Claud Maru: Your connection to nature

Make no mistake about it, Marilog District is Davao City’s emerging destination.

Locals and tourists alike are heading up to Marilog enjoying the offerings and services of exciting spots now thriving in the area.

Apart from the popular stops for “puto maya” and “sikwate” (rice cake and hot chocolate) and the view decks/points, there are new places up there that need to be explored and experienced.

Claud Maru is one.

Claud Maru in Marahan is all about making a connection with nature. Set in a 20-hectare property of lush foliage and untouched landscape (with the installation of some fixtures to make the property more attractive), it is an adventurous setting of very cold weather and flowing cool water.

Guests and tourists will be greeted with the sound of the stream, trees, ornamental plants, wildlife and foliage. Guests will be assisted by a beautiful Matigsalog attendant upon entering the premises.

Walking on the paths going to Claud Maru River and the natural plunge pool (stream pool) will allow guests/visitors to enjoy the rainforest and its habitat.

“It took us so long to develop the area because ayokong sirain ang aesthetics at ang set-up ng forest. Even bringing the materials is a challenge but I was very glad because I am with the IPs who really know the trail kung paano iakyat ang mga gamit,” said Alex P. Montañez, owner of Claud Maru.

When I visited the place on Maundy Thursday, I was told it is owned by Montañez, who is also known as Davao City’s “Billboard King” and owner of APM Ads and Promo Management.

When asked why he ventured into tourism-related business, he said the very core of opening Claud Maru last year is to help the Matigsalug Tribe in the area by providing them livelihood.

“The most important thing is I was able to employ around 18 of the Matigsalug-Ovu Manubu tribes here and they work six times a day. Some in the construction, ang iba dito sa restaurant namin, ang iba sa maintenance. Step by step, they are willing to learn. Mag one-one-year na sila dito sa amin working,” he said.

Not only that he provided employment but he also transformed this once NPA-infested area into a tourist destination.

“This used to be an NPA-infested area but now with the presence of the farm-to-market road, the government entered here with all the projects, babye na sila,” he said.

The hub of the property is the restaurant that serves authentic local dishes like its heavenly “tinolang native na manok” and the “balbacua”. There’s the free plated menu for breakfast and lunch for guests staying overnight.

With its all-time cool weather, this is the best place to enjoy “balbacua” and ‘tinolang native na manok” partnered with “bulad” (dried fish) and sinangag (fried rice) while relishing the 360 degrees view of the mountain, pond, and the rainforest.

“I love to eat. My family loves to eat everywhere. I love to eat street food and in the markets. That is why we have this restaurant to relax after going around. It’s 360 degrees view of the forest. You can hear the stream, left and right, you are in the rainforest. Relax ka talaga kahit lunch time na mainit ang simoy ng hangin, dito malamig and the kind of food, Matigsalug food and pinoy food, we can offer. Ang pinaka achievement ko, masaya ang mga bata, sumisigaw sa pool at pag kumakain ng favorite food nila, pati yung seniors like our soup,” Montañez said.

And their coffee reminds me of that Pilipinas brand of coffee (P5 per pack) I drank in my childhood.

Montañez said he buys sacks of coffee beans produced by the locals there and then he processed them.

For those who want to stay overnight, there are A-frame houses with tents, which will surely make one feel like truly at a summer camp.

Montañez is positioning Claud Maru as ecotourism highlighting educational features for the kids to learn how to plant strawberries, vegetables, and experience riding rafts, horses, and carabaos.

“We will be setting up farm, kalabaw, chicken, rabbits,” he said.

Part of the 20-hectare is the cattle farm and strawberry garden.

Claud Maru will soon offer Claud Maru mountain climbing, sunrise watching, hammock city, and one of the dreams of his parents, the rose farm.

Claud Maru is just an hour away from Davao City.

Leave a Reply