From Batangas Blue to Bataan White Coral
April 13, 2009 § 3 Comments
Last week, I browsed the Internet, on the lookout for a nice beach resort. I heard about Laiya at San Juan Batangas and I immediately said that this is worth the drive. A two to three hour drive is not much of a stress. Previously, I’ve been to as far North as Pagudpod (driving) and as far South as Davao (again, by land) and long drives, for me, are luxuries. I get to see many beautiful places and meet beautiful people along the way. Historical sites, nature’s beauty and of course, ordering the best food in the locale are just some of the things I enjoyed.
Based on my net surfing, there are premium beach resorts in Laiya–Kabayan, Laiya Beach resort, etc. But what caught my fancy is this place called Blue Coral Beach resort. The site is fantastic. The place is quite interesting online. Yet, when I saw the reviews, I immediately said that it’s not worth checking. The place may be lovely. But, if the service sucks, then, what’s the use of spending 6,000 plus pesos just to have your day ruined. I mean, how can you relax and meditate if the service, as what some commenters said, is below par? You’re paying hansomely (more than US$100) yet if the service is one-star, you’ll obviously would not want to waste money, right?
So, we checked other Laiya San Juan Batangas beach resorts and they turn out to be okey. Kabayan Beach resort is nice. Laiya Beach resort is for youngsters and yuppies who want to meditate. It’s cool and relaxing. I went as far as Sariaya Quezon Province to see other beach resorts and one piece of advice—these beach resorts are not what you see in their websites. The place is a total tourist disaster. It’s crowded, facilities are as old as Methuselah and toilets and rooms are dirty. If you want to swim in a greenish and brackish swimming pool, be my guest. For me, absolutely not!
So, off I go to the North. I heard that Montemar Beach Club is a great place to spend the weekend. They have nice facilities and powdery sand beaches. Montemar is a great drive. You get to drive along criss-crossed roads and windy, up-the-mountain, 180 degree turns roads. Montemar Beach Club is located at Bagac, Bataan Peninsula. It’s about a two hour drive using the Gapan-Olongapo road. You get to see the Bantayog ng Kagitingan, a huge cross at the top of Mount Samal and other lovely towns of Bataan.
It was a little past seven when we arrived. We were greeted by a security guard and told us the distressing news—no vacancy. All rooms have been occupied.
So, what else do we do but find other beach resorts near the area. No luck. Even the dirty Fajardo beach resort is full. So, down we go to Morong Bataan.
We first reached the beach resort called Waterfront. It was a decent place and there was vacancy. However, no TV available. Rooms are reasonably priced. Yet, we saw this road sign which says “Bataan White Coral Beach Resort” and we contacted the person in charge. There was room available for a family of five. We decided to leave Waterfront Beach resort and head straight out to Bataan White Coral Beach Resort.
We went pass Juness Beach Resort which I later learned, is owned by Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto “Jun” Mercado. It was okey but we decided that it’s off to White Coral Beach resort.
It was a very good decision. When we reached the place, we were greeted by a friendly staff. We paid our rooms (standard is about 4,000 plus plus) and we get to enjoy free breakfast. The place is huge, with decent rooms and facilities. It was purportedly the second best to Montemar Beach resort in Bataan.
Food served to us is okey (passable). Not tasty, but okey. The place has three swimming pools, one a kiddie pool, for adults and the other, a salt water pool (highlight) near the beach. There is a wide ground for playing volleyball, badminton etc. The place is quite okey.
My family went out for night swimming while i retired for the night, tired yet satisfied that we were able to get a place that is okey.
Mornings are blessings in Bataan. I woke up, fully energized and happy that I get to hear birds chirping and cocks announcing the arrival of the mighty Sun. It’s a luxury in Makati, yet quite ordinary here.
We ate our breakfast and afterwards, went out to beach. There are fishermen with boats. One of them urged us to try the “white sand” place, a cove which is about 15 to 20 minutes from the resort. I thought, well, it’s okey.
So, off we went. Waters are choppy yet certain portions of the South China sea are as clear as day. You get to see even the corals in the bottom. We reached the “white sand’ and that “white” sand turned out to be greyish, not white. Well, there’s other things to do there. Like, go to those caves, formed naturally by the strong tides. We saw many people in this natural cove, all happy and some are even drinking and smoking. A far off, I saw the mouth-balled Bataan Nuclear power plant. The greyish brown structure face the lovely ocean. Wonder what would happen if a nuclear accident happens here, what would the authorities do? Some Congressmen, that includes Teodoro, want to open this huge elephant. The debate is not so much about the utility of the plant. I guess this one would really help boost our energy requirements. It’s about disaster-preparedness. Filipinos are still not entirely knowledgeable on disaster preparedness and disaster response. A nuclear disaster would obviously affect the almost pristine beauty of Morong Bataan.
Anyway, we snorkeled and the kids loved it. Morong Bataan is a place of nice corals. I get to see some fishes swimming in some corals, but there are patches of sand without corals. Maybe because some fishermen dive to get those live corals. I asked our guide and they told me that they don’t harm the environment since those corals are “just rocks”.
Well, corals are living organisms. They are not rocks. What they see in the coastals are petrified and dead corals. Under the sea, corals are alive. Maybe the Bataan Pawikan Conservation Center and the Tourism Office in Bataan should conduct a seminar with the fishermen. They need to be informed that corals are not rocks but a part of the ocean ecosystem which they need to conserve and protect.
After our snorkeling, we head to our rooms, took some nap, swam in those pools and before 2pm, we packed our things and headed straight to SBMA. We took our lunch there and did some shopping.
It was not a bad idea, changing our decision to enjoy Batangas Blue to the white corals of Morong Bataan. It was a weekend well spent.