Update: Maoz has closed. SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
Take a break from the cold and come hang out at Maoz! It’s a little tropical retreat that’s inspired by the idyllic, provincial life in the Philippine Islands. Take pictures, surf, play games with friends or just frolic in the water and the sand.
So reads the description for Maoz, a Homestead region I dropped into after seeing Loverdag’s images at the start of the year. Designed by Cate Ansaldo (CATEvogel) and Dylan Vogel (LordDylan Ansaldo), this is simple region with the design intended – as the description indicates – to reflect the provincial Philippine life. Surround by low-lying hills that don’t quite adjoin the region, it has the feeling of a coastal location through which a broad road passes, beaches to one side offering surf and volleyball, overlooked by a parking lot where it is easy to image passing tourists pausing to take photos.
Rising in uneven steps from west to east, the setting is marked by water tumbling through a series of falls, small shanty houses scattered between rocks and trees, and the ribbon of the road, which together with the vehicles scattered along it, gave me the impression I was perhaps on a road trip. Roadside huts and shops sit as possible distractions for drivers, promises of food and beer presenting the temptation for a stop along the way.
Tucked away on one corner of the region sits a small but homely house, a Toyota Land Cruiser parked alongside, doors open and roof rack laden as if someone is about to take to make a journey or has just returned from a trip to somewhere. Not far away is one of those tempting stops, the bicycle laden with platters of fresh fruit outside apparently enough to persuade one driver to swing across the road and pull up, the No Parking sign under which it has been parked clearly not a deterrent.
Off the coast to the west, reached by a long board walk clearly placed by the locals to avoid the rolling surf, lies a bar built within the confines of a rocky sandbar rising above the waves. A makeshift place, constructed in part from the fuselage of a wrecked ‘plane, it’s clearly a popular stopping point: the rusting flank of the aircraft is festooned with the autographs of visitors past. Those who don’t fancy the walk out to it can find refreshments and sweets at Linda’s Store on the beach, within easy reach of the volleyball net awaiting players.
Scattered around the region are numerous places to sit, indoors and out – including a caravan perched at the top of a steep track and offering views out to sea, and back over the waterfalls down to the rolling surf, or within (or on) the VW Beetle parked at the landing point. Rezzing is also open to visitors, making this an ideal place for photography. However, as auto return is disabled, please do remember to pick up anything you set out, should you choose to do so. There is also a Flickr pool open for submissions of images taken.
As notes, a simple, photogenic layout that offers a place to get away to while waiting for the snowy, winter regions to warm themselves up as thoughts now turn to spring in the northern hemisphere. It is also, apparently, a place given to occasional squalls of rain, so when visiting, you might want to keep a brolly handy!