A Place to Breathe: Nasugbu’s Habitues Share Wonderful Memories of their Favorite Batangas Hideaway - Lifestyle Asia

This popular southern spot presents itself as an accessible escape for those looking for a reprieve.

“It’s everything you ever want, everything you ever need, and it’s here in front of you” so goes the song from The Greatest Showman

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Perhaps the greatest lesson COVID-19 has given us is to take a closer look and be grateful for what we have in front of us. 

Before the pandemic, life was too fast and too distracting. We rarely had time to be home, and our kids were stuck in traffic trying to attend school. When we had free time, we travel around the world and chase those Instagram experiences. 

From left: Turtles being released in Punta Fuego; a fisherman sells his catch out at sea

But this all changed. For several months we spent 24 hours a day with our immediate family, or by ourselves. It’s something we wished for but never gotten a chance to do. It gave us a chance to get to know them—or ourselves—better.

When we realized that our situation was not going to change anytime soon, we focused our attention on our homes and created space for both school and working from home. 

Now that the restrictions have relaxed, we have started traveling around our country. If the default was to travel abroad, it is now far easier and helpful to travel within.

“When in Tali, my favorite spot is always the water! Enjoying the good weather, food, and ocean while surrounded by the best company or simply sailing my way through the waves. There are many spots in the area that are better appreciated from the water while in a boat and that unique view makes the experience even more special. Not to mention that you can get the freshest seafood in your hands from the fisherman selling from their bangka. My favorite spot to spend a wonderful weekend with friends” – Javi Martinez

Great timing

When I got married, my husband asked me what I want in life. I told him I only wanted to have a beach house. We looked at various possibilities for having a beach house: Boracay, Laiya, Subic, or Zambales. 

After one trip to Tali Beach, Nasugbu, a 2.5-hour drive from Alabang, we fell in love with the place and decided to build there. We were lucky that our beach house was almost done when COVID-19 happened. This allowed us some breathing space, something much needed when you have five hyper kids.

What I love about Nasugbu is that even if you are a city dweller, it feels that you can live there without foregoing the comforts of city life. 

“Fuego is full of amazing memories for me and my kids. The best is the rite of passage of them, by the time they were 10-years-old, swimming with me and crossing the cove between Punta del Sol Park and Fuego Point Park. This teaches us to keep struggling, to be
brave, and to rely on our relationships, no matter how turbulent life becomes.” – David Leechiu

Sometimes we would stay for about three weeks in Tali, equipped with three prepaid Wifi devices, which was enough for five kids on distance learning and two work-from-beach adults. 

If I want to order pizza, or just lazy to cook for a gathering, we can call on Casitas De Victoria, a charming boutique hotel with great food. Beside them is a famous fixture, Lolo Doc Farms, where you can get organic fresh greens. 

Dive and discover

In our first few stays in Tali, we realized that you need to hop on a boat or even a jet ski to enjoy the experience fully. 

“My family is from Batangas, so we grew up in the province. I have so many good memories here. The first one was of my Uncle Benjie catching a turtle and threatening to cook it for dinner. My cousins and I were so upset that we created a commotion pressuring my Uncle to let it go. Turtles were so abundant then, and there were still no laws protecting them. Today my favorite spot has to be my beach house, which we call The MONO house. It is my dream fulfilled, and I am so grateful that I could finish this and have friends and family enjoy it.” – Rajo Laurel

You can explore the different coves, or snorkel around the various marine sanctuaries. On a great day, you will see friends on boats tied together, sharing a meal at famous coves like Little Boracay or Lagermania.

Another exciting place to visit is Fortune island, which looks like a greek isle complete with temple ruins and crystal clear water. It boasts so much sea life that we even see dolphins and jumping manta rays when we visit. They were magnificent sights to behold. 

Buying fresh seafood by the beach or straight from the boat is a must. Every morning you will hear fishermen shouting their catch; lobsters, clams, and fish such as mackerel, lapu-lapu, or tuna. Preparing and cooking them brings family and guests together, creating a memorable experience. 

“This is my favorite photo because Nasugbu represents many one of a kind experiences for my family. These will be memories we will cherish and talk about as a family for years to come. There is so much magic in Nasugbu, such as water sports, snorkeling, fish feeding, and even Turtle releasing!” – Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason

Mark Twain once said, “there is no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” This goes the same with our country; If we get to know how beautiful our country is, perhaps we would protect and love it more.

This story originally came out in the Volume I 2021 of Lifestyle Asia.

Photos Courtesy of JEANETTE IPAPO-TUASON

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