Missing Warmer Waters
Even during its coolest months, the Philippines would stay ablaze with beaches that beckoned with warm waters. One of the easiest to get to from Manila was Batangas, a destination that called for just a three-hour drive. Despite being met with overcast skies, Carlo and I headed to La Luz Beach Resort, armed with no other agenda than to roll around by the shore for the day.
While the sand wasn’t as fine as the ones found in Cebu or Davao, the place offered little luxuries that would raise your overall experience there. Although they were fully booked, you still had a lot of lounging area choices, the staff would constantly check on you without being intrusive, and the steady flow of well prepared Filipino dishes and drinks would just keep on coming.
And the waters—even if the winds chilled me to the bone, jumping into the water would heat me right up.
This was one of the things that I missed about being home the most.
- Naic Road, San Juan, Philippines
Brave the waves,
BTW’s Summer Girl Series: Mac
If summer could be personified, Mac would be the perfect image of it. A timeless beauty with a smile that could light up your day, she stuns even the most jaded with her positivity, and calls to mind all the incredible memories that you have of your favorite season.
In this installment of BTW’s Summer Girl Series, Mac takes us on a digital island hop across the Philippines. She reveals that taking a trip somewhere isn’t just about where you’re going, but who you’re with as well. We also get to meet her gorgeous family here, and see why being a mother can elevate your travel experience, and deepen your connection with the sea.
1. What was the most memorable trip you’ve had? For that particular destination, what makes it unique from the other parts of the world?
Our recent beach trip to Camotes Island (Or simply “Kamote” according to my youngest. Haha!) as a family is one for the books. Travelling with kids is not a piece of cake but this trip was just hassle free and straight out of a dream.
Back in 2005, one of our real island getaway as a couple is in Camotes. I can vividly remember that it was just us, and this German journalist.
Life stood still for five days.
It wasn’t much of the destination but the people I am with. Camotes Island will always be dear to me.
Destination wise, it would be Siargao. We first went there November of 2010. My husband and I seriously considered moving there. Had I not been pregnant, we would have gone apartment hunting in a blink. We were just completely enamored by Siargao. And it is still in my bucket list to move there for a couple of months. I promised myself that one day we will.
This was my answer when I was asked this similar question a few months back.
“I’ve been ranking Philippine beaches I’ve been to and Siargao, in its entirety, is an unwavering favorite. It is just a whole gamut of wows. Lagoons, falls, lakes, uninhabited islands, pristine beaches, world-class surfing sites, coves, mangroves and a whole lot more to discover. When my husband and I first went there we promised we will move there for a month or so. Had I not been pregnant with our youngest that time we would have hunted for an apartment right then and there. Kalanggaman Island in Leyte is my second pick followed by White Island in Camiguin.”
2. What are your top 3 favorite spots in that place, and 3 things to do?
In Camotes, we spent hours in the shore, doing nothing, waiting for the sunset. And we finally had the chance to go back with our little pumkins. And it topped our first trip there!
It was as if we were just hanging out with friends, laughing at the silliest of things, paying no mind to sunburn (which we regretted later). The beach was empty too! We had the long stretch of white sand all to ourselves. If I could freeze time, I would have frozen it right then.
3. How do you usually prepare for the sunny season there? What top 3 tips can you give to people who’ll visit it for the first time?
The best thing about the Philippines is it is summer all year long!
For first time visitors, prepare to be floored! I know I am biased but once you get to know the Philippines by heart you may never want to leave.
One of the tips is get to know the people, the locals. One thing that makes the Philippines exquisite is the happiness our people exude and it makes the experience more remarkable. It can also be pretty contagious, I tell you. Another tip would be is to go beyond the surface.
Go to places that are not too crowded.
We have a handful of virgin beaches that look as if they are straight out of a painting or a postcard or a hand-painted postcard from heaven! I find the raw places in the Philippines more appealing. Last, is go during the dry season as there are some islands which are not accessible during the rainy season and you wouldn’t want to miss out on those. The harder to get to, the better!
4. What life changing memory can you share with us? Something that really struck you and changed the way you saw the world.
Oh, gosh. I have a handful. But probably the most powerful is that of motherhood and the adventure it entails.
It just gives you a whole new perspective on everything. It gives you strength and happiness that you cannot possibly equate to anything in this world. Also, when I started traveling with my little boys, every trip became life changing.
5. About traveling in general…Why should we travel while we’re still young?
I actually do not believe in traveling not just when we are young. I say, travel at any age! It is never too late for anybody. Adventure awaits, no matter how old or young you are.
Brave the waves,
"The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
-Jon Krakauer, “Into the Wild”
Brave the waves,