I can still remember San Juan, Batangas, the location of the famous Laiya, 10 years ago. It was a sleepy little town in the outskirts of Batangas going to Quezon Province (it’s close neighbor is either Sariaya or Candelaria,Quezon). Laiya was starting to make news back then, so we tried it out with my college friends. It turned out to be a nice place to enjoy the blue sea plus its white-sand beach stretching for a few kilometers.
There were no concrete roads yet leading to Laiya. You would have to endure a back-breaking trip on it’s dusty dirt road that runs more or less 20 kilometers plus another hour or two trip since we’re from Batangas City. It was so remote and yes, so far. Yet, the destination was soo worth it. Clean sea, nice beach. Affordable place.
Coming back to Laiya recently, I was surprised how the place has transformed. Tourism has really elevated the town from ghost-town level to a progressive place. The road going to Laiya is now well-paved. Establishments like commercial complexes, grills and restaurants are everywhere from the the town-proper to the Laiya area which is a far-cry from the old, lonely, pastoral suburb it was. Exclusive pricey beach resorts have mushroomed in the place.
Currently, there’s a long array of beach resorts to choose from lining up the pristine Laiya shore. However, my personal choices are Sabangan Beach Resort and White Cove Beach Resort. These are the two beach resorts in Laiya that, for me, compliments the Laiya landscape/atmosphere really well. The rest are your typical, generic over-rated resorts. Sabangan produces a tropical air to the guests’ consciousness with its tropical-inspired set up, while White Cove offers a Carribean-like ambience or something like a summer vacation in a European beach destination (like the Italian beach setting in Cinema Paradiso). If I were to describe these two resorts, I must say they are both “serene, relaxing and charming”. Again, you must be there to feel it first-hand.
Furthermore, one unique thing about Laiya is that it has a neat public beach place. Scattered around this area are countless reasonably-priced lovely, little apartment houses and lodges that you can rent for as short as a few hours to days and months. It’s quite awesome to wake up from your rented place in the morning then walk to a public pathway/patio going to the public beach swarmed by different people from all walks of life, enjoying that sudden surge of bursting summer feeling. It reminds me of Miami’s South Beach where there are no actual beach resorts. Tourists just stay in hotels surrounding the public beach.
Laiya is quite a far summer destination for beach bums (i hate long trips!) yet your experience here will be rewarding. Just make sure you choose the kind of beach resort that best compliment your taste. I suggest you bring all your hard-earned vacation money and start resort-hopping to score the best deals on the beach resort of your choice. After all, you don’t want to spoil your summer escapade by playing cheap and ending up on a rather cheap, corny resort in Laiya. You can ask the personnel if you can wander around inside and check the facilities or just skim over their brochures available at the counters. You don’t wanna trust the reviews of other people online just like this one. It’s your preference that really matters when it comes to your ultimate summer self-indulgence.
Well again, for me it’s worth it. I hate backbreaking inter-island plane and boat rides, so I would rather endure long rides going to this Batangas beach resort destination which is a fine beach after all.
Enjoy the sun!