A Peek of Living at Timberland HeightsDate: August 12, 2015
I first came to know about Timberland Heights more than 4 years ago during the 2011 Merrell Adventure Run and I was able to come back for a few more times for some training runs, cycling, and traverse mountain bikings. Back then and until just recently during our 2-day weekend getaway, I have no idea that Timberland Heights is one of Filinvest’s Township community project that spans a total of 677-hectares of premiere mountain development.
As of this date, Filinvest has already developed 20% of the combined residential, campsites, eco-trails, and farm lot projects from the Adventure Farm, The Ranch, Mandala 1 and 2, Banyan Ridge, Banyan Crest, Manila Waldorf School, Timberland Sports and Nature Club (TSNC), and the just soft-opened — The Leaf Condotel (TLC).
Our short yet blissful experience living the life at Timberland Heights a few weeks ago gave me more than a glimpse but also impressed me with its bounty of close-to-nature activities without having to go far. The 2-degrees cooler than the neighborhood Metro climate will also give you more time to be outside for more adventures as it sits at 400-meters above sea level (masl) elevation on the clean and unpolluted mountains of San Mateo, Rizal. This strategic location can give you an almost 360-degrees of picturesque views of Metro Manila, Laguna, and Manila de Bay.
Timberland Heights is only a stone’s throw at just 9-kms away from Quezon City or 15-20 minutes drive from Batasan Pambansa.
To reach the site by commuting, you may ride a jeepney from Philcoa, QC going to Puregold San Mateo traversing Commonwealth Ave. From Puregold, hop on to a tricycle towards the famous Aling Tina’s Carinderia or at the entrance near the famous Shotgun road. From there, it’s just around 1-km of walk/hike at the steep road going towards the gate of Timberland Heights, and another less than 1-km to reach TLC or TSNC.
For an easier and stress-fee commuting, the availability of Uber may take you to TSNC in no-time. I actually went there thru the UberX service and the charge was Php 249.00 for the 18-km ride coming from V.Luna Ave. Although, this route is not yet covered by Uber as it is no longer part of Metro Manila. Until such time that the nearby Rizal province becomes covered by Uber, you may need to tell the driver in advance where you are heading and come up with some agreements (but if he agrees without other arrangements, then don’t bother!).
My Uber driver still accepted my route although with hesitation, so in return I offered to fuel up the vehicle for a few pesos at the nearby gasoline station (no monetary exchange).
First Day – Timberland Tour and Glamping
Arriving late for the morning itinerary which involves the luncheon briefing at the Peak Bar of TSNC, I was still able to join the 1st day’s guided shuttle tour to the already existing developments of Timberland, together with other adventure bloggers and members of the print and lifestyle media. Entering these high-end communities, I was in awe and amazement as we were briefed by Filinvest’s staff about the offerings and features of each of the village.
The residential farms of Mandala 1 at the North side with only a handful of houses built yet. On the South side just after the gate was the The Ranch, followed by Mandala 2 opposite Mandala 1 which is also a residential farm. The more familiar project to me was the Banyan Crest at the Southeastern portion, fronting the TSNC as this was where the past Merrell Trail run participants’ vehicles were allowed to park.
At the Eastern/Northeastern part comes the ongoing development which is The Glades (not the Glades of the Arrow TV series). This portion as I recall was where the obstacles of the Merrell Adventure Run 3 trail route looped with its orangey and sticky mud. Now this will become an 11-hectare community development.
The main road here is already in place, and just opposite the Glades, St. John Paul II Church – a Church inspired by the Thorncrown Chapel in Arkansas will be constructed. Not far from this entrance was another familiar route going to the highest point, overlooking Laguna de Bay, the Metro Manila skyline, Tagaytay Ridge, and Mt. Arayat. This area will be developed with a stunning 360-degrees of view deck and will be aptly called the Timberland Outlook Park or T.O.P. for short.
Proceeding towards the Timberland gate after peeking at these properties and future developments, we found the Adventure farm with its surrounding nature-inspired partitions and the camping grounds just a few stairs away. The next activity woke me up back into reality and broke my daydreaming of owning a Timberland property.
