I was hesitant at first to join the ‘Safecation‘ after seven months of staying indoors since the start of the lockdown brought by the pandemic. It felt weird to venture outside our village. Prior to this, the farthest I have gone was to the nearest supermarket, that was it. I only go out to buy essentials since I was luckily allowed to work from home.
But sometimes you just have to trust your instinct and remind yourself that they have done the necessary precautions and preparations to protect everyone who was invited for a weekend rendezvous in a tropical villa in Calamba, Laguna. And it was also a great opportunity for a change of scenery and relaxation and a chance to be with friends who I have not seen since last year, even before the start of quarantine.
Casa Tropica Villas is a private resort in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna, a barangay located at the foot of Mount Makiling and near the city’s border with Los Baños and is known for its hot springs. Almost everyone in Metro Manila has been to Pansol at least once in their lives. It’s a popular destination for team buildings, birthdays, and other get-togethers with family and friends.
We arrived around two in the afternoon and they were just getting ready for our visit. Since we’re in the new normal, a strict disinfection protocol is implemented (UV, misting. and fogging) to ensure the safety of all guests. The resort is compliant with the IATF and the Department of Tourism. Guests are guaranteed that their stay is absolutely private and there will be no sharing with other groups.
Prior to our visit, we submitted health declaration sheets and our names were registered with the local government so only those who were on the list are allowed to enter Casa Tropica Villas. This will also help just in case contact tracing is needed.
We were welcomed by the resort’s staff clad in personal protective equipment and had our temperature taken upon registration. We had to step on the disinfection mat and apply hand sanitizer before finally going inside the private villa. The resort is pet-friendly so your fur babies can join you in your stay.
The facade reminds you of an industrial warehouse with its concrete walls but it’s a different world once you go inside. The pool is the first thing that you see upon entry and the mural by artist Kookoo Ramos instantly reminds you that you are in Maria Makiling’s domain.
The mural provides a perfect backdrop to the turquoise colored pool filled with warm water from the hot springs this resort village is known for. Legend has it that Maria Makiling is the guardian spirit of the mountain, a protector of its bounty and patron to the people who depend on the resources provided by the mountain. Seeing her image beside the pool gave as another assurance that we were protected during our stay.
Since most of us are working from home or attending virtual classes, those who opt to take a weekday sojourn are guaranteed that you will be able to do your tasks and modules since the resort has PLDT Fibr installed (up to 30 Mbps).
The resort features high ceilings and an open central area which provides increase ventilation, an important factor in preventing the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading.
The tropical island vibe extends to the rooms which are exquisitely designed and have beds that make you want to just lie down all day. Perfect for those of us who suffer back pain from doing sitting all day while working from home.
They also have a deck on the third level which can be repurposed as a glamping area. (glamour camping in case you’re wondering what it means) You can see Mount Makiling from there.
You might be asking, “Do they have videoke?” It’s a must for Filipino gatherings, yes, there is, your Tito who likes Tom Jones or Tita who wants to be a diva will get their chance to sing. They have a Smart TV so you can also watch your favorite vlogs by the pool. There is also a pool table, ping pong, and a dart board for those looking for other recreational activities.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery and a safe getaway for your family that’s just an hour away from Manila, you can experience a new Pansol at Casa Tropica Villas.