It was in the middle of September when two of my high school besties and I—out of nowhere— thought of taking in some much-needed Vitamin Sea to lessen our stress brought about by work and school (does love life count?). We were searching for a near but nice beach destination perfect for a quick weekend getaway. Gladly, we came across an Instagram post of my friend’s friend and discovered this private cove called Kota Keluarga which is situated at Brgy. Laiya Ibabao, San Juan, Batangas. On that same day, we contacted the resort and booked right away—not minding if a typhoon would hit the area during our chosen dates. We were booked on a November, mind you. Haha.
Laiya is the go-to coast of people from the south (that includes us three). Clearly, it is not the best beach pick for it does not boast a sea of sand that is as white and powdery as the famous Boracay’s or Panglao’s. But as I suggest, Laiya is very accessible. From Manila, you just have to endure an approximately 3-hour travel to reach it.
Just the name of it makes me wanna go, “Pak! Rumampa tayo sa Kota Keluarga!” or “Sila na? Kebs! Kumota Keluarga na lang tayo!” I don’t know if it’s just me, but the name sounds like a gay linggo. Anyway, I like the Beki language and community so I highly approve of the name. LOL.
The resort is kind of pricey, though. We spent P 2,700 per head for an overnight stay at their air-conditioned cabana which can accommodate four pax. That’s inclusive of entrance fee, meal buffets (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and use of facilities (beach, pool, dining, bar & common restrooms). However, what made us say yes to this place is its coziness and exclusivity. In Vice Ganda’s term, hindi siya “puchu-puchu“. Unlike other public beaches in Laiya where videokes are heard all over simultaneously, Kota Keluarga makes sure that its guests will have a peaceful and relaxing experience. I recommend that you visit it during off-season like what we did (we were one of the few who went beach bumming on a November!), so you have the entire beach to yourselves. Exclusive. Walang kaagaw. Walang kahati. Sa’yong sa’yo lang siya—’yung lugar, ha.
Some facts I want to share: Local films “Always Be My Maybe” and “Love Is Blind” were partly shot in this particular beach resort. Like what I’ve said, though this vacay spot is not really A+ (what I mean is the Amanpulo-kind-of-standard), still, it’s beautiful enough to be seen on movies and well, your Instagram feed.
Overall, Kota Keluarga is a destination that you would want to consider for an overnight stay-cation by the beach—away from the stress, away from the ex. Char.
MGA BANAT NG BIYAHE
- You can travel in threes. 3. Tatlo. Trio. Just don’t hurt yourself by traveling as the third. Third Wheel, you know?!
- Don’t overlook things and places. O sige na nga, pati people. Punta ka nang punta sa malayo without knowing na ‘yung hinahanap mo, nandiyan lang sa kanto, nasa kabilang bayan, or worst, nasa harapan mo lang.
- We need a break once in a while. Bladder break. Lunch break. Sem break. Not just heartbreak, please.
Have you been to Laiya? Where did you stay? Share your experience on the comments’ section below!