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Rediscovering Batangas…

Acua Verde – Rediscovering Batangas…

“Balance is not something you find,
it is something you create.” 
-Jana Kingsford-

It is vacation mode. A few days back, all the shades of excitement are in our faces. We all know, that in a fast-paced corporate life, a time will occur that there’s a need to reconnect with nature. Be recharged. And be alive. The best time is? Summer!!!

Road trip...

Road trip…

Going to Acua Verde, Laiya, Batangas on road trip took us less than 4 hours en route the newly constructed Star toll way.

Guide map

Guide map

An ads that I borrowed.

An ad that I borrowed.

Acua Verde...

Acua Verde…

We arrived a little late for lunch and we headed straight to the restaurant.

Cocina is Spanish word for kitchen...=)

Cocina is Spanish word for kitchen…=)

The sumptuous buffet were waiting for us. The free flowing coffee is what I love best. Without guilt, I took advantage. Instead of the famous “tamarind juice” that they served as welcome drink, I had coffee over lunch. I do not want to be sleepy when everyone is basking under the sun. After taking some photos, we headed to each of our rooms and snag our forty winks.

The place was such a lovely site to behold. It’s a vast resort – Filipiniana theme, made use of bamboos as posts and cogon grass as finish for the roofing.

(--,)

(–,)

The trees are part of the deal..

The trees are part of the deal..

And of course the beach front.

And of course the beach front.

Our suite was at par, with 2 pieces of soft pillows and sheets and towels that smells ultra sweet. There is a hot and cold shower, hair dryer and personalized stuff. The personnel themselves are very friendly and assisted us with grins on their faces.

Our place..

Our place..

Complete sets of toiletries.

Complete sets of toiletries.

Those huge trees that were lined up left and right, back and forth made me confused to decide who among them is the prettiest like a muse. I ended up surrendering to admitting that each of them inherits individual beauty.

So pretty..

So pretty..

Trees are heaven's gifts..

Trees are heaven’s gifts..

Giant bonsai..

Giant bonsai..

Loved the skies...

Loved the skies…

I devoured on where my feet are stationed and revel on the loveliness that’s all around me. The trees are truly welcoming. The wind softly blows allowing my hair to prance on my shoulder and whether they came from the north or south, I do not have the slightest idea. I only knew two things. I am free then and happy being with wonderful people. It made me forget the not so good things part of everyday life.

We had bonfire during the night...and some booze.

We had bonfire during the night…and some booze.

The bar is open 24 hours.

The bar is open 24 hours.

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Booze..

Good company..

Good company..

Girls just wanna have sun!

Girls just wanna have sun!

Great view..

Great view..

One of my favorites..

One of my favorites..

And this one too.

And this one too.

When the sun is still capable of kissing our skins, we didn’t mind going around and explore the surroundings. Me and my bff as usual are natural explorers with our feet, eyes and cameras always ready.

Me and my soul sis..

Me and my soul sis..

She took this shot..

She took this shot..

We’re like hunters for picture perfect subjects and didn’t get tired taking photos in all angles, appreciating the beauty of almost anything that captures our attention, in return, we capture them too. Fortunately, there were plenty.

I have collected these stunning panoramas.

Boats are pretty subjects, I just realized lately..

Boats are pretty subjects, I just realized lately..

So stunning..

So stunning..

Good times!

Good times!

I bought a biri hat..

I bought a biri hat..

For 2 days, short as it is. I have come to savor the incredulity of being with one with nature and good friends. Beauty from both. Captured. It is liberating. It was comparable to an emotional outburst of being free.

Heaven and earth..

Heaven and earth..

Pink skies..

Pink skies..

There are some activities that are too attractive to miss. We played like kids on the crystal clear water before riding on the banana boat.

Crystal clear..

Crystal clear..

More please..

More please..

It was so much fun!

The jet-skis are like begging for us to ride on them. So we did!

Sis on it!

Sis on it!

My turn..

My turn..

The ride created a lovely base for summertime. I have yet to find a more amusing way to describe the ride. It’s just so addicting, you wanted to do it again. Even in some other time.  I noticed my skin (or our skins) getting darker due to the heat of the sun, but what else can be lovelier If we would not enjoy being under it so much if we didn’t sizzle?

It is so worth it and getting a tan won’t hurt just to be able to bid this specific Summer goodbye…It’s already June anyway.

So long Summer of 2014, looking forward to Summer of 2015! I just can’t wait! =)

PS

I am taking this in as my finale… (–,)

Mushroom omelet please!

Mushroom omelet please!

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Balai Isabel – Talisay, Batangas

Balai Isabel…

Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

I have declared for several times, that I am lucky (or blessed) to be near Tagaytay or the Batangas area. As list of destinations from here is endless, places that will take your breath away. Even if it’s just a day or two.

You will have a hard time choosing, or probably, list them all and visit each if chance permits.

I was having my caffeine fix the night I was packing for an overnight trip to Balai Isabel. There’s a natural feeling of excitement and I found myself smiling.

