Wait up, summer

Summer zoomed past us, or at least that’s how it felt like. I deplored the fact that for us, summer 2017 was just a bunch of impromptu escapades – hello, Easter staycation and Laguna day trip – but in the end, who am I to complain? It will always be better than nothing.

I decided to celebrate the incoming new school year and rainy season with a day trip to the beach.

Virgin_Beach_Batangas
Hello, beach!

An English colleague once told me how we are so spoiled, having easy access to nature and the wondrous outdoors. We took her to Virgin Beach in San Juan, Batangas then.

What she said never left me. Whether you decide to go north, south or east of Manila, there’s bound to be a beach, a river, a waterfall or some other natural respite just waiting.

In Laiya, make it Virgin

Virgin_Beach_buffet_lunch
Buffet lunch was underwhelming. Don’t mind these two, give them liempo any day and they’d be happy.

San Juan, Batangas has a lovely long stretch of white sand beach, and has clear blue waters. It’s close proximity to Manila – approximately 3 hours by car – seals the deal, hence its popularity as a beach getaway all year round. Virgin Beach in particular, makes for an ideal day trip destination.

beach_view
Unfiltered view from lying down on my back. Yep, that’s my knee on the left.

I love that it’s a fuss-free location. We only bought toiletries, change of clothes, towels and some snacks and drinks, and it’s enough. There is a restaurant for meals and drinks, the toilets are clean, and the place is secure. They also have beach beds perfect for day trippers like us.

Virgin_Beach_buffet_spread
Lunch buffet comes with the day trip fee. Filling choices, but it’s quality over quantity for me.
Virgin_Beach_restaurant
Restaurant view.
beach_baby
This bed parasol is a bit of a trap, really, you could easily nap the day away here. Best to hit the beach right away!
beach_with_floaties
Water looks inviting, yes?

We have a beach baby

All this time, Akira enjoyed swimming in pools and is a little afraid of the sea, but here, I was totally surprised by how she welcomed the experience. There wasn’t much fuss about walking on sand, or sand getting inside sandals. There wasn’t even any complaint about the salty water.

Virgin Beach made a beach baby out of my little one 🙂

beach_goof

There was a small school of fish that swam near us, and it just delighted her. She was also comfy with her arm floaters, and didn’t cling to me or Shaine as much. She still preferred to be near the shore though, even if it meant a bathing suit full of sand.

bury_in_sand

The sad difference this time around

Since I was here last, the only difference wasn’t with the food. There was noticeably more litter on the beach, and even on the water.

beach_litter

We had a spot where we threw the random litter that we came across with – I’m talking about floating debris that just came our way. By the end of the day it was a pretty big pile.

rubbish

The muck wasn’t new. A lot of the plastic was already quite yellow and frail. The resort had staff combing the beach and collecting the litter, but unfortunately, I think the tide was bringing the trash in from somewhere else.

From what we gathered, it would also look like there are still a lot of irresponsible beach goers – there was a lot of food wrappers and packaging, plastic cups, and juice drink packaging.

Virgin_Beach_Kiddo

Having come from a delightful experience of swimming up close with fishes, to having this disgusting problem in your face…it came very close to ruining the entire experience, honestly.

Having said that, it did present an opportunity to teach Akira about being diligent with throwing trash where it belongs, and what plastic does to animals and the environment. This particular lesson sucked – but oftentimes you’ll have to clean up mess that you didn’t make. I guess this means packing trash bags for the beach next time.

 


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