Thursday, November 16, 2017

El Bohemio Rides to Calatagan

   Why is my blog beginning to look like a travel blog? Haha. So yeah, I've been taking my motorcycle to places again and this time to Calatagan, Batangas! This took place just a few days ago during the recent holiday in view of the ASEAN Summit.

      Actually our original plan is to ride to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan. But we realize it wouldn't be advisable to go North because the ASEAN Summit that will also take place in Pampanga. So I suggested that we go ride to a beach somewhere in the South. My ride-buddy-sistah Sharon suggested that we go beach camping - why not?

     We had Burot Beach in mind but we learned that it is no longer open to the public. We actually decided on Manuel Uy Beach Resort only after passing Nasugbu while taking a break at a gas station.

     We took the long way to Calatagan because we chose the Nasugbu-Ternate Highway just to enjoy the twisties and pass though the Kaybiang Tunnel. So that's nearly 100kms. We left Evia (our assembly point) at around 9 AM and it was supposed to be a 5- to 6-hour (sub 400cc) ride but something unpretty happened. Our friend Jarret overshot a curve in Ternate that gave him a deep wound  above his left ankle. But don't worry folks, he's alright and the bike just had scratches and a broken mirror. Thanks to the personnel from the DENR Mount Palay Field Office whom I asked for help. He radioed for a tricycle to bring him to San Lazaro Hospital in Naic. That's like 19kms away.

    So after the stitches were done and Jarret has a family member coming to pick him up from the hospital, and his bike safely kept at the DENR field office, Shah and I decided to continue our journey to Calatagan. We left Naic around 4PM and got to the beach around 7PM. We chose a spot where we can park our bikes next to our tents that we pitched in the dark hehe. Well it wasn't completey dark - there were LED lamps hanging from cables.

    After dressing down and throwing all my stuff inside my tent I didn't know what to do. We are not really new to camping (though the last time I did this was 17 years ago haha in Anawangin). But this is the very first time we went to a campsite on a motorcycle and that puts a limit to what we can bring - so there's no ice chest filled with beer, soda, and frozen meat hehe. But Shah brought small pans and a camping burner and we enjoyed a dinner of canned sausages, whole wheat pandesal and coffee haha.  What's next? We just sat with our friendly camping neighbors and did small talk over rum and gin until we all got sleepy. I went back to my tent at almost 2AM.

    Next morning I unzipped  my tent and this is what I saw: Blue skies and a calm sea, and a spacious beach  of khaki sand.  Waking up to a view like this is really something else! 

   Shah was still sleeping in her tent so I walked around the beach to take pictures. If you haven't been here, let me show you around with these snapshots.

I didn't get to see a sunset but here's a Calatagan sunrise 
over large fishponds in Manuel Uy Beach.

I can see the island of Mindoro from here.

There are boat tours here. Ambil and Golo Islands are
far from here so I'm guessing these boats will take you
to other beaches in Calatagan.

Shah finally wakes up haha. She's excited to cook.
We had corned beef and rice for breakfast.
Also pancit bihon  from our kind camp neighbors haha!

I made sure that I'll have a picture of my motorcycle
 next to my tent facing the sea.

This tent is new. I though I need a smaller tent for this trip. 
My old tent fits 4 people. Too bad there wasn't enough
time to look for the right shade of green
to match my motorcycle hihi!

Beach #1 of  Manuel Uy Resort is where you
can park close to your tent.

High noon. Everybody's taking a shade under thorny aroma trees.

Beach #2 is away from the road so you can't park 
next to your tent here. More campers settle here because 
it's more spacious and there are more trees.

The waters of Calatagan beach are shallow. You will have to walk like
50 meters from the shoreline if you want neck-deep water.

This is another beach property next to Manuel Uy Beach.
It's the Serenity Beach Resort. Well it does look serene hehe.

From Manuel  Uy Beach you can also see the cottages of
Stilts - another popular resort in Calatagan.

   So if you're into beach camping, Manuel Uy Beach Resort is one of the campsites that I would recommend. The rates are so boho. Php100/head for an overnight stay, Php50 for a day trip. Car parking is  Php100, Motorcycle parking is Php20. You can rent a tent for Php50. There's an environmental fee of Php30 per person. 
   The place seem pretty safe with security personnel constantly doing their rounds. Toilets and shower rooms are being constructed. In the meantime, you can bathe or use the toilet in some shack homes built inside the resort property for Php20. There are sari-sari stores inside the resort too and if you can't find what you need try the stores outside the resort. But if you need to go to the nearest town, it's 5 kilometers away.

     Honestly I didn't get enough of this Calatagan beach. An overnight stay should be enough but it's ideal to arrive here at least before noon. We came at night because of what happened in Ternate. But it's all okay knowing that a friend is safe and will be able to ride again with us back to this beautiful place. Well at least there was enough time to soak myself in saltwater hehe. We would have stayed another night but Shah's son is sick at home. So we really really need to get back in the Metro.

     We took another route back to Manila. We left around 3PM and stopped for blueberry cheesecake at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay at 5PM. After an hour, back on the road again. I got home around 9PM with an aching butt and tired sunburned arms! Haha! =) )

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