Matabungkay Weekend Getaway

February 18, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | 1 Comment
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My trip to Matabungkay Beach last February 14 and 15 went pretty well. Though I can’t really say that it was the best beach holiday I’ve had, I still had a fun time. The day of the trip went a bit awry at first because my friend Andy (my companion for the holiday) and I didn’t quite know how to get to the place. It was our first time to go there. Our plan was to take the bus going to Batangas and proceed from there. I asked around for directions before the trip and felt confident enough that we’d get there somehow. But on the morning of our departure, we got confused with which bus to take. So we ended up going from one bus terminal to the other in Pasay Buendia looking for the right bus to take us to Lian, Batangas. We finally found one in Pasay Rotonda. It took us four hours before we finally get to the resort that we would be staying. We were supposed to drop by at Tagaytay on the way to Lian but since we were in a hurry to catch the check-in time at the resort, we just decided to go there on our way home.

Andy and me in our Coral Beach Club room

The room we stayed at the Coral Beach Club was spacious and clean, though rather dimly-lit. It was also furnished with just the bare essentials – double bed, bathroom, closet, minibar, and chaise lounge. There was a ceiling fan as well though the room was air-conditioned. I’m not a very picky person when it comes to accommodations so the room suited me just fine. The daily complimentary coffee was also an added benefit as I can’t go out without my
caffeine fix.

It was early afternoon when we arrived in Matabungkay. The resort was half empty with only a few guests lazing around the open-air restaurant and kids splashing about the outdoor pool. We had a late lunch in the restaurant after check-in. The food at the restaurant was expensive, with mostly European cuisine and only a few Filipino dishes (no surprise there since the owners of the resort were foreigners). Since the resort was a beachfront property, we decided to check out the beach when we’re through. I was dismayed when I first saw the beach. Though it had white-yellowish sand and the water was fairly clear, the shore was teeming with rafts and boats for rent. There were just too many of them that it ruined the view of the shoreline. There was also a small community living on the shore which really looked unattractive, especially to tourists like us.

Matabungkay Beach

Matabungkay Beach

We spent the rest of the day swimming on the pool instead. The pool was rather small but it was all right. There’s an adjacent Jacuzzi that we liked to try out but there were kids playing there so we opted to try it the next day. The first night of our stay was spent quietly – lounging in our room and talking about stuff. I brought a Pablo Neruda book for the trip so I read poetry most of the night while Andy went to bed early.

The next day, we had the opportunity to explore the beach further. In broad daylight, the beach looked disappointing. It wasn’t summer season yet but there was already a crowd of people there. The locals went about their usual business of hawking their goods to visitors. But what I disliked the most was the trash that lay scattered on the beach. There were plastic bottles, junk food wrappers, cigarette butts, and dog feces along the shore. The beach was obviously not well-kept. I was suprised that there were swimmers who still liked to lie on the beach and have their bodies covered with the dirty sand. However, there were a few areas on the beach that were still clean and that’s where we frequented.

paddleboat in Matabungkay Beach

We rented a paddleboat after taking brunch and paddled through the waters. The view of the beach was better when you’re far off from the shore. The waters were cleaner and there were only a few boats and people swimming. We could see the distant horizon and there was a certain tranquility in the atmosphere. That afternoon, against our better judgment, we decided to go swimming on the beach. We picked a clean and isolated spot and tested the waters. We avoided the seaweeds on the shallow waters and swam for an hour or so. But our swimming was cut short because we started to feel itchy. We figured it was because of the dirt from the shore that must have gotten through the waters. So we left the beach and soaked ourselves in the Jacuzzi to get rid of the itch. Sure enough, the itch was gone after a while.

Andy and me at the beach

We had dinner at one of the food stalls along the beach because food was cheaper there. Then we headed back to our room and spent another quiet evening chatting by the side of the pool. There’s not much activity or facilities at the resort so I got a bit bored there. We checked-out from the resort the next morning after breakfast and dropped by at Tagaytay to see the sights.

Valentine Treat for Myself

February 3, 2009 at 5:46 PM | Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | Leave a comment
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Nine more days to go before I head out to Matabungkay Beach in Batangas for some R & R. I’m already excited with my trip! It’s perfect timing actually. I will be staying there for two nights on February 14 and 15 with my friend Andy. So in a way, this vacation will be a treat for myself come Valentine’s Day. I also see it as an early summer getaway. I know that come March, vacationers will start to trickle to the beaches and by then the place will be crowded. I prefer quiet beaches with little or no other people around. That way I can have the beach to myself and my friends. I just hope that there will be few people around when Andy and I get to the beach. If not, the resort that we will be staying at – the Coral Beach Club – has a swimming pool so we have an alternative. I’ve never been to Matabungkay Beach
so this will be a first time for me. I can’t wait!

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