A Saturday tour at Alahbiga Beach Resort

Alahbiga Beach Resort is our last beach destination for summer 2015. My wife took me along for their department’s summer outing. The resort is located in the resort town of Laiya, Batangas, as such, be ready to allot around 4 to 5 hours of travel time to get here. Despite the long drive, we were fortunate enough to be assigned to a comfortable double-decker bus.

Upon arrival to Laiya, we were informed that we had to transfer to another bus because our double-decker might not be able to handle the steep slope. We literally had to climb a mountain just to get to Alahbiga. To add to our anxiety, we were informed that another bus had earlier skidded down the incline. Good thing no one was hurt though.

On our way to the resort, everyone was holding his breath because the road was narrow, the bends were sharp and, should we be unfortunate, the fall into the ravine would be very high.

VJmaKjwy3dRKxhs_DRrG3QlN2ZEORGxhAXPuzFoCD7g=w846-h635-noThe road going to the resort was steep but it did give us a fantastic view of the sea

When we finally got to the resort, we were greeted by two inviting pools and a good view of the sea. It was noontime so we were immediately served lunch which was managed buffet. There was beef caldereta, grilled liempo and fried chicken. Drink was unlimited pineapple juice. I got several spoonfuls of beef calderata with its rich thick sauce and chunks of grilled liempo. I did not try the fried chicken though. I liked the beef calderata. The sauce had the right spiciness with acidity from the tomato sauce balanced by the mild taste of coconut milk. The beef was also very tender and cooked throughout. The grilled liempo tasted average and was a little tough.

8htXZQf5Vz_AAJEAHG9gxQiluZ9Gl8Cr2-i_w6wXthg=w846-h635-noOne of the two swimming pools

For dessert, we were served Magnolia ice cream in small cups. One may choose between mango and ube flavors. Since it was a company outing, there were team-building activities after lunch.

After the activities when everybody was well-rested, we changed to our swimming clothes and tried the pool. After several photos in the swimming pool, we tried the floating nipa hut. Secured by a rope tied to the shore, the resort personnel maneuvered the nipa hut into deeper water. The water was very clear, we can see the fishes and corals below. We went back to the beach after around 20 minutes.

The resort offers a host of water activities for those who want some fun and adventure but we did not get to try those.

VlnNShkHh-NMhxmEqITRr71FiZTPsUI7ScrF5RXwjsU=w846-h634-noThe beach

KAznsEn2iG8BXE8qWA128hr9Ye-HleZnAk0QYibbt28=w846-h635-noThe floating nipa hut

With nothing else to do, we showered and cleaned up. By around 5:00 PM, we were already out of the resort.
The verdict: not really worth it is one is coming from Manila. Firstly, it was hard to access. Secondly, the resort did not offer much activities. It can also get very crowded especially if guests are companies like when we went there. The beach was also not too inviting; it looked rocky and a little murky.

On the plus side, food was good and the resort personnel were very courteous and accommodating. The resort also was clean and well kept. I got the impression that it was a popular spot for business outings because there were also two other companies checked-in that time.

ODk0gkfDDqkmFPkOyMRKAK19WvYyN5vY4ksrAtNvrg8=w207-h197-noThe sun’s rays taken from behind the foliage

Alahbiga is well-recommended though if one is from a nearby location, say within Batangas or from Laguna or Quezon. The resort also has rooms for rent for those who want to stay overnight. With the resort’s homey ambiance, it can also be a good family weekend destination.

A family trip to Paseo Verde Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas

After a brief and spontaneous planning session, we decided to have another family beach getaway in Paseo Verde Beach Resort in Barangay Laiya Aplaya, San Juan, Batangas. It was my sister-in-law who suggested the place which looked pristine in photos.

We hit the road early on a Saturday morning hoping to get to Laiya by 9:00 AM. However, while we were at C5, our van overheated twice so we had to park it in my sister-in-law’s house and then cramped ourselves in our other vehicle. By the time we got to Sto. Rosario, Batangas, however, we could feel our engine wanting to give up on us especially during the uphill ride.

We finally arrived in Laiya by 11:00 AM after a grueling and scorching five-hour drive and despite all the engine and mechanical failures.

The resort, with its trees and lush ornamental plants, looked very welcoming. It looked like we made a good decision after all. We immediately went to the reception area to settle our payment for the cottage which is called a small cavana. The cavana is a regular bamboo cottage which can fit a maximum 15 people. It had a big bamboo table in the middle where a group can comfortably have their meals or drinks. We brought food with us to save on cost.

h6TeKVg7QCZ45M0AfKTUTD-QbCKYPjG-948SFFTKWxg=w1057-h634-noNumerous trees that line the beach

tcE_SlNk2LTOaliXuDpJUsb6f7o3rIOL6fttpPsmbPQ=w381-h634-noCoconut trees

Aside from cavanas, the resort also had casitas or overnight cottages of various sizes. Common comfort rooms are at the side of the resort near the entrance; a bit far from the cottages. The male restrooms only had around 8 cubicles so expect long queues. The same long queue can be seen in the female restrooms.

qTHK39QdB28iS3jCuFoyn2cZn_Q4QgT560zwxNsMk0o=w1057-h634-noA shot of the skyline

The beach itself is a short strip of sand lined with flags. Alas, it was not at all that impressive, especially for those who have been to well-known beach destinations. The water was just fine, not an aquamarine blue and a bit dirty with debris and some floating plastic bags and cups. I hope the resort personnel would allocate time to regularly clear the water of rubbish.

