Calatagan 2.0 – Batangas Tent City Rising

 

It was my second time to visit Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan town in less than a year. It has become my favorite destination in Batangas province. It is the first place that comes to mind when my system beacons to rest. It has a magnet on its own that draw myself into it.

I love its simplicity. I love setting up my tent on a beach under sprawling mangroves or coconuts trees. I love to sit beside my SUV while listening to the rushing winds. I love to breath the breeze steaming from the deep blue sea. I love to play on its cream-colored fine sand. It brings so many memories of being a child.

Manuel Uy Beach Resort has no manicured landscape. It has no state-of-the-art facilities. It is pure outdoor. Its beauty is carved by nature itself. Camping is the name of the game here. If you expect a room to rent or a privately non-shared comfort room, it is not a place for you.

But who can resist lying on the beach while stargazing the sparkling stars at night? Who can withstand the calmly calling of crystal clear waters? Who can refuse camping by the seaside while listening to the endless roaring of the waves of the sea?

Its shallow aquamarine waters offer safety to the entire family. The dotting boats on the shoreline can take any visitor who would want island-hoping or snorkeling adventures. At low tide, beach goers troop to the picturesque sandbars to take a snap on the majestic landscape. It offers a perfect setting for sunset viewing.

Visiting there during weekends, one could not miss the hundreds of tents sprawling along beach lines. From a laid-back place during weekdays, it transforms itself into a tent city during weekends and holidays. There are tents everywhere – by the beachlines, under the trees, by the side of the creek, by the cliff, from end-to-end of its entire coastlines.

There’s quite an improvement to the facilities in the area as compared to my last visit in November 2017. There are more toilets and shower rooms. They built grilling areas to prevent beach goers from making fire on the sands. There are charging stations as well.

It is noteworthy that the people in the area maintained the pristine beachlines. Trash-pickers, mostly locals, crisscross the shorelines to collect garbage. The barangay tanods and lifeguards are there 24/7 – very respectful, approachable, and always ready to help.

It irate me though that many visitors loss the grasp of being responsible in taking care of the environment.

“Hindi talaga nauubos ang basura?” I opened a conversation to one of the caretakers.

“Oo nga po, Sir,” he said while pointing out that he has get used of the job especially during weekends. He has been picking trashes from morning till late in the afternoon.

It is just wrong. People who claim as “lovers of nature” must exert efforts to preserve it. The minimal fee that it collects does not free us from obligations and responsibilities to clean nature.

Manuel Uy Beach Resort is among the last remaining bastions of public resorts in Batangas. It is a haven for every budget traveler. It has become a favorite destination of people from metropolis. It is haven to those that seek breathers from the daily grind of office work. Unless we learn to take good care, it can suffer the same fate as Boracay.

I commend the property owners of Manuel Uy Beach Resort for resisting the temptation of developing it into a privately-own tourist facility. Some of its nearby resorts are beyond the affordability for middle class visitors.

It’s not super stunning. Its sand is not as white as other premier destinations. But there is something that draws me to itself – the outdoor is the life we live here

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