Lobo: a Marine Sanctuary

Lobo: a Marine Sanctuary
by Danny Tariman

We had always been on the watch for a new place to discover.

One day my wife called my attention to this “submarine garden” being aired on TV, as a featured summer destination. It immediately caught my interest because my son is always very eager to explore marine life.

The Lobo beach: just a few meters from the shore is a marine garden.
The Lobo beach: just a few meters from the shore is a marine garden.

I immediately searched the internet, and yes, it is worth discovering!

I was almost end-of-summer-season in the Philippines. We drove to Lobo, Batangas leaving the Metro at about 5am. After about 2 hours we reach Batangas City, passing through the South Luzon Expressway, the Calamba-Sto Tomas Expressway, and finally the STAR Tollway. It was an easy morning drive, averaging 90-100kph.

Past the city proper, we passed by the Shell oil depot where dozens of giant oil tanks fill the vast seaside yard, and other industrial plants.

The colorful marine life in Lobo.
The colorful marine life in Lobo.

It was a good well-paved, zigzag for almost an hour drive until we reach the Lobo town. It was a scenic drive by the bay.

We reached Submarine Garden Resort in no time. My family is excited to see the underwater view. We quickly put up our snorkeling gear and headed down to the beach!

Within 10 meters from the beach, you will indeed see the “submarine garden” shown on TV. My family swam and explored almost every square-meter of the underwater scenery. We were all awed by the natural “aquarium”. It was like viewing a huge aquarium: colorful corals – both soft and hard of various species, with fishes swimming around.

The sunset in Lobo
The sunset in Lobo

We were looking for the famous clown fish – popularly known as “Nemo”, and we were not disappointed. My daughter spotted the fish on her way back to the shore. While she was taking photos, the fish got near her, in an effort to guard its territory. [Clown fishes are territorial fish – meaning, it consider a territory its own, and would usually scare away other creatures getting near its territory.]

The beach has a picturesque sunset view. The good thing is my two very wonderful children took photos of the sunset. And yes, it was very nice, they immediately posted the photos in their Facebook accounts as soon as they got back the hut.

The over 100 years old Malabrigo Lighthouse
The over 100 years old Malabrigo Lighthouse

As an added place to visit, we went to the Malabrigo lighthouse, known to locals as “Parola”.

The lighthouse sits on top of a cape overlooking the bay. The tower is very much similar to the one in Calatagan (also in Batangas). We couldn’t get inside the compound as it seems to be closed. We arrived the cape at about 6:15pm after about 20 minutes easy drive from the resort, and still with the sun setting down, the lighting was just perfect!

Going back to Manila, we passed by another road: via Ibaan. It was a shorter drive but still with a long zigzag but cemented or asphalted road. It was dark when we passed. Yeah, my family is quite brave to pass this untrodden road at night! Haha! I think the ride would have been more scenic if we passed earlier when the sun was still up.

The beach resort in Lobo
The beach resort in Lobo

We were so amazed at the kindness of the people we passed and encountered along the road. They were all very helpful. Thank you people of Lobo, you are all very kind and hospitable!

It has been a good drive, a fantastic experience in the submarine sanctuary, and scenic view of the Parola.

It’s worth the trip!

My family enjoying the sun, the sand, and the sea
My family enjoying the sun, the sand, and the sea
My family in front of the lighthouse
My family in front of the lighthouse
A cluster of soft corals under the sea
A cluster of soft corals under the sea
Another view of the beach
Another view of the beach
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