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Amazing San Rafael, Bulacan

January 7, 2015       Amazing Philippines
Amazing San Rafael
Bulacan's Premier Resort Town


San Rafael, Bulacan 

Laguna, Tagaytay, and South of Manila might seem to be the more popular holiday destinations for small groups and families or the pervasive team building  events that BPOs conduct for their hardworking customer service teams, but in Bulacan...San Rafael offers so much more than the expensive hot springs resorts down south.

San Rafael is considered to be Bulacan's private resort hotspot owing to the presence of several resort and gaming facilities in the area.  According to its official website, the town is the third largest municipality in the province.   Among the most popular resorts in San Rafael include,


8 Waves Waterpark

8 Waves Waterpark and Hotel is one wave pool resort with a luxury hotel for visitors to enjoy their stay in San Rafael.  The 8 Waves Waterpark has a wave pool with a size of 2,788.52 sq. m. and is one of  the largest in Asia and the Philippines.   The place is popular among families and BPO team building excursions during the scorching Philippine summer season from March to May.

Villa del Carmen Resort

Touting itself as a home away from home, Villa Del Carmen Resort is a rustic style private holiday resort with water slide swimming pools,  a mini golf course, island bar, tennis and basketball courts, picnic huts and restaurant. They have 7 conference rooms with complete audiovisual facilities for company seminars and conferences and wedding parties.

Big Rock Farm Resort

- is a Farm Resort strategically located in Brgy. Coral Na Bato, San Rafael, Bulacan. Water pools with a combination of Farm landscape are the main attractions in this Paradise Resort. Every pool has its own bar to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything at any time.

We have life-size statues of animals, heroes and cartoon characters to bring out the kid in you. Big Rock Farm Resort has a local style architecture which blends naturally with its area and environment. Whether you like to relax and enjoy our scenery or have fun in the water, Big Rock Farm Resort is an ideal place for you, your Family, Friends and Company. Come and have fun!

- See more at: http://www.bigrockfarmresort.com.ph/#sthash.pDBJO92B.dpuf
This is essentially a Farm Resort with themed resort-size, swimming pools.  The Farm landscape and environment are the main attractions in this Paradise Resort. Every pool has its own bar and there are a variety of family and public pools to choose from.  The accomodations include on-site cottages and family rooms as well as suites.  They offer really affordable accommodation rates and packages for long term visitors.  Best to visit during the summer too!.

- is a Farm Resort strategically located in Brgy. Coral Na Bato, San Rafael, Bulacan. Water pools with a combination of Farm landscape are the main attractions in this Paradise Resort. Every pool has its own bar to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything at any time.

We have life-size statues of animals, heroes and cartoon characters to bring out the kid in you. Big Rock Farm Resort has a local style architecture which blends naturally with its area and environment. Whether you like to relax and enjoy our scenery or have fun in the water, Big Rock Farm Resort is an ideal place for you, your Family, Friends and Company. Come and have fun!

- See more at: http://www.bigrockfarmresort.com.ph/#sthash.pDBJO92B.dpuf



Local Holiday Attractions

Baywalk (view of Angat Dam and Sierra Madre), is a paved trail with the spectacular view of Angat Dam and the nearby Sierra Madres for sightseeing visitors.

Cultural hotpsots include the San Juan de Dios Church, while the Royal Northwoods Golf Park is the sportsmans getaway of choice, away from crowded Metro Manila and the expensive urban golfing clubs. there.  The C & B Orchid Farm is another nice place to visit for people looking for rare and beautiful ornamentals to add to their home and garden collection.  Malangaan Cave is one local nature hike, that the more adventurous might want to check out in this sleepy northern province just out of Manila.


The town is named after Saint Raphael, one of the seven archangels according to Christian beliefs.  San Rafael hosts a yearly Catholic celebration or fiesta called the Angel Festival in September, for the feast of the Seven Archangels, which includes a parade of the town's kids--all dolled up as cherubs, and to culmintate the fiesta, the local schools all contribute to a cultural dance exhibition.


