In order to celebrate my sister in law’s birthday, we decided to have our first gig for the summer at a beach resort in Batangas. Because we had gone to a number of resorts in the area, we knew that the best resorts were located in San Juan. We had already tried several resorts there (e.g. La Luz, Laiya Coco Grove and Virgin Beach Resort) and we were game to try something new. Being very impromptu however, we didn’t plan on going somewhere expensive (like Acuatico).
That being the plan, we set out from BF Homes at around 530am and went on our way via SLEX. My brother learned of a new route which bypassed Lipa so we planned on trying it this time around. We got out at exit 50 towards the direction of Calamba. We then took a right unto the Star Tollway and exited at Ibaan. Here’s where the directions on the internet get a little sketchy. You go on your way towards Rosario and make a left when you see the Mercury Drugstore. Most instructions don’t mention that we need to pass by some part of Padre Garcia but that’s how it is. At some point you have to make a decision whether to go straight or turn left. Go straight, this takes you by Padre Garcia. When you reach the town proper, you make a right turn (follow the signs) which leads you into San Juan. As a checkpoint, you should be able to pass by the Batangas Racing Circuit on your right. Once you reach the town proper, make a right after you pass the Municipal Building. This road will take you straight into Laiya.
At around 8:00am, we were already in Laiya. We wanted to check out Sigayan Resort first because it was cheaper so we followed the signs until we got there. We didn’t like the fact that they their beach area was shared with other resorts and it seemed too crowded. So in the end, we ended up going to Virgin Beach Resort again which was located a little further along the main road. You will see a big sign where you have to make a left.
We brought cooked food with us (so that we didn’t have to pay any corkage for cooking) as opposed to availing of the Day Tour which is at PHP 850 per head. Our entrance was at PHP 250/pax and we paid an additional PHP 1,350 for the dining parasol.
Virgin Beach Resort has the biggest stretch of beach among all the resorts and it’s also quite exclusive and not too crowded. They have bed parasols for day tourists where you can opt to lie down. The dining parasols are not too close to each other and they also have grills for cooking. It costs PHP300/kilo for the corkage + the cooking fee that’s why we brought cooked food.
What’s great about Laiya Beach, is the clear water. The sand is not fine but it’s almost white or golden depending on the sunlight. The grounds are quite big and they also offer overnight cottages (air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned). The downside is that they require you to take all your meals with them (lunch, dinner and bfast) which is roughly around PHP 1,400 per head. Still, if you have the budget, this should be no issue. Their cottages are quite nice. You can even decide to sleep out in the bed parasols to be closer to the beach. 🙂 In the afternoons, the waves are a bit bigger but that’s what makes it fun. The cool water is a strong contrast to the hot air and sand.
If you arrive early, a day in Virgin Island is good enough. We left around 5PM and decided to go via Tagaytay instead of Calamba (because there’s usually heavy traffic there especially during weekends). This was a new route however and we didn’t count on the route being quite difficult. By difficult, I mean its quite hard to navigate zigzagging roads going up from Batangas to Tagaytay in the dark. Some of the curves could be compared to Kennon Road! Well depending on your preference, you can decide on which route to take. I think it did take us a shorter time to go home via that route with no traffic.
For its proximity to Manila, the beautiful beach and the reasonable rate for picnickers, we will give it a 4/5. We will definitely come back over and over again. This is our 4th visit and counting.. We definitely recommend this to those who want to enjoy the beach without riding on a plane. 🙂
To know more about Virgin Beach Resort, check out their website: http://www.virginbeachresort.com/home.htm