I have long fancied visiting Simbahan na Bato. It is tragic how I can't seem to find information nor picture about it online. Until finally, I found out that it's in Batangas inside the Las Haciendas boundaries.
Metrodeal offered an Amansinaya Mountain Resort day tour deal for only Php300.00 and after putting two and two together, I realized this is the opportunity to explore Las Haciendas. Furthermore, near the resort is also the Ambon-Ambon falls, which we could visit as well. I love when I get to hit two birds in one stone.
Early morning at 9 am, we departed UST to head to Batangas. We just followed the road to Tagaytay, then at the Econo Inn Viewing deck, turned left towards Talisay, Batangas. We went through the dizzying winding roads to Talisay and went past the Club Balai Isabel and the nearby resorts until the road reaches its end. We knew we were on the right path since there were lots of boatmen offering their services to tour Taal Volcano. We went past them straight until we saw the signs and obeyed the simple instructions. Right when we were all so hungry, we finally reached the Amansinaya gate. For further help on directions, click here.
We were starving at 12 noon, so the minute that we arrived, we sat down and ordered food. The service was very fast and efficient although they didn't have a reserved table for us since we didn't bother calling for our vouchers. The food was surprisingly cheap and even delicious. We ate at around P150/person.
Come 1 pm, we hurriedly wiped our plates clean and assembled at the lobby to ride the service van to the take off point to the falls. At the take off point, we waited a while for the guide and before you can say "appedicitis" we were off for our hour-and-a-half trek.
Be warned: the trek is very easy and to a certain extent, leisurely. But, do be prepared to wade across 5 rivers. Also, watch out for leaf-cutter ants! They have mean bites! Lastly, do pause once in a while and look around. People tend to focus too much on trekking and miss out enjoying the beauty of nature.
Before we know it, we could hear the waterfalls in its full rage. I wondered why it's call Ambon-Ambon Falls (Drizzle-Drizzle Falls) when one would never really want getting caught umbrella-less in a downpour this strong.
We spent a lot of time taking lots of pictures. Well, what else is there to do?? :) We took our time capturing shots, and then staring at the falls wondering about our lives, and then back to picture taking. Ambon-Ambon falls is located inside an alcove so it is cool even when it's a sunny day. The place could feel a bit spooky for some and wildly inspiring for others. Actually, it just might depend on a person's mood.
After a while, other groups got up to leave and so did we. It was back to the resort for all of us. We could've felt sad to trek back but as we leave one beauty, we were approaching some excitement. We weren't eager to play in the pool. We actually have no plans to do that. We were anticipating the challenges ahead.
We headed straight to wall climbing. This is my first time since I'm afraid of heights but I was more afraid of making a fool out of myself. I just concentrated on the sight of the rocks which are my lifelines. (Of course, out of fear, I completely forgot all about the rope which is my true lifeline.) Thank goodness I'm nearsighted so the higher I went up, the more blurry the ground became. Oh yes! I did make it to the top! Yipee! :D Well, in our group only one panicked and didn't get past the first few feet. Maybe next time?
After conquering heights, they went zipline-ing. Woohoo! We also played around the obstacle course. It was quite hard. I was relieved that we didn't do an actual race or else my teammates would've been bummed with me. I'm soo lame. :D (Must exercise!!!)
Finally, when we were done with everything we could do and it's 4:30 pm (the day tour ends 5 pm) we headed to... THE MUDSLIDE!!! Oh, no worries! There wasn't any mud at all. It was basically a tarpaulin slide helped along by water. The water at the end is suspicious but all of us went in and had a good gulp of water through our ears, nose and mouth, and we turned out fine, no illnesses. So, just go on in just make sure to boost your immune system beforehand. :D Going down the mudslide is one of the best feeling in the world. We felt like naughty kids. Taking off, sliding down, turning round and round without any control, sometimes flipping over, then finally tumbling over into the water. It hurt some but it's all worth it.
In fact, the whole trip was worth it. :)
P.S. You noticed I didn't mention going to Simbahang Bato? Well, we later learned that it's still an hour's away from Amansinaya Mountain Resort and it was 6pm when we were ready to leave. Bummer. Oh dear, save it for the next trip.
Amansinaya Mountain Resort
Brgy. Poblacion, Laurel,