A Romantic Hideaway in Anilao

stay in anilao

Anilao is one of the best diving spots in the Philippines. It features a great diversity of awe-inspiring marine life and beautiful corals. Though it doesn’t have a fine sand beach, it is certainly a diver’s paradise! But where is the best place to stay in Anilao?

where to stay in anilao

WHERE TO STAY IN ANILAO

We know nothing about diving, but we found a place that made us really interested in Anilao. A bed and breakfast accommodation that offers a perfect view of the calm blue sea.

J1 resort is perhaps the most convenient place to stay in Anilao. It’s just 5 minutes away from the port and public market. You can also bring your own food and drinks without paying corkage fees. It’s certainly perfect for family gatherings, friends getting together, and couples who just want to chill and watch the sea through their glass windows.

WHERE IS ANILAO LOCATED?

Anilao Proper and Anilao East are two barangays in the municipality of Mabini, Batangas. Mabini is just 2-4 hours away from Metro, Manila. It’s mostly known for diving, but its port is also known as a jump-off point going to other Batangas municipalities and islands such as Tingloy, Batangas.

A romantic hideaway stay in Anilao

We stayed in a room of the house situated in the middle. They call it ‘A romantic hideaway’. At first, I thought it was just a catchy caption for the advertisement. But when we got there, we were asked what room did we booked. And I was like, we were not given a room number, so I don’t know. Then the caretaker told us that the caption of the ads is the room name itself.

stay in anilao

The accommodation

Our accommodation room has complete kitchen appliances so you can cook your own food at your own convenience. It has a 2-door refrigerator, a microwave, and complete kitchen utensils. Husbands, this will make your trip very economical! A relaxing romantic trip without breaking the bank. Not bad, right?

The bedroom is spacious and it offers a perfect view of the sea through its window glass. It has a queen-sized bed, a split-type aircon, and a television with local channels only. There is no WiFi connection, but there is a cellphone signal for Globe and Smart subscribers.

Its bathroom and comfort room are uniquely designed. The bathroom is on the left, while the comfort room is on the right, and there is a space in between for handwashing and perhaps for brushing teeth as well. Looks like we found a brilliant idea for our future house!

The beach

Anilao has a pebbly beach instead of fine white sand. But its water is clear compared to the beaches in Ternate, Cavite. If you are looking for a white-sand beach, Masasa beach is just a two-hour boat ride.

How to go to Mabini, Batangas?

Mabini, Batangas can be reached through SLEX, or through Tagaytay. It’s just two hours via SLEX, but four hours of fun joyride via Tagaytay is not a bad idea at all. In our case, we chose the Tagaytay route.

Via SLEX: Take SLEX and continue to Star Tollway – Balagtas/Batangas Exit. Drive to Diversion road going to Bauan. At Bauan proper, simply follow the road to Mabini through Bauan-Mabini Road. Once you reached Mabini Tourism Triangle, follow the road to the right and the J1 Resort is just a few minutes away.

Via Tagaytay: You can also drive to Mabini and make a side-trip to Tagaytay for a quick breakfast. Mabini is just less than two hours away from Tagaytay through Lemery, Batangas (Diokno Highway). From Lemery, drive to Bauan, and turn right to Bauan-Mabini Road, and follow the same instructions above.

PUBLIC Transpo: There are buses in Buendia Bus Terminal going to Batangas port. Tell the driver that you are going to Mabini, and they will drop you off near a Jeepney terminal going to Mabini Port. There are tricycles that can take you to the resort near the port. J1 resort is just 5 minutes away.

How to book your stay at J1 Resort in Anilao

We booked our stay using Airbnb. Our host was Rochelle. You can contact her at 0917-804-7774.

Links to previous blogs:

Las Cas Filipinas de Acuzar
Rizal Province
Cebu Travel Guide

Our Facebook page: Backpacking Stories Philippines

Work-from-the-beach at Birdland Beach Club

Some of us are already working from home when the pandemic started. This gives us the flexibility of taking our jobs anywhere where there is an internet connection. And that is how Birdland Beach Club came up with the idea of making their beautiful resort into a tech-resort to allow online workers to work from the beach!

