Freshest Footprints

New in Batangas: A Black Sand Paradise with Inflatable Island


Sorry, white sand is now overrated.


At The Seashore Beach Club in San Juan, Batangas, a stretch of black sand seems to tell a different flavor of a tropical paradise.

In the horizon is the mythical Mt. Banahaw that long time ago was an active volcano. This creature's ashes are to be blamed for the black color of the beach, but should also be thanked for the raw ingredient in skin purifying and detoxifying.

When I walked on the black sand beach, I went barefoot to feel the volcanic element. In other other parts of Batangas, the sand is white.

The young Seashore Beach Club is yet to maximize the black sand. But I am sure spa houses will be reigning in the area someday.

To reach the beach club, one needs to endure a three-hour drive from Metro Manila. Commuting is a big no-no as ALPS buses do not pass by the club so another ride is needed to get to this new destination.

Upon reaching the beach club's location in Brgy. Calublub, a small road welcomes visitors with high coconut trees dancing to the tune of birds chirping from everywhere. As everyone knows, long rides lead to worthy, beautiful places.

The landscape is totally rural- no houses or developments can be seen in the distance- making the spot very tranquil, perfect for soul searchers.

On the 16th of June this year, the beach club is opening a 104-bed hotel to provide accommodation. The master-plan for the development also includes four pools, clubhouses, a restaurant, receiving area, and a huge inflatable island.

The inflatable island, named Aquaplay, can be enjoyed at P888 per person for day-tour visitors. The package includes a two- hour stay and lunch.

The Tayabas Sea where the inflatable island is stationed at is home to harmless jellyfish. Thus, kids need not panic when they see these creatures swimming with them in the open seas.

According to the beach club president, Mr. Arnell Mindanao, they are also developing other resorts in Romblon, Pagudpud, Sorsogon, Coron and El Nido.

On its third year of operation, Seashore expects Aquaplay to add more reasons for families in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to visit San Juan, Batangas and discover a new taste of tropical paradise on the shore covered with volcanic ashes.












FRIENDLY NOTES WHEN CAPTURING FOOTPRINTS

1. The front of the beach club was covered with white soil. Black sand is naked at remaining stretch of the beach. After a few kilometers, the sand becomes white.

2. The ALPS bus ride going to San Juan from its terminal in Buendia costs P240 (one way). The beach club has no shuttle for visitors (for now). Thus, I recommend Seashore for those with private cars.

3. There are investment packages offered at Seashore. But as usual, every investor invests at his own risk.

4. It's a 2 out of 5 stars for me for now. But I think it is a promising development. I just hope the owner has the good people who will help in delivering the master plan.

5. How black is black? All of these photos I took at a rainy summer day are raw and unfiltered. I do not want to give you any false hope or any inaccurate projection of the place.

6. Mr. Mindanao was a lead broker at Avida.


7. The 3rd Club, the resort beside Seashore, is also owned by the same company. They have nipa huts that are perfect for weekend getaways. Again, these photos are UNFILTERED to give you the most factual review of the resort.







Read more about Seashore HERE.

Beyond Relaxation: Five Benefits of a Staycation


Time for some modern concept of relaxation- staycation, a combination of the word “stay” and “vacation” is not a new concept. It is simply when one chooses to stay at their home country or check-in at a hotel, instead of going abroad for vacation.



A staycation or holistay, as defined by Wikipedia, is also a period in which an individual participates in leisure activities within driving distance of his or her own home. Lately, the trend has been increasing as more numbers of people now find more peace by spending time at home and have some needed rest and relaxation. More than that, staycations also offer a lot of quiet and humble benefits.

1. Staycations save time

Living in the Philippines means having to battle at least 3 hours of travel going from home to work and vice versa. Just imagine how much worse the traffic can get when it is a drive going to the airport! More than that, long airline terminal queues also eat up a significant part of a traveler’s day. Add all the hassle of traffic, terminal queues, departure procedures, etc. One day could easily be wasted on preparation.

2. Staycations are good for the environment

Checking in at a hotel also means contributing less to your carbon footprint! You would not have to use airplanes which require a massive amount of carbon emissions. Staying in a hotel is less harmful to the environment and really just pampers you to the core.

3. Staycations give time for meditation

Our fast-paced lifestyle limits our time to meditate and value the importance of rest. Taking a break during a staycation allows you to spend your energy on your body and use it as a time for spiritual, emotional, and physical rest and healing.

4. Staycations can inspire

Having some down time also gives you a chance to explore more ideas. Quiet times away from chaos can generate fresh ideas and inspirations that can later be turned to productive projects.

5. Staycations save money

Staycations also save a huge amount of money. You need not worry about spending so much on food, budgeting travel expenses, and expensive air fares. All staycations really ask of you is to stay put and rest at your own terms.

