The weather was threatening to cry before the weekend we visited Playa La Caleta in Bataan. But we were glad that the weather cooperated with us. After embarking on a more than three hour bus ride from Manila, we were greeted by clear skies and the bouncy waves of the blue seas. As I looked into the vastness of the West Philippine Sea, I thought that it would be one great weekend.
As our boat approached the shores of Playa La Caleta Waterfront Estates, it suddenly occurred to me that it was my first beach vacation in a number of months. The sight of colorful flags waving at me from the shore excited me instantly. I was mentally planning what to do for the next three days. I was daring to be the first one to hop off the boat. And then I heard my friend Jherson exclaim that I was not really excited. Pun intended. 🙂
Last weekend was another bountiful chance to rejuvenate and destress. Truly, the beach is that one place that helps me to recollect amidst a sorrowful world. I thank God that the Philippines has lots of it! 😗 This was our view the past few days. Deep blue sea against clear skies. This secluded cove wasn’t too far from Manila. It surely can get better in time. How about you? What’s your favorite travel destination? Mountains? Rivers? Architectural Wonders? Or are you a beach babe just like me? @playalacaletabataan #playalacaleta #playalacaletabataan #bataan #beach #themermaidtravels
It was past noon time when we arrived at the resort. I noticed that the sand were a soft light gray but the lush greenery found at the far end gave life to an otherwise monotone shoreline. Campers were busily cooking their lunch at one side. I quietly scanned the whole stretch of the beach, taking note of the brightly colored tents, the strong clashing of waves and the angry sun. It was hot. But the cold drinks given to us by the resort staff helped us to cool down.
After meeting Playa La Caleta’s Manager, Sir Migz, we were directed into a small stream. We had our boodle fight lunch there underneath the canopies with our feet soaked in the cool waters. It was refreshing. It was also my first time to engage in such a mouth-watering activity.
Right after our filling lunch, we were ushered into our cottages located at the other side of the beach – much nearer to the boulders and hillside. As we walked along the shore, I took note of the outdoor showers and toilets, sinks and faucets, BBQ grilling area and the many hammocks hanging from the trees. I made a mental note to try sleeping in one if I had the opportunity.
First PLC Beach Clean-up
We rested for a while then just as I was thinking of what we can do in our first afternoon, we were informed that a beach clean-up were to happen at 3 PM. I really wanted to rest since we were up very early in the morning. But this activity was close to my heart as it concerns Mother Earth. We were provided a sack each. As I stared at it, I thought that it was too much since the beach appeared really clean. But as we began our hunt for garbage, I realized that we have been producing more than enough trash to outlive all of us. It was a sad thought. So even though it was searing hot, I did not mind at all. One piece of trash led me to another and in no time I was dragging my sack from its quite heavy weight. I was surprised at how much waste I had collected.
After documenting our efforts, in the hope that our activity would inspire others to follow our steps, we were given the afternoon off. We spent this time freshening up and going back to our cottage. Our cottage was big enough for four grown-ups. It was a nipa hut type of cabin with wide open windows made from native materials. Curtains and mosquito nets were put up as it can get pretty busy at night.
I was glad that the resort had a decent toilet and bath for male and female guests. They also built outdoor showers. I observed that these facilities were cleaned only once every morning. The toilets had running water, a bidet and tissue roll. However, there were times that water pressure was not strong enough and the tissue supply was not replenished. I also thought that there should be proper lighting in the cubicles as it could get hard to see at night. But I think the aim was to give ample lighting to promote energy conservation at the same time. After all, this resort promotes eco-tourism.
After a long day, me and my friends retreated back in one of our assigned cottages. We exchanged comical stories whilst waiting for our food. After dinner, we had a grand time as we sang without finishing one song from an hours-long impromptu karaoke session. Though as much as we would still want to stay late, our bodies needed sleep. Our cozy cottages were already calling our names.
The next day was slower than usual. I woke up to the sound of a rooster cackling and the heavy crashing of waves. I thought it rained overnight but my friend told me it didn’t. It was a good thing I was wearing pajamas since the temperature dropped when we were sleeping.
After our morning meal, the males in our group embarked on a short hike into the nearby trail. As my friend and I were feeling heavy, we just stayed in our cottage while waiting for them to come back. Some of them went home after another filling lunch.
After sending off our other friends, me, Mai and Jherson spent our last day swimming and talking to each other. We just enjoyed bonding whilst frolicking in the mad waters. We were supposed to trek to Isla Miguelito but the weather did not cooperate. Nevertheless, the end of our stay was peaceful as we expected it to be since most guests have already gone back to Manila. We were glad we stayed for another day.
How to Get Here
Take a bus from Cubao to Balanga, Bataan (Bataan Transit or Five Star, fare at Php 200, approximately 3 hours travel time). Alight at Balanga Public Terminal then take a jeep to Bagac Public Terminal (less than hour travel time, fare at Php 47). From Bagac terminal, hire a trike to take you to La Salle Beach Resort. Negotiate but the fare usually starts at Php 200. Take the 15 to 20 minute boat ride to Playa La Caleta Waterfront Estates (Php 1800 for 10 persons). You may contact the resort for boat reservation and inquiries at email@example.com.
Fees to Remember
200 – Bus fare from Cubao to Balanga
47 – Jeep to Bagac
200 – trike to La Salle Port (for three persons)
1800 – boat for 10 to PLC
2000 – Cottage good for 4-6 persons
Playa La Caleta Waterfront Estates