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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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mariawentoutoftown

Ka Treasure Water Terraces Mountain Resort: A humble place to de-stress

Making a name in social media is Argao’s very own Ka Treasure Water Terraces Mountain Resort. The place is known for its natural water terraces formation that resembles Abra’s Kaparkan Falls. With its picturesque tiered pools backdropped by nature’s greenery, one could not help but say their oohhs and aahhs.

But more than its immersive view, what makes Ka Treasure interesting — at least for me — is its humble beginnings. What began as a couple’s farmland dream led to the discovery of a hidden gem. The young owners, Sam and Mary Ann, are ordinary Argawanons who once decided to trade urban living for a life in the mountains. Who would have thought nature has more in store for these two?

Since April 2021, Ka Treasure has been a thriving getaway spot for Cebuanos and non-Cebuanos alike. Guests are given two booking options: day use or overnight stay. James and I decided to book a Friday night so we can enjoy the pools before the busy weekend where there are more people.

For now, Ka Treasure only have three cottages for overnight stay, eached priced at Php 1200 for two people (500 per excess head). Camp-loving individuals can also bring their own tent and pay Php 300. Meanwhile, day users just have to pay Php 100 for adults and Php 50 for kids.

Like Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort, Ka Treasure’s waters come from a nearby spring. Through their DIY project, the owners improved the limestone terraces and cleared the area for better experience. Guests can choose from the 14 pools which range from 2ft to 8ft in depth — with the lowest tier being the deepest.

There are also two mini falls connecting the water from the top tier to the lowest. Usually, more people play around in these areas to get a free massage from nature. Obviously, James spent most of the time here. 😂

As for me, I’s say the best time to dip in the pools is early morning (6 am to 7 am). On a good weather, the cool water + the warm sunlight set the perfect mood for that #sunkissed vibe. 🤩

For food concerns, their resto offers simple silog meals where you can order from 6 am to 7 pm. No corkage fee for those who want to bring or cook their own food.

Animal lovers will also be glad to know that this mountain resort has four dogs and a cat. The youngest puppy is named Terraces and is the people-pleaser of the gang. But guests need not worry since at daytime, the pets mind usually their own business. They are also quiet at night.

Overall, Ka Treasure is indeed a very humble place to de-stress. It is a place for those who want to immerse in nature and let the fresh water wash away your unnecessary thoughts.

P.S. The road to the resort is under construction and can only accommodate motorcycles. This mountainous part of Argao has no network service but they offer piso WIFI connection or an all-day connection for Php 75.

Remembering Mt. Apo: Part 1 (A fantasy turned reality)

Luck — a force that brings fortune or adversity. One that causes good or bad things to happen. Some people get good luck handed to them; some get a second chance. Some get it by pure coincidence while others have to work their ass.


Most hikers, if not all, dream of climbing Mt. Apo. At 2,954 masl, it is the highest point in the country. The closest any Filipino could get to the sky. So naturally, my friends and I want to set foot on it too. But we all know what happened in 2019.


Fast forward two years later, with the lingering global pandemic and political turmoil, here we are back at the airport, on our way to the same land. We were one of the few groups climbing Mt. Apo before its annual closure. Save the best for last indeed.

A fantasy turned reality

Coming along were familiar faces from our Kala-Wiji climb, with the exemption of our two SMS (tito) heartthrobs, CJ and sir Arc, Zan (who was still hangover with his Palawan trip), and John (who found love in the sea). Despite this, the fun continued since we finally got to climb with the SMS big three, Chiarra, An and Sandy (who were back in Mt. Apo for revenge), Kim ( the munyeka behind thestrollingmind), Analyn (the songerist behind themountainpoet), and Karl (the passionate PT behind karliciouso).

Our original route was supposed to be via Sta. Cruz – Bansalan Trail. However, as it has been two years since our first registration, Bansalan LGU “lost” our papers and won’t honor our downpayments anymore. We thought we’re doomed for misfortune since we’ve had this this kind of plot twist before, but I guess it’s true when they say that “a bit of bad luck is a blessing in disguise.” Our new route was through the Sta. Cruz – Century Tree trail circuit. Finally, a chance to see the majestic Lake Venado!