PEwN6ZWBg3JSN3jqEGLgaaPO6cFtvLsDOuPx7nap75A=w1057-h634-noBeach scene

prxBWMrlf52PFylnJ9VoYqi_TFVSJixmtBW-Uz8RB5U=w381-h634-noUmbrella tree

RwJ_qzRSs6BHTSQ0tbdVZgKjLuOsQ8uGo-pp4iamXLA=w1057-h634-noLifeguard’s post

In terms of water activities, I don’t think the resort offers any although there were individuals offering banana boat rides and paragliding for an exorbitant fee. There was, however, a volleyball court in the middle of the place. Ball is for rent on a per hour basis. I also saw a karaoke for rent for those who want to belt out songs.

All in all, the resort was just average. What I liked about it though is the numerous plants and trees inside the property. Walking inside the resort was comfortable because of the shade provided by the tall trees.

By 5:00 in the afternoon, we were already on our way back to Manila.

O3yrr-BVSag04VxZRuIz5vZNnTo2zbCmkUiw5C9c4Tg=s635-noA kid playing on the sand

If you are embarking on a long journey from Metro Manila like us and expecting to see a breathtaking resort, then this place is not for you. I would suggest going for other options.

For Paseo Verde’s contact information, please click here.

Away for the Weekend at Sea’s Spring Resort Hotel

Our summer 2015 adventures continue with an overnight trip to Sea’s Spring Resort Hotel in Batangas. I had high expectations for this resort primarily because it is located in Mabini, Batangas; one of the more popular beach destinations in the country. Going there was a quick three-hour drive from Manila via South Luzon Expressway.

To get to the resort, we had to pass by a winding hillside road that gave us a magnificent view of the sea. For a more detailed turn-by-turn instruction on how to get to the resort, please click here.

4OV-dmsjtNT9zY0YhxDBiFsgJPaguZcYp-zZxzrhISE=w1057-h634-noThe blue sea looked inviting

When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the beautiful sight of the deep cerulean sea. The warm salty breeze and the blue water were very inviting, I wanted to immediately take a dip. But, alas, I was informed by one of our companions that we cannot swim because the beach was rocky and the waves were rough. Seeing the beach up close, it did not look attractive after all because it was pebbly and the sand looked coarse.

11061189_10206669543485583_5674112601081305206_nThe beach is pebbly and the sand is coarse (photo courtesy of Dennis Colico)

11051219_10204019173387422_8892714362341599271_n

The blue sea still looked magnificent (photo courtesy of Arianne Hegina)

What else to do when we cannot go to the beach? Well, we were all hungry so we ordered lunch. We ordered bulalo, crispy pata and pakbet. The warm bulalo soup was delicious. The bone had a generous chunk of meat and the vegetables and corn were plentiful. Our server was also kind enough to grant our request for three extra bowls of soup. The crispy pata was also a hit. The meat was seasoned well and fried to a crisp. It will surely satisfy any meat lover’s craving.

11193274_10206669580126499_8246245849299170384_nThe dining area (photo by Arianne Hegina)

11161341_10204019046944261_8123912511943766754_nA bowl of bulalo soup (photo by Arianne Hegina)

After lunch, we took a brief rest then immediately tried the pools. There were three slides of different heights which were a big hit to both kids and adults. The idea of swimming in a pool when you are at the beach was not too appealing for me. However, the heated pool of sulfur-infused water offered a new experience that I will not let pass. The 37-degree water was apprehending at first but once you get used to it, you will find the experience relaxing. It felt like I was sweating while on water! One of the signs posted beside the pool listed the host of benefits of swimming in heated water – improved circulation, smoother skin, relieves muscle aches and releases stress. Whatever the benefits are, I found swimming in the heated pool really enjoyable.

11011831_10204019043344171_4647461028115678521_nA view of the swimming pool (photo by Arianne Hegina)
11182273_10204019104545701_5789073944996361212_nSlide (photo by Arianne Hegina)

11050863_10204019040664104_895989208620395014_nThe swimming pool (photo by Arianne Hegina)

11152334_10204019087705280_8548800107676773457_n

Enjoying the heated pool (photo by Arianne Hegina)

The rooms, meanwhile, were dormitory-type. The air-conditioning was not working well, however, but it eventually got cooler early in the morning. The resort personnel were also very kind enough to accommodate our request for extra pillows and mattresses.

11200618_10206669542605561_8961586842557879001_nThe hotel (photo by Dennis Colico)

The toilets and shower rooms were also common. I was afraid the toilets will be dirty because there were many guests that weekend. Good thing the resort staff were always there to clean the toilets and shower rooms.

Breakfast the following day was managed buffet, thus, it was inevitable that a long queue will form. A bit of patience is needed when getting breakfast. Choices were mostly Filipino food – longganisa, bangus belly and fried egg. They also served toast, gyoza and kimchi. Food was good and filling but, nonetheless, ordinary.

cfg-VCvy4g5BvxFnccK1WgzvWwowB9TYwoin4XJhbpY=w1057-h634-noA solitary tree atop a hill

What else did we do here? Nothing much although the resort offers island hopping packages that come with packed lunch. There is also scuba diving, trekking and spa for those who want to get a massage.

All in all, it was still an enjoyable overnight tour for me. The heated pool and the accommodating staff made up for the lack of activities and beach-swimming.

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If you would like to inquire, here are the contact details of Sea’s Spring Resort Hotel:
Phone:
632-881-1766
63 917-564-8085
63 917-564-8087 (Korean)
Fax:
632-526-4849
Email: shinyang.seasspring.inc@gmail.com
Address: Barangay Mainit, Mabini, Anilao Batangas, Philippines