We have scheduled a visit to Ritchie’s hometown. He is our cousin/barkada who returned for good to his family in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. Since it’s a two-day trip, I suggested that we go to some tourists spots in the area and the neighboring towns. I have on my list the Infinity Farm in Baco and Simbahang Bato, Benilda’s in Bancuro and La Hacienda in Naujan. It took only a quick research and a power of convincing for me to make this happen. :)
Incidentally, Ritchie had to go to his former university to process something so he was able to join us from Batangas City. We took the 6am Supercat trip because we wanted to start early. We had a very smooth sail, thank God, despite the fact that’s it’s already rainy season. Our itinerary included breakfast at Jollibee – Calapan City proper before heading to our first destination.
Since we’re already at the central area, the transport terminal is just a walking distance from the fastfood branch. Good thing the jeepney to Baco was almost full with passengers so we didn’t have to wait for long. After about 30 mins of travel, we arrived at the town public market and hurriedly bought additional food and drinks and other personal utilities we need before hiring a tricycle. We only had to pay Php400.00 (we’re 5) for the roundtrip ride. That’s relatively a low fare, considering the distance.
Infinity Farm in Baco
I heard about this place randomly and I thought it’s actually a farm with fruit trees, animals and all. I was quite surprised after browsing pictures upon seeing that it’s actually a river – Mangangan River, it’s water coming from atop Mt. Halcon. To my delight of course. Nothing can be more pleasing than to explore nature like this. Good thing too, all of us agreed that it’s a one nice getaway to pursue.
After passing by ricefields and bumpy road, we found the entry way with a concrete shed on the right where the resort personnel was stationed and collected from us Php100.00 entrance fee. That is all you have to pay, nothing more. We proceeded at the foot of the mountain where we saw ongoing construction of what would be additional facility. It was really refreshing to see finally the cascading water and to feel the cold air. The pathway leads us to the upper part until we saw a vacant cottage to put our things on. Ang saya lang to discover a place like this! We had to test the water right away (knee-deep only) – so clean, clear and cold! Surrounded with trees and bamboo – lots of green indeed that serves as shield from the sun’s rays too. After a while we proceeded again to see more of the stream to the uppermost part. And decided to transfer to another cottage next to a part of the stream deep enough for them to swim. Whilst I took pictures of them. Needless to say, we had so much fun and knew we can go back. And by that time, I hope that the place is still as it is, clean and safe to spend a day at – far from the chaos of city life. That kind of place you can be at as a recluse (at least for me).
Simbahang Bato in Bancuro, Naujan
The next day which was a Sunday, we were riding a hired tricycle on our way to Simbahang Bato. As included in the list of places, historical at that to visit in Naujan, we decided to attend a Mass here as it was also a first time for all of us. It’s far from Richie’s barangay but it’s worth the ride. The opportunity’s enough to appreciate this chance of being together and have a remarkable and unforgettable trip. One blessed at that. :)
BENILDA ng Bancuro
After the Mass at Simbahang Bato, we headed straight to Benilda’s. We couldn’t have the chance to see what’s inside the resort and restaurant had the owner’s son didn’t notice us leaving. They also came from the church. But luck favored upon us and we were toured by the owner and had a sumptuous buffet lunch after. That was with a nice conversation because she was such a gracious host.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore La Hacienda as we were told that an ocular will not be possible that day. And also because our mode of transportation was tricycle (we decided not to bring a car going to Mindoro), it would be dyahe to go inside not to mention the main hall is still far from the gate. Sayang though, ’cause I really want to explore the place. Anyhow, if you’re interested as me, you may want to check their website.
More that these sidetrips, we were happy to be able to visit our relatives – Richie’s family in Naujan. Our main purpose, of course. That was July 23-24, a week before his parents’ wedding anniversary celebration which we haven’t attended because of a booked overnight stay in Pico de Loro. Those days were momentous, touching times.
We’re asked to visit again, and said yes of course not knowing when. But two weeks after we’re back again with the rest of the barkada and some relatives too for the interment of Ate Puring, Richie’s mother. She died a day after the celebration due to heart attack. I shouldn’t have mentioned this here but I just want to remember how she was to us. It’s a remarkable feeling to be welcomed by her and to make her happy just for a short visit. We’re grateful for such a warm hospitality and the chance to enjoy the company after so many years (sad to realize we didn’t have pictures with her and the rest of the fam!). However much she will be missed, she left happy knowing she is loved by her family – her husband and six children.
“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” — American novelist Edith Wharton
Gracias por los recuerdos!