Beach camping is one of the favorite summer activities of those who love the outdoors. From the simple camping on the beach with only the basic necessities on one end to its high-end counterpart, glamping, on the other end, beach camping spells two things — beach and camping. There are many beach camping spots in the Philippines; one of those near Manila is Manuel Uy Beach in Calatagan, Batangas. According to one of the staff, this long stretch of cream-colored sand is owned by the businessman, you guessed it right, Manuel Uy. Manuel Uy Beach is sandwiched by Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort and Aquaria Water Park.
How to Get There
- From EDSA-Taft, you can take either the bus or the van bound for Calatagan (or Lian), Batangas. The van terminal is located at the basement parking of Metropoint Mall near Pasay Rotonda. The fare is around P180. Travel time is about three to four hours, depending on traffic situation.
- Alight at the town proper or at the Calatagan Public Market.
- Hire a tricycle to Manuel Uy Beach. The fare is P200 (good for four pax). The travel time is about 20 minutes.
ENTRANCE FEE AND OTHER CHARGES
- Entrance Fee: Adult (P100 day tour/P200 overnight); Senior Citizen (P71 day tour/P142 overnight); Children (6 y/o and below) FREE
- Camping Fee: P150 (1-4 pax); P250 (5-10 pax); P600 (11-15 pax); P800 (16-20 pax)
- Tent Rental: P500 (good for 4 pax)
- Cottage Rental Fee: As of writing, the place is purely for camping. No cottages at present.
- Table and Chairs Rental Fee: P250/set
- Island Hopping Tour: P200/hour + P100 (additional destination) OR P300/head (4-5 pax); P850 (special boat tour for solo or duo pax)
- Environmental Fee: P30
- Parking Fee: P20 (motorcycle); P100 (car); P100 (van); P200 (bus)
- Others: P50 (goggles rental)
- Swimming! The water is shallow (Calatagan beaches’ trademark) and is good for the kids. Although most parts of the waters are shallow and there’s a lifeguard station near the drop off (very deep part) warning people if they are getting closer to it, keep an eye still on your kids.
- Go island hopping. Explore other nearby attractions. Although there are three possible destinations (Starfish Island, Sand Bar, and Snorkeling Spot), the normal itinerary only consists of two destinations. If you want to go to all three, you have to pay P100 for the additional destination.
- You can also do some snorkeling. The best snorkeling spot is located beyond the drop off point. You can go there when you go island hopping. If you don’t have a pair of goggles, you can rent a pair for only P50.
- The stretch of sand is wide and long; you can throw Ultimate Frisbee disc, play volleyball or do leisure football with your friends or other beachgoers.
- Explore the whole area: Beach 1, Beach 2, and the inland creek. Don’t pass up the opportunity to take photos as you explore the area.
- Watch the sunset.
- Bring sun protection like a hat, scarf, or coral-friendly sunscreen (those without oxybenzone, parabens, and benzophenone).
- Wear comfortable footwear or aqua shoes. The sand can be too hot when the sun is high, especially during noon.
- Bring also insect or mosquito repellent lotion.
- Bring your own food. You can buy additional food at Calatagan Public Market before heading to the beach. Grilling on the beach is not allowed, but there’s a grilling station that is free for everyone to use.
- Bring an extra battery for your camera or bring power banks.
- Don’t step on the corals when you go snorkeling.
- Setting up a bonfire is not allowed.
- Aside from the lifeguard station, staff station, grilling station, and the restroom, there are no other establishments, so pitching a tent is the only accommodation you can have at Manuel Uy Beach.
- Swimming time starts at 6:30am and ends at 5:30pm. Swimming at night is not allowed.
- If you came by public transportation, it’s better to talk to the driver to arrange your pick-up time going back to the town proper. Tricycles rarely pass through that road/area.
- Leave no trash behind. Bring your garbage with you. PLEASE.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME AND BUDGET
- You can visit the Calatagan Lighthouse on your way back to the town proper or have a day tour at Stilts Calatagan. You can also go to Matabungkay Beach in Lian, Batangas.
- You can choose to explore other beaches in Nasugbu instead. And if you are into hiking, you can also scale Mount Batulao or Mount Talamitam; both are located in Nasugbu, Batangas. As of writing, Mount Palay-Palay or Pico de Loro is still closed to the public.
- If you have a car and you are taking the Nasugbu-Tagaytay Road, you can do a stopover in Tagaytay before heading back to Manila.
Where to Stay
If you plan to stay long in Calatagan, but roughing it out is not really your thing, there are other resorts offering the comfort of an air-conditioned room or cottage. Aside from Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort and Aquaria Water Park, below are some of the recommended resorts in Calatagan, Batangas according to Agoda users as of May 2018.
- Sunrise Cove.
- Lago de Oro Hotel.
- Calatagan Private Resort.
- White Castle Hotel and Resort.