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West 35 Eco Mountain Resort | A Dream Realized

t 35 Eco Mountain Resort

This post first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com | November 1, 2014. Add some more photos here.

CEBU, PHILIPPINES—This morning, it bloomed. Nothing could be happier for a gardener than to see a mere cutting from somewhere else flourish in her own garden. This fuchsia single-layered 9 O’clock bud reminds me of Louise Gluck’s “I speak because I am shattered” a line from her “Red Poppy,” a flower I have never set an eye on yet.

This particular rose, just like the rest of the lives in my garden, brings me back to the place where I got it. This time, it is a place set in a mirage of hills and morning and evening fog: West 35 Eco Mountain Resort.

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort

It was a midweek when I trailed the familiar Transcentral Highway—the very road I pass through every time I pay my monthly visit to my hometown, the highway where Cebu gets most of its flowers, the highway nearest to Mt. Babag—the roof of the city and the falls within the city: Budlaan.

Midweek is when you can expect the best time for solitude from a place cocooned by the passing mountain breeze and hushed ranges. Midweek is when you can reminisce on the earlier days of your week and look forward to planning the rest.

I went to West 35 for both.

t 35 Eco Mountain Resort

Beautiful mountain view surrounding West 35 Eco Mountain Resort in Balamban, Cebu. Photo by Jona Branzuela Bering, InterAksyon.com.

Staying at Thyme (yes, the rooms are named after herbs that are organically grown by its kitchen and find their way in most of its sumptuous food) felt like an unexpected but most welcome luxury. It giddied one as though it were a romantic affair between a room and a woman.

There is something to be said about West 35’s bathroom. This lovely mountain paradise just materialized my bathroom fantasy: the walls are all glass panels overlooking the rolling hills. It even has a boxed flower garden tucked behind the glass walls.

To take a bath beside the blooming flowers with a book in hand while looking at the ocean of green outside. This could only possibly happen in magazines. But it did happen!

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort

When the late afternoon sun rendezvoused with dusk, I stepped out in the balcony and consumed the scenery before me. I could make out Mt. Manunggal, the crash site of Pres. Magsaysay’s plane on my left. Somewhere among the ranges should be Mt. Mauyog, quite a short but knee-buckling climb. Fog skimmed through the thick foliage surrounding the villa. The distant lights in the highway connecting the city to midwest Cebu and the punctual fog created a mirage, like a hazy ambiance in one’s dream.

Aside from the highway lights, the only lit places I could see were those from the reception and the restaurant situated on top of the hills.

West 35’s design and layout are well thought out. On my way down to the villa, I noticed the steps are not really cemented into the land. Instead, they are laid out block by block and between them are flowering grasses. The rooms have no air conditioners. Who needs it anyway when this part of Cebu can sometimes feel like Baguio? You know the place has a cool temperature especially when you see cycads, fern-like trees, around.

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort

The restaurant of West 35 Eco Mountain Resort is where one can enjoy Asian-inspired dishes while gazing at the mountain view. Photo by Jona Branzuela Bering, InterAksyon.com.

Although it would be fun to have someone or a group of friends coming here with me, which I would certainly do next time, I did not regret coming alone to a place that makes Internet unnecessary.

Between a spoon of their Asian spicy seafood noodles I brought to my room, I wrote an entry on my diary, read a novel, watched Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, and yes, checked some papers from school.

In the middle of the night, the wind woke me up. It whistled through, knocked on the balcony’s patio doors. It momentarily startled me, but eventually it sank in that the murmuring of the wind is common in the mountains.

Perhaps because I’m a farmer and fisher’s daughter, I’m equally in love with the sea and the mountains. I came alone here at West 35, talked to the plants and flowers around. But I was never lonely, rather I was in love once again.

I fall in love way too easily. With places.

Evening view of West 35 Eco Mountain Resort in Balamban, Cebu. Photo by Jona Branzuela Bering, InterAksyon.com.

Evening view of West 35 Eco Mountain Resort in Balamban, Cebu.

