The municipality of Tanay is probably the must-go destination now in terms of mountain hiking due to its accessibility from our country’s center, Manila. And one of its newest attraction is Fresno Agro Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite or also known as Mt. Kulis or “Bahay ni Cardo” that made fame from Coco Martin’s TV series “Ang Probinsyano”. The campsite is the perfect venue to catch a beautiful Sea of Clouds that won’t require a radical hiking to reach the top. Yes, you read it right. It was an easy hike (pabebe hike as they say) that you can only reach Mt. Kulis peak by around 15 minutes from the registration office.
Getting to Know Fresno Agro Forestry and Eco Tourist:
The campsite is located in Sitio Maysawa Brgy. Cuyambay/Laiban, Tanay, Rizal just few meters away from the entrance gate of Treasure Mountain. The difference is that, Fresno is on a higher location which means a better chance of getting a nicer view. The place is new as well so there are lesser crowd here for you to enjoy the sight. One of its major attraction is the house built for the TV show “Ang Probinsyano” starring Mr. Coco Martin, the place was made as a shooting area for few months before it finally opened to the public.
Mt. Kulis, Sambong Peak and Noah’s Ark:
When we contacted the campsite through their official facebook page, we were given options where to pitch our tent for our overnight stay. First option is on Mt. Kulis where “Bahay ni Kardo” is located and where most of the campers spend the night. Second option is in Sambong Peak which is the peak next to Mt. Kulis or third option is on Noah’s Ark which is our main purpose of visiting. We heard and read about that as early as 5am there are already a long line of people wishing to ride the arc and take pictures on it. So we decided to take the third option so we could be the first in line to ride the arc and as recommended, this vantage point has the higher chance of seeing the Sea of Clouds.
According to our tour guide, we were the first group of campers to pitch our tents beside this distinct vantage point of Noah’s Ark! Take note that there is no proper camping area beside Noah’s Ark. We only pitch our tents on the man-made bamboo bridge that they made where the long queue of people stand while waiting for their turn to ride the arc. As per our tour guide, Kuya Lolong, the camp area on Noah’s Ark can only accommodate up to five tents.
Our Overnight Journey:
We supposedly start our trek at around 4pm but due to the heavy traffic and the heavy rain upon reaching Tanay, we started our trek at around 5:40pm. We first settled our bills and entrance fees on the registration office before starting our ascend. It’s almost dark and we were wearing raincoats as it is still raining when we reached Mt. Kulis and picked up the tent we rented. It’s already dark when we head to Sambong peak where we met another set of campers who were already set for the night on Sambong.
The trail after Sambong peak became a bit complicated as the trail is pitch black and we only have one headlight with us and the rest used their cellphones to see through the dark. And since there was a heavy rain on the afternoon, the trail is too muddy that you can’t even step your feet properly due to the heavy mud that piled up on our shoes and sandals. A lot of sliding into the muds happened that made our clothes and bags full of dirt.
After more than an hour, we reached the Noah’s Ark. No more rain, we assembled our camping tents and washed ourselves to had a dinner. After an hour or two, the Sea of Clouds started to show from our camping area and it’s one of the most beautiful overnight scene I’ve ever witnessed. Though it’s night, you can still see the Sea of Clouds as the moon shines so bright from above. I keep on getting out of our tent from time to time and we had the Sea of Clouds view all by ourselves on the middle of nowhere. I can’t still believe with the beauty that stays right in front of my eyes.
We slept for few hours and manage to wake up at 3am. As early as 4am we already saw a group of trekkers from afar making their way on the Noah’s Ark so we started to fix our tents and things so we could start the line and wait for the sunrise. In order to take a photo within the arc you needed someone to climb a rock formation in front of it. Good thing, we had Kuya Lolong to take a photo of us and he was a good photographer.
As we ride the arc, we saw from above the long queue of people waiting for their turn and its kinda awkward to pose with all eyes on you (lol). I can’t imagine ourselves waiting on that long line and it’s really such a good decision to spend the night in Noah. We started our trek down to take photos on both Sambong Peak and Mt. Kulis as we didn’t get a chance to get good photos the other night.
Upon reaching back Mt. Kulis and “Bahay ni Cardo”, there is a small store that offers “silog” dishes for P100/meal only. We tried their tapsilog and tocilog. Other attractions of the site that you can visit are the Lion Falls House, the Hanging Bridge and the newly open Spider web.
Rates and Charges:
Day trip– P150/pax (4:00am-3:00pm)
Overnight– P200/pax (4:00pm-1:00pm)
Tent Rental– P500 (Good for 2 persons)
P800 (Good for 4 persons)
P200/tent pitching (Bring your own tent)
Guide Fee– P500/5 pax (Day tour)
P1250/5 pax (Overnight)
Note: Mandatory guide if you go on Noah’s Ark and Lion Falls House
How to get there?
Ride a jeepney or van to Cogeo Gate 2. Jeepney fare is about P25 and van fare would be P35 each. Walk towards the end of the City Market to reach the jeepney terminal bound to Sampaloc. Tell the driver to drop you off in Maysawa Circuit and fare will be P48 each. Upon reaching Sitio Maysawa ride a tricycle that will take you to Fresno Agro Forestry and Eco Tourist. One tricycle ride would cost you P150 good for 4 pax.
Ride a jeepney or van going to Tanay town proper. From Tanay Public Market, ride a jeepney that will take you directly to Sitio Maysawa. Upon reaching Maysawa charter a tricycle that will take you to Fresno.