Walking up to the camping grounds with Ms. Mars (Happy Camper), Dennis (Running Pinoy), and Pepi (Kampeo ng Pagibig), I ignorantly asked them what “glamping” means (yes, that word was alien to me!). Honestly, I did not know that there is such a thing as glamorous camping! Well I thought it is glamorous enough if you’re camping at the grounds of a premiere property and with such event being hosted by a beautiful host (Ms. Hilary Isaac), but I got more surprised with the camping foods — red and white wines (not beer nor demon spirits – gin), different variations of cheeses (instead of the packaged snack/junk foods), fresh ham varieties and fresh lettuce, and there’s even a set of ice cream maker on another table.
But before we indulged ourselves in such treats, Coleman Philippines introduced their new line of camping tents. The newest was the Pop-up instant tent where you can get this portable shelter ready in just less than 10-minutes with spacious, fully-seamed, and large window ventilation. The easy setup was made possible with the pre-attached poles so you’ll spend less time getting it done. The tent can accommodate up to four people.
After the demonstration, a simple game followed for the fastest group among us to setup the same tent.
With the rain and strong winds already coming, we went back to our own rooms at The Leaf Condotel to wash-up and get rested.
The room that I occupied has two beds, plush green beddings, pillows, and comforter blankets. As the Condotel is still on its soft-opening, there was still no telephone unit but it is already equipped with satellite channels from Cignal Digital TV, lighted closet with small deposit box, a personal ref and water heating for the morning coffee.
What’s odd is that the room does not have its own comfort room/bathroom — or so I thought! Impressive as it is, the bathroom’s door is unlike any other as it is camouflaged with the room’s wood-parquet designed wall. The camouflage also becomes more effective with the absence of a door knob.
We ended the cold evening after the sumptuous dinner at the Ridge Bar of the TSNC, a night of socials, and dancing with Pepi as the lead dancer showing his gracefulness in ballroom dancing.
Second Day – Outdoor Adventure
The next morning, I had my deepest sleep after a long time with the cushy bed and very relaxing ambience of the room that I was not able to wake up to my alarm at 6:00AM. I woke up at around 7:00AM — the call time for our breakfast.
Proceeding to Magnolia Conference for the breakfast, we got to know Mr. Edmund Mangaser the owner of All Terra Cyclery who lent the different models of Giant Mountain Bikes and some representatives from the different dealerships of Nissan Phils. with their test units of the 4×4 Navarra NP300 double-cab pick-up trucks. These beautiful 2-wheeled and 4-wheeled vehicles were our choice of rides for the morning’s trail adventure.
The group was divided in two, those who wants to bike and for those who wants to ride the 4x4s. For some reason, I did not get excited to hop on the Navarra so I chose to get dirty with the mountain bike trail routes until I saw our other companions and Dennis riding at the pick-up’s cargo.
While the first batch of Navarra riders went ahead, the biking group was led by one of the pioneer mountain bikers of Timberland Heights, Filinvest’s Arch. Noel Advincula, and RR our in-house mechanic from All Terra. We were briefed for a moment about the basics of mountain biking, bike handling, and safety before proceeding to our route.
We were only traversing the basic trail and everyone was excited and in high-spirit, specially Ms. Mars who seems either having trouble with her bike or just keeping RR for herself (aherm!).
The heavy rains from the previous day made the almost 8-km. trail Roxas loop an intermediate one on the single tracks of slippery mud. Albeit the challenging off-road ascents and descents, everyone was enjoying the ride on their own models of the Giant hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes. Ms. Mars who just got a better grip of her bike was also laughing in excitement and was the lead group’s cue that they are already nearby.
I, on the other hand, got so impressed with the Giant Anthem bike that I was using as we tackled the rocky and slippery ascents of the route. The Anthem is fully-equipped with front and rear suspensions with manual lockout, hydraulic brakes, has an SRAM X0 groupset and 10-speed drivetrain, and 27.5″ wheelset on a small frame size that was just right for me.
The bike was light and smooth on the technical portions, yet it can also go fast on paved road. Comparing this bike to the mountain bike that I own, I would say that mine was an owner-type jeep and the Giant Anthem was a mid-sized all-terrain SUV. This experience pushed me to finally give-up my bike for my brother and get a somehow better spec’d mountain bike (although still it’s incomparable with the Giant Anthem).
Getting dirty and sweaty after more than 2-hours, we returned back to wash-up and finally get a dip at the infinity pool of TSNC while our other companions who rode the 4×4 Navarra went to the Adventure farm to pick some of the harvest-ready organic vegetables.
