Tag Archives: snorkeling

Snorkeling in Binukbok

SNORKELING IN BINUKBOK
by Danny Tariman

My family’s desire for outdoor adventure moves us to look for places we haven’t been to, for spots to discover.

That weekend in December, we planned to explore another place – the Binukbok Viewpoint in Bauan, Batangas.

Binukbok rock marker

It is about 2-1/2 hour drive from the city to the drop-off point in Bauan. We left home at about 5 in the morning so we can reach the cove by 8am. We were not disappointed: we parked our car at 7:30, had a boat ride for 15 minutes, and we reached our destination as planned!

Binukbok is a diving and snorkelling spot. The place is not for kids. There is no sandy beach; only big rounded stones lining the shores. But it was good! Just a few steps from the shores is a rich marine garden teaming with corals and reef fish.

A giant clam seen by my children just few meters from the shore

Upon arrival at the resort, we were met by the very friendly resort owner, Kuya Manny, who immediately asked his staff to assist us to our reserved space. And yes, there is a flowing coffee tourists can take – unlimited.

The seafront is lined with native cottages, and behind the cottages, are small patches of “free space” where back-packers can pitch their tents. This is not a luxurious place to be, but good enough to satisfy one’s craving for snorkelling and diving.

Tents pitched within the small space of Binukbok.

Oh, the snorkelling area! It is so near the shore! The resort has stock of fish feed that you can use so that the fishes will swim to you as you go down the water. Indeed, fish of every kind swarmed around me when I did just that! So thrilling!

Of course, my grown-up children enjoyed their dive! They went to the deeper spots where there are more colorful corals. We just enjoyed all these marine creatures!

My daughter in her free dive

We had grilled tuna and pork ribs for lunch. The resort staff were so good, they even helped us cook on charcoal our meal grilled dishes.

We stayed in this cove for just a day. It was another day of family fun and adventure!

Our family picture in Binukbok Viewpoint
The Binukbok cove
My son in his diving form
Colorful corals of the cove: can be seen just few meters from the shore
More of the beautiful corals
Our children near the shoreline
My wife and I in front of our picnic hut.
The other side of Binukbok cove
Corals, corals, more corals!

 

Diving & Snorkeling in Laiya’s Best Kept Secret Spot

Family Adventure
Diving & Snorkeling in Laiya’s Best Kept Secret Spot
by Danny Tariman

My kids were itching to have another dose of “vitamin sea” – that of going to a beach. We had searched the internet for a good location as we had been to most of the popular beaches in Batangas province. But this time, we are not settling for just the beach; we wanted to have a fairly secluded place not with many people, and a spot for diving and snorkeling.

The resort’s right side: this is the place where we had snorkeling and diving just few meters from the shore.

And so, this particular long weekend, we drove to Laiya in Batangas. Leaving the city at about 4:30 in the morning. We passed by SLEX toll way and STAR toll way exiting in Lipa, down to town of Rosario, leading to the municipality of San Juan where this resort is located.

Turning left from the main road, we passed thru a dirt road (not so rough though) for about 2km. When we reached the junction, we were greeted by a lush rustic narrow road going down to the beach. The entrance itself is “Instagramable”.

The resort’s rustic entrance, which looks like a tunnel covered by lush greens

Upon reaching the beach resort at about 7am, we were awed by its freshness – crystal clear waters, blue skies, clean small shoreline perfect for my family. It was a good match for us looking for some “private place”.

As planned, we had our breakfast at the beach. We took our food packs and had a good eat of fruits and buns. We brought our food without the usual corkage fee that other resorts charge. The resort has no restaurant, just a few covered tables lining the beachfront.

The main beachfront, good for swimming with kids

We learned from the caretaker that the owners would want to maintain just a few visitors on any day. Good for us because we also like to be in a place with only few people. The resort has simple yet clean bathrooms and toilets, with water taps.

Immediately, my children explored the seas. I and my wife soon followed. Wow, the water is so clean and clear, you can see the bottom clearly even at the depth of about 4 feet! We explored the right side where my family had a good snorkeling experience. You can see live corals, and an assortment of reef fishes.

The underwater marine gardens: full of life with an assortment of corals and fishes

Further to the reef is a deep basin where my kids had a “free diving” – that dive without the usual diving gears. My daughter had a “free diving” lesson in the city a few months back where she learned the techniques of free diving. I enjoyed watching my kids going down to the deep. Oh! I saw a big anemone, and of course, its inhabitant, clown fishes. My son saw a number of live clams too! Really wonderful place for diving, and snorkeling!

My daughter going for the free-dive at about 18 feet.

At about half past ten, we tried to explore the other side of the resort, the left. This is the place for beach bummers and for swimming. The beachfront is just around 80-100 meters wide, not sandy but is covered with small pebbles and broken corals. Good for us, we brought our aqua shoes, as it could be hurting our feet.

The leftmost point of the cove is a good distance to walk. We saw a lot of tourists on boat go to this point and we thought it was good exploring!

The right side of the cove: a good distance to explore, but worth the trek.

We passed by a trail, where beautiful rock formations lined the shoreline. We even had to go down again to the waters to shoot some photos. It was good. The sea water is so clear. And you can swim almost in private.

We continued our short trek – about 30 minutes, where we had at some point, decided to wade through the very tempting clear water. When we reached our destination – the end of the cove, there were a lot of tourists taking photos. After some photo-ops, we went back to the resort.

Back at the resort, our children grilled tuna jaws. Oh, we had more than enough of tuna flakes! So deliciously fresh! We ate with our bare hands of course, on plates lined with banana leaves! It was a very satisfying home-made meal.

Oh! I will always remember this super-delicious grilled tuna jaws

It was truly a wonderful experience at Johnny’s Resort. Our kids enjoyed, I and my wife enjoyed. And yes, we all enjoyed the snorkeling, the dive, and the crystal clear waters! We love the awesome underwater marine gardens! We will surely come back!

My son’s turn for the deep.
A family pic on our way to the left-side point. Note the crystal clear waters!
My family in one of the few native huts lining the shoreline
A family photo in front of the resort