Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Anilao, Batangas: Of Stormy Shores and Digital Detoxing

And so the digital detox continues on its fourth week.  Still waiting for my phone replacement.  But.not.really.in.a.hurry. Not exactly out of touch as I still have a 9 year old Nokia with a prepaid SIM just for emergencies; to call but not be called. I'm not exactly missing a lot I guess as I don't live online. 

In some ways, it could be some cause for alarm finding yourself seaside during a storm (though typhoon Gorio didn't exactly pass through Batangas, skimming some distance away from the eastern seaboard) but traveling out of season, as I've written often, has its perks. It was tempting to just stay indoors most of the time and rest as I wasn't feeling well. But the sea view and the breezes can really do wonders to one's frail state of health.  Lots of quiet time and virtually zero online presence meant a bit more time for introspection -- there are certainly a lot of things on my mind. Perhaps much like the storm brewing elsewhere on the other side of the country's coast.  Perhaps like the waves making the Balayan Bay listless.  A good time as any to think about real life outside the virtual realm and the journey ahead.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Eagle Point Resort in Anilao, Batangas: Staying Put on A Stormy Seaside Staycation

Eagle Point Resort Pool and Eagle's Nest Restaurant in early evening
We came to Anilao, Batangas, on the cusp of a brewing tropical storm.  I wanted to stay home since I was feeling under the weather the past few days leading to the staycation but my friend told me the fresh air might be what the doctor ordered.  Commuting to Anilao was, thankfully, speedier than I remembered it as many buses, including JAM Transit near the LRT-Buendia station which is nearer where I live, ply the Manila - Batangas Grand Terminal route (around 2 1/2 - 3 hours).  From there, either you can ride the jeepney headed to the Bauan - Mabini intersection (it leaves when it's really packed full we call it alas puno; with space for only two more people, we felt compelled to pay the P35 x 2 pax fare so we can leave after waiting almost an hour) or hire a taxi (around P1,000 or so we're told by the cab office on the terminal premises).  From the intersection, it's one more tricycle ride away (P40/pax, around 15-20 minutes) to the highway entry road leading to Eagle Point Resort, passing through a circumferential coastal road that's hilly, causing the tricycle to grumble where the road rises a hundred or so feet in places.

My one and only memory of having been to Eagle Point Resort was ages ago, in the 1990s when I was a senior copywriter in a small, local ad agency, and our company had an overnight outing here.  My dim memory recalled bamboo cottages overlooking the sea.  Well, in place of cottages, there are now cabanas on the southern side, a restaurant on stilts overlooking the sea in the middle, and a multi-storey hotel to the north of the property.  Our staycation invite got us billeted to a terrace room on the first floor directly overlooking the resort's reef pool and dock for outrigger dive boats.  The sky was already overcast when we arrived, the forecast was for a low pressure area passing from the east through Guian, Eastern Samar moving upwards.  Still, the winds picked up speed and the waves roiled listlessly.  Makes me wonder what to do in a place where most guests go to for diving.  

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