The first part of the hike involved a steep ascent to the jump off area. This was also where Kim, who’s on her first major, learned the value of preparation and pre-climb. With the weight of fullpack working against the unending assault, she made the good decision of opting for a porter.

We reached Sitio Colan, an ancestral domain of the Bagobo-Tagbawa tribe, at 12 noon. There, we had our lunch and orientation with the DENR. Quarter to 2 pm, we started our ascent to the first camp at Tinikaran I.

An hour later, we passed by a farming community where we were met with mist and fog. The sky was gloomy with a hint of rain. Soon enough, it did. With our rain covers and rain ponchos on, we continued the hike to a forested trail that serves as the entrance to Mt. Apo’s forest cover. It was past 3 pm when we reached the first rest area, Basakan E-Camp.

Quarter to 4 pm, we reached the Bugha-anan site — a stopover station along Sta. Cruz trail that is famous among bisaya hikers for its colloquial meaning.

Another hour later, we passed the Big Rock E-camp. The rain had gotten lighter at this point but our enemy is the fading light. Dusk was rolling in. We needed to get to Tinikaran I before the sky turned pitch black because (1) there were other groups climbing Mt. Apo and we need to secure a good spot to pitch our tent; (2) we need to get as much rest as we can for challenging the second day.

At 6 pm, we reached the campsite. It was dark and we were just as wet and muddy as the ground. Pitching our tents on a cramped space was a challenge, but we were thankful still that it stopped raining.

So… if I were to sum up our Day 1 in one word, it would be YES! Yes, this is finally it. Yes, we’re climbing the country’s highest. Yes, no more plot twist (and hopefully no coming bad luck). Yes, we’re all hungry and happy and a lot of things in between.

Until next time! Stay tuned~ 💛

P.S. Also check out this full blog from Junji of wanderingfeetph. 🤩

Maayo San Remigio: Where Plan B gets as good as Plan A

We hate the feeling of being powerless. Every day, we fight to take control of our time, our choices, our freedom, our life. But, with the pandemic limiting our personal control in countless ways, winning has been an uphill battle.

That is why if and when we get the chance to make something happen, we seize it. Strongly and decidedly.

Last April, my friends and I planned a weekend getaway to Camotes island. Two months after our Tuburan Escapade, we could not wait to get a better taste of the sea. We paid our reservation, packed our bags and happily headed to Danao port. All was well until things took a sudden turn. Due to a typhoon, trips to the island were cancelled. And we had no backup plan.

It took us hours to decide and find an alternative place to stay. We had to let go of our expectations (and excitement) and get comfortable with the sudden change. It was, at first, frustrating but in the end, we realized that Plan B can be as good as Plan A. So here’s what we did!

From Island Adventure to Staycation Real Quick
Maayo San Remigio is an up-and-coming hotel resort that offers a refreshing escape in the northern part of Cebu. Thanks to Renson and his connections, we were able to get a last-minute booking for nine people. They have different accommodation rates during weekdays and weekends, and guests can choose from family villas to modular rooms. As for our group, we took the latter because it’s cheaper. No regrets since the buildings have colorful summer vibe, the rooms are big, and their vanity mirror is a crowd favorite!

Continue reading “Maayo San Remigio: Where Plan B gets as good as Plan A”

Wrap-Up | February 2021

Monthly Blog Update

February was indeed a month of love. I’ve had 28 days of happiness and momentary peace despite my writing and reading life turning not as productive as I originally planned. From Valentine’s Day to my birthday to my best friend’s wedding —  life has been great overall.

Here’s a quick wrap-up of the month that was.

Things I’ve written…

Books I’ve read…

I intend to read all three books in my vintage classic box set (Secret Garden, Little Women, Alice in Wonderland) this month, but life happened wonderfully so I only got to finish Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

I have started Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland but that will have to carry over this March.

