Caliraya Springs: A Paradise Found Essay

Caliraya is 1,500 feet above sea level, blessed with fresh, cool mountain air, clear bluewaters that embrace its irregular shorelines, secluded coves arid lake islands, fantastic picture-perfect sceneries of Mt. Banahaw and Sierra Madre mountain range, verdant forest and cool weather all year-round that is the same as Tagaytays. Along the winding lakeshore, you will pass by a number of small, quaint resorts, boating and fishing enclaves, Japanese garden and various hotels. But as if these are not enough to satisfy your craving for a perfect vacation hideaway, a few minutes past the windsurfing area.

Our group composed of Emmanuel Cabusao, Ebur Tan Sanchez, and this writer, joined by Sta Lucia head office staff composed of Jerry Serrano, Vicky Borja, Babeth Sarmiento and Nolet Roa, finally reached our destination: an awesome 310-hectare marvel of a piece of paradise the Caliraya Springs Golf, Marina and Leisure community the only world-class vacation resort development and upscale residential project in the area that caters to those seeking refreshing and exclusive resort-type lifestyle.

Caliraya Springs is a lakefront community with amenities like no other, not only because of its natural beauty and excellent location, but also due to the contributions of a number of international consultants and designers who executed the vision of the developer to enhance Calirayas appeal and transform it into a very attractive destination for families and tourists, for business conferences, retreats, resort residential homes and international standard recreational facilities. We were impressed by the fully landscaped entrance gate and wide cemented roads set on a gently rolling terrain, lined with palm trees swaying with the wind… nd lo and behold, what we saw in our final stop is a sprawling colonial style clubhouse which is built on top of the hill that offers a panoramic view of the golf course and residential area. We were met by the club GM, Edgar Camacho, who graciously showed us around. The front steps of the entrance lead to a well-lighted atrium lobby. Right behind it is the Verandah Cafe, a 500seat capacity restaurant that opens up to the great views of the 18th hole of the golf course and the Sierra Madre mountains and Mt. Banahaw.

The fully air-conditioned fine dining restaurant beside the Verandah has a 200-seat capacity, while the 50-seater bar lounge is just next to it. At the edge of the Verandah, one can luxuriate at the splendid view of the driving range. You could actually go down here via the cobble-stoned stairway in between two cascading waterfalls amidst lush greens and beautiful garden. The male and female locker rooms are well fitted with natural wood finish and have their own massage rooms, foot spa, jacuzzi enclosed by glass walls that allows one to enjoy the spectacular view of the garden and the mountain range.

There is also a sauna bath and a lounge area for each locker room which could give some 5-star hotels stiff competition in finish, amenities and ambiance. Engr. Camacho toured us then to the championship golf course designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, only his third in the Philippines and the first and only lakeside golf course we have, now dubbed as the most beautiful in the country. It has been favorably compared to Pebble Beach in California and Lakespring in China. The most picturesque are holes # 4 & 5 and the unique island greens of # 6 & 7.

No wonder the club has become the favorite of Korean and Japanese tourists during weekends. In fact we saw a bus load of Koreans during our visit. Next stop was the camping site and water sports area where speedboats and jet skiis could be rented. Beside it is the view deck which offers the best view of the lake punctuated by small islands and lush forest. Another 18-hole golf course designed by golf master Graham Marsh will be constructed later. The Marina, Sports and Country Club is in the drawing board for the enjoyment of the whole family equipped with amenities for various sports that appeal to young and old alike.

It will have Water Theme Park, part of the sports club which will showcase various types of swimming pools and water slides. Should the visitor select to stay overnight, the club has tie-ups with first-class and tourist class hotels nearby with special rates for members and guests. With all these facilities in the pipeline as well as the amenities, Caliraya Springs has changed the leisure landscape of Lake Caliraya and has put itself in the forefront as the newest resort destination in Southern Tagalog indeed, a piece of paradise found! COPYRIGHT 2005 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning