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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Club Balai Isabel: Perfect for Family Getaways

9/03/2013 08:28:00 PM 2 Comments

We love this resort. We’d already been here twice because my parents loved it. I first brought them here two years ago for my Dad’s birthday. They liked it that we came back here the following year. Club Balai Isabel is not only known just as a resort. It is also famous as an event and a wedding destination because of its scenic location.

picturesque, isn't it?

The Location

First thing I liked about it is the location. You have to go all the way down to Talisay, Batangas to reach this resort. It’s no easy way. You have to take that long winding road down from Tagaytay. It is quite secluded and not easily accessible to the general public. I love the thought that it won’t be so crowded because of that.

the idyllic lake

The Unit

We always book one of their units along the Orchard Lane. Their units there are great for families. It is very spacious and it can easily accommodate up to 8 pax.

There are 2 sofa beds with pull-out in the living room. It also has a flat-screen TV and a small dining table.

The unit also has a fully-furnished kitchenette. It has always been our requirement when we travel as a family because we love to bring and cook our own food. It is complete with a gas range, an oven, electric kettle and cooking and dining utensils. There’s also a small fridge, bottles of drinking water and coffee for free.

The bedroom has 2 queen-sized beds and a big wardrobe for your clothes.

The toilet and bath is also big. The others can still use the toilet or the lavatory while someone’s in the shower. Set of basic toiletries are also provided.

All of these just for PHP 6,325. Super affordable, right?

The Infinity Pool

The club has several pools but the Terraza Pool (infinity pool) is what we liked the most. Not only because it is somewhat near the Orchard Lane, but because it is really the nicest and the largest among them.

This is where we spent most of our time. We loved swimming here night and day.

the other pool

The Lakeside

This is another awesome feature of the resort. It is set at the Taal Lake shore, so you can see the tiny volcano up close.

Hello, Taal!

Just walking at the shore and checking out the volcano from there is already a fun activity. Water sports facilities like kayak, jetski and banana boat are also available at additional cost.

because i always fail in jump shots

All I could do is just to take the photo than to put myself into shame haha. ;)

The Sports Facilities

Dad and Mom liked playing badminton in one of the courts near our unit. The club has basketball, volleyball and tennis courts available.

my sporty folks sans the sporty shoes

The Chapel

Like what I mentioned in the first paragraph, it is notable as a wedding destination. It has a chapel where couples belonging to strict Catholic families can exchange their vows.

 It is a small yet a beautiful chapel.

Easy Breezy

Booking reservations with them is easy and hassle-free too. We also did not encounter any problems on our stays here. The staff are always nice. We would not come back here if we didn't like it the first time anyway.

happy peeps

I understand why my parents loved it here. Aside from the fact that it is a lovely resort, it also has something for everyone. Whether you're a couple, a family, a barkada or a large group from a company, there's got to be an activity that will suit you. So if you're planning a quick escape from the Metro, this might be a good option for you. It's a nice place to unwind and commune with nature.

Resort Information:
Club Balai Isabel
Address: Barangay Banga, Talisay, Batangas, Philippines
Reservations Line: 897 0229; 895 7230
Room Rates vary. Please check the website for more info.

Resort Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Monday, September 2, 2013

Caleruega: Close to Nature, Closer to God

9/02/2013 10:10:00 PM 2 Comments

Every summer, our family always goes on a picnic out of town. We’ve done it a thousand times in Tagaytay, so this time we decided to look for another place. We still wanted it to be somewhere near. Batangas had always been our favorite escape. It’s just a short drive from Manila and it offers lush landscapes and nice beaches.

I’ve been hearing about Caleruega for quite some time. It is famous as a wedding location. Some celebrities and popular personalities got married there. But they also say that if you want some quiet time away from the city and a place where you can contemplate, this place is perfect. We decided to spend a day here, to bond and just to appreciate the wonders of life as a family.

We left Manila at around 9:00 AM and arrived there after a couple of hours. The road going there off the highway was rough and a little bumpy. I’m not even sure if you can reach it by commute. We wanted to drop by the church but there was an ongoing wedding. It is obviously really known for it hehe. So we just went ahead to the park.

The entrance fee is PHP 30.00 per person, parking is free inside. If you’re parking outside the church or the park, I think you have to give the local people some fee for looking after your car. As you walk along, you will notice how well kept the place is. It is very clean. Everywhere you look, there are trees, flowers, flowing water, just pure nature.

We headed to the picnic area right away so we can leave our stuff and wander around. They are renting out a big tent with tables and chairs. It is PHP 250 for half day and 500 for whole day. I also noticed that some people brought their own tent so they can take a nap there. There were just like 6-8 tents for rent, so it is not really made to accommodate a big crowd which is good.

The place where the tents are, is sheltered by tree canopy, the ground covered by grass and surrounded by trees. We actually had fun horsing around there. After having our lunch, we started exploring the park with our dog.

The flora, they all look amazing.

Walking through the wooden bridge, you will pass by a pond full of Koi fishes. So zen.

If you get tired of strolling, you can stop and rest at this little hut just before crossing the suspension bridge.

When you cross this bridge, you may take a short hike to the hill where there is a chapel.

Don’t worry the way going up is not steep.

It is an open chapel. It is just like a big tent with some brick columns.

 The view from up there is breathtaking. The verdant mountain and the trees are stunning.

The entire place is not really big. You can easily explore each corners of it in less than an hour. What you can basically do here is just relax, unwind, meditate and revel in God’s creations.

Our family had fun here in Caleruega. It’s not that easy to reach, but it’s definitely worth it. The atmosphere is very laid-back and it makes all your worries disappear. We left the place with our hearts filled with so much joy.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~E. E. Cummings