Ilang beses na rin nakapunta sa lugar. Sa katunayan, ito ay ang aming secret hide away noong panahon na hindi pa gaanong nadidiskubre ang kanyang ganda. Ang Laiya sa San Juan, Batangas.
Maaga kong kinalabit si "the Wife". Maaga kasi kaming susunduin ng isa sa aking mga kapatid punta sa Batangas na kung saan kami magtatatanan nang araw na iyon. Nag-impake, naligo at naghintay. Pero wala pa rin si Kuya. kaya naman, natulog na lang kami ulet.
It was already 5 AM when we left Mandaluyong for our weekend getaway trip to San Juan Batangas in the southern part of Luzon. But first we had to make a quick stop in my hometown of Ibaan in Batangas to meet our parents who live there.
After about 3 hours of total travel time, we arrived in San Juan. The first order of business was to look for a resort that can still accommodate us.
In the years before, no one would have imagined how Laiya would become one of the most sought after beaches in this side of Batangas. Even the "lokals" were caught surprised by this quick turn of events.
I first saw the beauty of its beaches more than 10 years ago. During those times, fishes would be seen jumping into the shore in groups. During that time, you can drive towards Laiya and ask a lokal for a place where you can just enjoy the beach without having to pay a fee. There were still some areas you can enter, setup tent and just sprawl on the beach. You just have to worry about where to wash up after.
Nowadays, the place is dotted with private resorts. Even the used to be private dwellings in the beachside have now realized the income potential that they now rent their place to any would-be beach goer.
Since we could not go to Acuatico or Blue Coral as they normally cater only to those who have pre-resevations (not to mention that their place is steep for our simple family event) we set out resort hunting. The first beach that came up to my mind is Kabayan. Unfortunately, the whole resort was already taken and paid for by Recom Echieverri of Caloocan so we can not stay there.
We settled in this small beach where a sign in front says it is Lola's Resort. At first we were not that excited to swim as the sun was already blazing hot during that day. This was so different from what was the weather the day before when there was overcast conditions and the waves were huge, according to some of the resorts caretakers.
Proof of the previous days weather is a half-sunken boat a few meters from the beach. They say that the rear of the boat was cut off and that it would take a few days before they could haul it to land. Another mans boat costing about 2 million pesos was eaten by the sea and broke it to pieces. We were even able to witness when the owner of the boat retrieved its motor from the sea. We were told that the same guys was almost in tears as he saw his boat being pummeled by the waves brought about by Dodong.
But Saturday is a different day to say it again. The sea was calm. The sun was shining. After I ate lunch, I started to go shooting mode. I shot pictures of my brothers and pamangkins as they were having fun. this was while "The wife" was busy sleeping in one of the available tables on the beach. I later on followed suit, sleeping face down on the same table.
It was lunch already when we woke up. I ate a handful of fresh squids bought from a fisherman that we caught up with in the beach. Ripe mangoes is a treat to the palate of the beautiful wife, I think she ate more than one... (ooops)
Afterwards, we joined our family in the fun soaking in the surprisingly still clean waters of San Juan. The water was clear and because the tide was still low, we can clearly see the things underneath the waters. Not only once did we see a group of fish swimming just right next to where we were standing. One of my older brothers even saw one as big as his limb which was amazing. One thing that scared my niece Andy however was a jellyfish which his cousin Paul caught and brought to the shore. They were like so amazed by its see-through skin and they kept touching its top not realizing that they could be stung by it which could cause itchiness. But even with the threat of jellyfish, we were never swayed. We kept going back to the water for more fun. Thanks goodness, we never saw another again.
It was when everyone else were already taking their showers that I decided to dive into the waters again. The sun was almost setting already. Even the other beach-goers were not around. I have the beach to swim on my own. As soon as I dove, I realized something different. I tried to set foot on the sand below the water but I could not reach it. I realized the waters are now deeper. High Tide is coming and this is to my complete enjoyment. I love swimming in deep waters. As I try to balance my weight, I could feel the cold freezing touch of waves underneath.
Ahhh if only those guys could feel the waters now. Sorry for them, they took their showers already. If only they knew what they missed. I swam for almost half an hour more. It was only me and the beach. It was like I was swimming and the Laiya sea was embracing me back. It knew that I was not a stranger to its tides so it kept giving me more of how good it is to be on its waters. And It knew that I realized it. And I was contented.
Laiya keeps surprising me.