It maybe a long road trip but surely I enjoyed my short stay in the Philippines with my college housemates during that May weekend, and of course it was Jette’s birthday.
Straight from the airport, Ian fetched me from NAIA T1, then we went home to get some things and ate lunch. After that, we fetched my friends in Gateway mall, then we directly went to Bataan. No itinerary, no maps, no plans, just phone calls and text messages on how to get there from our friend who stays in Tarlac and is familiar on the place. Our primary objective was to celebrate with Jette on her birthday and had a fun and relaxing weekend. We went by car via North Luzon Express way, we used SCTEX and reached Bagac, Bataan in 3 hours. Bataan province is located in the central region of Luzon. Bataan is famous in history especially the time of Japanese occupation during WW II. (click to know more about Bataan)
We stayed overnight at NPC Hotel & Training Center in Bagac, Bataan. My friend’s dad is a NAPOCOR employee so we had some perks like the cheap but very wide rooms at NPC hotel, and also free entry to Westnuk Beach resort which is located in the same compound as Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. So, after the long drive, we got really tired and hungry. Fortunately for us, after searching the small town, we found by accident the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Heritage Resort. (for more info and how to get there, click here!)
Since it was already nighttime, we decided to dine-in on one of their restaurants. We picked the cheapest package for a day tour since we knew we can only stay there for few hours. The food was typical and a bit expensive (one meal ~P250-350) but, the ambiance of the whole restaurant made the stay worthwhile. We strolled the streets and the beautiful pavement reminded me of Fort Santiago in Manila. The houses there are restored and re-built since some of the houses came from different provinces.
Maybe next time that I will visit Bataan, I will stay on one of their heritage hotels which are way too cool but also kind of creepy 😀 Actually, seeing old houses makes me really feel nostalgic and at the same time amazed on how these houses were re-built and restored.
On the next day, we visited the Westnuk beach resort. Unfortunately, the beach was infested with jellyfish (not poisonous but very big ones). We stayed for a few hours and since the entrance fee was free and we just rented one cottage+table for P300, we left the place not feeling frustrated. Nevertheless, we still tried to enjoy the beach 🙂
On our way out, we went sidetrip to the power plant just to have a closer look. It was my first time seeing the BNPP up close. We asked the beach resort if there were any tours available at that time. Unfortunately, they said we still need to get permits from the BNPP itself and it may take time. So in the end, we just drove there and stole some snapshots before we left.😁
Initially, we want to go to Sandbox-Alviera in Pampanga. But, it was a very hot day thus, we decided to postpone our visit since the adventure park is located in an open place with no trees/shade.
After we left the beach, we looked again for restaurants nearby but, we only saw one small canteen. We decided to eat first before heading up to Mt. Samat National Shrine. We queued for almost one hour, and we were not quite lucky because the weather was so hot and humid that afternoon. The ticket just cost us 10 per pax in order to go up to the cross.
After we were done on our photo-ops we decided to end the day and go back to the city. It was a fun-filled overnight stay in Bataan. My friends and I separated in NLEX since they still planned to go to Subic and for me, I need to go back home because of the limited time I had.
Even if it was already May, we still enjoyed our last summer escapade 🙂