Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caylabne Bay Resort

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After a 2-hour drive from Manila, running through mountain passes and thick rainforests, we arrived at the Caylabne Bay Resort. There were 11 of us, the parents, my brother's family, me, my wifey, David and Natalie.

Our first stop, Lunch at El Patio. I ordered Zuppa De Fungi soup for starters, which is just some leaf and mushroom in a clear broth with salt, not a very good experience. My main entrée is Grilled Sausage Steak which was just ok.

(Click thumbnail to watch video)

After a somewhat slow start, our vacation picked up nicely. We waited for the the sun's heat to mellow, then we were off to the beach. But as soon as we stepped on the sand, we were stunned by the hundreds of jellyfish lying on the shore! We thought this was going to be a disaster, but, we still found some way to have FUN. I recognized these jellyfishes as the non-stinging type, from a vacation some 20 years ago. So we started digging in the sand and made a jellyfish graveyard. A lot of the resort guests and staff were also doing the same. It was more fun, actually, than just dipping in the beach, and in no time, the beach was clean. David made a new friend too, some kid from Australia, they were collecting jellyfish bodies, and hunting live ones as soon as we cleaned up the shore.

After cleaning up the beach, we tried the kiddie pool. David even tried the slide. He didn't know it was that slippery. As soon as he slid, his face went from happy to horrified! Haha! I wish I had that on video. I immediately picked him up when he hit the water and he was crying/wailing! Haha! Asking me why I didn't help him! He said I should've caught him in the air!

In the evening, Caylabne set up a buffet dinner, it was really good.

The next day, I woke up at 5 and went for my usual morning photowalk. This has been my tradition during vacation trips, especially on the beach, as the water is as still as ice very early in the morning.

We went to the adult pool after breakfast, which is much cleaner than the kiddie, until lunchtime. We played tennis in the afternoon. We brought our own tennis gear so we wouldn't have to rent theirs. At dinner, it was just David and me, as the rest of the family went to the other resort resto, The Marina Grill, to eat crabs. At El Patio, they served seafood buffet. The soup, seafood chowder, was excellent! I had 4 bowls! David had chicken, again.

The next day, woke up at 8! Caylabne set up a buffet breakfast in the resort's Central Park, which is right in front of our condo unit. It was so relaxing and pleasant, a very good job by the resort. Spent the whole morning in the pool and had fruit shakes and pizza for lunch in the poolside, just me, my wife and the kids. My favorite part of the trip!

At sunset, the most exciting part of the vacation happened. We went up to the top of the mountain, near the resort entrance, to view the sunset. This is about 15 minutes drive from the resort itself. The view there was breathtaking! It was a thousand feet drop on both sides of a straight, narrow mountain pass, with the sea at the foot of the mountain. The sun was really clear, no cloud was blocking it. Due to all the excitement, I forgot to video the whole thing, but I took lots of pictures, even though the camera's battery was acting up. But, this wasn't the climax.

(Click thumbnail to watch video)

As soon as the sunset was over, we got ready to go back, we packed up and rode the SUV. My brother, inserted the key and turned the ignition, "Click click click click"! The car wouldn't start! We tried tightening the battery contacts but still to no avail. Soon, it got dark, David started panicking and started crying. Good thing the guard house was really close, so we asked for the guard's help. He radioed for a mechanic, but none was around, so he just radioed for a shuttle to pick us up and just leave the car there until morning.

The guard also told us about another resort guest having the same experience at exactly the same spot happening the day before, right in front of the freaky fire tree. My mom immediately concluded it was supernatural, "Na-nuno tayo!" Haha!! So the jeepney arrived and everyone was relieved. My dad, who was the only one left in the resort vicinity, had his share of mishap, getting locked out of the room with the cellphone ringing inside (that was us calling). It was fun and tiring.

So, Easter came, our last day at Caylabne. My dad and my brother went to Naic in the morning to get a new battery for the SUV. My dad didn't assess the problem and went on instinct, which was right on the mark. We had lunch and packed up. We said our goodbyes to the staff and went on our way.


What I really loved about this place was the resort personnel. They are the friendliest staff I've experienced so far. Maybe next to Club Paradise, Palawan.

