Philpan Resort does not have the sandy beach one would expect for a vacation in the Philippines. However, what attracts visitors to this place is its diving experience.
Situated in the municipality of Mabini, Batangas province, Philpan Resort can be reached around three hours of driving from the country’s capital Manila. It is found in the southwestern corner of Luzon Island. Just off the place of interest lies the body of water known as the Isla Verde Passage. Separating Luzon from the nearby island of Mindoro, this strait boasts a treasure of marine life. In fact, Isla Verde Passage has been renowned as the richest area in the world in terms of marine biodiversity. This means having the most number of sea life per specie, not having the most quantity. That is why it is called biodiversity. Fauna that can be found here include starfish, clams, eels, and even sea turtles, along with a huge variety of tropical fish.
A downward sloping lane from the main road leads visitors to Philpan Resort. At the end lay a parking area. Beyond it lay a rocky beach and the azure sea. The entrance fee amounts to 100 Philippine pesos (Php). Visitors can also rent a cottage, which consists of a roof, table, and benches, for Php 500. The price climbs to Php 1,000 if visitors want to stay the night in that cottage. Reserving a feel-at-home room for an overnight stay costs at least Php 2,000 for two people. As for Philpan Resort’s main attraction, diving can be enjoyed for a price of Php 2,500. Divers can also visit farther spots by motorboat but the rate also goes higher. From the resort, tourists can also head to other places such as Carmico Beach and Sombrero Island by boat with their respective fees. Simply talk to boat operators and resort staff about pricing. Philpan Resort also has a Facebook® page for inquiries. Prospective visitors may look into blogs or ask friends who have been to the tourist attraction.
Yes, Philpan Resort has rocks instead of sand but the clearness of its water quality amazes visitors in fair weather conditions. At the shallows, one can see rocks of all shapes and sizes. When dipping, moving around can be described as more of trudging than walking due to the uneven surface. Still, some prefer it to have their feet sink in sand. A mini pier resists the waves and all the beating from the volatile sea. A roofed raft made of bamboo floats nearby, dangling steadfastly from the pier through a durable rope. Swimmers climb and cling to the raft for relaxation, chatter, and respite from the noontime sun.
The seabed off the resort plunges dramatically, explaining why the place has become a diving spot. Fish and other marine life seek the deep water and the flow of nutrients. Prey in turn sustain the predators. Eels, perhaps even the dreaded moray eel, hide in the cracks on the underwater rock formations. Shellfish filter food from the water as they sit idle. Schools of colorful fish add life to a seemingly dull blue world. A lucky snorkeler or diver may even spot a swordfish or a sea turtle.
Philpan Resort also features amazingly clean shower rooms and restrooms. The cemented walls, tiles, and well-maintained plumbing make one feel as if relieving oneself or taking a bath in his or her very own home. Visitors can use these for free once they have paid the entrance fee.
Most visitors to this resort in Batangas also have hiked or will hike the nearby Mt Gulugod Baboy. This mountain offers relatively easy trekking without the steep slopes and choked trails.