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Coleman Weekend Adventure at Lake CalirayaMay 24, 2008

Coleman Weekend Adventure at Lake Caliraya

When friends caught wind of the Coleman Adventure Weekend to Lake Caliraya, they signed up and signed me up as well. Why not? For P600, Coleman provides transport (an air-conditioned coach), equipment (tent, stove, lantern, etc.), t-shirt, bandana and fun things (speed boat, games, tubing, prizes, etc.). You don't find a deal like that nowadays.

Lake Caliraya - a Brief History
Lake Caliraya is a man-made lake rising 300 meters in Cavinti, Laguna. It was built in 1937 when the Americans flooded Cavinti valley to build a hydro-electric dam to provide power for Manila. With the Japanese invasion, the Americans sabotaged the dam. World War II ensued. When the Japanese Imperial Army retreated, they in turn sabotaged the dam again. From then on, the lake was lost in obscurity. It was not until the 70s when the lake was rediscovered by developers. It soon became the playground of the rich and famous for fishing, chilling and enjoying water sports (water ski, jet ski, boating, etc.). It fell out of favor again in the 80s when the place became a stronghold of the insurgent NPA (New People's Army). With President Aquino's term in the mid-80s, the lake again enjoyed peace and order. It didn't take long until the well-heeled folks from Manila and American expats returned to the lake as a favored haunt, a status that has remained to this day.

Pre-Event Meeting
To ensure the program goes smoothly, Coleman hosted a pre-event meeting at their FocusGlobal office in Mandaluyong where we met all our fellow participants. After being grouped accordingly, we checklisted our equipment needs, courtesy of Coleman. We also did our meal planning (what to eat, who brings what, who cooks, where to meet, etc.). From thereon, it was simply a matter of texting/emailing group members for more detailed planning.

On the Way
Everyone was in high spirits when we all gathered at the FocusGlobal office on D-day. The coach chartered for the event had ample space for gear and people. Air-conditioning was just right. After equipment was distributed to the groups, we were on our way for the 4-hour ride to Lake Caliraya in Cavinti, Laguna. We left Mandaluyong 8am and arrived 12 noon in Caliraya, inclusive of a 30-minute traffic and 30-minute rest stop.

Camp by the Lake
We arrived at Surf Kamp (one of the many resorts by the lake) and quickly setup camp. It was fun-and-games after that. We had a relay race with all 4 teams competing on the animal calls, paddle boating and fire starting. The following day, a speed boat was rented out for some major runs on the towable tube. Others chilled out on inflatables. A hike to the waterfalls was also in the IT but it got pretty slippery down the slope to the falls and again, everyone was very much occupied already with all the water activities. Even the rain could not dampen the fun and frolicking. Everybody had a great fun time. By the time it was time to head back, we got to know a little more about the guys we were with, and thankful to the tireless staff who made sure we had fun. Let's just say they were 'cleaning up the ashtrays while we were partying.

Leave No Trace
A positive inclusion to the event was an LNT, Leave No Trace, talk. It could have been done right by the lake, but Coleman kicked it up a notch by bringing us all to the Japanese Garden (no longer part of Surf Kamp) to conduct a hands-on LNT workshop. A lot of self-styled 'mountaineers' leave their trash in the mountains. The LNT ensures that people new to the outdoor world is made aware of what's expected of them regarding waste management.

Ending Thoughts
Camping used to be the domain of the mountaineers. However, eco-tourism together with a shifting headspace on the great outside have spawned a new genre of outdoor enthusiasts - the weekend warriors. A lot of mallers are still on the fence curious about this 'new thing'. By making the weekend getaway affordable with ample hand-holding from knowledgeable and friendly staff, Coleman is providing that extra nudge to gain more converts from a grassroots level...kudos! I hope Coleman continues to make this program, a tradition.

--- TheLoneRider

    Coleman Stores:
  • Alabang Town Center - 2nd level, Expansion Mall, tel. 850-7854
  • Park Square 1 - Ayala Center, Makati City, tel. 892-9019
  • Robinson's Galleria - East Wing, level 1 Mall, tel. 632-9145
  • SM Megamall, 5th level, Building B tel. 634-0648
    How to get there from Cubao:
  1. Take the bus from Jams Trans (along EDSA south of the Kamuning Road intersection) heading to Santa Cruz, Cavite. (2 hours if no traffic, P150)
  2. From the Santa Cruz bus terminal, take the jeep going to Cavinti (40 mins, P25). This takes you to Lake Caliraya
    Surf Kamp fees:
  • to pitch your own tent overnight: P150/head. They provide wash water and washroom facilities. Bring your own food and drinking water.
*** Thanks to Reggie, Aarone and Maila for the pictures ***
3legs DSC04527 DSC04684 DSC04687
DSC04777 DSC04792 P5230017 P5230019
P5230025 P5230032 P5240037 P5240049
P5240052 P5240065 P5240066 P5240067
P5240070 P5240075 P5240079 P5240080
P5240084 P5240090 P5240091 P5240096
P5240098 abs boat boating
trees tubing    

Reader Comments:

(june 18, 2008) I saw/read your site. Nicely written and arranged and very entertaining. I found new friends in your gang. Nice meeting and camping with you and the gang. Hope to join again in one of your adventures.

Dennis Lopez
(May 28, 2008) boo! di nag-aya! hehehe

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