Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Antipolo's Real Cove

Enjoying the leisure with nature is the treat that I had when I visited Antipolo's Real Cove Resort in Rizal for a company teambuilding last May. The trip was a good opportunity to rediscover Antipolo again and the province of Rizal as a good nearby metropolis destination for Summer.

Antipolo's Real Cove.
It took us a 2-3 hours drive from Manila to reach Antipolo, Rizal. Real Cove Resort is located along Provincial Road, Brgy. Dalig, near Antipolo - Teresa boundary of Antipolo City.  While traveling on the road, I can already see the resort's imposing landmark - a billboard size name of the resort on the top of a very visible mountain top. This just made me excited for teambuilding that we were going to have in the resort later.
The resort is located at the base of the mountain and basically hilly. But what I like about its surroundings is its trees and plant abounded surroundings that makes the place cooler even on high summer day. The tall trees that gives instant shades from the hot rays of the sun were refreshing in sight and very nature inspired place. This is a true testament to the resorts' slogan - enjoying the leisure with nature.  

Teambuilding mates.
Welcome to Real Cove!
Here's a little bit of background about Antipolo and Rizal. Antipolo is a city in located in the province of Rizal; about 25 kilometers east of Manila. It is the largest city in the Calabarzon Region in terms of population. The city is popular for being a pilgrimage site. It prides itself as the "Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines." The Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or the Virgin of Antipolo, which was brought in from Mexico in 1626, and enshrined in the Antipolo Cathedral has a continuous following among Filipino Catholics since the Spanish era. Its higher elevation than that of Metro Manila affords it a scenic view of the metropolis, especially at night. The city was named after the tipolo (breadfruit) tree (Artocarpus incisa), which was in abundance in the area. (Source)

Meanwhile, Rizal is a province that made the CALABARZON Region , just 16 kilometers east of Manila. The province was named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. Rizal is bordered by Metro Manila to the west, the province of Bulacan to the north, Quezon to the east and Laguna province to the south. The province also lies on the northern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. Rizal is a mountainous province perched on the western slopes of the southern portion of the Sierra Madre mountain range. (Source)

One of the public pools of the resort.
Grill time!!!
Grilled fish, perfect for chow time.
Our teambuilding started with registration first. Then, we prepared our things in our room assignment. After we settled in, I helped in preparation of our food. Grilling is the best way of cooking in this kind of event - and grilling of all sorts of food - fish, squid, hot dogs and pork barbecue, of course!

We also had a private pool near our private room area where we are the only one who can use it but we are also allowed to use the other 2 public pools of the resort at our own leisure.

Extreme swimming time!
After we had our meal, we started our teambuilding games. But before we the games we had to do a team cheer first.  During the program, we had three games - Pinoy Henyo, Family Feud and Amazing Race, in which all of my team mates won.  Hurray! I highly enjoyed Amazing Race among the team games that we had. I had a chance to play like in my favorite reality TV Show - The Amazing Race - with all the runs and stride, puzzle solving clues and doing extreme challenges!

I ended my night together my colleagues on a relaxing night swimming while the others opt to sing in the video karaoke all-night long.
I'm proving myself not a couch potato - all smiles at the start of trek but later...
The following day, I woke up with a painful body.  This is what I get from last night's exhausting and over the edge swimming activity due to excitement! Despite of muscle aches all over my body, I need to wake up early to grab the opportunity of the morning's good atmosphere for a mountain hiking. Real Cove has a 400 step mountain hike that is a very good activity within the resort's facilities. The resort sits on the base of a mountain which the resort also owns. The steps are paved and guided so you won't be lost when you reach the summit.

If you think a couch potato can do it, think again. The 400 step is an extreme challenge! I started on 50 step first lap together with my colleagues who want to try hiking too. While the steps are pave, the heat of summer sun and no air breeze along the trail made it difficult and hot. Yet I'm glad that with all the sweats I had, I loose a lot of calories!!!
We're almost there - 2 more laps to go!
Some of my hiking colleagues enjoying the hike adventure.
After 400 steps!
The beautiful view of Rizal and Antipolo at the top.
I'm flying!!!
Beautiful mountain ranges can be seen at the top of the viewing area.
The summit at the top was rewarding. I got a 360 degree mountaintop view of Rizal province and Antipolo. There is a lush greenery view of the mountain ranges and hills of the surrounding areas at the top. A clear bluish sky also greeted us at the top. This is now where a cool mountain breeze blows. Even I had a weary body after the hike, I appreciate the imposing view at the top. This relaxing view is a great reward after 400 steps!
I'm not a couch potato - I reach the finish line!
The hiking trail down.
The trail down the mountain prove to be difficult this time, as the steps are quite steep and the view is nauseating. But with guided and moderate steps, I managed to finish the hike down.  After a total of 800 steps of hiking - up and down the mountain, I felt a need to rest. But my colleague invited me to do a garden walk at the back of the resort. The resort had a shady gardens perfect for afternoon chats and nature explorations.  This is also near the trail of ATV Rides that the resort is also offering.  The garden is nice and perfect for souvenirs photos.

