Last December 3, 2011 Mrs. Elisa Montecastro invited the PNPCSI group for a tour in Subic Cliff -Royale resort tour . The schedule date of the tour was on January 7 and 8, 2012 in order to coincide with the club’s monthly meeting. I quickly sign-up for the scheduled tour. After a few weeks, I was informed that the planned tour indeed finally push through .
Although I have gone to Subic before, it would me my first time to visit and have an overnight stay at a resort. I woke -up at around 5:00am in order to come on time in our meet-up place which is at EDSA Garden house within the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation compound . I arrived at around past 6:00 , while most of the participants are a little bit late ( as usual) . We finally left MSBF past 8:00 am then we pass Mindanao Avenue to North Luzon Expressway and Subic – Clark -Tarlac Expressway on our way to Subic. The travel took us about 3 hours .
entrance to the resort
We were accompanied by our gracious host together with about a dozen members of the society . According to Mrs. Montecastro , They were offered by the previous owner of the one -hectare property sometime in 1995. They pooled -in their resources and divided the property into club’s shares which had common areas like swimming pools, function areas , beach front and leisure areas. They started to develop the property sometime in the year 2000.
pavilion and main pool of the resort
The resort entrance is quite unassuming. Upon entering the premises, you will find yourself on a parking lot with full grown trees with no hint of the resort’s structures. To reach the main area, one has to either climb up a few steps or walk a slightly winding steep inclined cemented stairways . A swimming pool that overlooks Subic bay is the centerpiece of this 1-hectare land. One will feel closer to nature with all the flowers and trees in the surroundings. The owner’s love for horticulture, shows in the exquisite selection of plants.
winding cemented staircase going -up to the resort
They also hired an architectural firm which had an experience in developing a resort in Bohol. She was the one who personally took care of the resort landscaping which incorporated the fusion of Filipino/ Asian style of architecture in her resort buildings.
staircase going to the second floor of the cottage dotted with ornamental plants , ferns and orchids
What is nice about the cottage buildings it uses solar electricity to power the water heater
a collection of native handicrafts from different parts of the country and the world
She is also the one who purchased all the furniture and fixtures within her resort. She is an active member of the Philippine Horticultural Society, Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines , Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Incorporated and other cultural groups.
Her other hobbies included furniture, shells , accessories, native handicrafts collecting from different parts of the country and other countries in Asia.
cottage with Mascagnia macroptera / Stigmaphyllon cilatum or Butterfly vine drape the walls of the cottage
The clusters of dainty butterfly vine shine in the warm days. But its seed pods that give the vine its name, After the vine blooms , the papery pods will turn brown as they mature and can be harvested and planted .
close-up view of the seed pod
The wing-like pods can also be used as part of a dry flower arrangement. This particular was renamed Stigmaphyllon ciliatum and originated from tropical Central America .
Biko- Subic style
Our group was treated by our gracious host a simple rice based dessert ( kakanin) , which they called Bikong- Subic , somehow there is more latik ( brownish residue from the coconut milk and meat) than the usual biko in Metro Manila.
According to Mr. Delmer Del Rosario , it is quite similar to Tarlac’s version of sinukmani .
After a brisk tour of the facilities, the group was treated again to a lunch buffet which consists of tinolang manok with freshly pick organic vegetables, fried sisig ( deep fried and chopped ) they did not use the usual pig’s face and ears but lean pork meat, which was deep fried .
tinolang manok with fresh organic vegetable from the resort vegetable garden
ginataang langka and they also serve fresh mangoes from the wet market of Olongapo and Subic, Zambales is known for their sweet mangoes.
organically grown vegetables
Mr. Delmer Del Rosario, Mrs Elisa Montecastro ( the host) , Mr. Micheal Calamaro, Mr. Bonifacio Pasion, Dr. Sandra Yap and Mr. Anthony Arbias
After the lunch, Most members took time off and enjoyed the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains, sea scape and the Subic bay harbor.
