BATANGAS: Day Trip at Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort (September 2016)
I wanted to visit Aiyanar since the summer but could not find the time. Coincidentally, my sister was craving the beach and I told my mom that we should celebrate her birthday there.
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Tita Ara and Tito Marco for the opportunity to experience Aiyanar. We are very grateful for the chance to experience such a beautiful place. We are also very grateful to Tito Boyet for accommodating us during our day trip. Thank you for the blessings, laughs, stories, & experiences. We definitely had fun and learned a lot!
As a travel writer/blogger/planner/organizer/enthusiast, I have always ALWAYS researched my destinations beforehand. I would always read information on the internet, skim through reviews, view photos, & browse different travel blogs. After that, I would open my go-to-travel template and start creating our itinerary.
This time, I took a break. I decided that I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to have a fresh take with this travel experience. I did not want to know what the resort looked like. I did not know what to expect with the ocean view or how good the food was. I wanted to feel what my family or friends felt when I organized a trip for them. I wanted to experience everything for the first time. So, I walked in blind.
It took us around 3 hours to get from Manila to Aiyanar. It was 1.5 hours from Manila to Batangas City Exit and from there, another 1.5 hours to get to the resort. We did have a 15 minute stop over at an SLEX gas station. You will pay at 3 toll gates: P260+ (SLEX), P25 (Toll Gate), and P67 (Star Tollway).
I am really glad that I did not do travel research before I went to this place. I have been to a lot of beach resorts before and I can say that Aiyanar is included in the beautiful resorts column.
I really loved the design of the pool and its position overlooking the vast ocean. The view was really breathtaking. Not all resorts can pull off a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean, Aiyanar did. This allowed me to capture really pretty photos of my mom and sister.
The resort had 2 types of cabanas. The first one was covered-couch-like cabanas near the pool. The other one was elevated concrete cabanas – the common ones that you usually see at beach resorts.
The elevated cabanas are good for using in the mornings when the sun is too hot. It is also refreshing to stay there because of the clean air. The couch cabanas are great to stay at in the afternoon when you want to watch the sunset. It’s very cooling and comfortable.
Two main structures you will see are the clubhouse and resort rooms. I called the resort rooms “Mini Camp John Hay Hotel” because of the resemblance to the one in Baguio. Food is served at the clubhouse where you will also find a bar overlooking the ocean.
Under the clubhouse, you will find the diving office where you will see all the packages, equipment, etc. Across the clubhouse, you’ll find a volleyball court and a field of green where you can play.
There’s also a rocky artificial beach. You can swim in the ocean and jump from the floating plastic dock/platform. If you want to sunbathe and feel like you are at the beach, just lay your towel at the edge of the plastic dock.
I’ve been to 3 resorts in Anilao – Pawikan Private Beach House, BagaLangit Hideaway Resort, and Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort. I would have to say that Aiyanar hits the top 1 with Pawikan.
The food had hits and misses. It was a buffet style set up so you just fall in line and get the food that you want.
Here’s the menu served during our day trip:
✓ Crab and Corn Soup – The soup was really good and tasty.
✓ Cream Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes – This was the best hit for me.
✘ Cabbage with Bacon – This did not taste good. I felt like the cabbage was spoiled.
✓✘ Tuna – This was both a hit and a miss for us. My sister and her friend loved this. But for me, the tuna was a bit hard and unappetizing.
✓ Beef Caldereta – This was my sister’s favorite. She even got seconds. The beef was really soft and the sauce was delicious.
✓ Asian Salad – My mom tried this and she said it was just okay.
If you want other food or drinks, you may order from the staff. I noticed that when I asked for a drink, they did not provide any menu cards. They just enumerated what drinks they had.
My mom’s friend ordered these for us:
✓Steak – This was really yummy. It was cooked medium rare and for me, went very well with the pasta. My mom and sister loved this too.
✓Turon with Butter and Condensed Milk – A new take on a famous Filipino dessert, I thought that adding butter and condensed milk to an already oily sweet banana dessert would be too much but surprisingly, it was really delightful. My sister loved it more with just butter on it.
Since this resort is in Anilao, expect that the main activity to do is diving. We did not get to try this but will make sure to go back one day and cross this bucket list worthy experience once and for all. Mom’s friend shared with us some of his diving stories and experiences which really piqued our interest. You can find all the diving information you need on the resort’s website.
Pain & Pleasure
Just like my trip to Taiwan, I was injured during this travel experience. 3 days before our day trip to Aiyanar, I was dealt with really bad pain on my lower back. My mom wanted to cancel and just let me rest but I wanted to go.
Through the pain, I still enjoyed the resort. Just being there watching the view and seeing my family have fun eased the pain I was feeling. I got to capture great photos as well despite the challenge of standing up, sitting down, kneeling, or bending. The pleasure of experiencing the view and being with my family were worth the pain.
In instances of struggle, we should always maximize our experiences. If opportunities for beautiful moments arise, we should never let our struggles be reasons to miss out on some of the most amazing moments we can ever experience in life.
For more information on the resort, visit http://aiyanar.com/ourresort
For updates, like & follow https://www.facebook.com/AiyanarAnilao