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.
I honestly can’t remember much from last I went here. It was more than a decade ago. I was still working for an American IT company and it was our company outing. Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort is popular for company outings aside from diving. What I clearly remember was the stunning sunset, playful pawikan and amazing snorkeling just in front of the property. When a chance to go back to the resort came, I thought, why not? It would be interesting to see how things have changed.
I have no problems planning on independent trips. But when it comes to family travel, I’m so poor in planning those kind of logistics. I had to get a little help from friends in the travel industry. My requirement was it should be near Manila, have good accessibility for seniors, convenient and relaxing. Friends from Explore8 gave me options (other resorts Batangas, Cavite, Tagaytay, Vigan) but somehow my siblings and I were leaning into Stilts Calatagan in Batangas. Their cottages looks attractive and they have in-resort transport for our senior relatives. Much more, the beach in this part of Batangas looks gorgeous.
I’ve always imagined myself living in a coast close to nature. A beautiful beach cove just a stretch away, mountains surrounding my home and cool fresh air naturally in abundance. I got to experience what is like to live in a community as such when we visited Pico Sands Hotel in Pico de Loro, Hamilo Coast, Batangas. An exclusive private residential development, the Pico Sands Hotel caters to guest and club members within the area.
It’s a sad sad moment when I was about to leave El Nido. One reason is that I will definitely miss the way of life there and the people I already know. It’s so different from the metro that I know it’ll be a major adjustment. Another is that i somehow failed in my attempt to live there longer. I was willing to live a provincial life but I guess fate has other plans. There were work and opportunities back in Manila that I can pass. And I was really slated to go back home somehow this month of March since most my relatives and siblings will be back home for a reunion. A rare time all siblings will be together.
It’s one of those trips that I just said yes without knowing exactly where I was going. I was yearning for a downtime after a somewhat busy week that I was ready to escape anywhere. It was an invitation to check out a resort in Batangas but I only knew of the details that day when I got into the car onto a road trip down south. We were going to Balayan, a town virtually out of the radar among four of us in the car. So following a crudely drawn map, a series of instructions and some pictures landmark as puzzles, we rolled on with a sense of adventure to find the resort named Blue Dolphin.
(This is an advertorial). A slew of reggae music blared through my portable speakers at the front seats of the van. It was Deng, our driver’s playlist, interplay of songs from Indio I, Coco Jam, Tropical Depression and Popong Landero to keep him into his driving groove while we head to Batangas coast from Tagaytay. At the back my cousins, mom and brother were amused by the two toddlers own song performances during the drive. We were already mid-way through our 6-day vacation and everything was going well.