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Monday, June 26, 2017

El Masfino Hotel & Resort: Your Exclusive Getaway in San Rafael, Bulacan


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Some Bulakenyos are probably still unaware that there's a luxury hotel and resort that exists within their province. In our case, it's the first time we've heard of the place, and we were surprised that it took them a long time before they went full blast on promoting the place. This place is just too good to be kept hidden from people who deserve the best option for their weekend getaway.

Though they've said they've been featured on some television programs, most of us, especially the Millennials, nowadays no longer watch television unless they have a livestreaming component where their shows could also be viewed online. My children are always online since it's easy for them to jump from one story to the next without being burdened by interruptions of lengthy commercials or ads. In my case, I only watch the morning and evening news, thus, it is not surprising that we are still unaware of the existence of El Masfino Hotel and Resort. 

Now that they've considered tapping bloggers or online influencers, I'm sure that there will be more and more people coming in to check out the resort. Online gave way for such terms as "viral" and "trending" so it is without any doubt that people will soon flock the resort as more people will now consider making El Masfino Hotel and Resort part of their travel itinerary.

More than a dozen of us were invited to experience El Masfino Hotel and Resort on a Friday and Saturday (June 23 and 24), yet an overnight at the place was still not enough for us as there are just too many ways to spend your entire day, and night, that will surely make you scream out that "time really flies so fast when you're having fun!."


But before proceeding to the resort, we were toured first at one of the fairly new malls out there at Baliuag, Bulacan - our first stop for our first day.

A Square Mall is a community hub in Baliuag, Bulacan that also gives opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs by offering affordable commercial spaces. It also serves as a pit stop for those going up north. The first ever open air bazaar will also be opened besides its parking lot on July 23, 2017.



We were introduced to a variety of stalls ranging from restaurants, to banks, stores, antique shops, fashion accessories, coffee shop, utility and a government agency outlet, and so on. What got my interest the most was the Pic-A-Box store outlet that allows you to rent a "box" where you could showcase your products and the assigned staff there will be the ones to sell your items for you. Now that's a great idea especially for both busy and starting entrepreneurs. It's only a P1,000 monthly fee for every box and it's up to you how you would effectively market its existence.  The real profit here goes to the owners of the Pick-A-Box because from the 40 to 50 boxes in their store. that's an assured 40K to 50K monthly earning where they will only deduct the rental, electricity and government fees. So roughly they probably earn around half from the box rentals.


We've prepared a short video showing the highlights of our visit at A Square Mall so please do check it out. There will also be short appearances of some of the staff of each establishment where I made them yell the iconic shout-out of Wazzup Pilipinas. 

It was just unfortunate that the tour did not include any complimentary trial or test of ..let's say ... a sip of the coffee, or a 15 minute massage, etc. But this was due to the very limited time we have as our real purpose was the overnight stay at El Masfino Hotel and Resort. We were there for just a quick stop-over so we could check out what the mall has to offer. Soon, they will be offering a bazaar beside their parking lot to open more opportunities to entrepreneurs.

But I'll be sure to visit A Square mall again whenever we are on our way to any destination up North. The bazaar will definitely be something to look forward to.







Conveniently located in San Rafael, Bulacan, just an hour (if without traffic) away from Manila, is El Masfino Hotel & Resort, your exclusive getaway up north located within the Royal Northwoods golf course. 

The hotel and resort caters to the premium market, but will soon have a promo for the month of July: 30% off on published room rates for overnight accommodation, so that's a great opportunity to grab for those who would like to experience better accommodation and facilities.


The first thing that will strike you, aside from the spacious pool side where both the traditional pool and wave pool share the lot,  are the luxurious accommodations - Suite and De Luxe. For the De Luxe room's price of around 5K for an overnight stay, the two-bed room (up to a maximum of 4) where we stayed was already too good for its price. We couldn't see the Suite rooms fro there were guests occupying them but we are sure that they are more lavish than the De Luxe as we were told you could even cook your own food with it's kitchen facilities.


Our room at the ground floor had a wonderful view of the pool where we could conveniently walk from because of the glass sliding door entrance/exit in our room. Thus, our night time before going for dinner had a pool time squeezed in between. Later on after dinner, the videoke room offered an endless sing-along for those of us who love to hear ourselves sing throughout the wee hours of the night.


I woke up early not just to watch the sunrise, but to also take a breather of the morning air and to feel the sunlight touch my skin. It's always advisable to wake up early to witness how the day unfolds.




The best way to spend the early morning was both a late afternoon and early morning ride on the Dune Buggy. The ride was a lot better at the dirty and muddy track compared to the concrete roads of the resort, but be prepared to get dirty and hit by some mud and grass. Never fear, the shielded helmet that comes with the ride will protect your eyes and face from all that dirt.


Afterwards, the next best option aside from a shower is to dip in the pools, especially the wave pools where you get to experience riding a giant "salbabida" or floating device through the artificial waves generated by their powerful wave machine.


