Kim's Quest #13: The Experience of Being Cooked Alive at Calawag Mountain Resort

Kim Ybañez @ybanezkim26
· October 2019 · 9 min read · The Philippines · #photography


Hello steemians and travellers!

Okay. Chill. The title seemed like a clickbait, but it's just how they branded it. That may be a little bit exaggerated because I came home in one piece and more alive than ever before, but read on to find out why it was such a fun experience.

[1/250 secs @ f/4.9, ISO 200, 32.3 mm]

Welcome to the 13th edition Kim's Quest! This is the second part of our Panay Island tour. If you haven't read the first part, please check it out. As mentioned in the first part, we decided to have a side trip to Mararison Island and Calawag Mountain Resort; both are located in the province of Antique.

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 200, 15.0 mm]

After the breathtaking view of Mararison Island, it was time to relax and stay overnight at Calawag Mountain Resort. From the terminal in Culasi, Antique, we rode a van to Barangay Tuno, a mountain barangay in Tibiao, Antique.

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1600, 15.0 mm]

Upon arriving the resort, we immediately checked in, but there's a little bit of confusion because they weren't expecting us. In a place where there's no internet connection or phone signal, stuff like that could happen. We booked for an overnight stay at the resort online a few weeks before the trip and it turned out they weren't updated, so it leads to the confusion, but good thing they were so accommodating. It was sorted out and our room was prepared immediately and we agreed to line up the activities in the afternoon and in the morning the next day.


Let me talk about the place first.

Experience their Kawa Bath | The Chance to Be Cooked Alive

[1/250 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 200, 22.1 mm]

The Place

[1/250 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 500, 28.0 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

Calawag Mountain Resort is located along the bank of Tibiao River. The structures in the resort are made of bamboo and nipa, which are sustainable and can be found locally. Large acacia trees grow along the river banks which provided both structural support and shade to the whole resort.

[1/250 secs @ f/9.0, ISO 100, 28.0 mm]

The mountains of Antique in the background is a stunning view across the clean river. Tables were set up in the river itself where you can enjoy your sumptuous meal that they prepared specially for you.

[1/250 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 250, 28.8 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/5.0, ISO 200, 15.0 mm] | [1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

Swings are hanging in acacia trees above the river. I immediately tried swinging before we had our first activity and it was so relaxing. The sound of flowing water, the cool breeze of afternoon air, and the rural feel of the resort is one of a kind.

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm] | [1/250 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 320, 45.0 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 250, 28.0 mm]

"Extreme" Water Sports - Afternoon (First Day)

[1/20 secs @ f/32.0, ISO 200, Hisi 4K CAM]

[1/250 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 500, 15.0 mm]

It was about 2:00 PM when everything's sorted out and we decided to have extreme water tubing as an activity for the afternoon. Calawag Mountain Resort is located at the bank of the stunning Tibiao River with Antique's mountains as the backdrop. The river is fast-flowing, very clean, and ideal for extreme water sports. The resort offers river kayaking and river tubing. We chose the latter because it was cheaper and I think safer than kayaking.

[1/110 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 282, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

Rubber tubing started with an orientation at the resort. We were given tips on what to do to avoid being scraped or hurt by the rocks in the river. After the orientation, the water sport started at the resort and would cover two kilometers of the river going downstream.

[1/120 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 233, 3.0 mm]

[1/120 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 282, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

Since we were provided with a guide who mainly steered the rubber tubes in the river rapids, I was able to enjoy the view. There are hazards associated with the sport, but I think it was both mild and relaxing. Those guides really knew what they were doing. They knew how to orient the rubber tubes so that you won't fall in the raging river.

[1/250 secs @ f/9.0, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

The river was relatively shallow and wide near the resort, but it goes deep and narrow as it progressed downstream. The forest above the deep ravines provide a refreshing backdrop, but it gave a sense of remoteness. The fun culminated in a deep part downstream where I chose to have a splash. A pick up vehicle was waiting for us to take us back to the resort. It was an adventure, but a relaxing one for me and we were just starting in our stay at the resort.