There are three building complexes dedicated to accommodate guests. Then there is a pavilion dining/activity hall and two big pavilions for holding large events such as a wedding , meeting or party . There are also at least three garden setting areas where one can also hold small functions ,meetings , team building and gatherings.
winding staircase lead up and down from the resort
Access to the beach is through a cemented winding path, not more than a 5 minute walk down the mountain cliff . The beach area is secluded from other beach resorts as it is bounded by rock formations. Locals arriving in their own boats or the ambulant vendors just walk from one beach front to another . The beach front area is considered a public area .
When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 , the ashes that were spewed from the eruption still covered much of the beach front. According to the owner, the ashes were so thick that the contractor were able to used the volcanic sand as construction material for the resort.
L-R Mr. Micheal Calamaro, Mr. Edwin Tadiosa, Mr. Anthony Arbias, Mr. Ronald Achacoso, Mr. Bonifacio Pasion, PAWB Assistant Director Nelson P. Devanadera , Mrs. Elisa Montecastro, Mr. Delmer Del Rosario and the author
Cliff Royale resort is a lush, one hectare beach resort overlooking Subic Bay and the surrounding mountain area . It boasts a cove beach shoreline for its guests, with a charming, winding beach trail. Surrounded by abundant foliage of tropical greenery, vines and flowers, the resort is the perfect getaway for both family and friends. The place is not only known as a perfect get away but also an ideal venue for location shoot. GMA Channel 7 prime time drama show ” Magpakailanman ” Forevermore hosted by Ms. Mel Tiangco had a location shoot within the resort premises at least three times . The show ran from 2002 to 2008 .
picturesque view of the beach with native huts and native boat
According to one of the staff, nearby beaches are also an ideal venue place for location shoot . Sources from the rumor mill confirmed that the Filipino- American Php 745 million lotto winner last November 29, 2010 draw, bought a beach front property within the area.
It was past 3:00 pm when PNPCSI members had its monthly meeting held at one of the open air pavilion of the resort . This year’s projects and proposal was already calendar and the results are quite positive for the society.
This room provides a 360 degree view of Subic Bay and surrounding mountain views
This is the master bedroom with loft, this room features a 360-degree panoramic window in its attic, where guests can view Subic bay and the surrounding Olongapo city . The dorm type rooms are great for big families or groups. You can always request for an additional mattress with corresponding fees in order to squeeze additional person in one room.
Food and Drink
There are no restrictions in bringing your own food inside the resort. There is a personal refrigerator in every room to keep some of your homemade food fresh , There are grilling stations with the resort compound . But guests may opt for the catering services that the resort is offering .
In any case, guest may purchase freshly caught bounties from the sea from the peddlers like fish, squid or marine crabs in the beach side and have them cooked ( paluto style) by the resort staff for a certain fee. They can cook delicious food, even for big groups! Cold refreshments like bottled water, soft drinks or beer are sold in the green building lobby.
back view of the cottage
The author together with Mr. Delmer Del Rosario and Architect Patrick Gozon took a respite from the meeting to explore the surrounding neighborhood beside the resort.
We saw a store which sells lingerie items, sex toys , lubes and costumes obviously to those people who wanted to have another adventure in their love life!
bedroom with a lot of ethnic inspired furniture.
The group had a brief rest on their private cottage and by past 7:00 pm the group was again treated to a dinner buffet.
enseladang talong, grilled fish and fresh bananas
evening meal which consists of rice, tinolang manok, labong- ( young bamboo shoots )
This endless buffet meals is also like having a food tour of the place. Meal buffet usually starts at Php 150.00 per head for breakfast and Php 250.00 per head for lunch / dinner depending on the menu.
The Cliff Royale at Subic Bay
Km 133, National Hi-Way, Barangay Barretto , Olongapo City, Philippines
Mrs. Victoria Montecastro-Benabaye
Great Value For Parties, Social and corporate celebrations, company seminars and functions , location shoot, etc…
Capacity 100-120 People
Swimming pool with jacuzzi, club houses, picnic area and Beach