Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bataan is always considered by a lot of beach-loving tourists for quick getaways. Because it’s a peninsula, any traveler is bound to have access to a generous coastline. Some are fishing villages and bird sanctuaries, but there are definitely a lot of coves to choose from. Morong’s Playa La Caleta is one aptly named eco-tourism resort where a random escapade can become a memorable one regardless if you’re on a solo, romantic or group travel. Photographer Aubrey Gacer experienced such a vacation here one weekend and even enlisted for the Playa La Caleta Waterfront Estate’s first Beach Cleanup.

Forest Boodle Fight

Aubrey joined an adventurous group of travelers for this Playa La Caleta getaway which commenced with a back-to-nature meal at a part of the 100-hectare cove where a stream generously flows from the mountainside to the beach. Designed to capture the natural experience of dining in the forest -- water-soaked feet and all, the delicious lunch was a buffet-style boodle fight.

The meal location can’t be more perfect knowing that the whole resort gives the impression of being remote and secluded. And it somehow is both of those qualities because it’s not just a space of lush mountain forest that has access to three waterfalls, it’s also a kilometer stretch of beachfront, plus a one-hectare islet called Miguelito.

Beach Cleanup Effort

To ensure that the cove is rid of the industrial detritus that we know as garbage (with some coming from Vietnam that’s facing the West Philippine Sea), Playa La Caleta also invited Aubrey’s group to support the resort’s first beachfront cleanup effort. As with any environmental advocacy, the act of enjoying nature is always greatly enhanced with small acts of caring for it like picking up trash at the beach. The collective effort is always both humbling and inspiring.

Back To Nature

The worthwhile activity definitely rendered a unique relevance to Aubrey and his group’s getaway. As a result, the necessary relaxation that followed became more meaningful. They were able to appreciate more the way the whole resort was designed from the rustic materials used in the beachfront cottages that are equipped with a mattress, fan and mosquito net to the hammocks that dot the stretch of sand per cottage.

The presence of white curtains in the cottages serve as a wonderful addition to the simple accommodation which also gives guests access to a communal area where books and bamboo mats are available for making good use of their idle time at the resort. Guests with a lust for the intrepid can kayak, hike to the waterfalls for forty minutes or trek to the nearby Miguelito Islet to see its natural pool.

Guests with a lust for the intrepid can kayak, hike to the waterfalls for forty minutes or trek to the nearby Miguelito Islet to see its natural pool.

How To Get There

Bataan, in general, is always a favorite vacation spot for those in Central Luzon. For tourists coming from Metro Manila, it is also accessible especially since Morong is just a bus (Manila-Balanga), jeepney (Balanga-Bagac Public Market), and tricycle (Bagac Public Market-port of Fajardo’s Beach Resort) ride away. Guests of the resort will just have to contend with a 25 to 30-minute boat transfer (Php1,800 for 10 persons) from the port of Fajardo’s Beach Resort which is always necessary when traveling to a semi-remote and secluded destination where nature is still well-preserved.

Air conditioned accommodations, a bike trail for biking enthusiasts, and a more enhanced resort restaurant will soon be opened just in time for the rainy season and next year’s summer vacationers, so there’s a reason to revisit the resort on a good day for those who’ve experienced it before. If you haven’t visited this side of Bataan, then it’s time you plan that near-Metro Manila getaway soon.

Photography by Aubrey Gacer

Playa La Caleta

Official website of Playa La Caleta
Official Facebook fan page of Playa La Caleta

Address: Matikis, Morong, Bataan, Philippines
Phone: +632 637-9147 +632 637-9148
Mobile: +63908-888-7668 and +63916-766-0111
Email: playalacaletabataan@gmail.com

Want to know more about Bataan?
Check out the Turista Trails E-Zine issue about Bataan here.

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