Foto: Jeanina Santiago

Foto: Jeanina Santiago

Calatagan in Batangas, Philippines – with its cream-colored sand beaches – is said to be the leisure site of Manila’s rich and famous. It’s near the city, so I’m not surprised. You skip the plane and get here from Manila within three hours.

It was even called “the Forbes Park of the South” back in the past. Forbes Park is a gated community in Makati, Philippines. The Forbes is where the wealthiest in the Philippines live.

The whole family came to Aquaria in Playa Calatagan from Tagaytay. (Check: Sonya’s Garden and Hillcreek Garden in Tagaytay.) We were a convoy of five huge cars. I felt happy that we were complete. It’s not always the case.

Foto: Bart Barandon

Foto: Bart Barandon

We were the only guests in Aquaria, probably because we came on a weekday. It was fun. We had the beach to our own, and the pools, too.

The entrance fee is 400 pesos for adults and 200 for kids. Our families own units – in the upcoming condominium buildings – so we only paid 100 pesos per head, kids at 50 pesos.

I forgot a towel. Luckily, huge beach towels are for sale at around 600 pesos.

Aquaria is quite new, just over a year old, so it’s so clean! And the main was/toilet/changing area is big and clean. I love it. I wish it will be maintained this way.

Foto: Jeanina Santiago

Foto: Jeanina Santiago

We ate lunch by the beach. We bought food at a restaurant and brought it in Aquaria.

A table was placed on the sand, under a tree, so some of us ate standing, with plates in our hands. Others wanted to eat comfortably, so we hired a roofed platform – a wooden cabana. Others took siesta in this cabana after lunch.

Eating near the pool area is not allowed, that’s why we ate at the beach. Lucky because the ambience near the waves is much better than the pool area.

There’s a high slide where one slides down into the deeper pool area. Anyone who wants to slide has to use a floater.

Brother Lou and Tuwis Foto: Jeanina Santiago

Brother Lou and Tuwis
Foto: Jeanina Santiago

When we were at the pool area, there were chairs with yellow parasols to laze near the river pools, but we decided to take over a white cabana to place our stuffs.

If I should be asked to criticise for improvement I’d say: improve the toilet at the beach area. Supply toilet paper even there. Please. Other than that, Aquaria is very good.