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From Cintai with love |

Travel and Tourism

From Cintai with love

Lester Gopela Hallig - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - We could not have asked for better weather at Cintai Corito’s Garden. The clear sky and light wind encouraged us to explore further the wonders that awaited us in this lush resort in Sitio Pandayan, Balete, Batangas.

The rather unusual name of this unusually gorgeous property comes from the Indonesian word “cintai” meaning “love.” Corito was the name of the matriarch of the family that put up the resort. The story goes that Corito suffered a terminal illness in 2005. Her family used to bring her to this property to rest and relax. She had since passed, but her family was determined in not only keeping her memory alive but also the place where she found happiness in her remaining years.

The family carefully assembled materials straight from Malaysia, in keeping with the Asian theme of the resort. There are various Balinese-inspired sculptures and statues scattered around Cintai, as well as an impeccably designed garden. Come to think of it, the resort is one massive garden in itself. No wonder a lot of Manileños come here to unwind, relax, and meditate. The place invites such activities.

In reality, Cintai is a seven-hectare property, with five hectares already developed. There is a variety of animals contentedly living (and walking) around this large space: 10 peacocks, seven deer, six horses, two hawks, two civets, an alpaca, a donkey, an eagle, a monkey, and countless chickens. We need not tell everyone that these creatures alone have become attractions in Cintai, especially among the city kids who have never seen live animals in their lifetime. Yes, it happens.

Cintai resident manager Francis Salanguit says, “Guests usually come here to relax. They do not exactly look for activities unless they come here with their families and children.”

Truth is, Cintai takes the relaxation segment seriously. The place is practically quiet, unless there is an event happening. Otherwise, guests can walk around, pick a spot, stay there, and soak in the bliss of relative silence.

“Guests appreciate the fact that the resort offers less disturbance. That is why, if you notice, there are no television sets in the rooms nor Internet access around the resort. Our guests prefer to leave their concerns in the city and focus on enjoying the serenity that Cintai offers,” says Dean Cid, chief operating officer of Paramount Hotels, the management company behind Cintai.

Cintai has 18 villas total, classified as Deluxe Villa, Terrace Villa, Garden Villa, and Executive Villa. The Deluxe Villa has one queen-size bed, a bathroom, a personal bar refrigerator, and its own terrace. The Terrace Villa has two queen-size beds, and pretty much has the same amenities as the Deluxe Villa.

The good-for-six Garden Villa boasts of three queen-size beds (two regular beds and a poster bed), a day bed with table setting, a personal bar ref, and an outside terrace. The fabulous Executive Villa is the largest of the four types. It has its own Jacuzzi, bar, terrace, and pocket garden. A butler shows up to assist. Meals are served straight to the terrace so guests can dine al fresco and in style.

“As for meals, the Abadi Restaurant serves up Batangas cuisine, specifically requested and preferred by its many guests,” shares Salanguit. “We are proud of our lomi, our unique tablea cake and our slow-roasted pork sinigang.”

There are four swimming pools in the resort: two adult pools and two for the kids. For the latter, they can enjoy their time at the playground.

“We would soon make fruit-picking here more of an activity for the kids,” Cid volunteers. “It would be a different experience for them.”

Salanguit adds, “One of our projects is to label all the trees. We noticed that guests want to interact more with nature as well as with the staff. The guests want to feel more at home, to experience that unique Batangueño charm and hospitality.”

Cintai has two pavilions — the Napas Pavilion and the Pavilion Tresna — that work best for special events such as debuts, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or corporate functions. There is also a spacious ballroom that can accommodate 180 to 200 people.

Cid declares that Paramount is proud and enthusiastic about working on and with Cintai. He says, “As a hotel and facilities management company, Paramount is here to help run the resort more professionally, from the housekeeping to the systems. Right now, we are determined to make Cintai more known to domestic travelers.”

“We are here to help independent properties that are in need of professional services. Paramount is composed of people who have been in the hotel industry for the longest time. We are confident about what we can offer,” he says.

Cid and Salanguit have much to be proud of. Cintai is that kind of getaway that refreshes, reinvigorates, and recharges tired bodies and spirits. If only for these that Cintai ably and successfully pulls off, guests can definitely feel the love.


Cintai Corito’s Garden is located in Sitio Pandayan, Malabanan, Balete, Batangas. For more information, call +63917-833-1508 or +63917-833-1728, e-mail at or visit its website at Photos by Fernan Nebres


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