♫ Stones… Heavy like the love you’ve shown… ♫ I can’t help but sing to this song whenever I recount my trips to Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas—a beach destination that is known for its, well, stony shores. Mabato s’ya. Parang ‘yung puso n’ya.
Malabrigo is my mother’s hometown, so we make it a point to spend at least a weekend there every summer. Now you know that as a child, I was more familiar with the feeling of rocks and pebbles than soft, creamy sand under my feet. No wonder why I already got used to all the pain and stuff. Charaught.
I know that Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas is not a popular pick among beach lovers out there, but I hope that this post will encourage you to give its pebbly shores and other attractions a chance. 🙂
Top 6 Reasons Why I Love MaLOVErigo, Lobo, Batangas
1. The kind of beach
Everybody’s been raving about white sand beaches and sandbars (Read: Kalanggaman Island). Don’t join the bandwagon this time—try the rocky coast! Because it rocks. Well, literally. 😛 The beaches of Malabrigo shouldn’t be underestimated because their pebbles that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors are said to be great scrubs for our skin. 😉 Skin care is life, mga bes. 😛
2. The crystal clear and cool waters
The Verde Island Passage, the world’s “Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity”, stretches through the coast of Lobo; hence, snorkeling and diving are highly encouraged in this part of Batangas. The clear underwater world of Malabrigo will surely feast your eyes. Mare-realize mo na ‘yung relasyon n’yo lang ang tanging malabo sa mundo. 😛 And since Malabrigo’s sea bed is stony, the temperature of the water is chill enough to beat the heat. The town also maintains a Fish Sanctuary and Refuge Area where fishermen are prohibited to catch so as not to prevent the small fishes from growing and reproducing. The said spot has become a favorite among tourists as it houses a variety of friendly sea creatures that they can freely swim with.
3. The picturesque lighthouse
Before plunging into the sea, it has been a tradition for us to warm up by climbing our way to the Faro de Punta de Malabrigo (Parola), a 19th century-old lighthouse located atop a cliff. It’s now accessible via vehicles, but I prefer you to hike it via the now-cemented roads then descend using the stairs that lead to the beach. Through the government’s Adopt-a-Lighthouse project and the help of Olympic swimmer Akiko Thompson, The Parola has been restored and maintained through the years. It was declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as a National Historical Landmark last 2006. We were able to climb the tower a few years ago; I just don’t know if they still allow it today. But don’t hesitate to ask whenever there’s a caretaker present. If prohibited, don’t fret—just savor the view of the Verde and Mindoro islands. Tapos mag-emote ka and whisper to yourself, “So near yet so far.”
4. The healthy food
Say no to fast food for the meantime and eat guilt-free recipes offered by the town of Lobo. Rich in Sampaloc (Tamarind) trees, the town is recognized as a primary producer of delicacies made of tamarind such as sweet tamarind (minatamis na sampaloc) and tamarind candy which is popularly known as “champoy”. You can hoard boxes of such as pasalubong at P50 each as what I can remember. Aside from that, Lobo also takes pride in being the Atis (sugar apple) Capital of the Philippines. Pinais (poached dulong fish wrapped in banana leaves), Bulanglang (different vegetables boiled in rice water), Ginataang Tulingan (tulingan fish cooked in coconut milk), and anything that is “sinaing” (braised) are also some of the must-taste delicacies of Lobo and Batangas in general. Oh, and before I forget, munch on their locally made pastries such as Kababayan (Filipino version of muffin), Paborita Biscuit, Buchi-Buchi (sweet potato balls that resemble kwek-kwek), and Ookan (deep fried rice flour mixed with egg and sugar). I was so busy eating that I failed to take pictures of them. 😛
5. The not so crowded shores
I hate beaches that are congested. For me, the mere purpose of going to the beach is to relax, to simply be away from the noise and pollution of the city. Therefore, whenever I plan on being one with the sea, I make sure that the beach I’ll go to is not that hyped or advertised. Malabrigo is a perfect example of that.
6. The friendly cost
No need to wait for promo fares to go beach-bumming! Thank God Southern Luzon is blessed with a place like Batangas where beaches are just one fun road trip away. Accommodations in Malabrigo are very affordable, too. And since it’s my mom’s hometown, some of the residents there are our relatives. We usually stay at Mercedes Ben’s Place (witty resort name, right?) which is owned by my mom’s cousin, and we buy boxes of sweet tamarind from Tiya Teming who happens to be my grandmother’s cousin. Talk about scoring some good discounts! You may want to consider this resort and store if you happen to drop by.
I’m happy that Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas has been making a name for itself. Not to be selfish, but I hope it stays as it is—clean, unspoiled, and serene. It has become a home for me, and I don’t mind going back year after year.
MGA BANAT NG BIYAHE
- You and the pebbles of Malabrigo have one thing in common: Pareho kayong hard sa’kin.
- Another thing in common? Ang sarap n’yong durug-durugin.
- Knock knock! Who’s there? Lobo. Lobo who? ♫ When I need you, make everything stop. Finally, you put my LOBOnTop! ♫
Are you a sand or a pebble beach person? 🙂