[1/250 secs @ f/5.0, ISO 1000, 15.0 mm]

When we got back to the resort, we took a bath and prepared ourselves for dinner. We chose a package meal of local and delicious Antique dishes which are truly satisfying. Eating while your feet are caressed by the cold flowing river make the whole experience worth it.

[1/250 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 200, 22.1 mm]

After dinner, we headed back to our "kubo" or a small house made of indigenous materials where we stayed for the night. Since there's no signal and the night was so quiet, except for the sound of the flowing river, I was immediately snoring before I can even wash my face.

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 51200, 15.0 mm]

Relaxing Kawa Bath - Morning (Second Day)

[1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 640, 15.0 mm]

I woke up feeling refreshed because I think I slept for about 12 hours. Coming from a city where it's always noisy and bustling, I needed that relaxing and full sleep. We haven't taken a bath yet, but we decided to have breakfast first. The same experience the night before, we had our meal at the tables in the river.

[1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 500, 15.0 mm] | [1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

It was a surreal experience. The morning sun is rising, but we were covered by the shade of the acacia trees. From enjoying out hot coffee or chocolate while dipping our feet in the cold water to enjoying the early morning view of the resort while being caressed by the morning wind is such a feast to the senses. That breakfast was one of the best I had in my life!

[1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

And now for the main attraction!

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1250, 15.0 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 5000, 15.0 mm]

While we were having our breakfast, our kawa hot bath were already prepared for us. It's what made the resort famous, so you can say it's the selling point of Calawag Mountain Resort.

[1/320 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 10000, 22.8 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 10000, 20.9 mm] | [1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 5000, 15.0 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1250, 15.0 mm]

Large wok or locally called "kawa" is filled with fresh water from the river and heated. When the water is at the right temperature, it's addded with local flowers, fragrant leaves, and herbs. The smell was already relaxing.

[1/320 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 10000, 15.0 mm]

And then you can choose a "flavor" of your hot bath. Rather than having it plain heated water with some herbs and flowers, the resort elevated the hot bath into another level. You can have milk, coffee, beer, salt, and other flavors which they claimed to have different positive effects to the body.

[1/15 secs @ f/32.0, ISO 200, Hisi 4K CAM]

The kawas are all facing the river so you can enjoy the beautiful view of the river, trees, and mountains while being "cooked alive"! It was magical, refreshing, and exactly what I needed.

[1/320 secs @ 4.0, ISO 12800, 16.1 mm]

[1/250 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 5000, 15.0 mm]

Kawas are one of the evidences of Filipinos' ingenuity. The original purpose of those large woks are for processing molasses, but since modern methods are being used, those kawas became obsolete. What a better way to repurpose those large woks as hot tubs where it can fit at most two adults. The tub is being heated while you're relaxing gives an impression that you're being cooked. Add the flavors of the hot bath and you're good to go!

[1/320 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 10000, 22.8 mm]

Calawag Mountain Resort is where adventure, relaxation, and enchanting experience are being packaged at the same time for you to experience!

Like every other stay, we had to say goodbye to that relaxing experience. After almost two hours of enjoying the hot bath, we prepared to check out as we would be heading to the next destination. It was a once in a lifetime experience, but I think I will definitely be back!

[1/125 secs @ f/1.7, ISO 32, 3.71 mm, SM-C710F]

The next part of this series is in Boracay Island. See you in the next destination!

First Part:

Kim's Quest #12: Mararison Island Day Tour

Kim Ybañez
Welcome to Kim's small corner in the Steem blockchain. He is a chemical engineer by profession, but a blogger by passion. He is a wanderlust and an adventure seeker. Join his quests as he visits secluded destinations, climbs mountains, tries new and exotic dishes, and explores his country and the rest of the world.


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