The wave pool ride becomes a lot tougher when you reach the higher areas of the wave pool that goes through a circular path up to a height of 5 feet. Please do check out our GoPro Hero shots of our wave pool wet and wild experience.


The only thing we felt that needed attention is the growing mold or algae around some parts of the pools. Since the pools are not tiled, the quite rough concrete is easily giving way for the algae to grow around the sides of the pools. Algae thrives on water and are always present in swimming pools, even clean and blue pools, at a microscopic size. It waits patiently for the opportunity to bloom – when the chlorine level dips and the pH rises or the pump or filter is not operating effectively.







Then there's their team building spacious grounds complete with even an obstacle course that will definitely be an attraction for groups whether its from a company or organization, or simply among "barkadas" or friends. There's plenty of space to move around, and even a picnic grounds for those who want to be among nature. Just be careful with the insects like huge red ants that crawl on the trees or bushes - some living thing that nature has provided for everyone to also probably see especially if you're interested on how these creatures live and exist (think of an art farm). Though the owners have an option to fumigate to get rid of these insects, sometimes they do serve a purpose to probably keep away more harmful insects from invading the picnic grounds.


They have a massage hut where you could avail of the usual services. It's located at the rear area of the wave pool for added privacy as not too many will walk towards there as they will all be busy having fun in the wave pool.




They also have a volleyball net, and a playground setup for the kids (or even adults) where you could climb on up, swing, try the challenging obstacles, or play house, enough to keep the kids occupied for hours.


Other options to spend your afternoon at El Masfino Hotel and Resort is by biking with their mountain bikes. Of course, the experience riding a bike is a lot different from riding the Dune Buggy since this requires you to pedal your way around the compound which makes it a good workout as well.

They also have a business center for those who want to work with a computer. We understand that traveling would limit us from bringing heavier loads like a laptop so their computers can be rented for such cases. The only limitation is the Internet connection as getting an effective working signal in most areas of the property is too difficult to achieve.


Royal Northwoods Clubhouse is where you could have your meals, from breakfast. lunch, snacks to dinner, they offer ala carte (plated), or buffet if the resort has several guests. This is also where you start with your golf lessons - basic or advance, and for the experts, especially their Korean patrons,who frequently play golf for leisure.


Though they offer only the basic and not fancy meals (like the ones seen above for our breakfast), there were none that my taste buds did not approve. Our lunch and dinner meals were composed of a combo dinner where they offered three kinds of viands together with rice. Lunch was pork, chicken and vegetables, while dinner was fish, pork and vegetables. All came with drinks like iced tea, chilled juices, coffee or hot choco.


Here's an amazing view of the clubhouse from the golf course while we were on our way back from a tour of the 18-hole wonder. This was taken before sunset so you could see how the image of the clubhouse reflects onto the water below. If I was allowed to bring in my photographer friend, we could have gotten a lot more amazing photos from the place.


Lastly, if you are prefer the more elegant way to spend your afternoon, Royal Northwoods Golf Course offers both Golf 101 training and an 18-hole golf experience for those who are already knowledgeable of the eccentric sport. Their staff are all willing to guide and support you whichever category you are in. Just be sure to have the right gear and wear the proper outfit. Ideally, we should be wearing collared shorts, and golf shoes. In our case, we were excused since we were only there for a short visit.



Sir Christopher was assigned to teach us the basics of Golf. Though it's not my first time to golf, I don't play it on a regular basis thus I still need to refresh myself on the 101 knowledge. I can boast that I am good in putting the ball in every hole since it's all about that precise calculation of how hard or soft to hit the ball, and how to properly angle the club to make the ball go to your preferred destination. But there's definitely more to it than just the basics.

Golf is still a sport for the affluent since it could be a very costly hobby, but still it is one sport that requires discipline and patience amidst being under the scorching hot sun. For many golfers, it relaxes them, and gives them the thrill especially when they get a hole in one.






Though there may be sunsets everyday, the beautiful sight it offers as the sun goes down at the golf course is equally soothing as the sunrise. Sunsets also offers beauty beyond compare especially when the sun's rays strikes the trees (or mountains). The wonders of nature never ceases to impress me everywhere I go. Both sunrise and sunset fascinates me so I never fail to capture them especially when there's an opportunity.


Thank you El Masfino Hotel & Resort for a fabulous overnight stay and tour of your facilities as well as to Royal Northwoods Clubhouse and Golf Course for the experience of being a golfer for a few hours. We enjoyed every minute of it, and we would love to return again soon to bring our friends or families so they could also experience the same fond memories.

Since we can't put all the photos here, more photos can be found on our Wazzup Pilipinas official Facebook fan page at http://www.Facebook.com/wazzuppilipinas and likewise for our videos, more videos can also be found at our Wazzup Pilipinas offcial YouTube channel at http://www.YouTube.com/user/wazzuppilipinas 

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1 comment:

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