Sunday, March 23, 2008

Loving La Luz

We just came back from a really nice vacation at the La Luz Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas . It's been 3 years since our last "grand" vacation. Three years ago, the family went to Boracay. It was the first time for all of us - as a family and as individuals - to go to Boracay. Aside from it being a usual summer outing/vacation, it was a joint celebration for Irvin's 6th birthday and Renmund's graduation from grade school . We actually made an effort to have this vacation because we were looking forward to starting the construction of our new home. That would not only mean busy, busy, busy, but also money, money, money. So before we started scrimping, we decided to indulge for the last time. Three years passed and with God's grace we've been able to manage. We've been blessed and thankfully able to cope financially.

The kids have been requesting for a beach outing so we decided to finally have another one. We took a 3 day and 2 night package at La Luz. I've heard so many good things about the beach resort and it has always made me curious. Some call it the Boracay of Batangas – at half the cost, how can you go wrong?

The Beach
The beach is not as crowded as Boracay. Thank goodness! I love the fact that we were able to snorkel and see a lot of different fish at the shore – no need to rent a boat and go very far. The water was relatively clean, with a few trash at the bottom and some cigarette butts flouting around – when will people learn to throw their garbage properly! I’ve seen worse in other beaches, I hope and pray the tourists and resort owners will be able to maintain the cleanliness of the beaches of San Juan. Maybe it would help if La Luz constantly reminds its guests to dispose of their trash properly. Most of the time, adults need "nagging" reminders. As for the sand, one needs aqua shoes. Nothing beats Bora sand.

The Accommodation
The Ipil at night
We got a Deluxe Room at P3500 per night at the Ipil. Initially I thought it was a bit expensive but as I googled for other resorts nearby I discovered that this was potentially one of the cheapest. The room we got had two beds and one pullout – enough for the four of us. If you’re “ginawin” like me, bring your own blanket. The ones they have are very thin. The room also had its own toilet and bath. Water supply was never a problem, at least when we were there.

The Service
Everyone was very nice and accommodating. They were very helpful and polite. When Irvin couldn’t find his slippers, they even helped look for it. It turned out that he left it at the dining area. One of the staff put it aside until someone asked for it.

The Food

Superb! At P995 per head per day, with 3 meals + afternoon snacks, it was such a good deal. You don’t even have to make “baon” because you’re always full. My only comment is the breakfast should be served earlier like 6am (they serve it at 7:30am). Coffee should also be free flowing. It’s only available in the morning. It would be nice if it’s available anytime of the day especially for caffeine addicts like me. I specially loved the suman and the chutney. I think I gained 5 pounds in just 3 days! Ouch!

Halo-halo (P40 only!), colas, shakes and other drinks were available at very affordable prices.

The dining areas.

The Massage
Amazing! At P250 per hour, it’s a bargain. The best we’ve had in years. Erwin and I had massages for two consecutive days. It’s a must when in La Luz. It completes the La Luz experience.

Snorkeling and Kayaking
When I was in the water it hit me that the last time I snorkeled was around 10 years ago. No wonder I was not as confident as I used to. I had some sort of a panic attack when I realized that I was far from shore. I didn't notice that I going far, my attention was just on the scenery at the bottom of the sea. When I saw the rocks I felt that I was going to smash against them. Thank goodness Erwin was nearby. He had to accompany swim back to shore. The next two days I was still able to snorkel a bit. Although I was calmer and braver my problem was the jelly fish. They were very small and stung like crazy. I could bear the stinging I was scared of the allergic reaction I could have. Another first time was kayaking. It was fun. Tiring but fun. Erwin is now contemplating of buying our own kayak so we don’t have to rent when we come back.
It was Irvin's first time to snorkel. It was a struggle to make him try it out. He finally tried it during our last day! He was so sorry for not trying it earlier since he only had a few hours to enjoy it. Now he's nagging us go back so he would have longer time to snorkel.

Getting some pointers from Kuya Ren

Finally going to more than 2 feet deep of water

We hope to return to La Luz by April or May. I was told that they’re full all weekends this summer. I hope I can get another vacation leave.