About the facilites, the rooms/units weren't as nice as it was 20 years ago (major understatement). They were old, some broken floors, and the beds were bug paradise. The beach is nice, just bad timing about the jellyfish season, but still added to the fun, the Central Park is really nice and relaxing, the tennis court is a bit old and broken down but still useable. There's also a volleyball/badminton net in the park, basketball court, billiards, darts and a mini-golf that has been closed down. You can rent kayaks, water bike, jet ski and banana boat. Make sure to bring a kite, the constant breeze is perfect for flying kites. Last but not the least, don't leave the car doors open and radio on while viewing the sunset on top of the mountain and don't order Zuppa De Fungi.

View the pictures here: Caylabne Bay Resort. Make sure to visit the panorama folder.


van   Great! :) dropping by...
April 17, 2009, 8:44 am
eee   nice pix! kadiri yung jellyfish! is it really safe to swim in the beach? my family are planning to go next weekend.
April 17, 2009, 8:09 pm
g   hi, we're planning to go at caylabne this sunday, and would just like to ask if the beach is safe for swimming despite the jellyfish?
April 20, 2009, 6:12 pm
Marcel   Yeah. It's still safe to swim, the jellyfish do not sting. Besides, the number of jellyfish was decreasing when we were going. There might be no more jellys left by Sunday.
April 20, 2009, 7:22 pm
g   thanks! that's good to hear :)

i'd just like to ask too about the cleanliness of the place in general (that is, if the pool is not moldy, beach is free of garbage, the sea floor is pretty much easy to walk on without a lot of debris, restrooms/showerooms..etc).

sorry about asking a lot, it's just that i've been looking for recent reviews of the place for most of the reviews i found are few and outdated, and the comments are mostly negative.

we're not new to the place, but it's been a while since we went there (we frequented the place years ago, when the sand is still white). Back then, the place is ok, and the beach has its share of trash on some sides before but it's pretty much clean.

we plan to go there this sunday to celebrate my mom's bday, and hopefully not to disappoint her and the others.

thanks a lot :)
April 20, 2009, 8:42 pm
Marcel   If it is just for the day, you'll have no problems at all. The place is clean, the beach is nice-ish, the adult pool is clear! The kiddie pool could use some cleaning though.
If you're going to stay overnight, make sure the bed is clean. If you feel a little itch, have the linens changed!
Otherwise, everything is ok. The sand is still white, no trash in sight.
April 21, 2009, 12:28 am
Marcel   Oh, about the shower rooms, I didn't really use the shower rooms, but I was able to take a peek at the adult pool shower room, could use some cleaning.
April 21, 2009, 12:36 am
Kat   Hi! I just wanted to know if they have dress codes when swimming? :D Forgive me for asking but my family and I aren't the swimsuit-wearing type of people. haha... We'll be going there this weekend. :) Really nice pictures btw. :)
April 21, 2009, 7:53 pm
Marcel   Hi Kat. Yes they do. You're not suppose to wear cloth shirts while on the swimming pool. But they're not very consistent in enforcing this dress code. Sometimes they let people swim with their shirts on, but it is written in the pool guidelines posted in near the pool.
April 21, 2009, 8:51 pm
g   Thanks a lot for the info, it's good to know that the sand is still white and the adult pool is clear, and no trash in sight :)

Thank you!

April 21, 2009, 9:31 pm
Joan   the facilities aren't to rave for. Dilapidated and outdated. Ready to be renovated
April 22, 2009, 12:54 pm
Marilyn   Hi! Just curious, are they strict about the number of persons per room? Plan to go there mid May with some friends. We are 5 adults in a family (including 2 kids above 12 yrs.) plus one 5 yr. old kid. What room do you advice we get if we opt to stay overnight. Thanks!
April 22, 2009, 7:23 pm
Kat   Thanks Marcel! :)
April 23, 2009, 10:38 pm
Marcel   Hi Marilyn. No, I don't think they are strict. But the unit we rented had 3 rooms with 2 beds each. There were 11 of us, 7 adults and 4 kids. 1 adult slept in the sala.
I'm not sure what room you should get. Maybe 2 bedroom would be good, just set up an airbed in the sala.
April 25, 2009, 4:32 pm
dettes   marcel, i love your photos!!! galing mo talaga!! :) God has given you this wonderful gift! :)
July 14, 2009, 4:17 pm
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