Friday, May 11, 2018

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Traveling to Nasugbu, Calatagan and Tagaytay in Batangas

Batangas in the Southern Luzon of the Philippines has a lot of beaches, coves and tourist attractions that people enjoy visiting. Most of the time in order to fully travel this place is to use a private vehicle. I was lucky to have a friend who has a car and willing to travel with me even though we are just ladies and doing it by ourselves in 3 days. Bituin Cove in Nasugbu, Manuel Uy Beach in Calatagan, Caleruega Church and Tagaytay are the places that we spontaneously visited.




The routes

1. Alabang - Nasugbo via Cavitex and Kaybiang Tunnel
2. Nasugbo - Calatagan via Lian Hi-way and Zobel Hi-way
3. Calatagan - Caleruega Church via Lian Hi-way, Zobel Hi-way, Nasugbu-Tagaytay Hi-way
4. Caleruega - Tagaytay via Nasugbu-Tagaytay Hiway (overlooking Taal Volcano, Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe)
Tagaytay - San Pedro/Alabang
San Pedro - Alabang

Here are the images to fully understand the routes:


The hi-ways are indicated at the left side of each image. You can also use other navigation sites/apps like Google Maps and Waze.

Map.1 Alabang-Zapote Road to Papaya Cove in Nasugbo Batangas via Kaybiang Tunnel and Cavitex
Map 2 Nasugbu, Batangas (from Kaybiang Tunnel) to Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines route map

Map 3 Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas to Caleruega Church in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas route map

Map 4 Caleruaga Church in Batulao Nasugbu, Batangas to Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay via Nasugbu - Tagaytay Hi-way route map


How to get there

by car


from Alabang to Papaya Cove (for 'island' hopping experience such as to Bituin Cove)


1. Take Alabang-Zapote Road to Cavitex
2. Traverse going to Ternate/Nasugbo roads (better use a Google Map or Waze app)
3. Drive going to Kaybiang Tunnel

4. Then just go straight until you see Barangay Papaya sign. (Landmarks: after Hamilo Coast and Pico de Loro, you will see on your right side, there is a right turn with many waiting sheds).

5. Turn right to Barangay Papaya to the cove.

To be fully instructed, contact Kuya Omar who is the tour guide operator and a local of Papaya Cove at +63997-9944986

Note:
You can buy your food in the market nearby Barangay Papaya before turning right. Just go straight ahead and you will see a mini-market along the road. Maybe around 3-5minutes travel from the Barangay Papaya sign and road.

Travel duration

1 hour and 30 minutes - 2 hours
depends on the time that you departed

Best time is 4:30am like what we did because there was light flow of traffic and when we arrived in there the sun was rising and the view was spectacular. 6am lighting is great for photography.


from Papaya Cove to Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan



1. Take Lian Hi-way, Zobel Hi-way Calatagan Hi-way
2. Follow the signs going to Calatagan when you are in Calatagan Town Proper.
3. Find Manuel Uy Beach Resort sign on the right side (after Stilts Beach Resort)

Note:
You can buy your next food in Waltermart which is after Lian town proper along the hi-way to Calatagan-Zobel Hiway

Travel duration

1 hour and 30 minutes - 2 hours
depends on the time that you departed

Best time is 12pm.

from Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan to Caleruega Church 


1. Go back to Lian Town Proper traversing the Zobel Hi-way
2. There is a shortcut near Lian Town Proper however the bridge was under construction.
3. If it is still under construction, just use Nasugbo-Tagaytay Hiway.
** Follow your Google Map/Waze app  OR
Follow the buses going to Tagaytay.
4.  Turn right to a country club entrance. You will see a sign to Caleruega Church.
5. Traverse the roads following the sign to Caleruega Church.

