The view from the balcony of a “log cabin” near the forest at the boundary of Bacolod and Talisay cities is great – one can see most of Negros Occidental and Panay Island in the distance, while beside it is a mountain shaped liked a woman’s body covered by a lush forest.
It also has year-round cool weather comparable to Tagaytay and Baguio, and fog often engulfs the place, giving it a mystical look.
The cabin sits on a five-hectare property in Barangay Cabatagan, Talisay City, being developed by former Transportation and Communication Assistant Secretary Ricardo “Cano” Tan, and his wife, Nita, into the Campuestohan Highland Resort.
The resort, about 35 to 40 minutes from downtown Bacolod just above Barangay Alangilan, will open to the public soon, the former Bacolod councilor said.
The main cabin of the resort has seven rooms and a huge balcony for entertaining, and 20 cottages shaped like huts of early tribesmen, which also look like igloos, for guests.
It has a playground, adult and children’s pools with dressing rooms shaped like giant tree trunks, and picnic huts.
Also on its grounds are a cement elephant and rhinoceros, with more “animals” yet to come, Tan said.
A pavilion for conferences and parties, and an artificial river are also being built at the resort where Tan also plans to revive his famous Sinugba Restaurant. There will also be a place where guests can go horseback riding, a sunken garden, and a wedding altar and carriage for couples who wish to marry there, he said.
Tan said he designed the facilities at the resort along with his architect, while his wife has been busy with the landscaping.
He is thankful to Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia for improving the road in Alangilan and to Talisay Mayor Eric Saratan for the work done on the Campuestohan road, which will also greatly improve the lives of people living in the area, Tan said.
Children living at the border of Bacolod and Talisay used to walk seven kilometers to school due to lack of public transportation because of the bad road in the past, Tan said.
Only about three-and-a-half kilometers of the road to the resort have yet to be paved but Saratan is planning to develop the tourism potential of the property owned by the Talisay City government nearby, Tan said.
Development in the area will boost the livelihood of residents as the resort can buy the crops they grow, he added.
Tan said he bought the Campuestohan property in 2010 before he even saw it, adding it was his wife who saw and fell in love with the place and told him to build her a retirement home there.
But soon, the couple saw the potential of the area as a business venture and forgot about retirement as they threw themselves into developing the place as a resort.
It will be a resort that both foreign and local tourists will truly enjoy, Tan said.
“We have the best view of Negros, it is fantastic. You have to see it to believe,” he said.
On a clear day, from the resort one can see airplanes landing at the Bacolod Silay Airport, fast ferries crossing the sea to Panay, or rain pouring over Bacolod City while the sun shines over nearby towns and cities.
It is as if one were on an airplane looking down on Negros.
And at night, one can see the distant lights of Negros’ cities from a cool perch at the resort, where the air is fresh and the soothing sounds of nature lull you to sleep.*CPG