Road Trip Part 1 – Laguna (January 2012)

My first out of town trip for 2012 was a 3-destination road trip in South Luzon.


Our first destination was Laguna. We went to Forest Club Conference Center and Botanical Gardens in Brgy Puypuy & Masaya, Bay, Laguna for my travel buddy’s company team building seminar.

Forest Club is perfect for big family outings, organization/company team building, spiritual retreats or simple out of town business meetings. For those who want to experience outdoor team building sessions, they have a 10-ft high 500m walkway to the mud-crawling area, bamboo rafting area, hanging bridge and log-crossing part of the resort. Forest Club also provides Teambuilding Marshalls who will facilitate the activities.

I love the place. With the right amount of breeze, the place is cool and quiet. Time seemed to pass by slowly because of its relaxing vibe.

Nice addition to the earthy ambiance. Mother Earth is proud of you.

Since it’s called ‘Forest Club,’ expect insects joining you in your games. Be sure to apply insect repellent if you’re planning to wear shorts.

I am not sure if it’s safe to post the pictures, but here are some ‘safe’ ones. It’s a big company after all. But you can check out more of the available activities, accommodations and other amenities of the place at


The seminar ended right after merienda time and after downing a plateful of spaghetti, we (me plus my travel buddy’s co-workers) headed to the other side of Laguna and checked in at Villa Soccoro.

Vance took care of the reservation and food. But you can check out their website for the full list of room rates. We gave Php 1,600 for the room accommodation and food (dinner+breakfast for 2).

As you can see from the above photo, you can find the Balanac River at the back of Villa Soccoro. It’s a good 5 minutes or less walk from the parking area. The staff says you can swim at the river but we chose not to since it was getting dark. We just took a few photos and went back to our room.

Yes, I was on the phone that afternoon. Day-work called. Haha. Here’s another view of the Balanac River:

Our room:

It’s a dorm-type room with several double bamboo beds. They’re surprisingly comfortable! I also love how this room comes with big bath towels for everyone and 2 spacious bathrooms (14 people can occupy this room, how can you not have 2 bathrooms, doh). What I don’t like is the lack of wall hangers or hooks inside – so difficult to look for a spot for your clothes and toiletries.

Villa Soccoro is big enough for family gatherings, reunions, weddings and birthday parties. They also have nice and friendly employees. 🙂

The next day, my travel buddy and I left in the morning after breakfast since we have reservations in Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas. The rest of the group went to Pagsanjan Falls. Check out Vance’ blog to read about their trip. 

Photo by Jerome Mendoza
Photo by Jerome Mendoza

This is my first out-of-town trip using my new Canon S100. Check out this blog post and video I stitched together using its movie digest feature.


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