Exploring the Philippines fully has been one of my earnest desires. However with over 7,000 islands, I am aware this is a daunting task. One by one, gradually and steadily, I have started to see that this vision may be just be attainable. So come with me on this journey to Batangas, Philippines.
Recently, my brother in-law happened to be getting married in the beautiful Island of Batangas. His bride-to-be had specifically chosen this destination, obviously because of how magical it was. When I got there, my jaw dropped! I couldn’t help but agree with her exquisite taste. We spent one hour on the road from Tagaytay (where my in-laws stay), but from Manila, the capital city, it’s about 6 hours away.
Situated in the southern tip of Luzon Island, this coastal province is one of the most popular tourist destinations near metro Manila. It is famous for its numerous attractions such as centuries-old churches, irresistible cuisine, the Taal volcano (a volcano within a lake) and Taal Heritage town (a small town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century. But more than anything else, are its beaches – splendid, charming and idyllic.
We spend the night on an Airbnb which was idyllically perched overlooking the sea. The day after, we made our way to the wedding venue, Canyon Cove, a top notch resort which boasts a marvelous beachfront location.
The view was absolutely gorgeous. The sunset – a riot of colors thrust on the sea as the sun slowly sunk behind the horizon, was a sight to behold. The view from where I was standing left me literally speechless. As teary eyed as the ceremony was, I constantly found myself distracted by my surroundings. I watched with an unwavering gaze, as the sun, trying to prise the last of its light slowly sank beneath the horizon, and threads of light lingered over the gardens, the new couple made their vows to each other—impeccable timing and sheer bliss!
I was amazed by the divergence in this place. On one side was the vast blue sea with the ebbing tide crawling gently by the shore; on the other side serrated mountains looming at a distance. Mountains and oceans—a magnificent contrast—it felt like a line from a song.
We spent the next day at the hotel which was right on the beach. It was quite a huge five star hotel with welcoming and friendly staff, cozy accommodations complete with topnotch amenities. The weather was misty and hot, typical of tropical climates, but absolutely a beautiful day to be at the beach.
Beaches in Batangas typically have long stretches of shallow areas, which makes it kid-friendly.
The Filipinos generally are a friendly people, but I found the people of Batangas to be friendlier than usual. From the hotel staff to the boatman by the seashore, all were quite mesmerized by my black skin. “I am Kenyan,” I would quip proudly as I smiled back at their amazed faces. I got to admit, I was flattered by the constant attention.
Our two nights and three days came to a quick end. How I wish we could stay longer; I was sad to be leaving this beautiful place. We drove back to our home in Tagaytay, home of the world’s smallest volcano. That’s a story for another day.
Highlights of Batangas
- What I like about most resorts in Batangas is there’s always a choice between swimming in the pool and wading in the seawaters, and Canyon Cove offers both. They have a relaxing pool and mesmerizing beach seascape.
- The resort itself is spacious, with parking, a playground for kids including water sport activities for the family. The restaurant area is also huge, with both indoor and outdoor dining.
- The resort’s location is not in a remote place, you have a choice to find a dining place or fast-food restaurant outside the resort. Nearest fast food (Jollibee) is only around 5 minutes away.
- If you want to dive or snorkel, there’s marine life – not as diverse and colorful – but gives a good option to just wading in the waters.
- Hotel staffs are very helpful and always wears a smile…
If your goal is just to get away from the busy city life and just to relax, I would highly recommend this resort.