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.

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.

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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, go scuba diving. 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.

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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

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My now ex-fiance, set our day for a walk around. I’ve never done street photography before and I had no confidence in street photography. I still don’t have confidence to this day. Taking photos of random people for me is intrusive and I am a bit shy about asking random people to be in my photo. This day, our plan was to hop jeepneys and tricycles only—no buses, no taxis—as it is quite cheap for us foreigners to jump in a taxi as oppose to taking a more common way of community.

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. Jeepneys are so common in Philippines and being accustomed to them, I had no interest in taking a photo of one. As I write this blog post, I now regret that decision of not taking a photo.

My trip to Philippines on this occasion was to be my cousins photographer for her work. This day were one of those days where had a free time. Two days worth of free time. We thought that day, that we should do a little sight seeing if you call it that around the busy streets of Manila.

I had a wad of cash in my wallet—I know, I should have left it in the bank and carried card instead—but I did not want to spend AUD$15 each time I withdrew money from the bank. Philippines, can be a dangerous place and as a precaution, we thought we’d leave my the bulk of my money at home and carry just enough for us for that day. We took 5,000 pesos and in Philippine terms, that’s quite a bit of money considering the average income over there is about that for the whole month. That’s about AUD$125.00 for us Australians (give or take depending on the exchange rate).

Family living on the streets

My partner lead the way. She said she knew her way around. Whilst waiting for a Jeepney to take us wherever it would, I’ve spotted homeless people takrn 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. I didn’t have the confidence though, I was a bit shy and so was Jobelle.

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 that’s about AUD$ 12.50, mainly because of me. In food courts of Philippines one meal is about 200 pesos. It’s fit for light meals. I am a heavy eater and the meals that they server there is equilavent to a bite size for me. I had to buy more!

The bus ride to Batangas

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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 exactly what she was saying, but we knew it was about religion. One of the passengers had enough and thought he’d express his will by suggesting she should take it elsewhere. It was an awkward moment for people in the busy. I don’t know why the bus driver did not intervene in the first place.

Asking what to do when we get to Batangas

Seeing we were going to Batangas and had no knowledge of the place. In the bus we thought of asking some passengers on where to go, 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 given an instruction on how to get there—that is get off the crossroads from the main highway of Batangas and get a jeep ride to Anilao.

Jeepney ride to Anilao, Batangas

When we got off the 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? The guys at the bus stop said it was a great place and not that far? It seemed very far to me!

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 and we’ve been on the road all day. We were tired.

Finally there! In Anilao, Mabini Batangas

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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 what’s up. It was getting dark too but that didn’t bother us. 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. It was getting dark as well so we really couldn’t see much.

As it was getting dark, we thought we should start heading back. So let’s checked for our next jeep ride back….only…that jeep that we alighted from was the last jeep for the day. There were no more jeeps coming until the next day. We were stuck in a remote place and there’s no way for us to go but stay. No taxis, nothing and with a little money left!

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 either, 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.

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Jojie Certeza

Jojie Certeza is a Sydney based photographer. His passion for photography started in 2007 after being introduced by a friend who is also passionate about photography. He also founded; www.asimplecreation.com— a food photography service. He can be hired for food photography assignments

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