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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ThunderBird: A Casino Hideaway amidst Greens



It didn’t take long  to reach Thuderbird Resort  in Angono, Rizal on a Sunday morning.  A time allotment of two hours should be sufficient t to reach the resort from Makati, except during rush hour.  Our group of selected bloggers left 7:30 am in a private shuttle service that reached Angono before 9am.  We, then, had  breakfast al fresco in a hut-like café along the road to enjoy the clean, cool air beyond the city. After breakfast, time was simply a marker as festivals and parades normally ignore timetables .

 The common anti-stress attitude is simply “go  with the flow” and stop trying to  control the time. So after a morning of watching and taking photos of the Angono’s  Higantes Festival parade amidst traffic chaos, we proceeded for lunch at one of their famous restaurants .  We went to Balaw balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery which is known for its exotic dishes that include crickets, bull’s balls, frogs, and worms or larvae. (For photos, click here. ) Our host ordered crunchy crickets, fried frogs, and soup no.5 for a taste of their delicacies.  Some of us accepted the challenge but made sure there was a full glass of water nearby to wash off any after-taste.

After our lunch adventure, we proceeded to the Petroglyphs, where centuries-old scribblings on the rock’s were discovered.  Our entertaining guide,  Roden Santiago, kept the smiles on our faces as he joked around while briefing us about this historical landmark.

Finally, it was time to head to Thunderbird Hotel and Casino to experience their accommodation, food, facilities and services.  The room had a gorgeous view of the pool, parking lot, and Laguna lake which was relaxing, de-stressing, and inspiring to gaze at . The clean, cool, wide room, with its sweet-smelling sheets, was so inviting, I couldn’t resist a short afternoon nap after a refreshing shower.  After an hour, we met up with the Front Office Manager, Jun Narciso, who entertained our questions about the resort.  


Dusk presented another gorgeous backdrop while we had cocktails near the poolside. A varied selection of interesting cocktail concoctions kept us busy for a few minutes before finally deciding on our best choice.  Seeing the city lights from across the lake was another plus for me.  My dinner feast was beef salpicao and rice by the poolside.  Night swimming was a soothing activity after the meal followed by a complimentary 30-minute massage.


The next morning, a breakfast buffet at the Hotel’s Koi Restaurant included a specially cooked omelette, sausages, rice, with pineapple juice and coffee.  After, we tried the bike ride around the hotel vicinity to take in the uplifting morning view of verdant hills amidst the blue lake. The 30-minute bike ride was a good enough work out for non-bikers like me. 


After a shower, we proceeded to the casino to try the computerized slot machines and the card tables.  After a short lecture and a trial game, we were led to the main area to try our luck.  After only a few minutes, I used up all my allotted complimentary funds so I went back to the room to rest a few minutes before packing my bags.  We all awaited at the lobby for the free shuttle back to the city.  I was the last one to depart since my destination was the farthest at St. Francis Square in Ortigas. The others were dropped off in Pasig and other nearby drop off points. (For shuttle service schedules click here.) I learned more about the company’s pro-environment advocacy and future activities while waiting for my ride. 

 The highlights of the hotel experience for me were: the 24-hour gorgeous view of the room, the overall quaintness and peaceful ambiance, the fresh and green surroundings. 


For more information and reservations, you may contact their head office at:
Thunderbird Resorts
18/F & 24/F Salcedo Tower
169 H.V. Dela Costa Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Philippines
Telephone: +632-886-5555
Fax: +632-894-3333

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