Garden walk at Real Cove.
Antipolo Cathedral.
After a quite long rest, the company's service fetch us. Since there still enough time, we asked for a sidetrip to Antipolo Cathedral. While the cathedral is famous for the Catholic devotees, it is also famous for being the shrine of Marian icon, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Senora de la Paz Y Buenviaje). According to history, the icon, after repeated safe journeys between Mexico and the Philippines early in the 17th century, became known as the heavenly protector of Spain’s galleons.You can view the history and artifacts about it, offered a prayer and touch the icon on a separate backdoor trail of the cathedral. We did this after a short attendance to an ongoing mass. You can also buy candle and icon souvenirs and have it bless within the grounds of the church.  Outside the grounds, there are numerous tiangges selling popular pasalubongs from Antipolo like cashews and suman – a local delicacy made out of sticky rice.

We drove for 2 and a half hours back to Manila after. I have a leisure nature trip in Antipolo and though with a weary and tired body, I appreciate these discoveries in Rizal that made my last escapade of Summer 2011 a memorable one... 'til next summer.

Real Cove Resort 
Provincial Road, Brgy. Dalig,
(near Antipolo - Teresa Boundary), Antipolo City, Rizal
For booking and inquiries - 710-6054/994-3616/0922-8452844/0917-8809628/0920-9513970


  1. looks nothing but FUN!
    ang ganda ng cathedral! never seen that before..

  2. Highschool pa ata ako since I've last been to Antipolo.

    I think I need to revisit the place =]

  3. I miss team building activities. tagal ko na ring di nakapagbonding with officemates outside the office!

  4. Real Cove is a good place to have teambuilding activities. The hiking activity is one of best highlight of the resort.

    I think the Rizal province should speed up the rehabilitation of Hunulugan-taktak Waterfall - its a nice place to visit and tourism potential for the province.

  5. Ang saya naman ng team building nyo, meron pang hiking at side trip sa Cathedral, sana maexplore ko rin ang Antipolo :)

  6. @Claire: Sana nga nakaside-trip din kami sa Hinulugang-Taktak Waterfall. Hindi pa ko nakakakita ng waterfall sa buong buhay ko. But anyway, I enjoy our teambuilding the most because I get to travel and at the same time had a great bonding with my friends and collegues at work.

  7. Hi Ian.

    haven't known real cove resort until today.. I'm a true-blooded Antipoleño pero hindi ko alam to.. hehe mukhang something to check pag nagkaron ako ng chance maglibot sa amin..

    Hinulugang Taktak falls is open to public everyday.. pero hindi na maganda sa falls unlike before, may mga basura na rin.. pero okay pa rin ung place to unwind or tambay lang..

  8. I thought the known church is the only place I could visit in Antipolo.Hehe Now I know. Noiccceee :)

  9. @JeffZ: thanks for visiting... you should give Real Cove a try. It's a nice place in Antipolo. I also did not expect a place like that in Rizal. I thought the falls were being renovated up to now. I hope its different than what I heard about it before.

    @Elal: Hi, I also had the same perception that Antipolo is only about the Cathedral and the devotees of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage but there's more about this province. Try to explore this place as well.

  10. A team building activity is not only advantageous for the company, but also for the employees. Thanks for sharing.

  11. hindi ko alam may real cove pla sa antipolo, mapuntahan nga yan one of these days. nadadaanan ko yan dati yung cathedral , may friend kasi ko dyan dati...

  12. @Chino: Try Real Cove. Its a perfect getaway for weekends with friends or family. Try their hiking trail. It's an awesome experience!

  13. looks like a really nice place! and, so close to visit for people in Manila. :)

  14. @tndcallphilippines: yes... try to visit it with your family and friends. The hike was a good adventure.

  15. How much po entrance and cottages sa real cove? if ever na hndi po kami mag private pool? thanks a lot!

  16. @khim: it seems that their website is not working so call them directly for the rates. The rates we had were only for the private rent of pools. I have know idea the rates of cottages. Better call or text them directly in the numbers that I share in the article.

  17. Hi! How much po yung rent sa private pool nila? Kasama na ba dun yung sa private room? Lets say for 10pax magkano kaya? Hirap kasi nila ma-contact.. Thanks..

  18. @AnonymousMarch 26, 2013 8:24 PM: At that time yung amin is 7K inclusive of a private pool with two rooms capacity of 20 people.

  19. sa loob po ba ng resort ung 4oo steps stairs?...
    do u think until now open pa rin un for hiking?... pls reply po... tnx!!!

  20. @Anonymous April 05, 2013 7:59 PM: Yes sa loob ng resort yung 400 steps na hike. I think bukas pa rin yun until now kasi the last time na nandun kami balak nilang patayuan ng rooms at pool yung tuktuk ng hiking site in the future. Baka tapos na yun ngayon. Last May 2011 pa ko nakapunta dito.

  21. Waste of money!the swimming pool is not clean even the bathroom. The lavatory is so dirty. Will not recommend this place.

  22. Hi! We're planning also to have our Team Building there this June. But sa SM Megamall kami mang-gagaling. Is it also 2-3 hours or mga 1hr 45mins max na? Do you have any idea? Thanks!

    1. I have no idea. We came from Pasay which is the location of our office and travel through Rizal for 2 hours.

  23. Pano pumunta dyan from cubao? At mag cocommute lang

    1. Sorry, I don't know since our visit is via private van from Pasay.

  24. Nice venue, perfect for company team building na ayaw ng lumayo sa Metro :)
    There is also a team building/camping venue in Laguna. Malapit lang! check Camp N Nuvali


All comments and reactions are highly appreciated.

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