Casita Ysabel

Heyyy! How was your long weekend? Mine had been quite rainy, but it’s been very good to me! 🙂 C and I had been planning to go on a relaxing weekend getaway since last year and haven’t really managed to align our schedules until this past weekend. 2015 has been crazy and we both couldn’t remember the last time we just relaxed and spent the day lounging around doing nothing.

It took us 4 hours to get to Casita Ysabel from Cavite due to the weather. Fortunately, this place is on Waze (although you’ll easily pass by this place since it’s exact location in the app is a few hundred meters off).. what is unfortunate (for newbie drivers like me) is the steep narrow driveway leading to the charming place itself. Our reservations were understandable given the weather condition.

The reception area

This is where some of the rooms are located, as well as the dining area.

We were the only couple who wasn’t staying there with a group so we got this awesome corner table overlooking the resort and the sea.

We booked the KATRINA Seaside Balinese which was their beach front room, and the last room left when we were making our reservations.

The mattress was super comfy, although the drapes were a bit worn and had small holes in it.

Fleece blankets! Thank you very much.

The shower room is cramped. I don’t know how you guys shower, but I like to pretend I’m giving an all out performance whenever I do and I cannot perform half of my dance moves inside. The shower head is also worn so you’d have to hold it over your head. Not a fan.

The toilet even has more space than the shower room! Haha!

Bidet lovers rejoice!

Overall, C and I both agreed that the room itself isn’t something that we’d gladly shell out the same amount we paid for it. Half the price, maybe.

What we paid the premium for though is the ambiance. We felt so relaxed and disconnected with the world while we were there that time just flew by without us noticing.

The resort does not offer any ala carte meals and instead has steep full board meals per person. Understandable since the town is more than 11 kilometers away. However, they do not allow food bought outside within the premises aside from chips and snacks. There is also a corkage fee for alcoholic beverages.

Never mind that.. let’s just relax.

Snacks were included in the full board meal. C and I asked to have it on our front porch – yep, owning it for the weekend. Haha!

The beach is rocky which is typical of resorts in Anilao since the place is mainly a diving spot and not for frolicking by the sea.

If you think Casita Ysabel’s quaint charm is adorable in daylight, the night time turns it into one huge romantic scene from a chick flick!

Pumpkin Soup

Unlimited rice in every meal.. that we didn’t avail of.

If I ever go back to Casita Ysabel though, it wouldn’t be because of the room or the general ambiance. It would be for their massage services! Do yourself a favor and book one when you stay here. Spa coma!

Breakfast consisted of bread you will toast yourself, an assortment of jam, pineapple and mango slices, the choice of water or coffee, and this plated rice meal.

I posted this photo on Instagram and on Facebook (by the way, I took the leap and made a Facebook page for my blog!).. and before I knew it, I had so many people asking me where this was.

Spent my entire Sunday lounging by the sea in my swimsuit.. and a fleece blanket. Haha! We had orange juice while we read.

This is literally a candid photo of me and my entire Sunday. Haha!

I tried to go swimming once.. and failed because you can’t really go out to the sea without your slippers on (I only had one pair with me and I’m afraid it would get lost in the water). Or risk getting bruised feet.

Chicken boy decided to stay behind and take photos while I went out for a swim.

…didn’t even get very far.

The price may be something of a turn off – frankly, I have paid less for way more (The Henry Hotel, Cambana d’Angkor Suites, and even the villa we stayed in Cagayan Valley was a few hundred bucks cheaper). But Casita Ysabel did deliver on our goal for the weekend: relax and rejuvenate. 🙂

The entire place being Instagram-mable doesn’t hurt too. 😉

Wishing for more road trips and long weekends with this one. ❤

You can watch our adventure below! Enjoy!

T+K: Matabungkay Beach

The last time Kim and I traveled together alone was in 2013 when we decided on a whim to go to Puerto Galera. We have talked about doing it again but was pushing it off until who knows when. But one Saturday, Kim texted me at 5 AM in the morning so we could leave by 6 AM. Hahaha!

And leave we did. We didn’t even eat anything and I haphazardly packed some clothes in my bag and off we go. We rode a bus going to Lian, Batangas and rode a jeepney to Matabungkay.

Once we got there, we found this Korean carinderia which is a bit quirky, eating Korean food inside a nipa hut. Afterward, while we’re feeling full, we walked on the beach to look for an accommodation. We scored this room for Php 2000 at Le Nid Douillet de Matabungkay.

And then Kim and I spent the rest of the afternoon (until about 3 PM) napping.. yeah, gone are the days where we spend the entire afternoon scaling rocks and half walk-half swim to reach the other end of the beach.

We looked for somewhere to eat since we missed lunch (Korean food is just brekky, okay) and there are no restaurants in the area. So if you’re planning to have a comfortable stay in Matabungkay Beach, I suggest staying in one of the resorts with restaurants. Looking for food is a feat in itself.