How to Get There?

From Manila by land, the quickest way to San Rafael, Bulacan is via North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) taking the Sta. Rita exit; about 2 hour long drive. However, with the aggressive developments being initiated in the town, an independent access road is being constructed connecting the town to NLEX and cutting the total travel time by an hour.



Villa del Carmen

From P50 to the Best Resort Restaurant
in San Rafael, Bulacan, a story of success...




The Fifty-Pesos that Started it All


Carmen Virginiza, owner of Villa Del Carmen is a simple woman with a colorful story, as colorful as her resort in San Rafael, Bulacan.

Carmen was a simple girl who grew up in the fields taking care of her carabaos in Bulacan. Life then was hard and their family’s resources only allowed them to enjoy the basic needs of living but never had the chance for leisure and luxury. In fact, she wasn’t even given the opportunity to attend school. Reading and writing was something she had time to study and accomplish well.  Then, at age 14, she was sent to Manila to work. At a young age, she discovered life to be difficult and filled with challenges.

However, her life was soon filled with colors when she met her very first love. Since the boy was a couple of years older, Carmen’s parents forbade the relationship to the point of deliberately sending her to jail and dragging her back to Bulacan. But when her father noticed how devastating the circumstances became for Carmen, her father called for her boyfriend and finally gave his blessings to their union.



Soon, she and her first love got married and went back to Manila to start their own family life. But life was tough for two people with much love but with limited resources at the time. The difficulties of life became a challenge, inspite of her husband being fairly successful and progressive in his own career; Carmen knew she had to do something to take their lives a notch better especially with three kids and one on the way.

Fortunately, her mother-in-law was very fond of Carmen. She was the one who gave her a sewing machine and P50.00 as capital for her garments business. For someone who had difficulty reading and writing, Carmen did not allow this failing to impede her success. She became an astute trader instead: traversing the ins and outs of Divisoria to gather her raw materials and sold her finished products to retailers in the area, up to Baclaran even.



Soon her business grew until such time her own sons and daughters were old enough to help out in the business. She made it a point to teach her children the value of hard work and perseverance; and the value of remaining positive despite the many challenges.


However, life can have dark humor at times. At the peak of her business and other establishments she was able to acquire and establish, her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. She did all she could to sustain her family, while mightily taking care of her ill husband. She had to hire a private nurse to monitor her husband’s health, while she worked hard to make a living. Unfortunately, her sacrifice was  not rewarded well because her husband finally succumbed to his ailment and passed on. It was one of Carmen’s darkest moments but she continued to thrive and do well.

Time had passed and she submerged herself in her work and looked after her children, who were now one by one creating lives of their own.

Then Cupid hit Carmen’s heart once more, when she met her second love. But love stories always do not go as planned. This time, her children were the ones who did not approve of her relationship. But Carmen knew one thing, she had to make a decision to secure her children’s future while fulfilling her personal life. She divided all her assets into five, one part for each of her four children and a portion for herself to start anew. 



She used that small fortune to build Villa del Carmen, her final and most precious business of all!  And she ran the resort hands-on, inspiring every facet of the resort's operations with her unique personal touch.  Villa del Carmen is a private resort that offers 3 swimming pools with water slides, and several rest rooms and poolside cottages, for both couples, barkada groups, and for corporate vacations such as team building excursions popular among BPO companies for their highly stressed work teams.  The rates for the rooms are all very affordable, ranging from P1000 to P3000 and up for overnight stays, and up to P7000 for the suites and dormitories.

Villa del Carmen today is still being operated and managed by Carmen, along with her grandson Wilbert and it is one of the most popular destinations in San Rafael, Bulacan, a gem in the rough place up north for unwinding in affordable places such as private resorts.  Indeed, that initial P50.00 lifeline came a long way and marked Carmen’s colorful life story with a continuing grace and hopefully a happier ending.  In the end, it’s not the amount of resources one has that matters to succeed in life, it’s the motivation and determination to achieve one’s goals.

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