ABOUT BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB

Birdland Beach Club is an eco-oriented resort in the heart of Bolinao, Pangasinan. This resort was built around existing corals and trees without destroying them. It’s a pet-friendly resort that also offers high-speed internet for working from home individuals who are in dire need of a trip to the beach.

The resort offers several accommodation options like modern-airconditioned cabanas, Ifugao-inspired wooden homes, and outdoor Kubo huts.

HOW TO GO TO BBC Bolinao?

Bolinao, Pangasinan is a 6-hour drive from Metro Manila. Here are a few tips on how to get to BBC Bolinao:

PRIVATE CAR: If you’re up for the challenge, you can drive north to Tarlac via NLEX. Bolinao is just a couple of hours away from Tarlac.

*You may also opt to rent a van for your family’s trip through Van Rental services. I highly recommend Taong Kalye Van Rental Services. Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/noahoberez

COMMUTE: Five Star bus offers a direct trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Bolinao. You may also take a bus to Tarlac, and then take a regular bus from Tarlac to Bolinao. From the bus station, you can ride a tricycle to the resort which is just 6 minutes away.

WHAT TO DO IN BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB?

Birdland Beach Club is a birds’ paradise. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of singing birds. It’s certainly one of the best ways to relax your soul. There are also several things to do here since Bolinao is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pangasinan. Here are things that you can do while in Bolinao:

  1. Take a dip at the resort’s swimming pools

Birdland Beach Club has two swimming pools that you can enjoy. Each pool has its own identity and both are artistically designed to match the resort’s rustic jazzy style.

2. Visit Patar Beach and Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Although Birdland Beach Club is right at the beachfront, you should not miss taking a side-trip to Patar. Patar Beach is a public beach area in Bolinao, but it’s the best beach in this municipality! The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is just a few minutes from Patar beach.

3. Waterfalls chasing in Samang Norte

Samang Norte boasts of three waterfalls in its barangay. The waterfalls are only 30 minutes away from the resort, and it’s certainly worth driving to.

4. Discover the underwater caves along Patar Road

There are three underwater caves along Patar Road. Each cave has a natural spring water pool inside. It’s a must-visit in Bolinao! These caves are just a few minutes away from the beach.

5. Work-from-the-beach!

I was so amazed that I was able to work and speak with my US-based clients on my mid-range laptop without any technical issues. There are three working stations in Birdland Beach Club with decent Wi-Fi connections sufficient for online tasks. I also tried using my cellphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and Smart Postpaid’s connection in Bolinao didn’t disappoint.

WHY VISIT BIRDLAND BEACH CLUB?

Birdland Beach Club is one of the few eco-tourism resorts in the country. They also support sustainable tourism by growing their own fruits and vegetables and serving them directly in the resort.

This rustic-style resort has been featured several times on TV. It was also nominated as the best resort in Pangasinan in 2017. We have been to Bolinao several times already, and I can say that this is indeed the best place to stay in the province of Pangasinan.

During this pandemic, tourism is one of the most affected industries globally. Though it is unsafe to go out on a leisure trip at this time, supporting resorts such as BBC Bolinao is one of many ways on how we can help in these trying times.

Please visit Birdland Beach Club soon and take your office works on the beach!

You can book your stay by contacting them using the following information:

Birland Beach Club, Bolinao
Website: https://www.birdlandbeachclub.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birdlandbeachclub 
Phone number: +63 977-807-4794

Links to previous blogs: Antipolo, Bolinao, Cebu.

Mount Purro Nature Reserve

Tourism allows us to witness the most breathtaking natural wonders in the country. It also has the power to significantly change a place and the local people’s lives positively or negatively. When there is a balance between earning a livelihood and protecting the environment, it’s called sustainable tourism. We have seen how a beautiful beach paradise can easily turn into a garbage and waste dump site when sustainable tourism is not practiced. Unfortunately, only a few organizations promote sustainable travel.

Recently, I learned about Mount Purro Nature Reserve (MPNR).

