Beats flying to some island just to laze around the beach. It’s not near but we’ve decided on this drive south of Manila so we can enjoy the beach with our beloved canine. The three hour-drive can be broken with a pit stop in Padre Garcia where we enjoyed a Batangueño lunch in Cocina. Think bulalo, pinaes na dulong, sinaing na tulingan, lomi, etc. Staff so friendly that we promised to return on our trip back to Manila.
Acuaverde Beach Resort is in Laiya, in the southeastern part of San Juan, Batangas. A beach break here is a good idea especially if you have fur babies you can’t leave at home. Only 26 very roomy units, with plenty sun loungers and cabanas fronting Tayabas Bay. Plus those cute-sy swing chairs made of wicker and shaped like an egg. Tried sitting and swinging in one and I swear it’s a challenge not to doze off. The vibe is far from the party island vibe of Boracay nor the touristic scene in El Nido and Coron. In fact, I hardly saw any tourists except for a couple of balikbayans married to foreigners with their families. The guests were mostly locals, families opting for a quiet beach break and some groupies enjoying a break from work. So yes, no loud, blaring music during late evenings. And many early-risers the next morning waiting for sunrise, and some fisher folks with their harvest from the sea.
We booked 2 spacious rooms in a 2-storey unit with a veranda overlooking the shore. There are kayaks in case you want to flex those arm muscles, a ping pong table, banana boats and other fun beach sports. There’s a kids’ playground and a similar playground for pups. I love that they have this service buzzer right in the room too. The meals are nothing fancy but delicious and filling. Think beef caldereta, chicken tinola, seafood curry, tilapia, espada, grilled liempo, adobo, etc. No complaints.
Toffee was the honored guest here. On Day 1, he was given a welcome loot bag of ball, leash and dog cookies. On the day we left, he was photographed and footprinted (or paw-printed?) and his photo is now framed along with other fur babies. Their pet parents must be beaming with pride. Toffee took to the water like a fish, swimming like a pro. He also made friends with another pup, a 2-year old beagle named Dax. But he’s picky — he didn’t like Bruno, the Chihuahua. How odd. But he ran, played, and swam to our delight. So active…. but he cared not to miss any member of the family. Yes, Toffee made sure we’re always together. Happy pups make happy pet parents!