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Enjoyin’ the sun..

The place has it all. (Though they need some enhancements to do. If your place is getting more and more popular, maintaining it is actually a must). The place has a hotel, Mediterranean styled villas to choose from, cottages, there are 3 swimming pools, restaurants, a spa, basketball court, tennis court, water sports facilities (kayaking, jet-skiing and there’s pedal boats too), a church (ideal as wedding venues – We learned that there are few celebrities who have exchanged their vows there), there’s a lot of activities to do at Balai Isabel meant for friends in groups, families and companies to hold their annual outings,just like what we did. What it boasts – is being strategically in front of the smallest volcano not only in the Philippines but in the world. The Taal volcano.

The entrance of the place looked promising. There are interesting stuff lovely enough to behold and capture.

So serene...

So serene…

Greens are everywhere creating a special scent especially when the winds are blowing. There are dainty flowers all around and the signages are my favorite.

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Signage says Taal lake drive..=)

So seldom I see a white gumamela nowadays..

So seldom I see a white gumamela nowadays..

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Welcome! =)

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A vintage clock creates a country feel..

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Floating flowers..

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Another vintage element..antique tiles..

Giant keys????

Giant keys????

The place felt serene. Even if as expected, there are other guests during our visit. I felt peace. Or maybe because my mother was with me, I do not need to think of her while I am away from her. I am meant to enjoy this particular weekend with her. =)

Mama! (--,)

Mama! (–,)

We stayed at Frijas. It’s a 4 bedroom villa with a loft that fits us all.=)

Frijas...

Frijas…

We stayed at Frijas...Pronounced as Frias...

We stayed at Frijas…Pronounced as Frias…

Where mama spent her whole time here...

Where mama spent her whole time here…

From the loft...

From the loft…

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Multi-colored lamps..

Not unpacking my stuff yet, I went into a “Can’t get enough” mode of taking pictures of the tiniest volcano sitting calmly in front of us. I especially loved the lamps in colored glasses which happens to be all over the place like a unifying element to achieve a theme.

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Taal – so near and yet so far..ehehe..

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Majestic!

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Saw a similar angle so I tried my take..and i liked it..=)

b12 lamps

Planate..

From this, you'd get the best angle of the Taal...

From this, you’d get the best angle of the Taal…

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Two favored subjects in one shot..=)

There were plenty of food, enough to satisfy our hunger in exploring the place. My mom, by the way, spent the whole time sleeping. Ahaha!

Her prize for sleeping the whole day is my treating her of a massage. She can no longer walk that long, so we had to ask the attendant to do it in our room. Me and my soul buddy had ours in the spa. Dimly lighted with a soothing piped-in music played to better the ambience and relax us. There are also a few candles lighted which I got worried of that might burn, but the strokes done to me made me forget about it. T’was one of my best Saturday nights.

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Spa..

After the massage, it’s bonding time with the rest of the group. There are singing, eating, drinking over conversations of interesting topics, even scary ones. Ahahaha! We dozed off past midnight I guess. I do not want to sleep so late, I am looking forward to wake-up early and explore the other half of the place.

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Ghost stories & booze!

After a hefty breakfast, me and my buddy readied ourselves for another tour of the place. We were restless. We went to the church, tried finding the old one as declared, but to no avail, we can’t find it and we ended up swimming with this specific pool all to ourselves.

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I imagined how it sounds as to announce that a mass is about to start..imaging a an altar boy in white liturgical vests..

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Stairs to the choir area..

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A door within a door..

Just in time, one group was about to make use of that pool, we’ve had enough of the water.

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Talisay garden pool..had it all to ourselves..ehehe..

We also bond with the girls deciding on traversing that enticing island on the other side where the Taal is sitting.

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Staring at that is hypnotizing..

We found a boat, it’s a 30 minute ride for us to get to the other side. The roar of the engine and the sound of the water slapping against the boat and the serene vista we were leaving made me sleepy… Though the view of the Taal volcano wakes me up from time to time as it gets bigger and bigger until we are already in front of it.

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Few more miles?

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Almost there..

The squeaking footbridge was a sight to behold. I’ve seen several blogs featuring this subject and I can’t help but admire it’s allure. I finally had my shot at it.

Footbridge...

Footbridge…

It was such a unique experience, I used to bring my telescope, as young as I was, I was 12, just to be able to get a closer glimpse of its’ beauty. Admiring it from afar. All these years. But this time, up close and personal.

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Pavilion..

With the girls...

With the girls…

We can even get nearer if we wanted to, but horse-back riding at noon isn’t such a good idea besides it’s nearly lunch and everyone might be already hungry. We are all looking forward to have “bulalo” (beef shank soup) for our lunch.

Being physically there, relishing the moment is more than enough.

Why oh why all weekends can’t be like this? (–,) Such thing makes me look forward for the next one. Till then. (–,)

ps

For those interested. Here’s a link that you might make use of.

http://www.balaiisabel.com/