The SpaceThis is a treehouse atop two trees (one ficus and one mahogany) made by a master craftsman. It sits on steel pipes braced with clamps that would be adjustable as the tree grows and has its own unique sink. The bathroom is a raised platform to enable recycled graywater to water the ornamental plants around. The main house is private but if the owners are in, and you are interested, you are likely to be invited in (it has no walls, after all) Power comes from solar panels (for fan, lights, gadget charging). The property has its own deep well and some of the electricity comes from solar panels. Shower under the treehouse (pls use only biodegradable soap). Lots of endemic plants and trees. View changes by the season as the mood of the lake and river change the shoreline. Please bear with occasional birthdays in neighborhood where locals belt songs on karaoke. Coordinates at (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) Guest AccessStarting Nov 2016, rental includes entrance to Pusod TLCC. We have flashlights, binoculars, mattresses, umbrellas in case of rain, mosquito nets, hats, a storage shed that contains utensils and other useful stuff, and friendly staff from whom native fare can be ordered such as suman, sinaing na tulingan, crispy bia and other not to be missed Batangas cuisine. Pls tell them if you want vegetarian or vegan options. Local fishermen can rent you their bamboo raft as well. Kayaks can be rented at the conservation center next door for only p300/half day for the tandem, P250/half day for the single. First aid kit available, ask for what you need and we might have it. Interaction with GuestsLocals/neighbors are almost always on hand to chat. If the treehouse is occupied, the other cottages on the ground are also for rent for a little less. Owners and neighbors can also bike with you, kayak or raft with you and show you around the communities, plantations and bee farms. Locals may come by to chat as well when bringing in ordered food. Since it is a treehouse, there may be interaction with resident geckos or other visiting wildlife, don't panic, they are more scared of you than you should be of them. If you see any and need assistance, calmly call ground staff for help. The property is not fenced so people would be passing by. The people authorized to be in the property to assist will be wearing Betty's Catering black aprons or Kapusod name tags. If you find Ka Betty's food expensive, please walk around Balete town across the bridge for other options. The NeighborhoodThis is right beside the Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center, a community center housing research & information about the lake and run by a non-profit group based in the area called Pusod. Pusod TLCC runs tours to the east side of Volcano Island and rents out kayaks, their tour rates are P5240 for solo, 3321/pax for double and 2040/pax if a group of 6. Tour includes morning snack, Batangas lunch, boats and guides (safety-tested, trained, accredited), all entrance fees, insurance, use of kayak and amenities. It also has a large pavillion and several models for ecological living like a rainwater catchment system, solar panels, constructed wetland and a 3D map commonly used for conservation planning. This is NOT on the same side of the lake as Tagaytay, you'd need to go around the lake if coming from there(about 1.5 hours travel barring traffic). Also when taking your own vehicle and asking for directions, ask for Balete town, not Taal or Mataasnakahoy towns, the town center of both of which are farther away. Getting AroundBy bus from Manila, take any southbound bus going through South Luzon Expressway to Lipa City and get off at the exit at Tambo, Lipa City. This bus ride will cost about P99 from Buendia and take 1.5 hours if passing highways (ACTEX, SKYWAY, SLEX) Avoid buses that say Tanauan / Sto Tomas -- those take 2 hrs). From Tambo exit, go across the Jolliibee & take a jeepney that goes to Mataasnakahoy town (mininum fare) and take about 15 minutes. From Mataasnakahoy near the 7-11, you can take a tricycle down to to Pusod TLCC in Kinalaglagan (at the boundary of Balete and Mataasnakahoy), it will cost P80 for the trip (not per pax) and take about 15 minutes.
By car, take Balete exit from Startoll, turn right and proper and go around 10 kilometers to Balete junction by the lake, turn left and go 1 kilometer more parallel to the lakeshore. Right after the high bridge crossing Lipute River, take the first narrow driveway on the right covered with plants. The wider gate next to it is the Pusod TLCC.
If you are coming from Batangas City or Batangas Pier, take a jeepney to Mataasnakahoy (around 40 minutes) and a tricycle down to Pusod TLCC (around 20 minutes). By car, follow signs to Shercon Resort and go further down till you get to the lake, turn right and it will be before the high bridge.
We would highly discourage taking the jeep and tricycle if late at night, not just because of security issues but also because you might get lost. If you are traveling to the site at night, please check with us to arrange for car transport. It will only take 20 minutes and cost P500 from Tambo/Lipa, 40 minutes at P1500 from Batangas pier and from south Manila (e.g. airport) one hour and fifteen min at P4500 per trip all in.
Public transport out of Pusod may be a bit more pricey as it is not on the regular path of public transportation and there are no stations in which trikes wait. They can be hired for P300 or guests may walk to Balete town (1km) and take a jeepney from there to Lipa.
Additional warning: There are safety issues with jeepneys and tricycles and these ones will be going on slopes. While we will do our best to help anyone who gets into an untoward incident in these rides, we cannot guarantee their safety nor can we respond as quickly as will probably be needed. Please let us know if you want to hire vehicles from Lipa to the site which have proper insurance and better safety records. Other Things to NoteThis is rustic accommodations, and you might find other Taal Lakeshore lodgings more luxurious but a lot more generic and the other options are only 3-star lodgings anyway and without the added benefit of what you will learn at Pusod TLCC.
We have toiletries on stock for sale in case you forget yours. They are biodegradable and we take containers back for recycling.
This is a treehouse that kids could enjoy very much but please ensure you watch your kids at all times, that they stay inside and be warned against falling. We have put guardrails but remember that active kids might be able to climb these or explore areas where they may slip. Booking with us indicates that you will be responsible for your children and will watch them closely as we do not have staff to do so. We have CCTV cameras on the grounds for your security.
NOTE: Until APRIL 2016, some repairs and landscaping are being done on the property so please expect some daytime noise. On the plus side, the house contractor is the same guy that built the treehouse (Nato) so if curious, you can go ask him directly about the design and construction. Please also ask kids to stay away from the construction and equipment.
The main house is private and its bathrooms and kitchen are for the owners' personal guests but if the owners are in, you may ask to take a look inside.
We do not recommend taking public transport to the site at night so if you are travelling to the treehouse at night or if a delayed flight causes you to travel there in the dark, kindly call us so we can arrange for private transport (P500 from Lipa or Mataasnakahoy).
Please turn off all unnecessary lights and delight in natural lighting that may reflect on the lake. It is also when it is dark that fireflies abound around the balete and talisay trees.