The dip for about 1-hour was just enough to cooldown and relax our tired body. Ms. Mars was our shutterbug while Dennis and I practiced our laps at the 25-meter swimming pool.
Concluding the Timberland Weekend
We’ve ended the 2-day adventure at Timberland Heights with delicious varieties of Japanese buffet lunch back at the Peak Bar. I specially liked the seaweed miso soup which warmed my tummy, well I actually love the taste of each food which satisfied my palate.
Timberland Heights still has a lot facilities to get you busy. Our 2-day weekend experience was not enough to fully experience the whole of it. Soon I will be back to discover the remaining biking routes (intermediate and advance trails), and hopefully to get another dip at the pool or have a relaxing massage.
As we travel back home, and actually get back to my normal life, I realized that one does not need to go far to find a place to retire, or a place to dwell while continuing your businesses. With its close-to-Metro location, you may still attend to your business schedules and also get your daily dose of peace, inspiration, and motivation just a few kilometers away with the many close-to-nature offerings of Timberland Heights. On the other hand, if you already have a land of your own but doesn’t know what to do with it, why not mimic the great idea that Timberland Heights have?
Still, my mind wanders if all the future development plan to Timberland Heights will be able to sustain the life and its co-existence with nature. Will the more than 50 species of birds flying around Timberland Heights still be there 5 or 10-years from now? If Timberland Heights is the last frontier of the Metro, how will you protect and preserve the blissful and serene sanctuary of Timberland Heights?
Find more photos I’ve taken from my Facebook album, and learn more about the Timberland projects below.
Timberland Project Briefs
Targeting the high-end socio-economic segments of the market, Timberland Heights envisions to become a unique community with close proximity to nature offering comfort, convenient, serene, intermodal connectivity, and high-end living standards encompassing over 380-hectares of housing, employment, recreational, leisure, and entertainment developments.
Timberland Heights is a premiere mountain township development that will provide prospective buyers a refreshing change of lifestyle. It will be a nature haven where residents will feel relaxed, refreshed and energized.
Mandala 1 a 40-hectare low-density residential farm with an average lot area one can own of 1,200 sqm of which only 30% should be occupied by the estate and the remaining for farming use only.
The Ranch a 5.70-hectares community of only 113 households with average 250 sqm lot area. This project gives picturesque views of Laguna de Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Mandala 2 opposite Mandala 1 which is also a residential farm but with much lower density of only 130 lots averaging 1,250 sqm. each over 20-hectares property.
Banyan Ridge at the eastern part is is a 6.30-hectare community of only 118 exclusive residential lots located on a ridge with a panoramic vista of the city and surrounding mountains.
Banyan Crest 15-hectare development on the western area with a total of 293 residential lots located on a ridge with a higher altitude that offers panoramic vista of the Metro and picturesque views of Laguna de Bay.
The Leaf this Condotel offers a modern mountain resort lifestyle through an investment that could pay for itself. This development is a fully-functioning condotel gives an investor ownership of a prime condominium and a membership to TSNC, operated and managed by TSNC for worry-free income generation, hassle-free maintenance and room rental pool management.
Timberland Sports and Nature Club is an exclusive membership club where family members of all ages can enjoy indoor, outdoor, and various recreational facilities. It has an existing hotel rooms for overnight accommodations and meeting rooms and ballrooms to allow holding of various types of exclusive, private and corporate functions.
Greenways and Eco-Trail is a purposely-built mountain biking, running and walking trails, and campsite / glamping area.
Adventure Farm a preserved and balanced ecological system with the establishment of its own Agro-forestry Center. Hobby-farmers will literally reap the benefits from cultivating nature’s bounty on their farms with the expert advice and technical facilities of the Agro-forestry. It was designed to create an exciting, fun-filled and educational experience for its visitors. Inside the farm are: 1) the farmhouse; 2) butterfly sanctuary; 3) greenhouse; 4) hilltop haven; 5) veggie valley; 6) herb terraces; 7) treetop; 8) vermiculture; 9) chicken farm (chicken chums); and 10) mini fish lagoon (fish frenzy)
Manila Waldorf School is one of the fastest growing non-traditional education movements in the world that utilizes holistic development of the young’s hand, heart and mind
Source: Running Atom