Originating from Canada, the land of plaids and boots and the great outdoors, Myke Easy has only ever known hardcore camping–pitching your own tent, hunting, and using a shovel to take a shit. For his surprise birthday treat, I took him glamping (“glamorous camping”) for the very first time at BLOC Camp Site.
As one of the first glamping sites in the Philippines, BLOC pioneered a new way of spending weekends out of town by enjoying nature in luxury. It is also one of the few glamping sites in the Philippines that has a floating dock.
BLOC Camp Site is the brainchild of architect Philipp Purino or Philipp Inno is a modern-day Filipino hero. BLOC sites bring jobs to far-flung places, boosting tourism while opening people’s eyes to the beauty of nature in the Philippines. Doubling has a missionary housing against the effects of global warming, BLOC sites take on locals during an emergency evacuation.
Inno Philipp believes that Mother Earth is our final house or ultimate home, and that we should all be responsible for taking care of it. This is why BLOC glamping sites promote sustainable living, starting off with green energy (solar panels) and and recycled rainwater.
BLOC stands for more than just glamping destination or ecotourism. It’s an advocate of the Original Architect; they believe that in making people happy, they make God happy. Consequently, BLOC has impeccable quality of service! Case in point, they built us a makeshift fishing rod and scrounged for earthworms (EW!) because we didn’t have any. Knowing it was Myke’s birthday, Inno also let us have a complimentary pass on the Floating Garden Dock for brunch! Apart from reheating our Italian food, they also gave us some complimentary apples and crackers.
BLOC Camp Site started off in Cavinti, Laguna and is currently expanding to other parts of the Philippines–Tagaytay, Ilocos, Rizal and many more!
To make his birthday extra special, I got us the De Luxe Tent on the Floating Dock. The tent was spacious, had an airbed and some fur blankets. While there were a lot of kuyas at our beck and call, we only wished there was a bell to summon them with, because the floating tent lay beyond the central camp site.
You’ll have to bring your own food and drinks, but you can pre-order from BLOC in advance based on a menu they have. Because they don’t keep a lot of food in stock, it’s possible that they won’t have the food you want unless you pre-order. Plus, they’ll be more expensive if you order on-site–including ice. A bucket of ice PHP 20. On our way to BLOC, we stopped by the Cavinti Public Market for some meat because we knew BLOC lends out BBQ grills with a set of charcoal. The cost of extra coal is PHP 100.
Quezon Province is home to Pancit Habhab, and my first time to try it was at the Cavinti Public Market. Served on a banana leaf and eaten by hand, the stir-fried noodles were prepared so simply yet we were overcome with umami savor. This version of pancit habhab has single-handedly made me love pancit canton.
Each site would have a different set of activities. Since BLOC Cavinti is on a river, we rented an inflatable raft (PHP 300 for 3 hours cumulative) and paddled upstream around the riverbend.
We docked the raft at a marshy bank–big mistake. There were a lot of dead shellfish buried in the soft ground, mostly oysters. Each footstep landed with a crunch. We came across a carabo, which Myke Easy tried–and failed–to pacify and approach.
BLOC starts a bonfire at 8 PM every night to allow guests to socialize. They also provide long wooden sticks for s’mores. (We brought our own marshmallows and graham crackers.)
The following day, we took the raft out to go fishing, rowing upstream towards the farms. We didn’t catch anything that morning except some quality time with each other. 🙂
After brunch, we headed back to Manila, catching a jeep by the roadside just in time.
CAMPING FEE (per person per night) = PHP 500
-1 Small Glamping Tent = P1,500
-1 Medium Glamping Tent = PHP 2,000
-1 De Luxe Glamping Tent = PHP 2,200
FLOATING GARDEN DOCK:
-One-time Use (Limited) = PHP 500
-Overnight Use (Unlimited) = PHP 1,000
ENTRANCE FEE (per person) = PHP 100
PARKING FEE (per vehicle) = PHP 100
CLEANING FEE (per night) = PHP 500
-Inflatable Boats/ Floaters (per hour, min. of 3 hours) = PHP 100
-Kayak (per hour, min. of 3 hours) = PHP 200
-Stand-Up Paddle or SUP (per hour, min. of 3 hours) = PHP 300
-Island-Hopping (per person, min. of 10 pax)* = P100
*Includes a Cliff-Diving side-trip to the Secret River
MOVIE WATCHING BY THE LAKE:
-Small Interior Screen = P1,000
-Big Exterior Screen = P4,000
-Fishing (Bring own rod and bait)
-Use of Toilets and Showers
-Safety Life Vests
-Charcoal for BBQ Grilling
EXCLUSIONS: Food and Drinks (No Corkage Fee)
Sample Overnight Rate for 2 Persons: De Luxe Glamping Tent on the Floating Dock
CAMPING FEE (per person per night) = PHP 500 x 2 = PHP 1,000
ACCOMMODATION FEE = 1 De Luxe Glamping Tent = PHP 2,200
FLOATING DOCK (overnight) = PHP 1,000
ENTRANCE FEE (per person) = PHP 100 x 2 = PHP 200
CLEANING FEE (per night) = PHP 500
GRAND TOTAL = PHP 4900
CLEAN AS YOU GO: If you bring your own Food & Drinks, you need to bring your own garbage bags and to dispose the trash outside the BLOC Camp Site premises. This policy is a strict suggestion of the local Tourism Office. Non-compliant guests will incur a fee.
PRE-ORDERING FOOD & DRINKS: If you pre-order Food & Drinks from BLOC (including extra rice or ice), you get to enjoy their original low price. However, if you order on-site, they’ll be twice the cost. Pre-ordered food and beverages must be be pre-paid.
Standard Check-in Time: 2 PM
Standard Check-out Time: 12 PM
DIRECTIONS TO THE BLOC CAMP SITE
The easiest way is to find the BLOC Camp Site is through Google Maps or Waze.
1. BUS = PHP 140. Go to the HM Trans Bus Station at Cubao, Quezon City located along EDSA, near the intersection of Aurora Boulevard. Ride a bus going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. (Other Bus Options: Greenstar and DLTB bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna)
2. JEEP 1 = PHP 25. When you reach the HM Trans Bus Station at the boundary of Sta. Cruz and Pagsanjan, Laguna, take a jeep bound for the town of Cavinti. Tell the Driver to bring you to the Jeepney Terminal at Cavinti Town going to Barangay Bukal. (Last Jeep: 5 PM)
3. JEEP 2 = PHP 15. When you reach Barangay Bukal, ask for the Passion Cove Estates owned by an American expat. The BLOC Camp Site is located inside the Passion Cove Estates at the end of the service road near the Lake.
In our case, it was only 1 jeep from Sta. Cruz to Passion Cove Estates because our jeepney driver was heading home and BLOC was enroute.
If you feel you are lost, the key is to always ask people around or just text or the BLOC Adventure Team any time.
The BLOC Adventure Team
Globe/TM: (+63 905) 643-0314
Smart/Sun: (+63 928) 681-2129 / (+63 918) 213-1212