Balai Isabel – Talisay, Batangas

Balai Isabel…

Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

I have declared for several times, that I am lucky (or blessed) to be near Tagaytay or the Batangas area. As list of destinations from here is endless, places that will take your breath away. Even if it’s just a day or two.

You will have a hard time choosing, or probably, list them all and visit each if chance permits.

I was having my caffeine fix the night I was packing for an overnight trip to Balai Isabel. There’s a natural feeling of excitement and I found myself smiling.

bme

The place has it all. (Though they need some enhancements to do. If your place is getting more and more popular, maintaining it is actually a must). The place has a hotel, Mediterranean styled villas to choose from, cottages, there are 3 swimming pools, restaurants, a spa, basketball court, tennis court, water sports facilities (kayaking, jet-skiing and there’s pedal boats too), a church (ideal as wedding venues – We learned that there are few celebrities who have exchanged their vows there), there’s a lot of activities to do at Balai Isabel meant for friends in groups, families and companies to hold their annual outings,just like what we did. What it boasts – is being strategically in front of the smallest volcano not only in the Philippines but in the world. The Taal volcano.

The entrance of the place looked promising. There are interesting stuff lovely enough to behold and capture.

bentrance
So serene…

Greens are everywhere creating a special scent especially when the winds are blowing. There are dainty flowers all around and the signages are my favorite.

b10 sgnages

bflower
So seldom I see a white Gumamela nowadays..

b29 welcome

b2

b3

b9

b15
Giant keys????

The place felt serene. Even if as expected, there are other guests during our visit. I felt peace. Or maybe because my mother was with me, I do not need to think of her while I am away from her. I am meant to enjoy this particular weekend with her. =)

bmama
Mama! (–,)

We stayed at Frijas. It’s a 4 bedroom villa with a loft that fits us all.=)

bvilla
Frijas…
b6
We stayed at Frijas…Pronounced as Frias…
b1
Where mama spent her whole time here…
b5
From the loft…

b4

Not unpacking my stuff yet, I went into a “Can’t get enough” mode of taking pictures of the tiniest volcano sitting calmly in front of us. I especially loved the lamps in colored glasses which happens to be all over the place like a unifying element to achieve a theme.

b7

b8

b11 lamps

b12 lamps

b13 wood planks
From this, you’d get the best angle of the Taal…

b14 lamps

There were plenty of food, enough to satisfy our hunger in exploring the place. My mom, by the way, spent the whole time sleeping. Ahaha!

Her prize for sleeping the whole day is my treating her of a massage. She can no longer walk that long, so we had to ask the attendant to do it in our room. Me and my soul buddy had ours in the spa. Dimly lighted with a soothing piped-in music played to better the ambience and relax us. There are also a few candles lighted which I got worried of that might burn, but the strokes done to me made me forget about it. T’was one of my best Saturday nights.

bmassage 2

After the massage, it’s bonding time with the rest of the group. There are singing, eating, drinking over conversations of interesting topics, even scary ones. Ahahaha! We dozed off past midnight I guess. I do not want to sleep so late, I am looking forward to wake-up early and explore the other half of the place.

bdrinks

After a hefty breakfast, me and my buddy readied ourselves for another tour of the place. We were restless. We went to the church, tried finding the old one as declared, but to no avail, we can’t find it and we ended up swimming with this specific pool all to ourselves.

b19

b20

b21

Just in time, one group was about to make use of that pool, we’ve had enough of the water.

b22

We also bond with the girls deciding on traversing that enticing island on the other side where the Taal is sitting.

b23

We found a boat, it’s a 30 minute ride for us to get to the other side. The roar of the engine and the sound of the water slapping against the boat and the serene vista we were leaving made me sleepy… Though the view of the Taal volcano wakes me up from time to time as it gets bigger and bigger until we are already in front of it.

b24

b25

The squeaking footbridge was a sight to behold. I’ve seen several blogs featuring this subject and I can’t help but admire it’s allure. I finally had my shot at it.

b27
Footbridge…

It was such a unique experience, I used to bring my telescope, as young as I was, I was 12, just to be able to get a closer glimpse of its’ beauty. Admiring it from afar. All these years. But this time, up close and personal.

b26

bgirls
With the girls…

We can even get nearer if we wanted to, but horse-back riding at noon isn’t such a good idea besides it’s nearly lunch and everyone might be already hungry. We are all looking forward to have “bulalo” (beef shank soup) for our lunch.

Being physically there, relishing the moment is more than enough.

Why oh why all weekends can’t be like this? (–,) Such thing makes me look forward for the next one. Till then. (–,)

ps

For those interested. Here’s a link that you can make use of.

http://www.balaiisabel.com/

Advertisements

Canyon Woods…

Canyon Woods

I keep on picturing this beautiful place in Tagaytay which is still vivid in my mind even if its been years since I’ve been there.

Then I recall, its in Canyon woods. I also recalled how traveling makes a person. Personally, it fills up my memory with sublime thoughts until I can’t hold it no more. And then after a wink, I started dreaming of another. Ready to immerse my mind into resplendent proliferation.

red car
On our way to Canyon woods! papa driving for me and mama!

Canyon woods (aside from it’s name), at first glance or literally the first time I’ve entered the gates, it was able to bring me somewhere else which felt like I was not in my own country not to mention the colder altitude at that specific time.

red 1
We’re here!

Good thing I was with a shawl (in anticipation), as the wind sends specks on your shoulders every now and then.

swim
Indoor pool. Photo grabbed from: http://canyon.ph/canyon-woods/

cw 2

This is a place ideal for busy individuals who yearns for tranquility and requiescence. It is literally a “breath of fresh air”.

canyon woods
I have never been so relaxed when I got here…
bridge 1
I’m lovin’ bridges!<3

Each gaze directs you to rawness. It was so relaxing. I enjoyed walking a few blocks while I won’t when I am at my usual environment.   The clubhouse is specially extra-ordinary.

lobby
At the Indoor Clubhouse.

The lavish food they offer, there are pools and a spa which we noticed was similar to Sanctuario in Malate only to find out it’s one and the same as I was going through their brochure.

cw 1
On my way to the spa…
group 2
Been here twice and both were really fun…
group red
Miss the laughter! =)

I was able to visit the place twice. Honestly, I was wishing for a third one to stay for a few days.  The first one I was with my former staff, we were accompanied by my parents and the second one was with my high school friends because I was able to convince them to witness the grandeur of the place.

Both experience were unforgettable. Till Then! =)

Coming from Canyon woods, we opted for a coffee which is best for the weather Tagaytay is famous for.

cw1
Coffee and friends! Good combi! ❤

Tagaytay is such a gifted place. As a whole, Philippines is. I could not fathom God’s ingenuity to create a world with such unending beauty.

ps

The place will allow you to take a peek at Taal volcano too!

Canyon woods..
Canyon woods..