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What is this post about
This post is really about our experiences going to a place called Aguila beach resort in Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. We didn't get the chance to truly enjoy the area, because we accidentally got there. With no tripod and late at night, we made do with what we got taking photos. The orange colour that you see on these photos is due to a plug-in (twilight)—and some Photo editing as well.
Where is Aguila Beach Resort
Aguila Beach Resort is in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas in Philippines. It is about 3 hours drive from Manila. If you are commuting via public transportation—take a bus heading to Batangas. This is about 90 minutues. You then need to take a jeep ride for another 90 minutes. As this was the first time for us, and we made it accidentally, See this link, hopefully it's more helpful to you—direction on how to get there.
Why go there
Those wanting to go and visit Anilao as destination, would find this place heavenly. The short drive from Metro Manila is convenient for a day tour or few days stay. Staying few days, you might want to take some time seeing the world from beneath. This paradise has great underwater views—diving would be what I assume people would go for. If not, a weekend getaway would be great too? Almost like a getaway from Sydney and you are staying in Newcastle. Short drive, different worlds. But our experiences were different. Ours was accidental, unprepared. We never knew about this place until we got there.
Cost & things to do
A room is about P1,200.00. We came in late, heading towards 6pm and just about everything around the area was closed, so there wasn't much for us to do there. In saying that, we really didn't get the chance to explore Aguila Beach Resort in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas because we in a way got lost and was forced to stay overnight and had to depart early in the morning.
It is worth saying though, we still enjoyed our time and would like to visit it again. It's a great place to travel on a budget!
How we ended up in Aguila Beach Resort accidentally
Our day was set for a day outing within Manila areas only. Hopping on jeepneys and tricycles only—no buses, no taxis. A jeepney for those people who are not familiar with what a jeepney is—originally of US military jeeps from World War II and are decorated until your hearts content. The reason we decided to do this was because we had a free day. Nobody to see no schedules. It was a relaxed day. So we thought we'd be a little adventurous by going around the city, a new experience for us. We thought we'd add a little extra security measures too, by leaving my wallet behind and take just hand full of thousand pesos for the just in case scenarios. We took with us P5,000.00 only. That's about AUD$125.00 (give or take depending on the exchange rate).
Living on the streets
My partner lead the way. She said she knew her way around. Whilst waiting for a Jeepney to the unknown, I've spotted homeless people taking residence by the streets. The photographer in me really wanted to take a photo to show how harsh street life can be. It would also be a great addition to my street photography collection.
We stood there a while and this was a perfect opportunity for a street photography/life style photography. I wanted to take a photo of them, heck I'm almost staring at them. But was too shy to lift that camera and take the shot.
Failing to take a great photo. We took a jeepney and eventually saw a shopping complex. We decided to have lunch there, even though, we had no clue where we were. We spent over P1,000.00 of food, mainly because of me.
The bus ride to Batangas
After lunch, we walked around for a little while and saw a bus depot. We had no intention of going in a bus, but we did anyway. We knew going to Batangas meant, going to the provinces. But for a 90 minutes ride? We were game. This was an adventure filled day remember
Whilst in the bus we watched a passenger, preaching. We could not hear it but we knew it was religious. One of the passengers had enough and thought he'd express his will by suggesting she should take it elsewhere.
Asking what to do when we get to Batangas
In the bus we thought of places to go. We had none. So we asked around. Asking what things we can do in this place. As we asked, more people joined into the conversation and suggested a resort. In Anilao. We were told to get there, we should get off the bus near the highway crossing and jump on a Jeepney.
Jeepney ride to Anilao, Batangas
When we got bus, we asked around again on how to get to Anilao and then hopped on the jeepney. As time past, we were getting impatient. Where is Anilao, Mabini, Batangas? How long does it take to get there? er... Are we there yet?
We found out, later, it was a 90 minutes drive! By the time we got to Anilao, it was about 5pm. We left home that day about 8am.
Arrived in Anilao, Mabini Batangas
We arrived. Anilao, Mabini, Batangas. Great! What do we do now? We didn't thought of that. Now that we are here, what's next? We decided to walk around and see the place. It was getting dark too! I was expecting a big place, not a 15 minutes walkabout and have gone to the end of the road. This was main area of Anilao. For a first impression, there wasn't much there to see. But again, we went there without knowing anything about the place. We just let fate took us wherever we landed.
As it was getting dark, we thought we should start heading back. So let's checked for our next jeep ride back. We asked and was told the Jeep we were on was the last one.
If you are commuting by public transportation, be aware. You need to leave well before 5pm or else you will be stranded
Stranded on a beautiful place
Stranded on a beautiful place with your loved one. Sounds romantic!
We had schedules to keep and really had no money with us left! This was worrying us, we were also due to board on an air-plane the next day!
A worthwhile overnighter
We went into the first resort we saw. Aguila Beach Resort. Paid about P1,200.00 for a room and went straight to our room. By this time we had about P1,000.00 left in our pockets. We freshened up a little before heading out to the beach. We didn't have any luggages, in fact what clothes we had, was the only clothes we had!
With little light left—it was about 5:30pm at this time, we spent the time by the beach exploring and enjoying the surrounding and taking photos at the same time. There was a really grey lighting on this day with a little rays of light as you would see for sunsets, quite a mix. The sun was covered by clouds as if it was about to rain, but still piercing through, giving us enough sunset to watch. I've tried taking the shots from various white balance settings and what I could see that was beautiful wasn't being captured. My camera has user setting where a friend installed a plug-in. Twilight I think it was. That setting worked wonderfully and you can see it with all the landscaping images we have captured. No special tricks other than capturing the moments when I took these photos.
Well into darkness we stayed indoors. There was not much things to do here. No money, and no food either, the restaurant were closing by the time we got there and so there was not much we could do but sleep it out and take photos in-doors.
The next day we took a little stroll around the area while waiting for our journey back to Manila. We saw what beauty it Anilao has. By the time we got home, we had less than P300.00 in our pocket. In Australian dollars that's roughly $7.50 with $1.00 to P40.00 conversion.