Breaking News

Travel PH | Serenity in Calawag Mountain Resort

The Calawag Mountain Resort is in the mountains.  Enough said. LOL.  Well, technically they are located in the mountains of Tibiao, Antique beside a wide flowing river.

Mountain + River = Serenity for me.

How to get here.
By boat via Caticlan.  
You get to Caticlan from Batangas via 2Go.  Fare would be Php1,200-1500 for tourist class.
From Caticlan, there's a van for Iloilo, it passes through Tibiao, Antique.  Should you go by bus, ask the people at the port how to reach the Highway and wait for the bus for Iloilo or San Jose Buenavista.  Fare approximate Php100-Php120.

By boat via Iloilo.  
You take it to Iloilo from Manila via 2Go. Fare would be Php1,500-2000 for tourist class.
From Iloilo, you have to take the bus or van to Kalibo.  Make sure it passes through Tibiao, Antique.  I don't have fare information as of this writing. Simply tell the driver to drop you off along the highway to the mountain resorts that has the kawa. 

By Plane to Kalibo.    
From the airport, take any tricycle to the Ceres Terminal or to the Van Terminal.  Tricycles are Php8 regular trip but since you are coming from the airport, you might have to haggle an agreeable contract price.
Take an airconditioned (AC) bus to Iloilo (Fare approximate Php200-Php300) or a non-AC to San Jose Buenavista, Antique (Fare Php120).  Simply tell the driver to drop you off along the highway to the mountain resorts that has the kawa. 

By Plane to Iloilo
From the airport, take a taxi to the Bus Terminal or Van Terminal.  It may cost you a big amount as contracted amount is already Php350.  Take a van instead from the airport to SM City Php70.  From SM City you can take a taxi to a bus or van terminal from there.  Taking a Jeep is a bit daunting for a first timer in Iloilo as you may have to take a number of jeeps to reach the terminals.
There are vans and buses to Kalibo that passes through Tibiao, Antique so you may take these.  Simply tell the driver to drop you off along the highway to the mountain resorts that has the kawa.  (Fare approximate Php300-400).

After being dropped off at the corner, you will take the habal habal or motorcycle transport as tricycles can't overcome some steep roads going to the resort.

Now going up the mountain, you will pass through the barangay checkpoint and will charge you an entrance fee of Php50.

Upon reaching Calawag Mountain Resort, you will scale down some stairs to reach the side of the river where their reception is located.

They have dorm, room and a tree house type of accommodations so you will have to choose which one catches your fancy.  For our trip we were given the tree house which I admit was a first for me.  A great experience it was for me.

The tree house that was given had two levels up.  One had a lobby of sort as its first level, but can accommodate a bed or two, the we slept up at a higher level that can have two beds at one time.

This was view from the window from my tree house.

Now as part of their accommodation, you are given free access to their fish spa and again, it was my first time to try it out.  I thought these were just novelties or gimmicks but I was proven wrong.  When I tried it for the first time here, I never knew how ticklish I was with my feet.  The fishes were much bigger than those I've seen in Manila and I was afraid as I didn't know what to expect.

The fishes had sandpaper like teeth as explained to me by the owner and it had a soothing effect he added.  So I trusted him and dipped my feet in the water.  I almost shouted as the fish immediately attacked my feet.  They were feeding off my dead skin as it was explained further.  The process was so tickling so if you are, better be prepared.  After a few minutes underwater, you will be accustomed to the fishes that soon it will have a soothing effect.  I did this for almost thirty minutes and when I finally got out, then I felt how smooth my feet were.  No novelties, no gimmicks, the fish spa works.

After drying off, we ordered for our dinner.  Its a bit pricey for provincial standards mind you but hey, the serving size is huge.  So big the dinner plate that I had a hard time finishing the whole meal.  I'm a fan of eating, yet I was not able to gouge down the whole thing.  So I say its worth the price.  If you travel by group, you can have their boodle fight of a meal.  If I remember it right its priced at Php250 per person. I saw other guests that had it, and they had a great time munching on it.

Now on to why I chose this place.  As researched and suggested by my friend Al Bin, the main attraction to this resort is their hot kawa baths.  Seeing me here in a Kawa, the water was heated prior and had a calming effect.  I chose the Salt bath for this one.  You may choose also the Red Horse or the Milk baths. 

Calawag Mountain Resort also has the Tubing Ride wherein you take on the river the use of inner tubes.  The resort car or vehicle will take you upriver and from there you float down the river towards the resort.  Due to time constraints I was not able to try the Tube ride.  Maybe next time I visit I will do it for sure.

The best experience I had here at Calawag Mountain Resort was the feeling of serenity.  Evenings and early mornings were quiet except for the flowing river.  When I wanted to sleep soundly in Manila, sometimes I searched in Youtube the sound of pouring rain, waves on the beach, or flowing river.  This time, I had the real thing.  The sound of the flowing river lulled me to sleep.  When I woke up, I simply sat on benches along the riverbank and simply watched the river.  Since their kitchen was not yet open, I had breakfast with bread I bought from Tibiao Bakery (check out the mention of it here) and pondered on many things, business and personal.  It was a great feeling I tell you.

Also, there's no cellular signal here so you I guarantee you a pure digital detox within the resort :)

Travelling to the place might be daunting but I guarantee you, the trip will be worth it.  Beautiful and serene, the place will not disappoint you.  Staff here are always smiling and attentive to your needs so I don't know how could be feel bad at this place.

Thanks to Sir Flord for the accommodation and to Sir Al Bin for being my guide through Antique.  Because of you guys I would like to spend more time in Antique next time I visit.

For more of Calawag Mountain Resort, visit them here