Monday, April 9, 2012

It's more hot in the Philippines! (Beach Edition)

It's hot and you're melting. You sweat even if you only move an inch. It feels like you want to take a bath every hour, or much as well stay in the shower/tub for the rest of the day. It just only means two things, you're in the Philippines and it's summertime!!! *phew* (just typing that made me sweat a buckets now... kidding! ^^,)

I'm not a fan of going to the beach especially during summer. I really find it boring, idk, but maybe the idea of making sandcastles and eating all the baon could make me go. hehe. So last weekend, my family went to Laiya to "beach hop" (is there such thing?). Papa always wanted to check out Laiya because his co-workers highly recommend it. I already told them that I don't have any plans on swimming that day so I just went with them for a 2-3hour long drive going there. Just because roadtrip sounds fun. =]

Good thing I brought our camera so I did took pictures of the resorts we went too. Something I could blog about, finally. So if there is someone in the web who would google about resorts in Laiya, Batangas , hope this post would give them a heads up. (Serbisyo publiko! haha!)

1st stop: Kabayan

I wasn't able to take pictures that time so the next 6 pictures were grabbed from their website. Credits to Kabayan Resort.

What's nice in here is that there rooms are fully equipped with your necessities. There's a fridge you can use and a stove if you want to cook your own dinner. They are also equipped with utensils you need and one 5-gallon water is also given for free on your stay so you don't need to buy water.

They also have large Nipa huts in the beach front you could rent. It's quite spacious that it's perfect for family outings with all the relatives tagging in.

According to them, the rooms are already fully booked from April to 2nd week of May most especially on weekends, but you could still call them to check. There were a lot of people there when we checked it out, so I guess they have something good that attracts a lot of customers. Rates are 140php for adults and 100php for kids. Honestly, they're not my 1st choice among the beaches we went to that day. It looks a bit crowded in the beach area and I don't like crowded places. But of course that's inevitable during peak season. But the place was nice, there's a lot of trees in the area so it helps to cool down the place from the heat of the sun.  Check their website for more info. And one more thing, their staffs were very nice. One of them accompanied us while going around so there's someone to answer our questions. To which none of the other beach resorts we went to did. Thumbs up for Kabayan! =]

Next: White Cove Beach Resort

 Aah. i love the feel of this place. =] There's just a fair amount of people that day. The beachfront was very nice. I also love the wooden seats near the beach. I can just imagine myself lounging there, sipping on a fresh cool shake and reading a book. Ahh. Life. chos! haha!
The wooden chairs.

The place was nice. They even have a small chapel there where you can hear mass if you went on a Sunday. Parking was spacious. Though there's not enough shady trees near the beach compared to Kabayan, that makes the place a bit more hot.  I don't even know if anyone can even sit on some of those chairs laid in the heat of the sun. But anyway, they have large beach umbrellas so in a way it helps to shade you from the sun. They also have a pool if you don't want to soak on salt-water.For bookings, you can call on their Manila office, just check their website here - 

Next: Virgin Beach Resort

Beautiful, clean, peaceful, quiet. Perfect words to describe this place. I love the relaxing ambience of this resort. I can simply count on one hand the people I saw soaking in the sun when we went there.

The Parasols by the beach front.
I love this photo! Postcard-worthy? hehe. pagbigyan na. =]

One annoying thing. No one assisted or even cared to welcome us to check out the place. Sorry na, demanding ako. Anyway, moving on, the resort area was large and spacious. Very serene, calm and peaceful. A place that perfectly matches the needs of those looking for a peaceful and quiet getaway beach destination far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We just basically checked out the beach but looking at their website they have this open-air cabanas for those who want to feel the fresh breeze of the air and Casitas if you want an air-conditioned room. And I guess this is the resort where the movie "Here Comes The Bride" was shot. Very nice place. (I just don't know with the staff. wala yatang pakialamanan dun. ha-ha. but seriously.)

 Next: Blue Coral Beach Resort

Very commercialized resort. Tall buildings surrounding the resort. So surely they got a lot of rooms to accommodate everyone. Parking area was bad, prepare to get back in your car fresh from the sauna in the heat of the sun. 

This is the personal choice of Mama if we ever go back to Laiya. They have accessible showers outside, near the pool which I didn't notice from the other resorts. Meal packages are mandatory when you plan to stay overnight. 

 Excuse the over-exposed photos of the rooms. I was walking while I took these photos and ignored the settings.
 Cottages in front of the beach
Looking up, I gotta love their ceiling in the lobby and the bamboo wall mirror.

 I would also love to try out this resort if we go back. It seems like they got everything you needed. A number of reclining chairs everywhere. Nice interiors. Dining hall have couches and have enough space to accommodate everyone come the buffet time. There's a touch of bamboo everywhere. =]
Check the gallery in their website. I think you'll love it. =]

Last but not the least: Taramindu Beach Garden Inn

It's a small beach spot farther down Laiya. Rows of similar resorts/inn can also be found beside Taramindu.

 Small space so there's no chance to have a pool. But kids could maybe get used to this.

I seriously wonder if anyone would even seat on those chairs. Those must be blazing hot that moment.

Laiya is promising. Hope to get back this year to try out one of those resorts.

So what's your pick?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dinner at Dampa

I bet that only a few knows that the first and original Dampa is located at Paranaque and not the ones in Seaside Macapagal. My father also said that there's also one in Baclaran which has been established long before. Basically, "dampa" is a filipino term for "bahay kubo/ nipa huts". I don't know where I get the idea, but I always thought that dampa is like a term for swamp or any body of water. Ahh. Maybe the reason is because   Dampa's are known for seafoods. hehe. Also, the restaurants in Dampa back then is still not air-conditioned unlike now so you get to smell the freshness of the wet market in the area. =] Anyway, the main concept here is you buy your own seafoods/meat fresh from the market and bring it to the restaurant of your choice to get it cooked the way you want it.

Last Thursday night, we had dinner at Dampa in Paranaque to celebrate Papa's birthday. We just went to the nearest one from where we parked while Papa went to the wet market. He already bought a few from the wet market near us before we went there. Prices of seafood here are higher as expected so it would be better if you get to buy beforehand. 

Not much to expect. Shylin II got two fully air-conditioned floors. They got TV and of course a for-rent videoke machine that can never be absent in places like these. hehe. And they also got restrooms in both floors so it won't be a hassle to go down if you're in the second floor. We had ordered 5 dishes and waited for 10- 15 mins. As the food was brought up one by one, we noticed that one of the dishes (Inihaw na Liempo) was not hot. I don't know to them, but it seems like it was cooked earlier. So we just made them re-heat it. But as most says, don't complain much on those serving your food kasi baka kung ano gawin nila sa pagkain niyo pagnainis sila. hehe. But everything went well after that. We were 9 in all, and ordered 3 plates of rice and two 1.5L of softdrinks.

Shrimp Tempura


Inihaw na Liempo

Buttered Prawns

Miso soup with fish.

We got 2 servings of each (except the Nilagang "something) and got to take home some after eating. They will wrap it in front of you so you would  be assured on what they're packing in.

It was just okay. Nothing special that made in to my favorite list. Everything tasted how it should be. I googled Shylin and found out that they also have a branch at Macapagal. 1 bowl of rice costs P100 same with a 1.5L of softdrinks. I don't know the exact breakdown of our bill, so I'll just summarize it to give an idea to those interested to dine in there. *after googling again* Sorry, I'm lazy so might as well check this menu I saw in the net. hehe. 2010 pa ang last update but keri na yan. =]