Already convinced to hold your well-deserved, yet affordable R & R? Century Park Hotel (CPH) is here to make it happen! Located at the heart of Manila, CPH boasts facilities and rooms that are perfect for you to simply unwind and enjoy your time with your family. Currently, CPH has Summer Solstice Special Room Rate promo which starts at Php 3,500 (net) per room per night. Now reap the benefits of that staycation the quick, affordable, and easy way at your home away from home, Century Park Hotel!

Nimo TV: Why Not Start Live Streaming This Summer?


Summer is officially here! If you're looking for something to do to make your summer vacation worthwhile, check out Nimo TV.



Nimo TV is one of the country's leading video game streaming platforms, and an excellent pastime for gamers who want to learn new skills at the same time. It offers 8 – 12 MP quality live streaming and can be accessed via mobile or PC, so you can start live streaming with ease and maybe even eventually turn it into a career.

Nimo TV’s unique ecosystem consists of streamers, viewers, brand sponsors, and celebrity players; so you can discover different techniques when starting your channel. It also has a chat feature where streamers and viewers can talk to one another and exchange tips on how to win a game that they play.

Games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Mobile Legends, Dota 2, Rules of Survival and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are some of the exciting content that streamers can play via the app.

Nimo TV’s presence in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will also help you increase your fanbase, so you can grow your channel and interact more with other gamers.

Download the Nimo TV app at the App Store or the Google Play store here: https://nimotv.onelink.me/B6cW/25ba46b7


Unlocking the Unknown Door of Corregidor Island


Blogger’s Note: This is the first of the Corregidor Island series, made possible by Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI) and Corregidor Foundation, Inc. For more information, please send an email christianaligonow@gmail.com.


A 10-minute stop at the Japanese cemetery on Corregidor Island to see the series of gigantic guns that once monitored the seas of Manila against enemies could be totally confusing.

To a returning tourist who did a day tour of the island some time in 2018, the spot is the exact thing that was shown- guns, markers, the statue of “fertility” lady, and other gloomy artifacts.

But a new look at this magnificent scene would tell a new story, another piece of history that may be less known to the modern man. 

The eyes know that beyond the guns on this one piece of the 7,100 archipelago islands is a paradise, unexplored, unexploited and untouched, lost in the ocean of its historical price.

Sun Cruises, the sole transport and tour operator of Corregidor Island under the Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics Group, understands that among visitors of the island, only five percent are returning.  

I believe no one would go back to Corregidor to see the same creepy Malinta Tunnel‘s lights and sounds show-- unless you belong to the academe. 

Thus, Sun Cruises went beyond the melancholic story of the island to reveal its other gem that was once enjoyed by both Filipinos and Americans before it became a historical artifact.

A two-hour ferry ride from the Esplanade Seaside terminal across SM Mall of Asia (MOA) leads to the splendid island. 

Tramvia buses wait at the port with a tray of welcome iced tea drinks; Japanese groups usually are separated with a Japanese tour guide while other nationalities including Filipinos and Americans are given an “English- speaking” tour by someone from Sun Cruises or who is accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT),

The tour will show what Corregidor was as enjoyed by civilians and soldiers before bombing from the World War II began.

At a certain altitude while on the tour bus, one could clearly see a masterpiece of nature- the Pacific adorned with the mountains of Bataan, a shoreline in the distance scattered with sparkling salt grains floating until the Manila skyline cuts in to allow the mainland in the background, an Olympic- size swimming pool, a 9-hole golf course, multi-building barracks where rank-and-file Filipinos and American officials stayed with their family, a cinema house that played “Gone with the Wind” and other classic movies, churchyards dedicated to Catholics and Protestants separately, an airport for government personnel on official business on the island, a hospital facility that resembles a cross shape from above, and a tropical forest that anchor life on the entire island.

Before the Americans came to the Philippines, Spaniards had a different take on the island. 

Since it is located at the mouth of Manila Bay, Coregidor was turned into an “immigration”- type office that reviews and “corrects” shipping papers from traders traversing oceans from Asia countries and other continents to do business in the “Filipinas”.

After the Americans worked hard- with the help of Filipino prisoners- to fortify Corregidor, the island was captured by the Japanese. It was again re-captured by Americans and eventually was declared an island belonging to the Filipino people.

The tour will give the closest experience of modern history. It will bring visitors to the exact spot where President Manuel L. Quezon and General Douglas MacArthur stayed on the island, the tunnel where hundreds of Japanese soldiers committed suicide after their defeat, and the locations where huge guns were positioned to attack the enemies.

I finished the tour with a heavy heart. But past is past and we need to move forward to a brighter future with the learns lessons as a mere guide.

Sun Cruises made a historic move to give a new flavor to Corregidor that is far beyond from its historical past- a new way of not confusing visitors who want to explore both the historical significance of the island and its aesthetic relations to its sisters, Boracay, Guimaras and Palawan.

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Watch out for the second part of this series.

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To know about existing travel packages, connect with the official page of Sun Cruises for Corregidor Island HERE.


The Mile Long Barracks



The Hospital
















The Gun Batteries in Multiple Sites 






The Malinta Tunnel Tour