• Bauan in Batangas Is the Day Trip Your Family Needs Before School Starts

    If you and your family feel like escaping Manila for a day, Bauan is one family-friendly destination.
    by Loraine Balita-Centeno .
  • Bauan in Batangas Is the Day Trip Your Family Needs Before School Starts
    IMAGE courtesy of the author
  • I have known Bauan, Batangas as my father’s hometown all my life where you can get tablea (local chocolate), Rori’s authentic Batangas lomi, and tons of friendly distant relatives who will ask “Kaninong gang anak ire?” But I didn’t have any idea that this place has so much more to offer until our visit this summer.

    Much of Bauan is a protected marine sanctuary, so no other aqua sports are allowed here except for diving, snorkeling, and free diving. It's what makes it perfect for children who are crazy over aquatic animals as mine. 

    Do note, however, that Bauan is mainly a diving/snorkeling site, so there's no sandy beach where you build sand castles with your kids. But if your kids are like mine who love snorkeling and fish feeding, then it's worth a trip. The marine life here teems with schools of colorful fish and bright-colored corals.

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    There are loads of bangkeros bringing people from resorts from nearby Anilao. Most of the locals told us to bring fish food, which we did. Not too far shore, we already saw beautiful corals in all shapes and colors. And once the food was out, schools of fish came rushing to greet us. It was a fantastic experience seeing all these aquatic animals up close.

     

    I heard my kids’ happy muffled squealing as they got surrounded by hundreds of fish in pink, yellow, green, and blue colors. They told us you could swim with turtles if you get to the beach early. There was a school of squid swimming near the shore, and some saw giant clams not too far away.

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    It’s easy to lose track of time in the water, but it’s not every day that my kids get to swim with sea creatures. Since taking them snorkeling last year, my 3-year-old daughter and my almost 6-year-old son, who loves the sea, has a deeper understanding of their lessons in class now. He knows why teachers tell them to “save the seas,” “protect and keep our waters clean,” or “don’t pollute the water.” They are not just pictures he sees in books but real life creatures that are beautiful and deserve to be protected.

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    How to get to Bauan, Batangas



    There are numerous resorts in the area like Portulano Dive ResortDive and Trek and Binukbok View Point Resort (tents only), among many others. You need to book in advance because first, it can get full and crowded and most importantly, your resort needs to send a boat to pick you up.


    Yes, a boat. There’s no direct road going to the resorts. It will have designated parking lots in San Luis, Cuenca, Lemery, Taal or Anilao if you're bringing your car. From there, it is a 15 to 20-minute boat ride, which will take you around some beautiful mountains where behind it is the marine sanctuary.

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    Aside from overnight accommodations, the resorts offer day trips and charge around Php900 to Php1500 per person per day that includes lunch typically. But for parents of small children with sensitive tummies, I suggest you bring them food.

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    The resorts here are simple with a rustic ambiance. You won’t have infinity pools overlooking the ocean. It's all about having an underwater adventure.




    You can rent generic snorkeling gears, life vests, and fins for Ph50 to Php100/piece  that you can use the whole day.  But for children, I highly recommend that you buy them their own before your visit to ensure they fit well. 

    Being so close to the Metro means you can go there on an early Saturday or Sunday morning and be back home by night, in time for your kids’ bedtime, which is what we did.

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    When in Batangas
    A trip to Batangas wouldn’t be complete without trying its famous Batangas lomi. After our failed attempt to look for Rori’s, the famous Bauan lomi house, we headed to Cuenca, 20 minutes away from Bauan, for a new lomi house known for its insane toppings in giant bowls. The place was just a little hole-in-the-wall, but G2B Lomi did not disappoint.


     

    While I felt there were more toppings than the noodles itself, the taste was worth the visit. It’s the Batangas lomi I’ve known for years — chunky, chewy noodles drenched in clear yet thick sauce. Pair it with a cold bottle of water or stuff your face silly with bread, and you’ll have a happy tummy after snorkeling. 

    We wanted to take the flavors of Batangas home. We headed to the nearest wet market in Cuenca to get tablea.
    They can be found right at the heart of local markets. Right smack in the middle are stores selling coffee beans, freshly ground coffee, local chocolate, and loads of other local delicacies.

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    Tablea has always held a special place in my heart. My Batangueno father used to bring bags of it when I was little, and the smell immediately brought back memories of my childhood, our home, and my parents.

    Tablea is chocolate just the way I like it: strong just like their coffee, a bit bitter and rough on the edges that you’ll feel like you’re getting slapped with cacao. It’s perfect for making champorado your family can enjoy for breakfast or for cups of hot choco you can sip while enjoying the night after your children sleep. 

    With little to no time to prepare for grand trips, Batangas offers a quick and enjoyable escape for the entire family, one that won’t have you lugging tons of bags and your malikot children on a plane to enjoy some vitamin sea. 

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