First, I don’t have a deep affinity for modern infrastructure. I can’t quite understood the whole gaga over Eiffel Tower and the Petronas Towers, even Disneyland or Makati’s high-rises. They’re pretty, yes, but they’re man-made. They weren’t carved out by millions of years of crashing waves or produced by volcanic activity. Anybody can replicate them, much less replicate pools.
Second, that bed of cement – not too kid-safe. Between that and soft beach sand, guess which one I feel more secure leaving my kid in alone? And third – and this is dependent on the resort – the aging woman in me is annoyed by the attention-mongering, over-the-top-rowdy crowds that overpopulate majority of pool resorts today.
So it was surprise that when we visited one last weekend (post-neighbors’ prodding), I actually liked it enough to say Yay!
|Waves so huge it eats you.|
I didn’t expect much prior to arriving at Villa Concepcion’s hectares-wide lot. But it delivered. The biggest draw here perhaps, is it retains a natural flavor. A floating pavilion on a pond, fronds of palm and fire trees shadowing over pools, a quarry in sight, charming nipa cottages, and emerald gardens that span from its location in Pandi till Tuesday.
|Vibrant yet tranquil. Floating pavilion.|
There are contemporary thrills, like a wall climbing cum rappelling tower, a small children’s playground, a henna tattoo station and two wave pools – one each per newly built annex – but overall, the resort’s close-to-nature design beats its commercial appeal. By dusk, Annex B’s extensive wave pool was people-free, and Lia and I watched as birds flew over its seafoam stillness. Too bad she was too scared of the colossal waves I had to take her out of it within a minute of dipping her in.
|Kiddie pool at Annex A. Adjacent is the teen pool, then on top is the adult pool. Wave pool not too far.|
And best of all, the crowd is perfect. No one was trying to buy attention or shrieking $@#%*&-ina-hooo! They were simply kids, adolescents, families whiling summer away. In fact, there were certain pools out of six (wave pools excluded) that were at times, completely empty. They were clean and sparkly, though hot from sunlight. For P200, it’s a worthwhile and likable pool destination in Bulacan.
Though, I still wouldn’t trade a beach shindig for it.
|The dust settles.|
- Entrance fee is P200/adult and P160 for kids. Kids under 2 feet get in for free. There are air conditioned hotel-type rooms and a function hall for events too. Please see the resort’s contact details and rates below.
- There are three sections: the Main Building (1 adult pool, 1 kiddie pool and 1 pavilion pool); Annex A (1 6-feet deep adult pool, 1 kiddie pool, 1 5-feet deep teen pool and a smaller, murky wave pool) and Annex B (large wave pool; definitely the most crowd-drawing attraction in the resort). The floating pavilion is located at Annex A along with the pond-side huts, henna tattoo stall and canteen.
|Entrance to Annex B|
- IMO, the cottages at Annex B are the best. Annex A huts offer you better access to the 4 pools, but it’s more crowded and sunnier there. The Main Building is a bit far. You have to cross a footbridge from the floating pavilion to get there. We didn’t even bother going.
- You can bring food and beverage for free, but alcoholic beverages ARE NOT allowed. Tube ice can be bought at the souvenir shop by the entrance/ parking lot. Barbeque grills and cooking stations are strategically placed across the resort.
- The resort is open for both day and nighttime swimming. Refer to their schedule below.
- Videoke can be rented, so as aerated boats and ATV. Rates below:
- Single boat – P250/ hour
- Double boat and 3-person boats – P500/ hour
- Swam boats – P500/ 30 minutes
- ATV – P1,000/ hour
- Each section offers clean shower rooms for both ladies and gents, aside from the public ones. Really clean by most pool resort standards.
- Although the resort is located in Pandi (near Amana Resort) , if you’re coming from Norzagaray, Sta. Maria or Bustos, the resort’s nearer by several kilometers if you use the M. Sapa road rather than if you were to take the Pandi road.