My first taste of Summer 2010 was spent in Argao. I have to admit, I kind of underestimated the place. It’s just that I had been there numerous times since I was younger and I did not have much nice travel experience there. But my last weekend’s travel in this southern town was super fun, and inexpensive at that.
First stop was Riverstone Castle. It is quite popular in Argao with its unique (even sort of off) mix of being a resort, a medieval castle, and a zoo. But Riverstone does not have many activities to offer other than swimming and picture taking and to spend a whole day in the castle will be too long.
The next day, we went to Argao Nature Park (unplanned) and had a grand time with only PhP 5.00 as entrance fee per person. A place for nature lovers, it is home of animals like monitor lizards (halo or hawo), rabbits, African love birds, a python, fishes, etc.
We also had boating in the small fish pond, still for PhP 5.00 each; wall climbing at PhP 10.00 per climb (it was my first climb and it felt really good, I want to try that again); and zip-lining for PhP 20.00. And after the mini-adventure and some photo op, we had refreshing fruit shakes and some broas (ladyfingers) for snacks (now, I’m craving!).
Before finally going home, we went straight to the playground just across the Argao Nature Park despite the El Niño-hot summer heat.
Trivia: Argao is famous for tuba (Filipino palm wine), tabliya (native chocolate from cacao), and torta. As tribute to the townsfolk faith, celebration, and livelihood, Argao celebrates the Pitlagong Festival which name is taken from an instrument used in cleaning tuba container. On the other hand, making Argao torta has become a business for many families in the town.