Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An Enchanting Balinese Hide-away

Not far-away in the South of  the restless Manila is a haven, an oasis even, hidden from the rest of the world for years.  Until just a few years ago,  when the owners had decided to put an effort in making it known but still not that many  know of this.  Quite an adventure we found having to discover something of this worth exists.
Cintai.   The word itself  beguiles you,  but the story behind the whole idea will sure to captivate your heart.
The word cintai (pronounced as chin-tay) is Indonesian which means loveCintai by Corito's Garden started out as a family owned vacation house intended for bonding, relaxation and respite from the heavy challenges of life.   Corito is the name of the mother of the four children who owned the seven hectare land.  She suffered from cervical cancer and every weekend or after any hard treatment she would hide-away here and gardened precious times with the family.   But then God had to take His child back and the time came to bear away all her pain.  It had been four years since she passed away,  and those times were spent  by her husband and kids flourishing, planning, creating a haven in her remembrance.   It was said that she loves the place so much, and that the family desired  the precious  memories they had to live on, so even without their mother,  Corito's Garden continues to strive in beauty.
Fit to a T.  The Bali-themed garden-resort ties up everything with the wedding and lifestyle amenities it offers. 
One of the strength in a traditional Balinese structure, based on the the Tri Locka philosophy is a massive yard, which is truly evident in every areas, integral in that, is there is an interaction between human (Bhuwana Alit) and the nature (Bhuwana Agung).
 Open courtyards with gazebos, stone-pavements leading to two pavilions and plush gardens. 
Whether a wedding be in a garden or inside a majestic pavilion  that would fit up to 200 people, the options are endless and the prices are easy on the pocket.  To date, 13 weddings have been hosted in the garden.
Pavillion Tresna, a view from the garden
Inside the Pavillion Tresn
 Uphill or downhill trod to 18 private villas.   And in every step, a different unexpected  encounter  awes you.   Around, roam some farm and unfamiliar animals, and caged animals can be as captivating as well. 

One of its kind.  Balinese lifestyle had drawn the owners into designing the place.  Who would not?  The tranquil and rustic feel fuses in with the tropical surrounding, all in harmony.   I have never experience such lifestyle yet  in the course of our travel (nor have I gone to Indonesia).    Let me say this though, this piece of haven is a glimpse of  Indonesia with the total experience of the luxurious Bali lifestyle.  
The Executive Villa
One of the sterling qualities of having a private villa with the family is the dip in their own jacuzzi.  The garden serves as a welcoming benefit from it also.  The villa has a bar and an outdoor dining spot, perfect for a lazy hot afternoon with cocktails or favorite drinks, which a group of six to eight will surely enjoy.
For smaller group you may opt to have the Garden Villa.  A veranda, ambient lighting in the rooms, neutral colors with subtle pops of contemporary colors and intricately carved wooden furniture are just some of the inclusions.
Commune with nature.  True enough the hardest thing to have in Manila is peace.   At Cintai, while catching the sunbeam, you give glory to your body by feeding it with good air, oxygen, and good spirit, by meditating.
Bring the book you have been meaning to finish, or have a Bible, gather up your friends or family members and share some thoughts on certain verses,  then going back to Manila would be another challenge but armed enough to fight the tough battles.

Something for everyone.   The kids are very much welcome here.  Aside form the playful encounters with the roaming animals, including the constant plight of  colorful butterflies,  a playground was designed for kids to take their minds of picking flowers around.   In just a few walks form this area are the  swimming pools.    They are also welcome to other family events and corporate team-building events.   Birthdays, dedication, debut are just some of the celebrations perfect for the venues.  
More fun activities in the summer.  After the tour we had, the president and one of  Corito's kids was so nice to accommodate us with an interview.   "More things have been planned out for Cintai," boasts Patricia Palma Gil-Poniente.   Being a chef trained in the US for Thai cooking, and now the President of Cintai,  she plans to hold workshops to guests, such as basic  Thai cooking.   For the more valiant quests, they have tied up with people down the Taal lakeshore, pushing their project known as "Pusod Center,"  for a guided trek to the crater of Taal volcano.
For now,  massage services are done upon request, but the owners are planning of  having a spa inside the garden to complete the Bali lifestyle package.  "Cintai was developed at a very slow pace," as Miss Patricia uttered more.   Till now it is a work in progress,  only 5 hectares of the seven-hectare land are only developed.
Comfort  cuisine at its finest.   What could be a  lavish hide-away without food?   Comfort somehow can be dictated by the food you take, whether be it a cholesterol-laden nosh or a sustainable and organic option, it would be a request away from the staff, keeping worries of preparing it at bay.
Our day-tour ended with the best Lomi  I  ever had, which can be found here as well.   Balete, the town where  this garden is  situated,  if you haven't known is the place for good :Lomis.   Every corner has a "Lomihan" showcasing their heirloom recipe of the humbled Lomi.   A good cold glass of  coconut  drink  was a perfect match for  a comfort-filled  bowl.
The blistering  heat of  summer is peaking and by now you might have booked yourself  a day or two at the beach, why not consider a tropical paradise overlooking the lake  of Taal from Lipa, Batangas  with a great overnight bliss at Cintai by  Corito's Garden.
For more information and bookings:
Call them at:
63917 833 1508
63922 828 6789
63922 877 8665

Sitio Pandayan, Malabanan Balete, Batangas



  1. I really love Bali Designs! It is one of my fave concepts in Architecture/Interior design.Very natural lang.. I hope I could plan my own Bali resort.. Hahaha! :D

  2. hi there ^_^ this is very timely for me since i am thinking of travelling for i will be having my rest and recreation period..15 days long that is..nice review.ill surely check their site...i am already following you as well! :)

  3. I like how the structure brings you into a real Bali! Nice place it seems its so clamy! Thanks for sharing! <3

  4. Very pretty place, I like seeing these kind of sceneries, it change my mood.

    1. Definitely mood-changing! You tend to be drawn to the place nd relax by just with the pictures, but It would be better if you try the place for yourself.

  5. It's a very interesting place. Iba talaga ang Asian concept of art and architecture. Everything has a purpose and the primary objective is not simply to please the eyes, or show extravagance and magnificence, but to feed the soul first, and then let it commune with nature and heaven, and finally, please the flesh.

    And pleasing the flesh also means appeasing one's appetite.

    It has everything here. This is heaven on earth. No wonder why Corito loved the place so much.

    1. I try my best to tie in everything in one sitting...and food is definitely part of it! Thanks for always giving lovely words to my blog! It is such a joy reading your comments.

  6. This looks like a great place for the weekend, and the food looks good too!

  7. So fascinating..

    Visiting for FTF- hope you can stop by:)

  8. it is indeed enchanting! at malapit lang, thanks for sharing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  9. This is so perfect for summer, I was enchanted. Visiting from FTF. Here's mine thanks Sahm’s Dining Diary

  10. wow, sounds like a great place...beautiful pictures! :) and that lomi, looks so delicious! visiting from FTF and nice to be back here, hope you can visit me. thanks and have a great week. :)

  11. What such beauty in the Philippines! Wonder why it's hidden, the story is very touching also.


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