three people could easily fit in there and it was just 1,000 pesos split into two, in our case.

I woke up in the middle of the night hearing some noise coming from the next room. There had been an accident in one of the mines and the victim was brought there for first aid. One of the siblings owning the place is a doctor who happened to be visiting that night. Good thing the clinic of the rest house is always well-equipped. I only found out about this the next morning because I immediately went back to sleep.


We woke up early the next morning to visit Agta Cave and Bugasok Falls but before that,  one of the owners of the resort was there and decided to give us a tour of the man-made mineshaft. This has to be the highlight of our stay at Coal Mountain Resort, getting intimate with mud while in our coveralls. The two cockroaches inhabiting my coverall also had fun. I just wished they did not have to make a stopover on my face before flying off to wherever it was they were headed to. The mine shaft adventure took around 15 minutes of our time and my attempt to document it gave me mixed results given the darkness and my phone camera’s lack of flash.

16 creature/s gave a damn:

William said...

I think it's a different kind of resort which is good for adventurous people. I should really consider it.

kimberley accommodation

ihcahieh said...

@William - Hi, yes it really is a unique place. Going up there on the back of a motorcycle is already an adventure in itself. =)

Anonymous said...

Hello, how much did you pay for the motorcycle ride? and are there other rooms just for day use? thanks

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - There were two of us. 250 uphill divided by 2. Downhill = 500/2 because we went to the falls and to the cave. Dunno if the rates are still the same if you go solo. The rooms, if I remember, there are four. And then there's the Kubo by the pool. I think you won't find it hard to get rooms because the place is so remote. =)

Anonymous said...

Okay lang na lagyan niyo ng ilaw yan. By this time wala naman wala nang methane diyan. Mas maliwanag mas maganda at ma-appreciate yan ng mga bisitang di pa nakakita ng mina ng karbon. Congrats sa ginawa niyong coal resort.

Alex Gaetos said...

Hope to re-visit this area again.

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Oo nga e, boring tuloy ung video, LOL. Pero ok naman nakapa kapa ko naman yung mga pader. Pwede na rin.

@Alex Gaetos - Me too!

Anonymous said...

We're planning on going there by weekend. Magkano po yung price sa cottage for overnyt stay? and may entrance po bah? thanks.

ihcahieh said...

Hi @Anonymous kung tama ang pagkakatanda ko, 1000 yung room, pwede tatlo. Wala atang entrance fee, wala naman akong natatandaan na may binayaran kaming ganun.

Jennifer Caminero said...

Hello..I just watched your videos and I've noticed that the girl in video was using my pink boots! :) By the way, I am the daughter of your tour guide. Maganda ang pagkakagawa nyo and I really appreciate this page. I will share this to my friends here in Australia who are hoping to visit our place there in Argao. :)

@ihcahieh, you can ring the place if you want to visit there again to reserve the place and book a room. I would highly recommend you to try the new zipline and there is also a new swimming pool which is about 5X bigger than the heart pool. There are also newly built rooms. For those of you who want to come to our place, please don't expect too much kasi pang "atin atin" lang talaga ang place na to because this was just intended as a family resthouse at first until more and more people liked it that even the locals wanted to visit which made the owners decided to expand and improve the place. :)

ihcahieh said...

@Jennifer Caminero - thanks for dropping by my blog. I have no plans of going back to Cebu yet, but I will do as you suggest when I do. Nagtataka lang ako kung saan niyo nilagay yung bagong pool, HAHA, guess I would have to find out. I really enjoyed our stay there, sobrang peaceful and stress-relieving. :)

Jennifer Caminero said...

you'll know when you get there. :) our place there is just really big that you can't even imagine unless you'll see the new developments. :)

ihcahieh said...

@Jennifer Caminero - Thanks for the updates. Can't wait to visit the place again. :)

Anonymous said...

Does the resort have a contact number? I am interested to go to the place...I really love nature and adventure packed in one!

Anonymous said...

i watched Let's fiesta today and the place is featured. I tried to search the name of the resort...I thought I heard it cold mountain resort....but COAL mountain resort came as a result of my search...Never heard of this resort before...been to Argao so many times but never been to that place...It looks nice, cozy, peaceful....I hope I can visit the place...IF YOU CAN Provide contacts so that I can inquire the rates and others...tnx.... ( l8lrose03)

G Mitchell Mitchell said...

very beautiful Resort

Thank you for hosting

hotel and Resorts Rent: http://www.nzstays.co.nz/property/new-zealand-resorts.html

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