It’s beach tiiime! I haven’t been to a beach in almost a year due to the pandemic. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I still know how to float in the water, if my cameras were still working, and my backpack hadn’t been touched since my last local trip in Camiguin.
I still had Airbnb credits that were due to expire so I looked for a nice staycation in Batangas. It would be my first time out, so I didn’t want to do anything extreme — just somewhere I can relax and maybe take a dip in the water if I wanted too.
I found this private beach villa in Mabini, Batangas. The listing does not have a name, but I found out online that it’s called Lalam Kalumpang. I went with Hali, my brother and his wife.
Our stay in Lalam Kalumpang
Lalam Kulampang is located just past Eagle Point Resort. It’s inside a gated property. We parked at a shed and then walked down a 200-step stairs towards the villa. I wasn’t surprised at this because the properties in this side of Batangas are on the upper slope of a mountain and you either drive down or take winding stairs to get to the beach area.
There are 3 bedrooms with traditional wooden design and open air. Hali and I chose the biggest one, with a spacious veranda facing the sea. There is no aircon here, only fans. At night, it’s cool because of the ocean breeze that you don’t really need a fan.
There is also an alfresco dining area and couches. There are hammocks and lounge chairs facing the beach. There is a kitchen and one of the staff is always there to help the guests prepare or cook the food.
We didn’t bring food except bread and spreads, so we asked the cook for meals — adobong pusit, inihaw na bangus, and sinigang with sampalok. By the way, the ingredients here is just as expensive in Manila. This took me by surprise because I thought a seaside community would offer cheap seafood — but as my friend explained to me, public transport is limited and therefore expensive and a lot of items are bought from the port. Anyway, we liked the food and we didn’t have to spend time in the kitchen so it was fine.
We all liked the place. It was relaxing so we could just spend all day doing nothing — taking a nap (something we adults really appreciate), chilling in a hammock, or walking along the beach.
We went for a casual swim at the beach. The water here was so clear that you could see the small boulders and corals underneath. There were only small spots of sandy area, but there’s a wide breakwater that serves as natural pool.
But I haven’t talked about the best thing about this beach villa yet — it’s in front of a snorkeling area. Of course, Mabini is part of the Verde Island Passage so there really are snorkel and dive sites along its coastline. That saying, I’d been in Mabini a handful of times including another Airbnb house, and for me this is the best one as of yet.
Kuya Nelson, one of the staff at the villa, accompanied us for snorkeling. Aside from the corals, we’d easily seen around 5-6 sea turtles. We even saw 2 of them together, playfully circling each other. It was amazing.
The beachfront in the next property is also a breeding ground for sharks. During amihan, the baby sharks can be seen there. We’d seen one while snorkeling. Hali was already at the shore at that time, so he simply walked to get there and also saw the baby sharks in the water. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any photos. Taking pictures of baby sharks can be tricky because they immediately run away from humans. (Jaws really did give a bad impression on sharks.)
Because I hadn’t gone swimming for months, I was immediately hungry and tired. I asked Hali if he still wanted to snorkel the next day, but both of us agreed that we’d take the day off to relax. I guess you could say that we were already satisfied with our snorkeling experience.
All in all, it was a refreshing opportunity to get my feet back on traveling. The place we booked was really worth it. It’s a good choice whether you’re simply looking for a relaxing beach house or a place that offers good snorkeling experience.
See you next time, Mabini.
How to get here
Mabini is 2-2.5 hours away from Manila. Here’s how to get there:
- From Manila, ride a bus bound for Batangas City. Get off at the Grand Terminal.
- Ride a jeep to Mabini. Then take a tricycle to your resort/accommodation.
We took a private car, which I think is the easiest way to get there.
Book your stay here
You can book here via Airbnb.
- The listing includes 3 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, outdoor dining area, and kitchen.
- Caretaking service is included.
- Lifevests, snorkel, fins, and kayaks can be borrowed for free. You can also ask to be accompanied on your snorkeling tour so you can see where the sea turtles are.
Reminders and Tips
- It’s best to bring your own food. Or you can shop at the market in the town proper. There are eateries outside but they are limited, and if you do not have your own car, chartering a tricycle can be expensive.
- You can also ask the caretaker to shop and cook for you.
- To get to this property, you will need to take a 200-step stairs down to the beach area. Take this into consideration when booking.
- The best activities in Mabini are snorkeling and diving. Island hopping can also be availed for around P1500 per boat.
What to read next:
Love Airbnb? Here are other places for your staycation:
- Narra Hill (Tagaytay)
- Ataalaya Farmhouse (Alitagtag, Batangas)
- Lily Vacation Farm House (Jalajala, Rizal)
- Casa Belinda (Lipa, Batangas)
- Little House by the Beach (Lobo, Batangas)
- Our favorite Airbnbs near Manila
Are you into snorkeling and freediving? Check out these places:
- Pagkilatan (Batangas)
- Apo Reef (Mindoro)
- Apo Island (Negros Oriental)
- Moalboal (Cebu)
- Best snorkeling spots in Southeast Asia
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).