CALATAGAN, Batangas — No huts. No rooms. Just the outdoor sprawling itself on the sand and the sea.
This is the setting of Manuel Uy Beach Resort here, our host for our 2-day road trip — a perfect getaway destination for every traveler who seeks nothing but the treasure of nature.
We hit off Metro Manila road past 7pm not knowing where to go yet. The idea of visiting here pop-up in our minds while we were traversing South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
I and my travel companion Renren arrived here just before midnight. We still do not see the landscape that surrounded us. We fixed our tent, parked our car beside it, and finished our beers while the music in the background was calling for a good night sleep.
We laughed off on how far our curious feet have brought us. We talked about what landscape awaits us in the morning. A few hours later, we found ourselves falling into the lullabies of the ocean waves.
The light of the sunrise awakes us in the morning.
I sneaked into the outside world. As soon as I got the view, I was stunned and whispered, “Wowwwww!”
This is just the perfect place that I long wanted in my lifetime — camping by the seaside of white sandy beaches, listening to the endless cycles of the waves on the shores, and the colours of the blue skies reflected on the seafloor.
I realize that there were hundreds and hundreds of other campers that were with us. Except for those going on beach strolling in the middle of the night, we heard no noise that broke the silence of the night.
We slept drunk and wake up hungry, so we look around where we can buy food. But there was no store nearby. We drove to the town’s market and was greeted with an ample array of choices of seafood and freshly harvested vegetables.
Our choice menu for the day — grilled Bluefin tuna and sugpo. Ren stuffed the tuna with onions and tomatoes and arrange the marinated sugpo in a barbecue sticks. It was the best meal I ever have in months. It was so delicious that I asked Ren to buy more sugpo later.
I took time to walk around and take some landscape photos. It seems that I couldn’t get enough of the stunning views wherever I go and click. I am emotionally drooling on the sceneries around.
It dawned on me that we can really promote tourism without destroying the environment. In Manuel Uy Resort, all you have are the sand and the sea. You have to fix your own tent and cook your own food. This is a perfect haven for a do-it-yourself (DYI) traveler.
The budget? For those who travel with cars, just a minimal of P300 for an overnight stay and environmental fees collected by the host barangay. You are on your own on everything else.
We spent hours and hours in the pristine blue waters. We enjoy the sand, the sandbars, and the sea. We missed the island hopping and snorkeling — among the many reasons why we should be back here. We earlier decided to drive back to Manila early in the morning. We ended up waiting for nightfall. We just couldn’t get enough of nature and its majestical beauty.
I never met so friendly and welcoming as the people in Calatagan town. From the first hour to the last minute of our stay, the barangay tanods were helping us during our stay. I feel so secured and safe.
“Wala pa pong history dito na may nawalan ng gamit, Sir,” said one of the tanods.
The toilets are quite a distance from the beach but the tanods walked us there even in the middle of the night. They tell us where to buy foods, and which house nearby to go if we need help for cooking.
It’s people. This is it that makes Manuel Uy Beach a 5-Star resort sans the huts and the expensive structures. Kind, courteous, and helpful people.
In this trip, we stumbled on one of nature’s most peculiar treasure — nestled and hidden in the far-flung corner of Batangas province — the beaches in Calatagan town.