Go camping this weekend; drive to Driftwoods Park in Cavite

Published November 3, 2021, 5:47 PM

by Pinky Concha-Colmenares

• Nature is a premium amenity that attracts families to choose a campsite as their new destination

• Remember though, that the more nature a campsite offers, the farther you will be from the city, and the less urban conveniences will be available. But there will be no need to wear a mask

• Driftwoods Action Park is very accessible, it’s located along a main highway in Indang, Cavite

• Its campsites are named after the fruit trees that grow in each area

• For those who seek more action, Driftwoods Park has bike trails, ATV trails, and hiking trails

Nature is a premium amenity that attracts families to choose a campsite as their new destination.

There, convenience and comfort are not major concerns. Only the most basic facilities are offered – toilets, shower rooms, bonfire pits, flat ground to pitch tents, tree canopy, picnic table.

(Photo from Driftwoods Sports Park)

Some campsites are blessed with bodies of water – beach, lake, or river – to add to the ambience, and to offer swimming as a leisure activity. Others offer the panorama of the sky which unfolds a dome with a million stars at night. Many have the open landscape of the majestic mountains and forests as a backdrop for rest and recreation.

Remember though, that the more nature a campsite offers, the farther you will be from the city, and the less urban conveniences will be available. For starters, there will be no electricity; there will be very few people. And there will be no need to wear a mask.

There are now many campsites in the provinces of Luzon – Cavite, Laguna, Rizal. The popular campsites are those that are only about two to three hours from Metro Manila, and are located in places with cooler temperatures. Road condition does not discourage people from travelling the distance. Overlanding enthusiasts with their 4×4 vehicles find off-road terrain another endearing quality that will ensure the exclusivity of the campsite.

(Photo from Driftwoods Sports Park)

But the many with the common 4×2 vehicles will look for more accessible campsites where the nature amenity is bountiful.

One of the more accessible is Driftwoods Action Park in Indang, Cavite, about 30 minutes from the famous Tagaytay ridge (if traffic permits). I was expecting to find the park at the end of a narrow dirt road after I read about its nature features.

Instead, I found its gate along the main road and immediately you enter a sprawling property with a sweeping carpet of green grass, fruit trees, campsites with picnic tables, or bonfire pits. There’s even a campsite deep in the forest in the 8-hectare property where there’s no urban conveniences for hardcore nature lovers on a camping adventure.

(Photo from Driftwoods Sports Park)

The campsites were closed in March 2020 and reopened in November due to community quarantine restrictions. (The whole park opened in 2014.) When we were there last month, the place was open only for day camping up to 5 p.m. But with the easing of alert levels, Driftwoods will likely be open again for overnight campers.

Kamilla Sumagui, park and marketing manager, whose family owns and runs the place, said Driftwoods’ concept is based on the many parks the family had visited in other parts of the world. “We wanted to create a place where families can go to that’s not a mall.”

When we visited a month ago, Kamila walked us through the campsites, each named after the trees that grow there. Camp Langka offers a hilltop view, perfect for those who like the view of the night sky during overnight camps. It has its own picnic tables and benches. Also has a brick bonfire circle and it is car-friendly and good for large setups, she said.

Camp Manga is under the shade of a mango tree; Camp Kawayan sprawls under the natural formation of the bamboo cove; Camp Santol 1 & 2 has its own picnic tables and bonfire circle; Camp Mahogany is slightly hidden by mahogany trees and is positioned behind the picnic areas. But during the rainy season, 4×4 vehicles are recommended to get there, Kamilla said.

(Photo from Driftwoods Sports Park)

And of course, campers can also choose other sites deep in the 8-hectare property where they can enjoy a DIY type of camping.

Facilities at Driftwoods Park still carry city conveniences. Restrooms and showers – there are now many around the campsites – are kept clean by a dedicated staff.

“The toilets each have a bidet, and the showers have a steady source of water. We have cooking equipment available for guests, such as the portable barbeque grills and the butane stoves,” Kamila said.

The park recently opened a coffee shop to serve those who would rather order food than cook it themselves.

At the far corner of the property, two air-conditioned and fully furnished casitas have been added to service those who are not totally into a camping adventure under a tent.

For those who seek more action, Driftwoods Action Park has bike trails, ATV trails, and hiking trails, she said. There are bikes and ATVs for rent.

(Photo Driftwoods Sports Park)

“On other days, we are open for rally cross drivers who wish to practice their off-road car racing skills,” she said. There’s a rally car for rent too.

The best amenity that a campsite offers is the open air. And of course, a place to be together doing things you don’t usually do – set up the tent, start a fire, grill food, and talk.

“We eagerly look forward to November as we will begin to accept overnight camping reservations again, which means our normal days will now change to having extended hours at the Café and bonfire lighting reservations at night,” Kamilla said.