Traveling to the beach has been rare these days. The pandemic made it more complicated and costly especially if you live in the city. Not to mention the threat of contracting the COVID19 virus in transit. That’s why when I got invited to by group from our yoga community to join for a day trip to Stilts Calatagan, Batangas I decided to join. It would be my second beach trip this year after Coron and couldn’t spend it much better than with people passionate about yoga.
Road Trip to Batangas
My companions would be coming from Pasig that Saturday morning and they will pick me up at the Carmona market which is near my the place I’m staying in Biñan. It’s been a while since I got a little excited for a trip. Even if it was for a day tour. When our van arrived, I was in charge of the navigation so I was seated in front. A task I would gladly take as I enjoy maps and navigating through roads.
Since we’re already in Carmona, Cavite, we opted to reach the Tagaytay-Nasugbu road via Silang, Cavite. It was a familiar route I take when biking to reach Tagaytay. The narrow two-way road have some rough parts but its a fast route to Aguinaldo highway without going through the toll again.
The morning sky remained gloomy and sleepy as most of my companions at the back seat catching their zzz’s. There were no traffic so we zoomed through Aguinaldo highway past Tagaytay all the way to Balayan.
Breakfast in Calatagan
We stopped for a while in Tagaytay to try to find a good place for breakfast. We had to pass-on some of the expensive ridge-side option in Tagaytay to find something local and of good value. There were some interesting establishments along the way but since it’s a weekend, they were reserved for private events. “Private Events” became the fond word of the morning.
It was until we were in Calatagan town where we found a cozy place to have breakfast. Near the market is Franc & May, an al fresco eatery serving some ready meals including local favorites like lomi and kape barako. I had a lomi of course. Not the best but it would do. The local barako is always a comfort to drink.
Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort
Stilts Calatagan was short of 20-minutes drive from town. I remember my first time here in Stilts where we stayed for 2 nights at the Destiny cottage with family. I enjoyed my time then. For those looking for bright and sandy beach in Batangas, the stretch in Calatagan has it. Paired with facilities from Stilts, it makes for an enjoyable stay.
Since it’s the era of pandemic we had to make advance reservation and prepare requirements like Barangay Health Clearance. Forms were needed to be filled out aside from our temperature check upon entering. When we’re all clear, it was time to finally settle in.
We were led to one of the huts near the pool at the Infinity area of the resort. Securing our belonging, applying sun block and thinking about what to order fo lunch were the first few things we did. Then we’re off to the beach.
It was still as I remember it to be. Picturesque bright golden sands. As expected when you’re with yoga practitioners, expect a lot of photos and videos. We love doing asanas in wonderful back drops. Immediately some of my companions were flowing at the pergola.
I found a nice log to sit on to and just enjoyed the beach vibe first. It’s been a while. I just wanted to feel the salty air, the diffused sun under the clouds and hear the waves. While they were having a photo session I went to take a dip at the beach. Something therapeutic just being embraced by the sea. Calming and assuring that despite all that’s happening, the waves will continue to chase the shore.
Beach time, binge time and fun time during out stay albeit short. Come evening we were on our way back. Me in Laguna and my companions back to Manila. It was a sweet weekend escape we all deserve.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.