Itching to go to the beach but don’t have time to plan your getaway? We present complete itineraries and estimated expenses to different and unique beach destinations in the country
Written by Patricia Mae Tan
Photograph by Patricia Mae Tan, Ron Mendoza and Cintai Corito’s Garden
1. Escape to Cintai
A visit to Batangas almost always means a quick getaway to the beach. But for those looking for a place to relax, unwind and meditate, Cintai Corito’s Garden is a beautiful sanctuary anyone would definitely fall in love with. Nestled in the small town of Balete, Cintai Corito’s Garden was born out of a family’s unconditional love for their mother Corito. Originally the family’s private rest house and weekend getaway, this was where Corito would recuperate when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease. When she finally succumbed to her illness, the family transformed the place to a garden paradise in her memory, one where new memories can be made by other people.
The garden is reminiscent of the breathtaking tropical island of Bali. A huge traditional Javanese-carved teak wood door greets you upon entering the sanctuary. Several Balinese stone carvings and architectural details are strategically located in various areas of the sanctuary. Facilities include two pavilions, a gazebo, a garden, four swimming pools, cabanas and trellises as well as a kid’s playground and an abundance of free roaming animals such as alpacas, spotted deer and ponies. There are 18 uniquely designed villas to choose from, each boasting of exquisite Filipino and Balinese-inspired details.
Whether you are in need of R&R or simply want to escape the city, there’s definitely a place for you in Cintai.
What to do in Batangas?
Attend a festival. Batangas is famous for its celebrated festivals including Parada ng Lechon in Balayan and the Sinukmani Festival in Rosario.
Shop. Each town in Batangas highlights one product that visitors can bring home as pasalubong. Balayan is famous for bagoong, Taal for tapa and longganisa, Lipa for coffee and Mabini for tablea, to name a few.
Engage in adventure sports. Popular for swimming and diving, Batangas is now home to other exciting adventures such as golf, skimboarding, wakeboarding, car racing and zip lining.
Estimated Expenses for a Day Trip
Gas and toll P375 (P1500, split between four people)
Day Tour P1650 (Day tour includes Filipino/Asian lunch and afternoon snacks as well as access to all open pictorial sites, swimming pools, playground and shower rooms)
2. Luxury in Laiya
Roughly about a three-hour drive from Manila, Acuatico Beach Resort is the only exclusive luxury resort in Laiya with fully furnished Balinese-inspired villas and rooms. The main highlight of the resort is the infinity-edge pool, also another first of its kind in Laiya. People looking for a quick getaway can enjoy taking a dip in the infinity pool or explore the beach located a few steps away. Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy the resort’s amenities which include a basketball court, game room and volleyball court as well as water sports equipment like kayaks and pedal boats. Guests can also enjoy sumptuous dishes against the magnificent view of the sea at Oceano Restaurant or the Acua Floating Bar.
With a place not far away from the bustling city of Manila which offers all you need for ultimate rest and relaxation, it is no wonder that more and more people flock to this exclusive resort. In Aquatico Beach Resort, life’s simple pleasures are given a whole new meaning.
What to do in Laiya?
Enjoy the water. Laiya is famous for its crystal blue waters, and you can rent a boat and explore marine sanctuaries and neighboring islands for P1200 per hour for a maximum of 10 persons. If you’re lucky, you can spot pawikans, resident dolphins and even whale sharks. You can also try kayaking, SCUBA diving and snorkeling.
Trek to Mount Daguldol. The hike begins on a beach trail and then moves on to the main trail, passing by several woodlands and light forests. There are also excellent side trips such as the Naambon Falls as well as a trip to the famous Laiya beach, and you can even stay overnight. Giant fruit bats can also be seen in the trees at Parang Sili Dao, about four kilometers away.
Estimated Expenses for an Overnight Stay
Gas and toll P350 (P1400, split between four people)
Overnight accommodation at Acuatico Beach Resort (split between four people) P13,200
Registration Climbing Fee P35
Overnight Hike to Mount Daguldol (P700, split between four people) P175
3. Bantaya Island, Cebu
Located just west off the northern tip of Cebu, Bantayan Island offers sun worshippers a more serene and tranquil beach experience than the more popular, party-ridden shores of Boracay. It’s known for its white sand, crystal clear waters and delicious seafood. Going to Bantayan, however, is not an easy feat. It takes about three to four hours on a bus to get to Hagnaya Port from Cebu and another hour to reach Santa Fe Wharf via a roro. But the long travel is worth it as soon as you see the magnificent island of Bantayan, with its amazing seashore already greeting you from afar.
It is not difficult to see why most foreign and local tourists fall in love with this island. The island is peaceful, and you can spend the whole day taking a stroll on the beach, sunbathing while reading your favorite book, and basically just watching time pass by with only the sound of the waves as your music. Bantayan is definitely a beach lover’s secret paradise.
What to do in Cebu
Go beach hopping. Whether you are looking for an ultimate beach or the next amazing diving destination, Cebu is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Take your pick from the exquisite underwater marine life of Malapascua and Moalboal, the shimmering waters of Camotes, or the whale sharks in Oslob!
Go on a food trip. Your trip to Cebu will not be complete without tasting all the best dishes this city has to offer. From Zubuchon’s famous lechon and La Marea’s delectable desserts, to Moon Cafe’s Mexican delights and Larsian’s barbeque, there’s always something for you to eat in Cebu.
Estimated Expenses for a 3-day, 2-night stay
Roundtrip airfare to Cebu P5000
Taxi from airport to North Terminal P200
Bus from North Terminal to Hagnaya Terminal P300
Tricycle from Hagnaya Terminal to Port P70
Terminal Fee P20
Ferry from Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Wharf P320
Accommodations at Anika Island Resort P2000 (P1500 per night, split between two people)
Taxi from North Terminal to airport P200