And, who would have thought, I got no book haul this month too! HAHA. My pockets are smiling from ear to ear. I did receive Lang Leav’s Love and Misadventure as a birthday gift from a friend.

Places I’ve been…

Maria finally went out of town to get a taste of nature’s best this month. To celebrate Valentine’s Day and my birthday, my friends and I went to the northwestern part of Cebu. It was a sea to summit experience, filled with laughter and joy.

Read more of our trip here: Tuburan Escapade: Better than your chocolate-and-flowers kind of date

I’ve also had my first day hike of 2021 on the last day of the month. James, Chiarra and I went to everyone’s go-to hiking spot, the Spartan Trail. What a way to end the very special February!

Now, let’s go march to March! 😀

Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort: A retreat for escapists

In less than a 30-minute drive from a side street in the town center of Carmen lies a quiet place that escapists from the big city will truly enjoy. Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort easily rings a bell for most Cebuanos. It is one of Carmen’s quadruple treat when it comes to cold spring waters, alongside Middle Earth Mountain Resort, Mt. Uragay Spring Resort, and Alhibe Farm.

A natural retreat

Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort is situated not too far from the main road, but far enough to be considered remote. The place is teeming with lots of trees and plants that will captivate the eyes ─ especially those of plantitas and plantitos. I appreciate how the management try to preserve its natural ecology by limiting the number of structural changes in the resort.

What I found interesting in Durano were their homestays. In this day of skyscraper buildings, the sight of treehouses and nipa huts is a breath of fresh air. They have an option for visitors to pitch their own tents too, but I personally would not recommend it. Not the best camping spot.

Continue reading “Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort: A retreat for escapists”

Whispers of the Wind

I wish the wind whispers you the secrets
I’ve been trying to keep.
I hope it tells you that you are not alone—
That I, too, am afraid

Afraid to make another mistake,
Afraid that this is a mistake

Afraid to get wounded all over again.

But for what are the hearts that beat louder than drums
If they can’t be brave?
What’s the point of having hearts that beat?

So, here I am, wishing for the wind to whisper my plea:
Just as the waves stroke the shore,
Just as the setting sun kisses the sea,
Just as the darkness embraces night,
Let us give in to destiny
Without having the fears of the past.


Three years ago, I wrote the Tagalog version of this poem. Back then, I took a writing hiatus too and it was going out in the natural world that awakened my muse. This year, I can’t say how long this break will be. I guess I need another dose of the outdoors! 🌻🍃

Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take

The pandemic has opened our eyes to a world that seems to always take. Lives and livelihood are lost. Every day feels like another step away from time, opportunities, relationships, connections, sanity and peace of mind. It’s the ultimate survival test — and the animal in each of us is out.

I honestly never thought we’d get this worse. Our panic and fear turned to greed and selfishness. There is a me-first mentality that runs on a global, national, local and personal scale. We push and shove one another, determined to keep our spot of existence. This is not a health threat anymore. This is a threat to life.

As I started doubting the future, I looked for comfort from the past. I came across old photographs from last year’s hike for a cause that we held in Carcar City. It not only reminded me of our exciting experience in Mt. Kalatkat, but it gave me the much-needed assurance that there is still goodness in people’s hearts. That we are capable of caring and giving, too.

Continue reading “Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take”

Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls

With the world in utter chaos today due to COVID-19, we are reminded of our mortality — our vulnerability despite having played like gods over other creatures. As death threatens to knock on our doorsteps, we realize the value of living.

To live, not merely exist. But have we made the most of life?

Continue reading “Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls”

The Unravelling

she peels herself away
in words and verses—
layer after layer
of emotions, thoughts
imperfections laid out
for your lips to read,
ears to hear,
eyes to see
hands to touch—
peelings, nothing more
unravelling
in pinpricks of light
the stories she long hides

MS


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille: Peelings, Nothing More… hosted by Mish who challenges us to write a poem in 44 words inspired by the word “peel.”

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

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