Thursday, 27 June 2013

Trekking and Thrills in Laurel Batangas

Written by: Renante Arcillas

A particular place in Batangas made me enjoy nature to the fullest. Truly, it is worth a visit. If you are interested in trekking, thrill seeking, nature tripping and whatever activity you like to be doing, then consider a trip to San Gabriel.



San Gabriel is one of the 21 barangays in Laurel, Batangas in the Philippines. Its main source of livelihood is fish culture in Taal Lake and you will also see the rice fields on small paddies at the foothills of Taal canyon ridge.

Most of my friends like picnicking and having chit-chats in cool villas in a typical provincial setting. They are actually looking for the true meaning of the phrase "peace and quiet" and total relaxation away from the pressure of work.



In San Gabriel, most of the accommodations are run by Amansinaya Resort. A place for team-building activities and a resort that has a lot to offer to thrill seeker individuals.

In Amansinaya Resort, activities such as the obstacle course are prepared for the adventurous guests.  Not only you will climbed over the walls, jump on set of tires, swing over a mud hole, climb a challenging wall and play with the giant soccer ball.

But you will surely scream while hanging on the zipline. All these you will experience on your first day at the resort.  How about that for a thrill?

More and more excitement are building up on our second day in Laurel as we have to trek to Ambon-Ambon waterfalls. The way to this natural attraction is such an unexpected delight.

The clear and clean river that stretches along the road is fascinating. In barangays where electric power is not available,  green landscape, clean air and the sight of carabaos (water buffalo) feeding themselves freely for their veggie diet, is captivating.

No word can describe the refreshing ambiance of the scenic beauty of San Gabriel.


On our way to the falls, we greet and meet residents of Laurel. It's heart-warming to see the kids with ready smiles that shows the typical warm hospitality of the Batanguenos. As we reach Ambon-Ambon, there are other local tourists from the neighbouring Batangas towns, who, according to them, the falls is one of the most visited attractions in Batangas.

In the entirety of the challenging course, sliding on a giant mudslide is the most adrenalin-rush activity that literally, bring my blood to a boil. Splashing to the end of the slide makes you think that you are already beyond it.  The ride is scream and fun combined.  Oh, did I mention fun? I guess it is as exciting as skydiving and bungee jumping perhaps.

Barangay San Gabriel is an elevated place overlooking the view of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. This is an added attraction that nature lovers will appreciate. Meals are part of the package in Amansinaya Resort, obviously, your packed meals is not encouraged. I spent around 3000 pesos for the package tour. The food are prepared the Filipino way of cooking, so to me, it taste just fine.


I must say that my trip to Laurel, Batangas is just the tip of the iceberg.  A lot more beautiful places in Batangas is waiting to be explored but I have so little time.

If you are free on weekends or any holiday, head out to Southern Tagalog region and find Laurel which is near the historical smallest active Taal volcano... bursting with warm smiles and exploding with natural attractions.

Author Bio: 
Renante is a writer, director, blogger, municipal councilor and a TV show host based in Santo Tomas, Batangas. He writes and directs events and travel coverages to most part of the Philippine islands. Ante as he is fondly called is the creator of a character "Super Talipa" shown to the public of his hometown.