The thing about work is that even if you like it or it challenges you, burnout is inevitable. I’m a creature of habit, but at the same time, routines bore me. So when work-related stress seem to be getting the best of me, I always look for a quick getaway, even for just the weekend. I’m no use to the office when I’m grumpy and unproductive so it’s always best to “recharge” every so often.
Traveling has become my ultimate stress reliever and as much as I want to “toughen it up”, I don’t think I’m ready for it. You can’t just throw me the in wilderness and expect me to survive. Haha. We’ll have to take it one step at a time.
On the weekend after my 25th birthday, some of my office friends and I decided to take a “detoxifying” weekend in Batangas. We wanted to go somewhere chill and off-the-grid but not as scary as actual camping; GLAMPING it is!
Glamping is the combined term for “glamour” and “camping”. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no fire to build, no camping bag to unroll, and definitely no canned goods for breakfast. Glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and luxury. Basically, hassle-free camping is what it is!
So, our first ever galloping weekend was at a place called Casa Antonio. Located in Calatagan, Batangas, it is just 3-4 hours from the Metro.
Glamping, indeed. The reservation came with a tent, well, duh. And the tent is not really one-size-fits-all which is great. They will not cram you inside a small tent. The tents are insanely spacious and well-built. It came with net-covered windows to let the breeze in and the insects out. Our tent had 4 single mattresses, pillows and blankets.
It also came with 3 sets of meals. Good thing: you don’t have to worry about food, i.e. where to get them, when to prepare them or how to bring it to the location especially when you’re commuting. Food is totally hassle-free here! Great thing: the food was not only delicious but it was PLENTY. There are separate food setups per tent and ours were good for 7-8 persons — we were 5 girls, very hungry but girls, nonetheless. haha So don’t worry if the food is going to be enough or if Casa Antonio is going to be kuripot with the food. I can tell you, they are not.
There are also public toilets and shower rooms a few minutes from the tent area. The rest rooms are generally clean but like a said, it was a few minutes away from the tents so I had to ask a friend to accompany me every time I needed to go after dinner.
From Makati, ride a van going to Calatagan, Batangas (fare: ~Php200 ). There’s a terminal near Kabayan Hotel in Pasay. At the last stop which is the Calatagan market, there are tricycles that can bring you the Casa Antonio for Php50 per person.
Casa Antonio is very flexible with their check-in and check-out time. Come whatever time it is convenient for you, stay for 24 hours, eat 3 full meals and that’s all that matters. No “check-in after 3pm, check-out before 12 noon” crap.
Rates varies depending on the number of guests. Here’s the most recent pricelist as posted on Casa Antonio Facebook page.
What to Bring:
Yourself. Like I said, meals are already part of the package. So other than your change of clothes and sunblock, I suggest bringing marshmallows if you’re staying overnight, and (alcoholic) drinks, too! S’mores are perfect for the bonfire as you stargaze with your friends! The night breeze, lack of light pollution and the overflowing girl chismisan was the perfect way to cap the night off.
If you’re with your special someone, the bonfire and the lights along the trees is a very romantic setup. Great for Valentines date! You’re welcome. 😉 haha
What are the activities:
Unlike in other beaches, they have very limited water activities which is fine since we weren’t really there for adventure. You can rent paddle boards and kayak either by the hour or for the entire day. They also offer “island hopping” although technically it wasn’t island hopping since there was no other island, really. HAHA. But it was fun chasing the sunset on a small boat. The sound of the motor boat and the calmness of the sea was soothing beyond words.
The water was only a couple of feet high in some parts so we were able to go down the boat and actually take pictures in the middle of the sea.
On the plus side to not having a lot of water activities is that the beach is not crowded at all! There’s barely anyone so you can really just sit back and relax the entire day… or in my case, I was finally able to wear my swimsuit to the beach. HAHAHA
Oh, I forgot to mention that I actually got my first tattoo last October. The arrow means “moving forward” as well as “protection” in Native American. I’m also a Sagittarius so that’s a bonus. <3 Had it done by the talented team behind Whiplash Tattoo, same people who did the tattoo of several celebrities like Solenn Heusaff. 😉
Going back to our incredible weekend. Can I just commend their awesome staffs for being uh well, AWESOME?! Not only were they polite and friendly but they were very accommodating. Our stay went smoothly and every thing was already prepared for us when we got there. They even went as far as going to the public market to buy us playing cards!
Oh, the place was so safe that we actually fell asleep outside our tent and was unharmed! We were all girls, by the way. Hands down, one of the best accommodations I’ve had. This is absolutely the place to visit if you want to escape the office environment without having to plan every tiny details.
If you want to kickback and nap all day on hammocks, or maybe read a book by the shore or simply just getaway from the fast-paced city life, then Casa Antonio should be part of your escape plan.
For more information, you may visit their Facebook page, Casa Antonio Glamping: www.facebook.com/batangasglamping
Before I forget, photo credits to my friends who always take blog-worthy photos! Thanks, kwekies. <3
“Sometimes you have to get away to come back stronger.”