Treasure Mountain is already a relatively well-known destination. Yet, it never ceases to impress, no matter how many times I visit the said place!
With all the confusion regarding travel guidelines in the time of COVID-19, which includes securing travel certificates, swab tests, and buying the tickets at the correct time (plus the cancellations that do happen), it is easy to see why it is really challenging to travel to traditional tourist spots in the time of the pandemic.
As a result, it’s always great to know that there are places where one can totally unwind and escape from the grim realities of both the global pandemic and the hustle and bustle of the metro, even if it is for a short period of time!
Treasure Mountain is located in Sitio Maysawa in Tanay, Rizal. While Tanawin Travel and Tours is currently the sole authorized tour operator for the area, one can book directly through the official Facebook page – or alternatively, if one is just visiting for the day, then just go straight to the site and pay the necessary entrance fees (that’s P350 per head with breakfast; the bare entrance fee should be less than P200 – these are the written rates at the gate).
It is open for day tours until late in the afternoon, and the scenery that it offers is simply astounding. No amount of words could adequately describe the exhilaration that my wife and I felt when we saw the mountain once again.
One of the things that make it wonderful is the fact that you don’t even notice that you are only less than 60 kilometers away from the metro. In addition, there’s a sheltered canteen that offers great views of the Sierra Madre mountain range; it can also double as an alternative spot from which one can witness the Sea of Clouds!
According to the locals, the owners of the property are planning huge developments in the years to come; even during our visit, we encountered lots of projects on the site itself. This is a good sign for the fortunes of the place, as it would mean that there would be more activities for the visitors.
The toilets and washbasins are decent; however, if one is camping for night, it would be best to bring cleaning essentials in order not to encounter problems. In the worst-case scenario, the local store is packed with goods, so one can simply buy from the store.
Overall, it was an outstanding experience for the both of us. I do highly recommend that you visit Treasure Mountain, especially if:
- You are a lover of nature
- You love overnight camping
- You are unable to book for destinations away from the GMA area
While it can be argued that it is a bit pricey, here’s one thing that should not be forgotten regarding travel in the time of the coronavirus: You are paying for your safety, you are paying for what’s generally considered to be quality service, and you are paying for the the opportunity not to have to wear a mask for a period of time, as well as the chance to have a proper picnic/camping experience!
Once you arrive there, just follow the minimum public health safety protocols and you are good to go!
Here is a sample itinerary for your overnight stay in Treasure Mountain:
3:00 PM: Departure from Cubao
4:00 PM: Disembarking from the jeepney at Cogeo Gate 2 Market
5:00 PM: Arrival, survey the tent, unpack things and watch the sunset
7:00 PM: Dinner
8:00 PM: Bonfire lighting
8:30 PM: Walk around a bit and see the sights of the camp
9:00 PM: Eat snacks, drink something, socialize, and have conversations
11:00 PM: Lights out
~5:00 AM: Wake up and witness the Sea of Clouds
6:30 AM: Pack things
7:00 AM: Have breakfast
7;30/8:00 AM: Take a tour (there are three packages, namely Package A (trekking and visiting the nearby Bosay Falls), Package B (multi-stage trek, rappel, and swim at Laiban Falls), and Package C (resort swimming; best for families with children).
11:30 AM: Pack up things
12:00 PM: Departure from Treasure Mountain/final tour spot
1:30-2:00 PM: Arrival at Cubao
Alternatively, you can get out of the metro via car (or public transportation, but then this depends on the availability of said transport) early in the morning in order to catch the Sea of Clouds between five to seven in the morning.
Here’s to hoping that spending your time at Treasure Mountain will help you refresh and keep you sharp for the rest of the year!
About the Author
Earl Carlo Guevarra, 27 and a proud Zamboangueño, is a teacher of English based in the heart of Manila. When he’s not teaching children the fundamentals of grammar, he writes essays and poems, many of which have been published locally and internationally. He also loves fruit shakes and video games.
Support the author by buying a coffee here!