Monday, April 22, 2013

The Azure Waters of Laiya: A Quick Serenity Fix Just Outside the Metro

The images of grey, white and bright lights of the city can be a strain in the eyes. Well, what is worse sometimes is finding only a few work leaves left so that a relaxing, long out-of-town vacay is far, far on the horizon. But if all you need is a quick fix of blue-green waters for your weary eyes and salt spray beaches for your stressed-out spirit, then head out to Laiya, Batangas for that much-needed soul medicine without hurting your schedule.

The beaches of Laiya lie in the municipality of San Juan at the southernmost tip of Batangas. It is about 120 kilometers south of Metro Manila, just less than a two-hour ride if you take the STAR tollways route. Upon reaching San Juan, another 20 minutes and you will arrive at the fine beaches of Laiya. There are a number of resorts lying along this coast which caters to all types of weekenders – from the magnificently expensive to the reasonable and rustic accommodations.  Well, whichever suits your mood and your wallet meter, these resorts share the same azure coastline anyway, so check them all out. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

Laiya faced the Verde Island Passage in the south, a sea highway taken by vessels plying the Batangas-Marinduque route.  On early mornings, the majestic Mt. Halcon takes a peak to say hi from Mindoro. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

The enigmatic Mt.Banahaw stands imposing in the north because San Juan is bounded by the towns of Candelaria and Tiaong.  I'm not sure what the other mountain is to the left, Mt. Maculot? dunno, Mt. Makiling? maybe.  #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches
Laiya features shallow waters for a mile, where you can walk through thigh-high waters especially during low tides. Perfect for a dip. On a wonderful sunny day, the sea reflects wonderful hues ranging from minty green, deep blue, azure blue and aquamarine - the colors of serenity, exactly what my frazzled eyes need. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

The waters here are calm enough to swim. no big waves just soft, relaxing ripples. Laiya enjoys a portion of south Luzon where a semi-cove is carved out, thus, partially shielding it from the open sea. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

Early mornings reveal a different zen - a wonderful sunrise. The sun is not directly seen from here, but the skylights during sunrises offer a colorful sea-and-cloud play if you're lucky. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

There's mangroves and fish pens in the eastern side of the beach. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

Early morning toil. By the time I woke up, these fishermen were already on their way back. Met them on the beach for a chit chat on their early catch. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

Low tide and a mile....wading through shallow waters offers a different kind of zen. Or was it Neptune coming out of the sea? any way you describe it, the image evokes peace. Whoever he is, he looked at home with the waves. This shallow, who would'nt want to try? uhmmm...maybe just me.  #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

To the east is Tayabas Bay and beyond the hills in the west lies Lobo, another town where beach resorts also abound. #laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

Well, it's not white sand here like Boracay. It's the azure waters that are perfect. Boats can be rented throughout the beach for snorkelling and island hopping though a bit pricey. Other resorts offer jet skis, banana boats and other waterly fun.#laiya #bluewaters #philippinebeaches

A break from my sea reverie: we encountered peddlers on the beach who are selling these. Its sweetened coconut meat using brown sugar - Bukayo. Tastes good, but what tickled my fancy is the unique packaging. I forgot what it it dried banana stalks? formed like a square bottle, where stacks of little trays are lined inside filled with bukayo....hmm...ingenious! you can buy three packs for P100. #filipinofood #coconut

This is where we stayed, Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort. The rooms and pool are nice, and the buffet breakfast too! A night here would cost P6,800 for two. Check their sites for promos:  Try browsing also through the net for a resort that suits your needs...and taste. A lot of them offers different amenities and experience.
I borrowed this map from just to show you how to navigate your way to Laiya. For driving directions, check this link for instructions: Driving instructions to Laiya

Again, don't expect powdery white beaches here. It's still Boracay that suits that description to a tee...and Caramoan...and Siquijor....

But when all you need is to relax in the midst of the big blue, a sneak to the beach amidst work deadlines...then Laiya is for you. For just a day or two, you can have that coffee-by-the beach much needed break....enjoy! 

Check this link for more beach resorts: Map and Sites of Laiya Beach Resorts 
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