Camping out in our own backyard can get boring after a while, as is wading in that pool, whether it’s real or inflatable. If you’re looking to enjoy a real outdoor experience to make the most of these last days of summer, there’s a members-only safe haven that’s only a couple of hours or so away from Manila.
It’s called the Bulod Campsite, a veritable pocket of paradise tucked in a hidden river valley in Tanay, Rizal. It’s not an easy drive going there, warns David Celdran who recently visited the hideaway in an episode of ANC’s Executive Class. But he says it’s worth the trip. “Think of it as an entrance fee to an unspoiled part of Tanay, Rizal,” he says.
Since the site is located in a rough section of the Daraitan riverbed that’s inaccessible by road, bringing a trail-tested 4x4 is a must. One will have to manage harsh terrains of muddy tracks, loose rocks, and even pass a river along the way. This is why most of the campsite’s members are either avid campers or off-roaders who enjoy exploring the mountain terrain on foot or on wheels. David says it is best to visit the site during summer; the water rises during rainy season, which can be rather unsafe.
But while the place is remote, the Executive Class host assures that Bulod offers more of a backyard camping experience rather than hardcore mountaineering. There’s no need to bring your own tent or sleeping bag because these are all provided for. A sturdy, rather spacious tent with two beds can comfortably fit a couple or a small family. The tents are not air-conditioned, however, but if it gets a little warm, the tent has windows that can be zipped open for better ventilation. Or better yet, sleep al fresco.
The campsite has an outdoor shower and toilet designed by the Dumagats themselves. But for a more authentic camping experience, David suggests taking a dip in the cool waters of the nearby river.
Guests are guaranteed a private camping experience, assures one of Bulod Campsite’s founders, Felix Ayque. The camp limits its number of guests to two separate groups at a time to ensure privacy and safety. A family also has the option to rent the whole campsite. It’s almost like having an entire mountain valley in Tanay as your own private backyard.
The Dumagats co-manage the property and assist the guests during their stay. If you want to have a stress-free vacation, you may request they do the cooking for you. If you’re maintaining a certain diet or you prefer certain recipes, you may also bring your own ingredients and cook your own food.
There’s one more reason to love the place, says Ayqe—it supports the local community in the area. The startup social enterprise is funded by members who share a philanthropic spirit and a love for the outdoors.
Ayque prefers to call being part of Bulod Campsite a “wellness membership,” which entitles exclusive members to a two-night stay once a month. The idea is to integrate camping into the members’ lifestyle should greatly benefit their overall health and well-being. Perhaps there’s no better endorsement than what David says in the show about the campsite. “The place has a way of feeding your soul without you having to do anything.”
Tent camping for four people is at P6,000 a night. For bookings and membership inquiries, call +63 (967) 290 8192 or +63 (917) 8175799 or visit their website https://bulod.camp. Know more about Bulod Campsite by catching the replays of Executive Class this Sunday at 8AM and 10PM on ANC.