We spent our Lenten Holiday at the Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort. It is a 2 to 3 hour drive from Manila , at the very edge of the Calatagan peninsula.
We arrived there at about 3pm and were greeted by the friendly staff. The resort has an entrance walkway surrounded by lush greeneries and a landscaped garden. You'll see planks of wood with quotes and sayings written on it hanging all over the resort.
The resort is known for its stilt cottages (thus the name) in the middle of the sea standing on concrete stilts. A bridge connects the stilt cottages to the resorts lobby.
On arriving at our stilt cottage, a round of fruit juices awaited us. The cottage had a large master's bedroom, another air conditioned bedroom and a loft bedroom. The whole cottage would fit more than 10 people. It also has a living room, a dining area and a very spacious porch.
On the porch, there is a very relaxing hammock and a staircase going down to the sea below. The porch is spacious enough to fit a dining table, so you can eat your meals outdoors with the sea breeze constantly blowing at your face. The sea underneath is visible through the slits on the floor, so make sure you grip your tablets and mobile phones firmly.
The sea on these parts is very clean and very clear. It is teeming with fishes, crustaceans and other invertebrates.
The sea is shallow enough to walk from the cottage to the shore. Just make sure to avoid the multitudes of sea urchins. On high tide, the sea below the cottage is about 5 feet high, and on low tide, its only about a foot high.
There are a number of activities to be done on the resort. We rented a boat that toured us around the peninsula, and took us to a snorkelling spot in the middle of the sea.
There is also kayak, and pedal boat, which you can request to fetch you from your cottage.
Or you can travel to the nearby Cape Santiago Lighthouse, which was built in 1890, for a little piece of history.
The resort also has a pool, for some freshwater fun. No, we didn't use the pool, so no pictures.
All in all, our experience in Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort is very gratifying. I would say this is one of the best resorts we've been to that is a drive away from Manila.
Now, more about our Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, in pictures:
This is a school of Striped Eel Catfish (Plotosus lineatus). We found this just under our cottage on our first day there. It has a spine in its dorsal fin and pectoral fins, of which when stung, may cause fever, nausea and sometimes death. But a fisherman told me that a juvenile this size, doesn't have venom, I'm not sure though how true that is. I wouldn't want to tempt fate.
Feeding the fishes
My daughter dropped dolly into the sea
And the saved by this brave brave man
The mutant Star Fish, aka, X-Fish
The boat ride
A fossilized coral
There's a staircase in the cottage that leads down to the sea. You can swim here, even in the afternoon, there is a shade, so you don't get sun burned.
Cape Santiago Lighthouse, built in 1890
The pedal boat
More pictures before we head back to Manila