WHAT IS MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE

Mount Purro is a 36-hectare forest sanctuary sitting in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range. It is part of the Upper Marikina Watershed, a protected landscape area in the province of Rizal. It offers Filipino hut accommodations and camping options for its guests.

WHAT TO DO IN MOUNT PURRO

Mount Purro Nature Reserve’s tag line is #disconnecttoconnect. Visiting MPNR allows you to disconnect from your daily lifestyles and connect with mother nature. You can choose to do nothing all day long. The relaxation that nature brings is sufficient to make your stay so worth it.

Just in case you are easily bored, there are also several things you can do in MPNR. Here are some of the things worth doing while you’re there:

Forest Hike – A one-hour trek to Malvar’s peak is one good way to start your day in Mount Purro Nature Reserve. The trail is not that difficult. It even has some stairs on the descending part.

Swim – There is a swimming pool inside Mount Purro. Taking a dip in a pool surrounded by tall trees in a quiet sanctuary seems a perfect way to relax.

Game Room – You can play some game boards, table tennis, billiards, sungka, and foosball in the game room without an extra fee. Items can be borrowed at the Reception Area.

Kids Playground – There is a playground for kids where they can climb and play. There is a small obstacle course, swing, slides, a small hanging bridge, and toys that kids can play with.

River Trek – They say that flowing water can provide deep relaxation. A guided trek to the river is also one of the fun activities that should not be missed in MPNR.

Camp – There is a tent-pitching option for outdoor enthusiasts. The camping ground is safe and secure. It is just right beside the Pavillion which is a dorm-type accommodation.

HOW TO GO TO MOUNT PURRO

Mount Purro is located in Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City. It will take a 1-hour drive from the city proper to MPNR.

The most convenient way to MPNR is via Marcos Highway, passing Masinag and Cogeo, Antipolo through Marilaque Highway. You can easily navigate the place through Google Maps and WAZE. MPNR will also provide you with very detailed driving instructions.

You will reach this bridge after 20-30 minutes of driving from the highway. Mount Purro is just a few meters away. Drive straight ahead.

Alternatively, you may also take a jeepney from Cubao to Cogeo. And take another jeepney from Cogeo to Sampaloc Tanay or Paenaan. Advise the driver to drop you off in Brgy. Calawis or ‘kanto ng Veterans’. There is a tricycle terminal right across the market.

Your first landmark is Boso-boso Highlands, and then, this. A wet and dry market in Paenaan, or kanto ng Veterans village.

THINGS TO NOTE

Here are some things, you need to note before deciding to book your stay in Mount Purro Nature Reserve:

  • No walk-ins are allowed during the pandemic, prior reservation is required.
  • There are no ATM’s in the area, please bring cash with you.
  • MPNR is not like any resorts, you need to bring your own towels and toiletries.
  • Camping is allowed, but cooking is prohibited.
  • Outside food is allowed but can only be consumed at the Pavilion area which is right beside the camping area. There are tables and monobloc chairs available there.
  • Food is available in Loli’s kitchen but you need to order it in advance during the reservation for 300 pesos per meal. The serving per meal is plenty for people with a small appetite like myself.
  • There is a curfew policy which is 10 PM. Please show respect to the people around you by observing silence all the time, most especially after the curfew hours.

Possible side-trips near Mount Purro

  • Bunsuran Falls. Just 1.2 kilometers away, or a 5-minute drive.
  • Boso-boso Highlands Resort. 11.8 kilometers away.
  • Palo Alto Falls. 17.9 kilometers away.
  • Masungi Georeserve. 19.1 kilometers away

WHY VISIT MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE

Visiting Mount Purro has been an eye-opener for me about Sustainable Tourism. I admire the efforts of Mr. Toto Malvar in creating the forest sanctuary and educating people about the importance of a watershed like the Upper Marikina Watershed. Mount Purro Nature Reserve is the perfect place to visit if one wants to experience nature in a safe and secure environment.

Please follow Mount Purro on Facebook or contact them directly using the following information:

Mount Purro Nature Reserve
 www.mountpurronaturereserve.com
 Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City
 Phone: (+632) 8 542-3005
 Email: gnp@mountpurronaturereserve.com 

MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE GALLERY