We left Manila around 6:30 AM with a couple of friends to look for a perfect beach getaway for Summer. Along the way, we passed by other attractions in Pampanga, like the San Guillermo Church in Bacolor, Pampanga. We did not go down to check it out because of the bus load of tourist during our visit.
When we reached Bataan, we made a stop at the Dambana ng Kagitingan on top of Mt. Samat. I have visited Bataan quite a number of times before but would just enjoy the view of the cross from below. It was a steep drive to the summit. I was glad that my Toyata Vios didn't gave up on me. An entrance fee of 20 pesos per vehicle, per person is collected at the gate. Some people would climb the summit at this point, but you can still drive up to the base of the cross where the parking area offers a breathtaking aerial view of the province.
|The Giant Cross on top of Mt. Samat. An elevator takes you to the intersection where both arms serves as viewing level.|
|View from one end of the cross's arm.|
Inside the cross is a small elevator that takes passengers further up to its arms. They would collect 10 pesos for the ride. Here, there are windows that gives you a higher vantage point.
It was almost lunch time when we left for Bagac. We passed by Balanga City along the way, the last area where you would find decent restaurants other than the big resorts. We opted to have lunch at Montemar Beach Club and Resort. From the gate, we made our way through the garden up to the reception. Although the buildings look old, it has kept its rustic charm. The landscaping are well kept, the pools are inviting and the beach view is so calming. Initially, we thought that entrance fee of 1000 pesos was a bit too much, but after seeing the inclusions, it was worth it. The restaurant also serves filipino food with a modern twist. We enjoyed the Pork Binagoongan with Chocolate. All agreed to go back, when were not in a rush and just want to escape the city.
|La Marea Restaurant of Montemar Beach Club and Resort|
|Fried Chicken, Kare-kare, Pork Sinigang and their famous Pork Binagoongan with Chocolate|
We were so full after eating that we almost didn't want to leave. There's another beach we would have to visit that requires a boat ride. After settling our bill, we were on our way to the town center of Bagac and parked our vehicles on one of the smaller resorts that line the shore. We looked for a boat to take us to Matikis Beach, known to some as Playa La Caleta. We were able to haggle the ride originally priced at 1500 pesos to 1100 pesos. An entrance fee of 50 pesos per person is collected on the beach by the caretakers.
The cove has basic amenities with a few huts and sheds. Toilet facilities are available, but only tent accommodation is allowed for those who wish to stay overnight. You can bring your own food or arrange your meal plans with tour operators for the area.
Check out the contact details on the invite below:
After a short stay at the cove, we were on our way back to Manila, stopping at San Fernando's Everybody Cafe for dinner. The restaurant claims to serve the most authentic Kapampangan Food since the 1940's. We thought the meals are outrageously priced with small portions. It's a must try but not worth going back.
Some photo's were grabbed from Heath's album without permission. Haha!