Top ten things to do at Timberland Heights

John A. Magsaysay (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As our urban landscapes shift at breakneck speed, the city-dweller choking with congestion has been a common syndrome. So, fresh out of Friday gridlock, it came with a long sigh of relief that Filinvest Premiere welcomed us for a weekend of high-altitude bliss at Timberland Heights, its townscape development in San Mateo.

I was expecting it to be a long and winding ride, but through the esteemed Batasan Road, onward to the elevated environs of Rizal, all it took was a mere 15 minutes to have a change of scenery and pace. “We used to say that Timberland was Metro Manila’s best-kept secret,” said Filinvest Land’s SVP Francis Ceballos. And judging from a trail of weekend warriors that overtook our convoy, maybe the cat has long been out of the bag.

“The mountain’s terrain and topography had pretty much determined the kind and intensity of the development,” Ceballos noted, and for a sprawling residential and leisure property built on 677 hectares of highland, it seems like Timberland isn’t running out of options for the outback enthusiast. But for an urbanite fresh off the Metro’s rumpus and stranger to the wild outdoors, just what can Timberland Heights offer? Let me count the ways. 

#10: Take in the view

Well situated at a peak of the Sierra Madre mountains, Timberland boasts a sweeping, 360-degree view of the finest sights just off the Metro, be it the Makati and Ortigas skylines, the Tagaytay Ridge and Taal Lake, or the majestic Mount Arayat with the plains of Central Luzon. Yet, these precious vistas could only be had as a reward from a rigorous five- to 10-minute climb up to the Timberland Outlook Park, at almost 350 meters above sea level. Upon reaching the summit, though, you’ll realize it’s worth every strenuous step.

#9: Experience a religious retreat

The Timberland estate will also be the future home of the new St. John Paul II Shrine, a glass-and-wood structure designed to take the soothing scenery in, giving one a sense of solitude and oneness with the Great Creator. Designed in coordination with the Diocese of Antipolo, the shrine is set to house a relic of St. John Paul II, that so anticipated is this religious landmark, its “Walk of Faith” pilgrimage, held every Ash Wednesday, welcomes up to 6,000 devotees annually.

#8: Get your hands dirty on organic farming

At Timberland Height’s Adventure Farms, eco-volunteers, or locals employed to maintain its verdant environs, walk visitors through the benefits of organic agriculture. From butterfly-pollinated fruits and flowers, to pro-biotic raised chickens, compost pits to vermiculture, a minimal entrance fee of P200 for adults or P100 for kids will offer priceless tips on sustainable farming.

#7: Pick your own lunch

And once the wisdom has been sown, you can reap its harvest. Choosing from the Pinakbet Garden to its lush greenhouse of lettuce and kale, or its fragrant herb terraces, you can get your hands dirty at uprooting your choice vegetables for a minimal fee. Those who’d wish to leave the farming to the pros, however, can simply shop at their organic weekend market. 



#6: Be a happy ‘Glamper’

Atop the Adventure Farm is a clearing meant to accommodate campers of all ages and convictions. Should you choose to rough it up on a hammock, or opt for a cozier take by pitching your tent, one thing is certain, with all the conveniences Timberland Heights provide within reach, it should be one of the most comfortable camping experiences you’ll ever have. In fact, outdoor brand Coleman is set to hold its first ever “glamping” event here in October. 

#5: Go off-road in four or two wheels

Should you choose for a more mobile form of adventure instead, some of the unpaved roads in the development can accommodate your need for speed. Be it on a 4x4 pickup or your own mountain bike, trust that the trails of Timberland can get your adrenaline pumping in no time. It is the only natural biking trail in the country certified by the International Mountain Bikers Association (IMBA), and has been named the “Mountain Biking Capital of the Philippines,” a fete marked by the Timberland King of the Mountain tourney every May.

#4: Dine well at The Ridge

If your thirst for outdoor exploit leaves you hungry, the buffet at Timberland Sports and Nature Club landmark restaurant, The Ridge, can prove fulfilling. With selections of hearty dishes prepared from freshly-harvested ingredients, whether it is its continental selections or the delectable Japanese spread, this isn’t the place to count calories for you’re sure to burn them all once you head out. 

#3: Have a blissful spa treatment

All the energetic activities peppered outdoor and even in the club’s gym and pool can take a toll on your body. Don’t fret, as a trip to the Bliss Spa can soothe those aching muscles. Just an hour’s worth of their signature massage and a few minutes at the steam room can do wonders for the worn outdoorsman.   

#2: Find a Leafy hideaway

But if sleep should be the only recourse for the tired soul, The Leaf, Timberland Heights’ shared-investment hotel development can accommodate a brief, albeit recharging stay. Its modern, well-appointed rooms offer a breathtaking balcony view of the Manila skyline, twinkling like multicolored stars at night. And if it should be the last thing you’ll see before you sleep, be thankful that its glittering chaos is far enough not to bother you.

#1: Build a home in the heights

And if you wish to keep this pace permanent in your life, you can find your own address among Timberland Height’s many residential developments. Be it in the Asian-Tropical enclaves of Banyan Ridge and Banyan Crest, or the farming estates of Mandala, the expansive Western homes of The Ranch, or the newly-sprouted Glades, there is a green community well-designed to accommodate an alternative way of life, far from the urban nuisances.

“Timberland Heights is a place where you can play for the day, escape for the weekend, or stay for a lifetime,” encouraged Noel Advincula, project development officer of the rugged luxury development. If only for the limitless supply of fresh air, some rewarding peace and quiet, and a large open space to grow and thrive in, perhaps it would be easy for a city boy like me to choose any, or all three.

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Timberland Heights is located at San Mateo, Rizal. For information, call 918-8188 or visit 


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