6. Park inside the church for free. If outside, the fee is 40.00 php.

Side trips

Map 5 Going to Cape Santiago Lighthouse from Stilts Beach Resort or Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan Batangas route map


  • You can visit Cape Santiago Lighthouse and chapel which is near Manuel Uy Beach Resort. Just turn right once you reached the main road or when you are at the entrance road of the beach resort.  For 5 minutes, you will see a sign going to Cape Santiago Lighthouse. Hopefully, it  is open as when we went there, it was close.
Calatagan, Batangas Park in their town proper which is near the Municipal Hall

  • Calatagan Town Proper has its own park and garden. You will pass through that area which is in front of the municipal hall.

from Caleruega Church to Bulalohan (ex. Near the Sky Bulaluhan) in Tagaytay


1. Go back to the Tagaytay-Nasugbo Hi-way
2. Follow the signs going to Tagaytay attraction like Sky Ranch.
3. Slow down a bit when you can see the Taal Lake.
4. Stop when you see a corner with  a row of restaurants with people encouraging you to stop to try their bulalo


from Bulaluhan (Near the Sky Bulaluhan) to Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay


1. Follow the route of MAP 4 in this blog post. Or Just turn right if you are facing the road in front of the restaurant.
2. Go straight ahead and you will pass by a 'rotunda' or a roundabout roads going to Emilio Aguinaldo Hiway on your left and Tagaytay-Calamba Hiway straight ahead.
3. Go straight to Tagaytay-Calamba Hiway
4. Slow down a bit as you will see on the left side the cafe.


What did we do in Bituin Cove in Barangay Papaya in Nasugbu, Batangas?

my shot at Papaya Cove while we are going to Bituin Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas

Again, contact Kuya Omar who is the tour guide operator and a local of Papaya Cove at +63997-9944986

Time we arrived: 6:30 am

Parking fee overnight: 100.00 Php

Boat fee: 300.00 Php/ head roundtrip

behind me is the cave and also the cliff that you can do swimming, snorkeling and diving in Nasugbu, Batangas

at Bituin Cove


Environmental Fee: 100.00 Php/ head

Food: buy food before riding the boat in the market, but the locals have a mini-store in there.
Drinking water: also buy in the market before going to the cove.

Public toilet and bath: There is a well. Sometimes they charge you around 5-20.00 Php/ toilet purposes or a bucket of water.

water activities 

  • boat riding
  • snorkeling
  • cliff diving
  • swimming around the cave
  • fish feeding

(for overnight stay, doing these activities is best in the morning the next day)

Activity duration: 3 hours

fee: 200.00 Php/ person

just bring your own utensils and cooking wares for you to cook delicious food like what we did in this photo in Bituin Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas

Insight


Pros:


  1. Cheaper when you ride the boat as a group as the rental fee will be divided into each passenger.
  2. 'LIVING LIKE A LOCAL' - do the primitive ways of living like cooking food using charcoal, getting water from the well and so because there is no source of electricity.
  3. Lots of different views - cliff, wreck port area, cave, trees, beach.
  4. Bonfire can be lit. Now you can do your dream of singing the CAMPFIRE SONG (ref. Spongebob)
  5. The water activity is fun if you will swim around the open cave and bring a piece of bread to feed the fish


Cons:


  1. A bit hard to swim in the beach area because of many spiky corals and stones.
  2. Be careful with jellyfish.


What did we do in Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan?

campsite rent of tent, table price list of Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas

Fees


day tour overnight
Regular (7-59 years old) P 100 P 200
Senior Citizen with valid ID P 71 P 142
Children (0-6 years old) FREE FREE

Tent rental fees

  • If you do not have a tent, you can rent from them

day tour overnight
tent fits 2-4 persons P 500 P 500



  • If you bring your own tent, you need to pay for the space


day tour overnight
tent size 1- 4 persons P 150 P 150
5 – 10 persons P 250 P 250
11 – 15 persons P 650 P 650
16 – 20 persons P 800 P 800


Table and chair rental fees



day tour overnight
table and chair rental P 250 P 250

Parking Fees



day tour overnight
parking motorcycle P 20 P 20
Car/Van/ 4-Wheeler P 100 P 100
Bus/Cargo/ large vehicle P 200 P 200


Photoshoot



day tour overnight
1 – 5 persons + parking P 3000 P 6000


Insight


grilling station, sinks, toilets and shower area in Manuel Uy Beach Resort in Calatagan
Pros:


  1. Cheaper than Stilts Beach Resort.
  2. Clean grilling station, sinks, toilets and shower area. (there are cleaners but guests must do their part to be considerate to the next users as a courtesy).
  3. Safe because there are patrol men.
  4. White Sand and Clear water to do snorkeling.
  5. Can avail other water activities with its fees
  6. Lit with Christmas lights in trees at night
Cons:

  1. Tents which are brought with have with a fee. (the reason why it is brought is to have LESS EXPENSE)
  2. During holidays such as HOLY WEEK, LONG WEEKENDS in summer especially, there are MANY GUESTS. So it is VERY CROWDED and NOISIER. 


