BLOC Camp Site: Laguna’s Hidden Getaway Spot
by Lois Gutierrez
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Do you remember the last time you went on a spontaneous trip? Just packing your bags and going on the road with that come what may hakuna-matata attitude?
Now this idea might not appeal to some people such as myself who’s not really a fan of unplanned trips, but a while back my friends and I found ourselves hitting the road with two days worth of clothing, a bunch of sleeping bags, a full tank of gas, and completely no idea where we’re headed.
Originally, we were supposed to camp at some mountain, but signs of rain made us change our minds. So there we were, a bunch of 20-somethings looking for a place to unwind. With that in mind, we decided to head south to the province of Laguna.
If you’re down for an unplanned road trip in the Philippines, you can’t go wrong with roaming around Laguna. Laguna’s roads are rich with scenic mountain and lake views that will certainly suit your personally crafted road trip playlist.
Where to go?
Upon entering the city of Cavinti in Laguna, we decided to check out this camp site my friend randomly found on the internet.
BLOC camp site was the name, and the rest was a guessing game.
None of us have ever heard of BLOC, so we completely had no idea what we were in for. BLOC was about 4 hours away from Manila, and can be found in the outskirts of Cavinti.
BLOC Camp Site
We reached the camp site as soon as it went dark. Scanning the horizon, the first thing that caught my eye was this tree standing alone amidst a wide stretch of grass. It looked as if it was taken out of a romantic movie scene or like it was one of those pictures you see on postcards.
Aside from the camp’s obviously romantic setting that would make you wish you weren’t single, the place was quite serene. A perfect getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle.
After roaming the grounds, we decided to check out our accommodation. Being a camp site, I expected to get a bunch of sleeping bags and a tent to pitch for the night. But to my surprise, what we ended up with is this!
A huge tent with 2 beds, cushy pillows, a table, electric sockets, a fan, and a light. The owner later explained that what we’re about to experience is called “Glamping”, short for Glamorous Camping. Apparently, BLOC camp site was one of the 10 top Glamping spots in the Philippines!
As a person who often camps on mountains, this place made me wish I can camp like this anywhere. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Just look at that oh so cozy tent!
After going gaga about our glamorous tent and taking a bunch of pictures I can use to brag on my Instagram and Facebook, we decided to head to the camp cafe/bar to get to know the owner over a couple of drinks.
A Camp with a Cause
We spent hours talking with the owner all night only to discover that the camp site also serves a Godly purpose of eradicating the homeless by donating a portion of its revenue to the MOTH Foundation (Missionaries of The Homeless), and by serving as a refugee camp in times of need.
On another note, we also learned that the owner was a die hard fan of punk rock, which is why we proceeded to jam the night away over some tunes in the camp’s music studio, complete with electric guitars and a drum set! Needless to say, with our confidence levels fueled by one too many bottles of alcohol, we ended the night with a bang!
When morning came, I was very excited to take a look outside, especially since the owner told us how beautiful the sun rises at the horizon. Unfortunately when I reached for my phone to check the time when I woke up, I realized it was way past sunrise (Oh no! The sunrise!).
But despite my failure to see the sunrise because of my struggle to get off early from my very cozy bed, I was left in awe as I saw this view when I got out of our tent.
A gush of fresh air greeted me on my way to the grounds, something that you’ll surely appreciate if you live in the city. With blue skies and the sun’s rays peeking through the clouds, I decided to just sit on the grass and take it all in.
Look! A friend even offered his company while I was sitting on the grass!
Come lunch time we decided to get the camp site’s best seller, freshly caught Black Bass. The owner’s wife was a pretty good cook. Just look at these mouth watering dishes!
Things to Do
Soon after getting our stomachs full we decided to look for an activity to burn away the tons of carbs we can’t help but consume. The camp offers several activities to choose from. You can try paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, boating, trekking, cliff diving, fishing, or just chill out with some beers in this cool floating deck!
Of all the activities to choose from, we decided to spend some time to exploring the surrounding islands. We took a rowboat instead of a motorized boat (Because it seemed like a good idea and we were quite confident with our upper body strength) and we picked out an island to row to from afar.
Our boat ride to the island we chose (about 500m away from the camp) made us feel like a bunch of people who got lost at sea for days. Long story short, we paddled for about 4 hours (2 hours each way), got sunburnt, exhausted, and realized we’re a bunch of wimps who can’t paddle. If it weren’t for the fresh drinkable water from the lake, I’m sure we’d be dehydrated as well. Still, it was a fun experience that makes for a funny story to tell.
After our embarrassing attempt of rowing a boat, we decided to spend the rest of the day relaxing under the shade of “The Tree” and taking a bunch of share worthy photographs.
Despite the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun”, time felt a little slower in the BLOC camp site. Perhaps it’s the absence of everyday technology along with the perfect combination of silence and nature that made it feel like a timeless place.
By the end of our trip, we’ve made good friends with the owners and left the place with longing in our hearts to come back for more.
Without a doubt, BLOC camp is surely a go-to place whenever you need peace, solitude, and a sense of adventure.
by Lois GutierrezSaturday, June 3, 2017
The writer is a young millenial from the tropical island of the Philippines. She belongs to a rare population of INFJs and when she's not out and about, she likes spending time in the kitchen. She loves to travel to new places where she can relax, get some peace, and most importantly taste new exquisite foods.Read more at travellersgalore.com