On the left side of the road, around a hundred meters past the Balete arch, is yet another destination worth discovering. You will see a wooden gate that says Corito’s Garden. And that’s what you’ll be reading about in this post.
Cintai – Corito’s Garden
Cintai is the Indonesian translation of the word love. The garden resort was named after Corito, the wife of the owner Mr. Ramon Palma Gil, a Davao native. They acquired the property in 2006 after falling in love with Batangas, specifically that spot in Balete.
The place served as a weekend house for the couple and their four children. It was also where Corito spent her days as she battled the illness which took away her life in 2007. Due to that untoward event in the lives of the Palma Gils, Sir Ramon gave all his effort to develop the property, turn it into a place of bliss and total relaxation, all for the love of his children and most especially, of Corito.
Bali in Balete
While I was taking down my questions which I’ll be utilizing for my interview with Cintai’s manager, Ms. Cathy Maralit, I thought of this ear-friendly subtitle for this article, “Bali in Balete”. When you roam around Cintai, you would see and experience a mix of Filipino and Balinese both in the architecture and the ambiance of the garden resort.
Ms. Cathy shared that the supposed theme of the resort was Mexican. And then the couple went to visit Bali, Indonesia. Apparently, the island captured their hearts. It’s like they brought Bali back home and their points of admiration were transformed into structures and fixtures in their Balete property thus, giving Cintai – Corito’s Garden that “close to Bali perfection”.
First Year of Operation
Cintai was completed after five years of careful landscaping and intricate construction of the resort features. Cintai formally opened in January of this year. As I’ve said earlier, the garden resort is a mix of Filipino and Balinese. Whatever you see, it’s either made in the Philippines or bought and flew in from Bali.
Sir Ramon does not have any formal training in architecture and design but having the passion to build Cintai and preserve all the wonderful memoirs he created with his family, this garden resort will catch you in awe. Another good thing about having Cintai in Balete is the employment that the owners provide for the locals. The staff members of the resort are either from Balete or the nearby towns.
Among the notable features in Cintai are the Balinese stone carvings and architectural designs strategically located in various points of the resort. The one Gerlie and I got too excited to see is the large wooden door situated in the middle of huge stone statues which may either make kids laugh or get scared. They seemed to be the representations of ancient Balinese gods.
Everywhere you go, you’d see either a statue of a Balinese god or a wall with elaborated carvings of again, the gods of this Indonesian island.
Probably the feature that tops the list of awesomeness in Cintai is the Pavilion Patricia. Of all the resort pavilions here in Batangas, this is perhaps the most “bongga” of them all. It’s too grandiose to describe every detail. See inserted picture for a preview of this pavilion.
Currently, there are two pavilions in Cintai (Patricia and Andrea) and another two to rise soon. These pavilions were built away from each other and away from the villas so if there is an event happening in a certain pavilion, the guests staying in the villas won’t be disturbed.
There are 18 villas categorized as the Terrace, the Garden Villa, and the Villa with Jacuzzi and Pocket Garden.
Of course, being a resort, Cintai has four swimming pools – the two larger ones are located in the lower part of the resort near the villas while the two smaller ones are near the Pavilion Patricia.
Oh, and don’t be surprised if while walking around the resort you’ll meet a gaggle of geese or a peacock – these animals are roaming in the vicinity. And if you hear a yelling sound of a bird, that’s made by one of the two eagles in a huge cage. Don’t try to mimic the ‘oo oo, ah ah’ of a monkey if you don’t want to hear a continuous echo of a real one. Haha. There’s this naughty monkey in Cintai which I’ll be warning the girls not to get near him. Wink.
Don’t worry about leisure activities for your kids. There’s a playground near the biggest swimming pool so your kids can play while you’re having a dip in the pool.
Other Resort Details
How much will it cost you to enjoy a day tour in Cintai? P1,500 for an adult and P600 each for children below 7 years old. Rates are quite pricey, yes. These rates cover the use of the resort facilities and a lunch meal. Cintai does not have a target class, basta afford mo, welcome ka dito.
If you want an overnight stay, you can stay in the villas and experience luxury, the Balinese style. The Terrace Villa for a max of 4 pax is at P8,500/night; the Garden Villa for a max of 6 pax is at P12,000/night; Villa with Jacuzzi, Pocket Garden & Breakfast for a max of 6 pax is at P18,000/night.
Cintai – Corito’s Garden aims to be the top option as an event venue in Batangas. If you want a posh venue for your wedding, their pavilions and gazebo can make your grandest day an unforgettable one.
How to get to Cintai – Corito’s Garden
From Manila, take SLEX all the way to Startoll Expressway. Exit at Malvar (2nd exit) and turn left. Go straight until National Highway then turn right. About 10kms, you’ll see a Caltex gasoline station beside CITI Hardware, turn right there. Three kilometres from Caltex, you’ll reach the Balate arch and about 100m from that point is Cintai – Corito’s Garden on the left side of the road.
For inquiries you may contact (0917) 833-1508 / (0922) 828-6789 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR INTERVIEW WITH CINTAI’S MANAGER, MS. CATHY MARALIT