What did we do in Caleruega Church in Batangas?

I took an exterior picture of the Calaruega Church in Calatagan-Tagaytay, Batangas

Having a selfie with the exterior of Calaruega Church in Calatagan-Tagaytay, Batangas

My friend and I strolling around the gardens of Calaruega Church, Calatagan-Tagaytay Batangas




30 Php/ head entrance fee

Parking is free when it is inside the church vicinity. Outside parking fee is P40.00.

What they have:

1. It was my first time to see one of the most sought churches in the Philippines for the married couples-to-be. I didn't see the interior as there was an on-going wedding. But having a selfie with the famous exterior of the church is like a must for tourists. And you will definitely want to get married at the church. So, better register a year before your planned wedding date.

2. They also have a retreat center. I noticed that there was a retreat happening that time. And they have boarding rooms and cafeteria for retreatants or retreat participants.

3. They also have gardens - like a hanging bridge-style, stations of the cross and many more.



What did we eat in Near the Sky Bulaluhan in Tagaytay?

The exterior of the restaurant, Near the Sky Bulaluhan in Tagaytay, Batangas

I took a picture of the Taal Volcano in Taal Lake which you can see when you eat in Near the Sky Bulaluhan, Tagaytay, Batangas

A bowl of Bulalo at Near the Sky Bulaluhan Tagaytay, Batangas


Of course, we ate Bulalo special (priced at 380 Php per bowl) + rice (20 Php/cup)

Pros:
1. The view is nice because Taal Volcano and Lake can be overlooked at the restaurant.

2. Easy to park

Cons:
1. The bulalo was a salty and had few veggies.
2. For that serving, I think it was overpriced.

If we know where the Bulaluhan market is at that time, probably we would definitely go there. But that time, we were so hungry and trying to navigate places as our trip was just impromptu as planned.

What did we do in Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay?

The front exterior of Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay with my friend.

Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay is so graphically cool and hippy.

Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay is a perfect place to hang out with friends and family.

We had our picture taken at Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay

Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay must-try is the iced barako with condensed milk. And you can play also card and board games

Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay is near spiritual centers as we met a soon-to-be priest.

Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe in Tagaytay has a lot of displayed quotes like this.


Pros:

This place is very crafty, artsy, relaxing and hippy.  Perfect for practicing your photography skills or just doing it for the "'gram" (Instagram)

With so many dream catchers, fancy letterings on the walls, staircase, quotes in a frame and even the tables and chairs, you will definitely unleash your creativity when you hang out alone or with your loveys while sipping a glass of Iced Barako Coffee (100 php/cup) and maybe playing board games that you can rent by showing them a valid ID.

Meeting other people is fun even when you are alone. We met a 'seminarian' (a student who studies to become a priest) and we discussed a lot of things. There were also some Japanese tourists. And some groups of and youngsters and families.

Cons:

I didn't ask if there is a bigger parking area as we just parked infront of the cafe which had like 2 spaces for cars.


Lessons learned in this trip

I really enjoyed what my friend and I did. We are women and a lot of the people that we encountered were surprised that we traveled by ourselves, that we were brave enough to travel without a man. I really believe that you need courage to explore your own country and you will discover that any negative news being seen and heard from the media about Philippines is just a general stereotype. Filipinos are really nice and kind people. We are hospitable and we respect each other. We are fun to be with. The place is also majestic naturally. That is why I love Philippines.

I hope this post will be helpful in your travel.

Please read another post.

Thanks!

Sarah

Ready, set, go and share! other posts:

If you want to go in Bacolod?


1. Visit Silay City  for culture, arts and history fascination
2. Climb the 7 waterfalls in Mambukal Resort
3. Process your renewal of passport in DFA - Bacolod in Robinsons Mall.
4. Stay in Bacolod's hotels that are near to DFA -Bacolod in Robinsons Mall

If you still have time to go to Guimaras Island and explore this place, check these links.

1. Travelling to Guimaras - entry from Bacolod and exit to Iloilo
2. Places to see and Activities to do in Guimaras Island

If you want to explore Cebu , check these links:

If you want to see my international trip, check this link:




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