"Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures"
Image taken at Kariba Lake, Zambia
Travel Guide: A Budget Weekend Getaway Part 1 [ EZobel Museum & Santo Domingo de Silos Parish Church ]
Summer is fast approaching so we decided to take a pre-summer break last February 12-14 from the metro and life itself as part of the Life Hacks to Get Your Life Kicking Again. This is not because me and my friends hate Valentine’s, it’s just a perfect time for cool kids to go out of town and have some fun.
Before we finally decided that Calatagan is the place, there were other options that we considered to make the most of our #WeekendGetaway. But these are the reasons why we chose Calatagan, Batangas, particularly, Burot Beach to spend our first out-of-town trip this year and our Valentine’s day
Short time of travel (3-4 hours from Manila)
Peace and Serenity (Avoid people as much as possible, to spend more time together)
White beach adventure
Cheap expense rate (costs only less than a thousand (Phil. Peso) per person if you travel by group)
We have a lot of expectations about the place, especially when we learned that aside from Burot beach there’s a lot of activities that can be done and sites that we can visit in Calatagan. These are the Santo Domingo de Silos Parish Church, EZobel Museum and Cape Santiago lighthouse, which all have rich history way back in the 1800s (cool right?)
We started our day at a 6am Travel from Cubao. We rode the MRT and went straight to the UV Terminal at the back of the MRT-Taft Avenue station. There’s also other route to Calatagan—buses that can be accessed by riding a jeepney from MRT taft station to coastal mall. Riding a jeepney to coastal mall is a lot of travel for us because we have giant travel bags, so riding a UV is faster and an easier option.
We left Manila at around 7am and arrived in Calatagan Public Market around 11am, too early for us to seize the beach, so we had our lunch first. We met our service driver for the day, kuya Ruben and bought supplies we needed for the night camp since there’s no hotel and electricity in Burot beach.
Enjoying our lunch before heading to adventure
Calatagan is a small town since there’s just few stores and banks (2 atms) around and most of their houses are far from each other same to their tourist sites. Going around the place is hard due to lack of transportation. So if you plan to visit places, an arranged transportation service is a must, ours happen to be a tricycle. Calatagan seems to be a far place, when actually, it’s just a 3-hour travel from the concrete jungle.
I just love how hospitable the people of Calatagan are. They welcomed, helped and accommodated us from our arrival until we left. Seems like they are already used with travelers and tourists in their small town. I can’t doubt their honesty and hospitality–genuinely Pinoy!
Food Preppin’ for the beach tonight!
The EZobel Museum & Santo Domingo de Silos Parish Church.
When we arrived, the museum was still closed and we were the only visitors, still they let us in. Again, hospitality and fun was there, thanks to AKfor accommodating us, AK is the in-house guide.
We learned so much about the history of living in Calatagan way back from the pre-Spanish colonialism to the Spanish invasion. The excavation of the blue and white ceramics and other archaeological relics were led by Zobel de Ayalas in Calatagan.
Trivia: The government thru the National Museum of the Philippines granted Zobel de Ayalas to conduct a scientific archaeological excavation on the arrangement that 60% of the relics will go to the National Museum of the Philippines while 40% will be kept by the Zobel de Ayalas as they provided the excavation funds.
The Zobel de Ayala clan particularly Enrique is an icon in Calatagan, they are the Senoritos and Senoritas who own an empire even until today. Just a few to mention, they have the foundation that connects generation of family of workers in Calatagan (AK is a product himself of his great grandpa who also a pioneering worker in the hacienda), Hacienda Bigaa, Ice Plant, San – Miguel Brewery dating back from its establishment before (now they are still part as share holders), Azucarera, Milk producers and many more.
Info overload right? please do visit the Museum and check it out yourself! There’s so much to learn there! You’d feel like you’re connected with Zobel de Ayalas, up to the rich history and culture of Calatagan that makes us Filipinos sharing an entire story as a one.
EZobel Museum has no entrance fee, but there’s a donation box you and your friends can chip-in.
You might wanna bring extra money for souvenirs and their in-house coffee shop, the Island Store Cafe.
Here’s the souvenir and coffee shop inside the compound of the museum.
We had a 10 minute stop at Santo Domingo de Silos Parish Church. I prayed a bit inside. Based from old pictures and story from EZobel museum, this is an 18th century church, serving locals of Calatagan, established and renovated as time goes by.