By Danny B. Dangcalan
Nothing compares, not even close, to Campuestohan Highland Resort when it comes to providing the best view of Negros Occidental.
Nestled in one of the highest peaks of a mountain bordered by Bacolod City and Talisay City, the five-hectare Campuestohan Highland Resort offers the best panoramic view of Negros, and even overlooking the seas and island of Panay.
“This will be the newest tourist attraction in Negros. It offers the best view of Negros. It’s panoramic view of Negros is fantastic,” Ricardo “Cano” Tan, owner of the resort, said.
Tan said the climate at the resort is comparable to Tagaytay’s and Antipolo’s, and even to Baguio’s at nighttime. Every so often, it gets foggy here, he added.
Tan subscribes to the adage, “To see is to believe” so he brought several media persons, including this writer, to prove his claims.
Using the resort’s tourist bus, reporters arrived at Campuestohan Resort at 11 a.m. after 40 minutes of travel from Bacolod city proper.
And indeed, the first thing that will take one’s breath away is the amazing view of more than half of Negros below, a long stretch of vast plains of northern, central and southern Negros Occidental.
From a vantage point of view at Campuestohan, one can see the Silay airport, the whole of Bacolod with its tall buildings, the Pulupandan port, and even Guimaras and Panay islands.
Looking around, behind the imposing loghouse, one can almost touch the majestic mountains still fully forested with lush vegetations, due to its nearness to the resort.
During our four-hour stay, fogs occasionally envelop the area and we would run to the loghouse for cover when it rains.
Tan said the resort is just 40 percent complete, but several structures and amenities are already finished. The resort is yet to formally open to the public.
They only started the development last year, and now there are already the kiddie and adult swimming pools, the large children’s playground imported from China, cottages, and loghouse.
He said that when the resort is fully complete, the amenities will include the 20-room loghouse (each room is large enough to accommodate four persons), a pavilion that can hold 300 people, swimming pools, 25 cottages, 15 umbrella stands, a zipline, sunken garden with giant Zodiac signs, and Igloo-inspired camp houses.
Tan, a former two-termer Bacolod councilor, said they are going to bring back the Sinugba Restaurant to the resort. Sinugba Restaurant, which served Bacolodnons and Negrenses, as well as local and international tourists for 21 years, had stopped operating in 1995.
In its heyday, one can say that you have not gone to Bacolod when you have not dined at Sinugba, he said.
Tan said the guests at Campuestohan will enjoy the delicious but affordable food that Sinugba Restaurant had become famous for.
Tan said both the city governments of Talisay and Bacolod are doing their best to develop their respective roads leading to the resort and to provide the resort with electricity.
“When the resort becomes operational, this will be a big help to the tourism potential of the province. It will bring back Negros Occidental to the tourism map of the country,” he said.
Although there is no specific date for its formal opening this year, Tan said they will start accepting reservations this July.
Tan shared that when he bought the property in 2010, he did not even actually see it. Initially, he and his wife, Nita, had only planned to build their dream house there but when he saw how beautiful the place is, he thought of converting it into a resort.
“Instead of retiring here, the Lord has other plans for us. I think He does not want us to retire yet,” Tan said.
He shared that several tourism officers from Cebu had gone to the resort and they are all one in saying that the place is unique and offers the best view of Negros and Panay island.
Interestingly, Tan had engraved the words “Cano Gwapo” in a big boulder beside the loghouse. It is one marker that guests will first see from the entrance, an announcement that the owner is just as handsome and breathtaking as the place./WDJ