Playa La Caleta: Bataan’s Eco-Tourism Resort

Just when I thought that I’m going to miss so much about this year’s summer, an exciting adventure woke me one Friday morning. And guess what, I was going to Bataan! Yay!

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I have only been in the province once in October 2014, where I visited Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and Mt. Samat Shrine with my officemates. And truly, I have learned so much about that experience, including how much sacrifice our Filipino veterans have to do as they fought bravely in battle for freedom. It was truly a very compelling moment for me.

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Three years later, I never thought I’ll be given another chance to explore the wonders of Bataan again. While I was engrossed and way too overwhelmed by the beauty of the previous attraction, I didn’t expect there was more.

Apart from the rich culture and heart-warming history this place holds, they also happen to have cascading beaches and great sanctuaries for both land and sea.

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I am so happy to have been introduced in one of the most-visited beach resorts in Bataan, Playa La Caleta.

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Playa La Caleta, which means “Beach Cove” is an eco-tourism resort found in Morong, Bataan. It was only opened two years ago but has garnered the attention of local and international tourists, TV shows, bloggers, and famous travelers already.

The 1-kilometer white sand stretches beautifully amidst the glowing sun. It is indeed a sight to behold. As you explore the island, you will also be greeted by a lush mountain of forest and 3 waterfalls when you pace deeper into the woods.

When you turn to your left, a 1-hectare islet, called Miguelito Island will also be waiting for your visit.

 

Directions

When all places seem to be wazeable, nothing can hurt with a little bit of instruction! 😉

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Via Public Transportation

Via Fajardo’s

  1. Take a bus from the Cubao to Balanga via either Bataan Transit or Five Star (Php200)
  2. From the Balanga Bus Terminal, take a jeep to bring you to the Bagac Public Market (Php50)
  3. From the Bagac Public Market, take a tricycle to Fajardo’s Beach Resort located in Bagac, Bataan

(Php50)

  1. From the port of Fajardo’s Beach Resort, take a 25-30 minute boat ride to PLC (Php1,800 for 10

persons)

 

Via Private Vehicle

Via NLEX

  1. From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and exit at San Fernando (Php157 toll fee)
  2. Take the westbound side of Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Gapan-Olongapo Road), heading towards the towns of Bacolor, Guagua, and Lubao in Pampanga.
  3. Upon reaching Dinalupihan, turn left at Roman Superhighway.
  4. Once in Balanga City, turn right at Gov. J.J. Linao National Road. Drive along the scenic route at the foot of Mt. Samat (where you can see the Dambana ng Kagitingan).
  5. Continue driving until you see the Philippine-Japan friendship tower.
  6. From this tower, follow the color blue, metallic, reflectorized signages that point to PLC.
  7. In between the Kilometer 56 & 57 markers, the same PLC signage will tell you to go down a road on the left side. This will bring you to the port of the Jaime Hilario Integrated La Salle School in Morong, Bataan.
  8. From the port of La Salle School, take a 10-15 minute boat ride to PLC (Php1,800 for 10 persons)

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Via Ferry

Via MOA to Orion

  1. Take the ferry service at Mall of Asia (MOA) terminal. It is a 50-minute ferry ride to Orion Bataan.
  2. From the Orion port, there are free shuttle bus services going to Mariveles and Dinalupihan. Take the Dinalupihan bus.
  3. Tell the driver to drop you in Jollibee Balanga, before Dinalupihan. This is a 1-hour bus ride. From Balanga, you may take the several options listed above.

 

The Accommodations

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You can actually book days before or just walk in. For most of the locals, they opt to spend only on a day tour, but for people like me who live far away, let’s just say we really want to savor our trip and rest after a long travel, hence, stay overnight.

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Whether you’re a group, a couple, or just traveling by yourself, there are certain accommodations that will definitely suit your budget and needs.

  1. Picnic Tables Day Trip / Overnight 500 / 750
  2. Camping Tent (1-3 persons) Day Trip / Overnight 500 / tent
  3. Beach Tent (1-3 persons) Day Trip / Overnight (includes beach mat, tent fly, tent, 2 mattresses, 2 pillows) 750 / 1,000 / set
  4. Gazebo (1-4 persons) Day Trip / Overnight 1,500 / 2,000
  5. Cottage (1-6 persons) Day Trip / Overnight 2,000 / 3,000
  6. Beach Room (1-2 persons) – Day Trip / Overnight 5,000

We stayed in a Beach Room at the far end of the beach. It is spacious enough for 2, very comfortable to sleep in, and has good air-condition.

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The interesting thing about these rooms is that each of them displays a unique form of art. According to Migs Camacho, founder of Playa La Caleta, he wants the resort to showcase the artistic side of the Filipinos.

These paper machetes are made from Laguna, a place that has been famous for creating such wonderful artifacts since the 1800s. These spectacles are actually part of the Playa La Caleta Art Program and Takatack Project Initiative, wherein they collaborate to highlight the fine craftsmanship of Filipino Art.

These pieces also glow in the dark, which adds extra delight when you’re ready to tuck in.

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Furthermore, all accommodations share a common toilet and shower rooms, which not surprisingly, also sport charming graphics.

Sometimes, they also hold movie nights in this cozy by-the-beach-theatre!

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The Restaurant

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Scarborough Restaurant has just opened and is now serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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They cook really fresh food, and we got to try their version of Sweet and Sour Fish and Binakol (Bataan’s chicken with coconut extract specialty). The menu is still in the works though, and I’m really intrigued by what kind of dishes they will serve soon.

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Activities and Facilities

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While most travelers love to go sunbathing and swimming in the water, there are also those who would want to play along with nature, and be a little more daring; because nothing completes a beach experience without its water sports!

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Playa La Caleta is a big fan of natural water sports, which means that they only support activities and provide equipment that is not run by machines. This same goes for the entire aesthetics of the beach resort. They use nature-fallen materials such as broken twigs, tree trunks, old wood, and less cement.

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Their vision is to preserve the flora and fauna of the beach, so more people can enjoy it for a long time. They even held a turtle-hatching event some weeks ago! 🙂

They believe that nature is the main feature Playa La Caleta provides, and it makes them more distinctive than the other tourist water attractions.

Here are the water sports you can enjoy here:

  1. Stand Up Paddle 350 / hour
  2. Kayaking 350 / hour
  3. Slip N Slide Per Person / Per Group (10 persons max) (75-foot slide) 100/30mins / 300/1 hour
  4. Windsurf Board & Sail Sailboard with Sail 350 / hour

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I tried kayaking, and surprisingly I was more coordinated that day, compared to my previous experience in Palawan. I guess having a guide helped me very much. And oh boy, how I had the best time!

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The Playa La Caleta staff was such darlings too, they took care of me really well. I was sporting a huge pregnant belly obviously, but the time I spent in here is definitely worth every baby-kick! My non-pregnant self wouldn’t have known the difference because I had the most amazing experience!

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You wouldn’t want to miss this when you visit Bataan! And hey, it’s only about 2.5hrs away! 😀

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Playa La Caleta

Office Address: 802 Antel Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, MM, Philippines 1605

Email: playalacaletabataan@gmail.com (for all inquiries & bookings)

Business Hours: 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Telephone: +632 6379147 to 48 (for urgent matters only)

Cellphone: +639995887220 (Smart) +639567959420 (Globe)

Fax: +632 5763226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playalacaletabataan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/playalacaletabataan

Website: www.playalacaletabataan.ph

 

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Not a cistern, but the sea; and may possibly own a larger hippocampus than most Neanderthals.

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