Sunday, April 24, 2016

High in the Highlands of Davao City (Part 2)

Getting high in the highlands—it's the ultimate form of fun and frolic that you should try (if you haven’t) whenever you have the chance to do so. Whether you clamor for a bucolic locale to escape the chaos and confusion of the lowlands or crave for a weekend rendezvous with nature, you have numerous options waiting for you in the mountainous outskirts of Davao City.

A glimpse of the sea of clouds in the mountains of Marilog

Weekend warriors who’ve made it to the city would surely agree that Davao’s highlands count among the most interesting destinations when you’re exploring the homeland of the country’s national bird. Pine-scented air, placid mountains, plenteous forests—all these connive to make the city’s highlands among the perfect destinations for a weekend escapade.

A few blogposts ago, I’ve featured some of these highland hideaways, which I’ve visited myself. For more on this, see my post at Here are two more that I’ve explored recently, both of which lie in the fringes of the city, waiting for intrepid tourists to explore them.

Jive Highland Resort. Neatly tucked in the village of Datu Salumay in Marilog District, Jive offers the ultimate highland hideaway for those who want to recover a part of themselves they’ve lost in the daily grind. Endowed with natural wonders, the resort is one of the best places in the uplands where city slickers can reconnect with nature and experience a state of serenity that they probably have difficulty finding in the city.

The natural falls in Jive

Relax in the quiet nooks of Jive

A sprawling 30-hectare property (of which only 10 hectares have been developed), Jive boasts of two natural waterfalls and a cave, a lush forest of pine trees and mountain vistas.  Strolling, swimming, spelunking and sleeping under the stars are just a few of the numerous activities that outdoor enthusiasts can do there.

The mountain resort has the following amenities: the A-House, which can accommodate 5-6 people; the Red House (Baloi Malalab), which can house 10-12 people; the Blue House (Baloi Makalawag); and the Yellow House (Baloi Mailum), both of which can provide shelter to 10-15 people. It also has a five-door dormitory good for 6-8 people.

Fed up with the madness of the rat race in the city, the chaos of traffic jams in the streets or the babel of endless chatters in crowded bars, malls and plazas? Then head for the hills and step into the realm of serenity that Jive offers to its guests. By the way, the resort is just a two-hour drive away from the urban jungle. And it’s definitely worth hitting the road if only to experience a different kind of high. 

When you get to Jive, clear your mind and detach yourself from the rest of the world. Go offline, unplug yourself, and commune with Mother Nature. Listen and get high with her soothing rhymes and rhythms—the swoosh of cool, pine-scented air, the rustling of tree leaves, the rumbling of the waterfalls, the murmuring of the flowing stream, the chirping of birds, and much, much, more.  

Commune with nature in the vastness of pine forests

Hills View Mountain Villa. As El Nino continues to unleash its scorching madness everywhere, including the lowlands, I guess it’s not only me who’s been wanting to escape to the mountains if only to experience something that would chill their nerves—just to get rid of the wet and sticky feeling and feel refreshed even for just a day. If you want to experience nippy days and cold nights this summer, Hills View is the place for you. 

Hills View, a white-house perched on top of a hill, offers visitors a breathtaking view of the mountain ranges found in Marilog District the moment they climbed the so-called “stairway to heaven”, a flight of wooden stairs that leads to a view deck where nature lovers can catch the sun rising and going down the surrounding hills.

The villa's popular viewdeck

Found a few kilometers away from Jive, the two-storey villa, which can accommodate about 20 people, was once a privately-owned rest house sprawling on a 10-hectare mountainous terrain in Datu Salumay. The owners, however, decided to open it to the public, enabling lovers of the great outdoors to catch a 360-degree glimpse of the awesome landscape set amidst mountains, valleys and pine-trees.

It was one of my friends who convinced our group to hold a mini-reunion at the villa for one of our Manila-based buddies who was coming home for a weeklong summer holiday. I guess the resort had all of us at hello the moment we laid eyes at the awesome view up there.  

Other than spending quality time with family and friends by basking in the beauty of the natural vistas, there’s not much to experience in Hills View. For those who want to make the most out of their stay there, they need to be in the villa from sunup to sundown if only to experience a different kind of natural high. 

Undoubtedly, the mystical sea of clouds and the changing colors of the skies at sunrise and sunset makes that hideaway a cozy place to commune with nature and be close to the One who created it.

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Magnificent view of the sea of clouds

Hills View also has a wide veranda that offers a commanding view of the exhilarating mountain scenery—probably one of the best places to sip your favorite brew, catch up on your reading, eat your favorite brekkie or brunch or simply reflect on the magnificence of God’s creations.  

Caveat: Not everybody seemed to have a nice time up there. Recently, I’ve read about some negative reviews concerning Hills View, particularly, the security risks lurking there. I’d rather not elaborate on this. I leave it up to those interested to visit the place to research more about this before going there. Remember that being forewarned is being forearmed.

Weekend warriors, the choice is yours. Get high but choose wisely. :-D

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