Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017




Magalang is known for its heliograph towers, a vintage tool of communication in the time of the Spaniards. It's also where colonial houses attract long lost loved ones to see each other for reunions. And because it's blessed to have ubiquitous views of Mount Arayat, several resorts here have successfully maintained operations in the past decade. With the addition of the newly-opened Nauvoo Farm Resort, this town of Pampanga is also likely to lure more nature-loving travelers for quick getaways than ever before. It's no more than two hours by bus (EDSA to Marquee Mall) and jeepney (from Marquee Mall to Magalang town proper) from Metro Manila anyway. Just add a 15-minute tricycle ride from the town proper and you're there!

Nauv-what?

If the mention of "nauvoo" sounds a bit foreign to you, then you're likely not familiar with Hebrew because it's a word in that language which refers to what's beautiful as mentioned in the bible, particularly in the book of Isaiah (52:7): "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

Resort grounds
View of Mount Arayat from the swimming pool
The view of the swimming pool from the poolside bar
The function hall
A balikbayan couple from Nevada decided to make the 4.5-hectare mango tree plantation their cozy place of retirement a few years ago. Discovering that the property they have now called their new home looked and felt idyllic, they named it after the Hebrew word. It is, after all, what they consider as God's gift to people like them who endured being hardworking Filipinos in the US for many years and came out fulfilled with two well-rounded sons. They soon transformed the area into a farm resort where they're now also growing coffee beans.

Made for Nature Lovers By Nature Lovers

Nature lovers will love the ideal blend of the mango tree-thronged space, modern swimming pool with a spectacular view of Mount Arayat on a good day and a garden area that's installed with a native gazebo. Here, it's easy to take it slow and keep deadlines away. Kids can be playful at the swing while the adults can sing their hearts out at the videoke (for rent at Php700 only). After dinner, those with the predilection for a nightcap can grab a glass of drink at the poolside bar and just relax at one of the comfy recliners.

The front porch of our booked villa
Our booked villa called Rosal
Overnight with friends

Villas To Book

The farm resort currently has four air-conditioned villas for overnight stays with one villa called Sampaguita that's good for four guests while the rest -- Rosal, Ilang-Ilang, and Cadena de Amor -- are ideal for large groups. All villas have a refrigerator, flat screen TV, bathroom and assigned bath essentials that include towels for the poolside and shower. Electric fans are also available inside the lodgings just in case guests prefer to use them instead of the AC in different times of the day.

The dorm-style villa called Rosal was where I recently stayed with seven of my friends for a weekend vacation in the province. It's good for 12 guests at Php12,000 per night (with free breakfast) as it's decently outfitted with six bunk beds, making the stay basically Php1,000 per head only.

The lounge area of our booked villa
Meals at Nauvoo Farm Resort (dinner and breakfast)

The resort management, though, allows the booking of a group for less than the desired number of guests per villa like in our case. This means that the rate per head will still be Php1,000, but the total cost will just depend on the total number of guests.

Highly Recommended Villa

I highly recommend this accommodation for those who need to gather a large number of people for less the cost. Surprisingly, the villa is more visually appealing inside as it combines modern and rustic designs with the use of upscale materials in its flooring and bathroom fixtures and native materials for its ceiling and capiz window panels. There's even a living room space for lounging on a wooden sofa set and a quaint front porch for more idle time of relaxation. All in all, the lodging felt homely.

The view of Mount Arayat at the resort on a good day
Snack by the pool
Poolside restrooms
The Ilang-Ilang villa is the biggest in the property and it can accommodate a total of 14 guests because aside from its assigned bunk beds, it's also outfitted with a couple of queen-sized beds and one single bed. The last villa called Cadena de Amor is as big as the one we stayed in which means that it can also accommodate 12 guests.

Resort Facilities 

Since our group is a mix of guys and girls, we thought that we'd have a difficult time queuing for the one large bathroom in our villa. It turned out that the resort has plenty of decent bathrooms (shower and toilet) that are designated in two strategic places in the property.

I actually preferred using the bathroom near the function hall as it's as modern as the one inside the villas but it's more accessible from the pool. This meant that I didn't have to walk all over our booked lodging's floor all wet which is actually a pet-peeve of mine.

Recline and relax at the poolside
The function hall is next to the swimming pool
The pool at night

Exclusive Booking and Day Tour

The whole resort can be booked exclusively for Php40,000 and guests can have access to all the property's facilities, including the kitchen and function hall aside from the lodgings and swimming pool. The rate is ideal for 40 guests.

Should you opt to visit the resort on a whim without making any reservation for an overnight stay, you can pay the entrance fee of Php200 on-site and enjoy the fee-inclusive access to the swimming pool during the day. You can even bring your own food or grill supplies on site.

Special Event Packages

For special events, the resort has a table and chair-filled function hall where event guests have access to the swimming pool and the hall's barbecue grill. Interested parties can choose from the Daytime Event Package (8:00am-4:00pm at Php8,000), Nighttime Event Package (5:00pm-11:00pm at Php10,000) or All-Day Event Package (8:00am-11:00pm at Php15,000).

A moment in Magalang with friends and the owners of the resort (see their blogs at the end of this article)
Hearty breakfast

My favorite memories at the resort would have to be my nighttime and daytime soaks at the pool with friends and the hearty breakfast. It was amazing that in all of those instances, I was always gazing at the silhouette of the nearby Mount Arayat. It's true what our old folks say about mountains -- that being around them is almost always enthralling regardless of the time of the day.

Indeed, Nauvoo Farm Resort is beautiful. More than that, it's where connections with friends and loved ones are nurtured beyond words.


How To Get There By Commute From Metro Manila:

• Board a Dagupan-bound Five Star Bus in Cubao, Quezon City (EDSA) for Php120+. Get off at Marquee Mall which is roughly an hour's ride.
• At Marquee Mall, board a Magalang-bound jeepney for Php20 and get off at the corner across Jollibee at the town proper where the tricycle terminal is.
• Board a tricycle for Brgy. Ayala where the resort is (Special Fare: Php100).

For more reviews about this resort, visit the travel blogs of my friends: Lagaw Travelogue, Lonely Travelogue, Project Gora, Escape Manila, Galaero Escape Travels and Traveling Light.




Nauvoo Farm Resort

Official website of Nauvoo Farm Resort
Official Facebook fan page of Nauvoo Farm Resort

Address: Orchard Village, Brgy Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga, Philippines
Mobile: (Globe) 0917-467-4620; (Smart) 0928-672-0863
Email: info@nauvoo.com.ph




Check out my article about this historical landmark in Magalang:
The Heliograph Towers of Magalang In Pampanga

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