Chuckie and I have been married for more than a decade but we really haven’t had the chance to go on a vacation with just the two us. Going out of town has always been with our kids or due to work. But 2 weeks ago, this long awaited getaway has finally become a reality.
Weekend Getaway, a show hosted by Drew Arellano over GMA News TV, called and invited us to guest on their show. Apart from being able to enjoy an out-of-town trip, we would also become “Weekend Warriors” of that particular episode. Weekend Warriors are tasked to complete 3 Travel Missions, different (but fun) challenges related to a province’s culture, custom, or way of life. If all 3 travel missions are accomplished, we will be given an awesome shopping spree reward worth Php20,000!
They surprised me and Chuckie by taking us to San Juan, Batangas.
Photo courtesy of Weekend Getaway
I have been to Batangas a lot of times but not this area. So, I knew this was going to be quite exciting!
San Juan, Batangas –
Considered as the 2nd largest municipality in the Province of Batangas. Strategically located in the southern most part of the Province of Batangas, the Municipality of San Juan can be considered as the south Eastern Gateway of the Province of Batangas as it connects with Daang Maharlika of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway, the main land transport route of the country extending up north to Metro Manila and down South to the Mindanao Islands.
The location of the municipality at the southern tip, with the picturesque view of long white sandy beaches, coves and marine life cradled at the foot of mountains and hills makes the area suitable for all levels of tourism development.
I tell you, San Juan, Batangas is a place where I would want to go to during long holidays or just to get-away from the hustle and bustle of the metro – peaceful, friendly people and grrrrrreat food.
Just a 2-hour trip from Manila taking the STAR Tollway
and viola! This is what welcomed us!
During our 1st day, we stayed at Kabayan Beach Resort. We were given the “Ilang-Ilang” Villa near the shore. It has 2 separate air-conditioned bedrooms, common toilet and bath, wall fan and TV in the receiving area and kitchenette.
We weren’t really able to enjoy the amenities of Kabayan Beach Resort as we were mostly out to enjoy every beautiful scenery San Juan, Batangas had to offer.
In between Travel Mission shoots, the Weekend Getaway production staff prepared different activities for us.
We first visited the San Juan Nepomuceno Church.
San Juan Nepomuceno Church was built during the Spanish colonial period. You can somehow tell by its structure how old the church is but it has been wonderfully maintained for future generations to enjoy and revel at.
Trivia: This was the church were Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos privately wed.
From the church, we were brought to San Juan beach were we snorkelled and kayaked together for the first time! I have Kayaked before but only with friends. So, I had to give Chuckie basic Kayaking tips (feeling pro haha!).
The water was calm amid the warm summer sun.
We also went snorkeling! I enjoy the beach but only for the view and atmosphere – not to swim because I’ve never liked open waters. But because of Chuckie and the show, I DID IT… but only after 30 hilarious minutes of panicking and self-convincing! I am just so thankful I was able to try snorkeling and to conquer my fear. I survived!
It was a magical experience, seeing the fishes and corals. I was in underwater heaven!
After 2 water activities, we were brought to Julie’s Pottery to learn more about a craft that San Juan, Batangas is well known for.
They let Chuckie try to make a vase on the potter’s wheel much to his delight.
It seemed very easy looking at it but when I tried it out with Chuckie’s help, I realized how difficult it actually was to control and shape the mud.
Photo courtesy of Weekend Getaway
Finished product! It was messy but a lot of fun.
As night approached, Chuckie led me to the beach where a romantic dinner awaited… as we walked along the candle-lit path on the sand, he surprised me with a serenade of his own composition! He knew all about this romantic set-up for days already but kept mum about it. It was like our 1st year wedding anniversary celebration… The sweet memories all came back to me.
Another wonderful experience we had was performing the “Lambayok” dance with the Buhay na Sapa National High School students. Preparing for the Lambayok Festival, these very friendly and enthusiastic kids donned their colorful costumes.
Lambayok was derived from the words, Lambanog (coconut wine), Palayok (clay pot) and Karagatan (ocean) – a showcase of culture and sights that San Juan is best known for.
San Juan, Batangas’ turquoise waters is what immediately attracts tourists! Everything in this place is a scene fit for a painter’s canvass!
The husband after doing his 5K run.