Can you believe it’s been more than a year since my last travel post? Well, I can. :P It’s been a crazy year at work, so many deadlines that an actual vacation (which means, absolutely no client phone calls and no checking of work email) was quite impossible. Sadly, the only “get-away” my husband Marc and I had was last November, when we spent our fifth year anniversary overnight at a hotel in Ortigas. That was basically it — we couldn’t even find the time to take a short road trip to Tagaytay.
Unfortunately for me, the lack of travel took its toll. I’ve been finding it harder and harder to come up with designs (I’m a web designer by profession). There were times when I didn’t feel 100% satisfied with a design I’ve made, even if the client was already happy with it. I pride myself of giving clients beyond their expectations, and unfortunately, that seemed to suffer a bit. That was when Marc and I decided we really needed to take a break. Now was the best time since our workload is lighter than the usual.
The invitation from Blue Dolphin Beach Resort came at the most convenient time possible. Together with our travel buddies, Ferdz, Nina, Cedric and Patricia, we went on a weekend road trip to Balayan, Batangas and see for ourselves what Blue Dolphin had to offer.
Blue Dolphin is located in the outskirts of the town by the beach. I was actually a bit nervous going there by car when none of us had ever been to the place before, and the fact that my husband’s sense of navigation involves getting totally lost before asking for directions. But then I thought, what the heck, at least we won’t be alone and get lost with four other people :P Luckily for all of us, Blue Dolphin provided a map complete with pictures of landmarks. We got to the resort early enough to catch the beautiful sunset on the beach.
Owned by Rea Pollard, Blue Dolphin is a family-oriented, family-run resort. A fan room and a nipa hut (both good for two people, a maximum of four) costs Php2,000 a night. An aircon room costs Php3,500, but this room is good for four people already (maximum of six). Guests also have the option to rent the entire resort for Php20,000 (maximum of 30 people). They don’t have an in-house food service, so it’ll be a good idea to bring your own food and cook there (the kitchen is free for you to use). Bathrooms and toilets are in convenient locations within the resort — not inside the rooms — but there are more than enough to accommodate all the guests.
The central feature of Blue Dolphin is the pool, but if that’s not your thing, you can take a dip in the Balayan Bay. The beach is a bit rocky, so it’s best to wear protection for your feet. But the water is clear, and the black sand beach has a mysterious charm not found in white sand beaches.
If you’re looking for adventure or the usual beach activities, Blue Dolphin might not be for you — the resort was meant for weary folks looking for a place to relax or simply enjoy some peace and quiet. At night, the fresh sea breeze could either make you turn in early or spend the evening bonding with friends over drinks, good food, card games and karaoke.
It must have been the beer, but most likely the relaxing atmosphere (since most of us, with the exception of Cedric, had half a beer or less for the night) that encouraged my usually microphone-shy companions to sing song after song of karaoke. Before a sleep-deprived sea creature could throw a shell or two in our direction, my travel buddies switched to playing poker. I didn’t bother joining, my lack of mathematical skills getting the best out of me (hey, nobody’s perfect! Hehe). It was already after midnight when sleep finally won us over.
Marc and I have already traveled with Nina and Ferdz more than once, to places of fun adventures in beautiful Philippine islands. And they were always, always the first ones to wake in the morning. It’s not unusual to see Ferdz missing, apparently taking sunrise photos while Nina would be up and ready-to-go for our snorkeling tour. I’d usually be up around the same time as Nina, doing my long list of morning rituals. But in Balayan, it was Marc — the worst morning person I know — who was up before 9AM, lured by sumptuous breakfast prepared by our hosts. It was only around 10AM when we dragged ourselves off the beds due to Marc’s raving of yummy food.
There are very few places in the Philippines where I’ve felt this “lazy magnet,” this invisible force pulling me to an entire day of doing absolutely nothing, just lying around, or sleeping. Blue Dolphin Beach Resort is one of them. The remoteness of the location, the quiet rustling of palm trees, and the intoxicating, salty sea breeze make Blue Dolphin a perfect place to get away from the city, to relax, and to rejuvenate — the best location for an over-worked designer like me to get back the groove :)