Monday, April 14, 2014

That lovely beach paradise in Batangas City (The crystal clear waters of Kamantigue Beach Resort, part 2)

To paraphrase our friend who referred us to Kamantigue Beach Resort: if you think you know everything about Batangas City, think again. Because you probably haven't heard of its coral-infested beach yet!

Kamantigue Beach Resort in Barrio Pagquilatan, Batangas City.

True, because for most urban yuppies, Batangas City is a mere transient point which will take them to Puerto Galera. Aside from its port, Batangas City is also known as the province's capital as well as home to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, one of the largest oil refineries in the country (people on the way to Mindoro Island can see this refinery from the Verde Island Passage). And with several other industrial sites scattered all over the city, one would even wonder if beach resorts at par with other Batangueño beaches even thrive there.

That's why it came as a surprise when I saw photos of Kamantigue Beach Resort from my friend's Facebook album. And I was even more stunned to find out that it was located in Batangas City. But I shouldn't have been surprised in the first place; after all, Batangas City's total area is 282.96 km2, but the Batangas City that we knew was limited only to the población and the international port. In reality, we've never been to the outskirts of the city where the sceneries are, as we found out later on, more paradisiacal.

Kamantigue Beach Resort was named after the camantigue tree which was mentioned by traveler Juan Álvarez Guerra in his book Viajes por Filipinas: De Manila á Albay, De Manila á Marianas, De Manila á Tayabas (1871). In this book, Álvarez mentioned that cooking the leaves of the camantigue herb is good to wash the sore caused by gangrene. There are still a couple of camantigue trees by the rocky coves of the resort, one of which was said to be more than 300 years old!

We went to the resort on April 1 to celebrate Juanito's fifth birthday. We got there late in the afternoon because we still explored the city proper (more about it in a future blogpost). Since we arrived late, I allowed the kids to have their first night swimming at the resort's main cove (only Krystal didn't swim because the waters were too chilly for her). Although it was getting dark when we got to the place, we immediately noticed the stark clarity of the sea.

Below are some photos of our second day in Kamantigue Beach Resort.

We were out a few minutes before 6:00 AM.

The water here is so clear you wouldn't even notice it in pictures! I was in a knee-deep area when I took this photo.

At the southwestern end of the beach, a cross and an altar table was creatively built for Holy Mass, most probably for beach weddings.

We are amazed at the clarity of the waters here!

The early Batangueño catches the fish.

With the birthday boy. Notice the crystal-clear waters!

Sea snails on Krystal's palm.

Incredibly crystal clear waters!

A small passageway between huge rocks. When we went back here later in the morning, the tide had already risen (see 37th photo below).

We went bank to our room to prepare for a morning swim.

In one of the resort's rooms.

Isla Verde as seen from the resort's function hall. The island is still part of Batangas City.

Preparing our beach gear and toys.

It is advised that swimmers wear life vests all the time especially during high tide. Better be safe than sorry.

Krystal noticed that the "K" on the thermos has the exact design on the K logo on the TV program we were watching. So, the presidential sister has been here too? We forgot to ask David.

We were all in unison that the waters of Kamantigue Beach Resort were probably the clearest we've ever visited. I see two reasons for this extraordinary quality of the beach. First is because it is not a sandy beach. Sand causes the water to be murky at times. In Kamantigue Beach,  place of sand are coral rocks and pebbles of various shapes and sizes. Second reason is that the beach is part of the Verde Island Passage. For those who do not know yet, this area is said to be the "Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity", considered as the "blue water version of the Amazon River basin", hence an indication of a very healthy marine life. This unique biodiversity wouldn't be existing there if the waters were unclean, of course.

A few minutes after swimming, we're back at the cove. The tide has risen from the night before.
See Yeyette upstairs? She's waving with both hands!

There are a couple of jellyfishes in Kamantigue Beach Resort such as this one (see red arrow). But don't worry. They only itch a little. And they're not classy enough to bring down Dyesebel herself.

In the wake of the jellyfish scare because of what had happened to actress Anne Curtis-Smith a few weeks ago, Yeyette was wondering why Dyesebel's production team had to drive to as far as San Juan, Batangas or fly to Corón, Palauan when Kamantigue Beach Resort is itself a rocky cove paradise with the clearest of waters to boot. Its proximity to Metro Manila (roughly a two-hour drive) will certainly save them lots of moolah and precious time. Besides, there had been no reports here of deadly jellyfish attacks nor is this place crowded. That's why this place is the perfect setting for TV productions such as Dyesebel. We could even compare it to some pictures we've seen of Corón's coastlines or other similar places. Seriously.

Pregnant mermaid. =)

The beach is wonderfully littered with miniature coral rocks and pebbles of various shapes and sizes. So if you don't want the soles of your feet to be in a world of hurt, it is advised that you wear sandals or slippers. And please: even though they're plentiful, don't take them home.

Yeyette with third year mechanical engineering students from the Batangas State University.

Yeyette with Mabel of Kamantigue Beach Resort who graciously assisted us during our beach tour.

Padre e hija.

The tide has certainly risen. The small passageway is now filled up with water (see 10th photo above).

The Verde Island Passage may be a marine biodiversity haven but it is also one of the country's busiest sea lanes. Quite a contrast there.

With Tita Malou (Mabel's mom), the beach resort's caretaker (extreme left, bottom row) cooked for us a unique sinigáng na baboy.

The tide has risen so high at the resort's main cove, one could even dive into the sea!

No, she did not dive, hehe!

Behind Juanito and Yeyette is a 300-year-old camantigue tree. Many of these trees grow on rocky coves by the shore. Kamantigue Beach Resort was named after this tree (the only thing is that they changed the "C" to a "K").

♥ ♥ 

Jefe, Juanito, and Yeyette with David Bagón, the son of the owner of this beach resort.

Going home.

So what are you waiting for? Come visit this place while the summer sun's still scorching hot. Click here for the complete photo album of our two-day visit to Batangas City, particularly Kamantigue Beach Resort. For inquiries, please contact the following cellphone numbers and look for either Daniel or David Bagón:



Or visit their official Facebook page by clicking hereAnd special thanks to our friend Ate Cheryl Dones (of Candelaria, Tayabas Province) for referring us to this enchanting beach!


In memory of Ate Minnie Bernardo (1975-2014) who, as a single parent, has shown her selfless love for her four children. And thank you so much for that gift you gave us last Christmas. We always bring it with us to scribble down travel notes. Requiescat in pace...

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