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 AK for 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.

Here’s the Part 2 of the post:
Travel Guide: A Budget Weekend Getaway Part 2 [ Cape Santiago Lighthouse and Burot Beach ]
You can now download our itinerary and expense sheet (excel) that covers our travel from Manila – Calatagan and vice versa. Click this.
Tricycle tour: Kuya Ruben – 09752638616 | 09997176599
EZobel Museum  – 09175777044

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  1. That is an interesting tour to tag along with you through your photos. The friendliness of the local people and peace of the place will also be my choice.

  2. My mother and I were so delighted to read this post. She's from Calatagan, Batangas. That church was where my parents were married. When we were kids, Calatagan was like an idyllic dusty town far away from the city, or civilization.

    The roads were dusty and of soil. The nearest neighbors were 20-minute-walk away. You have to walk all the way up a hill to reach my mother's house. To the people of our urbanized town in Laguna, it was like going into the forest. Indeed, my mother's home there was in the middle of the woods.

    But we loved staying there during our summer break. We used to feed the cows, pigs, and goats, ride water buffaloes, and chase chickens.

    I never thought that people from Manila would actually consider it as a tourist spot. Back then, there was no museum or any coffee shop. But the beaches nearby were wonderful and the people are very kind and affectionate.

    Last year, when i came back to the Philippines, I visited Calatagan again. I was saddened by the fact that tourists were already coming in. People are starting to understand the concept of coffee shops (it used to be having coffee with the neighbors and random strangers at my grandfather's home). It wasn't the Calatagan I used to know. I've always thought that i have the place to enjoy and cherish all by myself, away from the world, away from any urban element and modernization. But Calatagan cannot be a hidden forest or a veiled paradise forever.

    But it's nice to know that there are people like you who are discovering its beauty and wonders.

    Next time, you should visit Taal.

  3. There is nothing more enjoyable than to travel to local places and learning about its history. Thank you for the photos of the Calatagan Public Market and museum. People there are really nice, to open the museum early especially for you all.

  4. Looks so beautiful! That shop I'd blow tons of money in, hehe. Beautiful church!! I can only imagine how comforting it must be to pray in a church from history, and so beautiful. Can't wait to read your lighthouse experience! We have an old lighthouse in my hometown. You can see Canada across the lake, which it was used for when ships came to/from.

    – Harlynn

  5. I went to Calatagan a few years ago but not in this part. This looks like a cool place. You say budget and I'm sold! 🙂

  6. Whoa! Maganda pala sa Calatagan. Thank you for sharing this because it is my frst time to see a blog post about this town. Intersado na akong bumisita dun. 🙂

  7. nakakainggit naman.. naexcite tuloy ako sa summer haha.. I've heard a lot of great things about Calatagan and we are eyeing for Batangas this summer.. I'm not sure which location though but it would be my first time to camp for a night aiyeee #excitedmuch. I want to include this church on my bucket list it seems like it has so many stories to tell

  8. This is pretty interesting… I think I've been there a couple of times.. but that was years ago…

    and for 1k each.. that's a steal! Seriously! Great tips man!

  9. i'm ashamed to say i've not heard of Calatagan … but it looks like a great stop for anyone who wants to wander around and blend with the locals! 🙂

  10. Went to Manila and Baguio in 1981 – I would love to go again someday.

  11. Aw, this is so good to hear! napakafascinatin na mabasa ito ng isang galing sa calatagan. Yes, it's a tourist spot because of the beaches. What i like about this place is its simplicity and hospitality to visitors. Sanay na sana ang mga tao na mag accomodate ng mga turista without taking advantage on them. 🙂

  12. Yes nancy, that's my choice as well, i love the hospitality of these pips!

  13. Thanks Mun, even we live here in the Philippines, the culture is still diverse and fascinating

  14. Wow, i hope you would feature the lighthouse on your town as well! 🙂

  15. Yes, budget indeed! 🙂 There's so much to do there, they even developed beautiful places now, give it more years and i think calatgan will become one of the tourist destination

  16. Yes, bisita ka ish, also, you can download our itinerary on the post.

  17. Yes, since nag church hop ka, this could be a place kasi ang historical nyan, the place is simple as well, walang buzz and huzz ng town!

  18. Yes, people here is their treasure!

  19. Yes Jeng, if you have a car, you can do more in Calatagan!

  20. Yes, there are a lot of destinations to go around here in the Philippines now, you might wanna have some visit!

  21. Yes, there are a lot of destinations to go around here in the Philippines now, you might wanna have some visit!

  22. I love travelling to local places. Especially places that aren't too mainstream. Love your photos, I can see very well that you guys enjoyed your trip! Happy Summer :>

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