I’m sitting on my bed, in front of my laptop thinking “Should I still blog about these? I think we’ve visited the place a thousand times already.” as I scan through the few photos I took during the New Year’s Day using the camera that I just bought last year. Well, I’m just exaggerating (LOL). Maybe not thousand. But the number weren’t that low either. Thinking to myself “Why not?” led me to push through with writing about it.
Anyway, these photos I’m talking about were those at my wife’s hometown in Lobo, Batangas particularly that beach in Barangay Malabrigo. It’s like our once-in-a-while backyard… for several years now.
The first time I’ve visited the town was way back 2012 when that beautiful Batangueña woman who happened to be living at the same dormitory as I am during college (you know who she is… lol) invited some of our fellow dorm mates and I to spend a day here. We’re honestly still not into each other yet that time although it’s starting to have some attraction on my part (babe if you’re reading this, I love you).
But I was able to visit the beach a year after when that same woman and I started to date each other, I even still had those photos saved in my laptop… and the rest were history.
I honestly wonder why I was so drawn to it. Well, there may be beaches more beautiful than it.
Was it the rocks? Nope. I had a love-hate relationship with rocky or pebbled beaches given that I can’t walk barefoot on it. Knowing people, they would rather go to those sandy ones or anything with Boracay-like features such as Laiya, Puerto Galera, or Zambales. Although this rocky paradise in Malabrigo is beautiful in its own way, I don’t think people would see it the same way as those I’ve mentioned. Also, the sleepy town of Lobo never comes first on peoples’ minds every time they plan about “Hitting the beach at Batangas” as it was located at the southernmost part of the province.
Was it being uncrowded? Well, maybe. Knowing myself, I’m a sucker for those not-so-crowded beaches. I loved the fact that most of the times we visited this beach, there’s no other people aside from us (except during holidays though). Thus, not much photo bombers to worry about when taking photos.
Was it the clear waters? Yes. Its water being much more clearer than most beaches that I visited, I could stay here sitting all day just looking at the waves or taking a dip. But there’s much more.
But what made really special is, loving the fact that staying here somehow gave me a sense of peace in mind… and an opportunity to disconnect myself from the toxic reality for a little while. Include also the fact that it’s home (for me and my wife) and there’s a lot of memories well-spent here. I think this could be one of my personal favorite place.
My wife, being based in Manila starting when she went to college, she goes home once in a while during holidays to visit her parents. From that significant first visit when we’re just dating till now that we’re married for more than a year, I always make sure that we hit this beach each time we drive South, if time still permits. Thus, able of doing it several times a year.
Having one of our goals this year was to travel to more places, it doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed to revisit places that we’ve already ticked off our destination list especially this place which we’ve visited many times already.
Recently, like what I said above, we visited the beach to celebrate the first day of this year. We parked our car on the same spot where we usually park it at the cliff with the lighthouse nearby; took the same long and steep stairway going down to the beach, only to find out that the weather didn’t want to cooperate with us. The cloud seemed like it wanted to rain. Aside from that, by looking at the clock, we realized that it’s almost sundown. Thus, staying here for only a short while and taking home not-so-great photos.
Well, I’m open for “constructive criticism” if these photos that I took really looked that horrible. I tend to get grouchy though (lol). But kidding aside, I realized that no matter what the weather is, if my photographing skills were great, it will never be a problem. Thus, enabled me to practice more in order to take better photos. Not yet there but I’m trying to study setting the shutter speed, the aperture, the ISO, white balance, etc. instead of letting the camera decide for me.
Oh and one more thing. We’re just in time to see how the lighthouse where we parked our car worked as arrived from going upward the same stairway we went down. As we’re rushing home, I took a quick shot as it light up. Same thing with my photos at the beach, hoping I’ll be able to take better photos next time.
GUIDES AND SOME OTHER FINAL NOTES TO PONDER
- HOW TO GO THERE? My wife and I usually go to and roam around Lobo, Batangas through driving. It’s usually a 3 to 5 hour drive from Manila depending on the driver’s skill (due to steep zigzag roads) and there are three different routes to choose from: (a) the usual Ibaan-Taysan-Lobo route, (b) the Batangas-Taysan-Lobo route, and (c) Batangas-Tabangao-Lobo route at Brgy Ilijan, Batangas City. If in doubt, use the mighty Google Maps or Waze
- FOR COMMUTERS, I already experienced commuting to Lobo before but it was years ago when I last did it. The fares may had changed already. It’s honestly much more strenuous and complicated than driving. It involves:
- Bus ride from Metro Manila (Cubao or Buendia) going to Batangas Grand Terminal.
- Jeepney ride from Grand Terminal to SM City Batangas
- Another Jeepney ride going to Lobo. Terminal is located across SM Batangas
- Tricycle ride from plaza going to Malabrigo. I don’t have any idea how much. It would depend how great you are in haggling with the driver.
- Last trip of jeepney from Lobo to Batangas is at 5:00 PM; while the other way around is at 7:00 PM.
- Going to the beach involves going down through a steep concrete stairway. Much easier route would be going to the resorts and paying an entrance fee.
- Camping or overnight stay is not allowed on the beach unless permitted by the LGU and the barangay or checked in at the resorts. Also, the same concrete stairway closes at 6:00 PM and opens again at 6:00 AM. Also during those times, swimming by the beach weren’t allowed for safety purposes.
- WHERE TO STAY? There are lots of resorts along Barangay Malabrigo, Soloc, and Sawang where overnight stay is affordable depending on your preference. But we honestly can’t recommend any since my wife just lives here.
- The lighthouse was also called Faro de Punta de Malabrigo which already exists for more than a century. It was made of masonry and was designed during the Spanish era. An Olympian swimmer and lieutenant commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) Akiko Thompson contributed in preserving it.
- Going inside the lighthouse were prohibited unless LGU or barangay permit is also secured.
- WHERE TO EAT? There’s no restaurants nearby the beach. The only restaurant in town that I know is called the Josephine’s Place located at the town center nearby the hospital.
- Bringing your own food is allowed. But please be responsible travellers and apply the “Leave no trace” principle.
So I’m hoping that I’ll be able to convince you to go to this very favorite place of mine. Comment your experience here and kindly share this post so that others may know.
Thank you very much. Happy travelling!
– Dex B.