Evening view of West 35 Eco Mountain Resort in Balamban, Cebu. Photo by Jona Branzuela Bering, InterAksyon.com.

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort. KM 35 Transcentral Hiway, Gaas, 6041 Balamban, Cebu. For inquiries and reservations, call (+632) 520-2633 or mobile phone (+63) 933-9953245, e-mail ecowest35@yahoo.com or check West 35′s Facebook page.

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort

Really delicious food at the mountain resort’s Haven Restaurant

Room Rates

Group Accommodation  – PHP 4,500.00 (6 PAX)

Deluxe – PHP 4,500.00 (2 PAX)

Suite – PHP 6,000.00 (2 PAX)

Extra Person – PHP 500.00

Entrance Fee – PHP 50.00

*Enjoy 10% to 15% on selected rooms on weekdays

*No bringing of outside food or beverages inside the resort premises

*Prices are subject to change without prior notice

Cebu Address: Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines

Contact Numbers: (032) 520-2633

E-mail: ecowest35@yahoo.com

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Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi, I'm Jona! I write stories and poetry and take a lot of photos, which I'm too lazy to upload. If you want to receive some photos that I don't share here on the blog, please leave your email here. I'm crazy about cats too. Feel free to browse through BWAB, and I would love it if you say hi! For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com For more stories about BWAB, check here. Connect with us through

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22 Comments

  1. Sheri says:

    This does really look like a gorgeous place. I especially love that mountain view picture! I know you mentioned you were never lonely, but I think I would like to share this experience with my husband if I were to visit.

  2. For Sure theres lot of reasons to be at the West 35 Eco Mountain Resort. That view from bathroom left us awestruck. And that picture of Asian cuisine looks great to devour.

  3. This is beyond what I expect, and it’s in Lahug! Thanks for sharing this.. I’m passing this link to my friends coz this coming month we are going to Cebu 😀

  4. Nick Kembel says:

    What an spectacular looking place, and so cheap for what it is!!
    My only suggestion is to include “the Philippines” somewhere in the article, preferably at the beginning. When I first started reading, I had no idea which country, and some readers might not be familiar with Cebu. It’s also good for SEO purposes!

  5. Linda says:

    This is such a unique place! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing this! I love how you are in the middle of the jungle at this place! I wouldn’t mind staying there for a week!

  6. Tae says:

    I love how you captured the natural aspect of the place so wonderfully 🙂 I know what you mean about loving mountains and the sea! I feel the same.

  7. Danielle says:

    What an amazing location! I can only imagine how relaxing and peaceful it must have been to stay there!

  8. Jenni says:

    Those views looks amazing

  9. Andra says:

    Wow, this place looks amazing. Me and my husband are heading to the Philippines soon and I would love to stay here!

  10. Voyager says:

    This place looks like a slice of heaven, nestled high up in the mountains. The views are stunning and your writing and pictures bring alive the beauty of the place.

  11. Shounak says:

    This is eye opening as I knew Cebu had only beaches and coral reafs . Here is my escapade t Cebu http://imagineescapades.com/marine-world-cebu-philippines/

  12. Jojo says:

    That is such a gorgeous resort and it sits on top like that! I always like when things have fun named themes. Which herb room so you want to stay in next time?

  13. The Philippines are such a beautiful country! And Cebu sounds like a wonderful place from everything I’ve read. I would love to relax with some of those beautiful flowers you are talking about and forget all my troubles!

  14. Michelle says:

    I’m dying to go to Cebu, although admittedly most photos I’ve seen are of the beaches. It’s great to see there’s even more to see there than I expected.

  15. Tamshuk says:

    This is such an amazing location. The backdrop of the misty green mountains looks so wonderful. Really cool you got to spend your time at this resort.

  16. Veronica says:

    I really regret that I did not visit Cebu when I was traveling in the Philippines. The view is amazing, the concept of West 35 is great and unique. I would love to stay there next time when I visit.

  17. Looks exactly like the kind of place I would love to stay at. I also like how the rooms have different themes. I want to visit this place now!

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