We walked around the beach for sunset.

And walked around again in search of food. Hahahaha! We found some barbecue being sold along the street and bought a lot.

And some midnight snacks from the grocery (with a super snotty cashier). Yes, our tummies are bottomless pits. The next day was no different. Breakfast is another round of scavenger hunt.

You can rent this huge rafts for about Php 1500/day. We just took a photo, though. Haha!

We rented one of those paddle boats for Php 300 so we can go snorkeling. I have heard stories about the strong undercurrent in this particular waters, hence, I decided not to jump off without a life vest. But the water was so clear and nice, and the coral reef was well worth getting my legs bruised. The water was clear enough to still see the bottom even if it was pretty deep already and it was the first time I wished I can go down to the bottom to explore some more (I fear the depth of the sea, which is not that obvious considering my posts, but I dislike not seeing the bottom of the ocean).

The two guys who maneuvered the boat let Kim and I sat at the back, with our legs in the water while they paddled back to the shore.

We then spent the rest of the morning swimming in the pool before we left to go back home. Oh, and I’m wearing Kim’s dress while she wore mine. One size fits all. 😀

I’m really sorry to those who chanced upon this post before I had the chance to edit it. As per usual, I went and uploaded photos to a queued post and totally forgot its’ existence until last night when notifications alerted me. I honestly do not have a myriad of things to say about this trip, because it was simply a relaxing vacation. A short and sweet escape from reality before we had to go back to our boring jobs (although Kim’s is a lot more interesting since she’s a public school teacher) and routinary days.

Sea’s Spring Resort

I seriously do not know how to start this post, having left this blog inactive for a few months.. Let me start by saying that this is a late one. In fact, it’s so last year. Hah! My mom’s not one for parties or enjoys lavish stuff. I pride myself on being a good gift giver so I racked my brains until I remembered one of our conversations where she said she wanted to go out of town and relax. With that in mind – and the fact that she liked going to the beach but hated getting sand all over and soaking in hot springs – I searched for a resort I could afford to treat her to. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look that hard. Hello, Sea’s Spring Resort! (I actually couldn’t find any reviews of this resort online but I went ahead, threw caution to the wind and hoped for the best.) It took us roughly three hours via public transportation from Cavite to get here. The tricycle ride was by far one of the most exciting tricycle rides I’ve ever taken due to all the ups and downs (literally!) we drove through. The huge resort lobby was swarming with Koreans (I’m assuming the owner is Korean as well) so it took a while for us to check in. Thankfully, there was free wi-fi although the bad side is, this is the only wi-fi spot in the entire resort.

The huge Christmas tree in the lobby and the stairs up to our room. I made reservations to stay in the biggest room which had three beds. It also had a TV (mostly Korean shows though) and a nice view (being in the top most floor). The balcony and a medium-sized bath. You know how salt water makes your hair dry and frizzy even after you’ve washed and rinsed it with shampoo? The shampoo they provided kept my hair soft the whole time! I am seriously on the hunt for this which is why I took a photo.

Mom’s birthday weekend coincided with the long weekend which I treated as a chance to finally soak in some sunshine. Hence, I went on a tipid-sa-tela weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know (shameless plugging). Hahaha!

Once we’ve changed, we explored the resort. I loved how there were only a few guests (and we were the only Filipino ones at the time). My brother testing the water.. and all their pools’ water came from the sea. “Bathing in sea water without getting sand all over your bathing suit” – check!

Kiddie pools.

Hot spring” – check! They have two hot water pools which my mom almost didn’t leave. Haha!

I tried the Bamboo sauna just to find out how it is. I always see characters in K-dramas hang out in saunas. And boy, was it hot in there! I fell asleep for about twenty minutes and woke up all wet like I went for a swim in a pool of sweat.

We changed to our dry clothes to watch the sunset. Why do sunsets in beaches always look amazing? Though you cannot pay me to swim in this beach. The sand had too much trash to be appealing. Sea’s Spring Resort have really good customer service and the resort is nice but please keep the sea shore clean!

My fish of a sister went for a swim with me while Tristan spent the rest of the day watching TV. What a bum. Haha! I also taught Tin how to stay afloat on her back.

What would you expect from a Korean-owned resort? We made the most out of it and had Korean food for dinner. I was never a fan of Bulgogi but this one is tasty. Plus, the serving was huge! I forgot the name of the other dish but it’s a spicy seafood dish. Yummy though we had to drink lots of water after every bite. Hahaha! We also had Japchae (the best Japchae I’ve ever had!) and tons of side dishes (no one bothered to touch the kimchi though).

The next day was composed of buffet breakfast (“yay!”-fats), more lounging by the pool, munching on Korean ice cream (still within the poolside, “yay again!” – fats) and more swimming. Can I just stress how far from stressful (I get it, not that funny) that weekend was? 🙂

Sunsets by the beach are amazing, exhibit A.