Swimming Pools, from the top, at Anvaya Cove

The Beautiful Anvaya Cove (Morong, Bataan)



Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists . . . . So goes the familiar (at least, ahem, in our generation) opening lines of the Sunscreen Speech written by Mary Schmich, which became a successful music single “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann.

[See map and directions]

But that’s not what we’ll be talking about. We’ll be talking about the Anvaya Burger, er, Anvaya Cove.

“We must try the Anvaya Burger”, my wife said halfway through our 2-hour trip from Manila to Subic, leisurely cruising along NLEX and the SCTEX on a sunny Friday morning.

The burger was the least of my concerns. It was a Friday so I had to take a leave from work. I was more interested in the beach, not the burger. Besides, I had no idea exactly where Anvaya is located, but there lies the beauty of a full-tank of gas and a sense of adventure. The search is part of the adventure. We’ve seen the Anvaya signs in our roadtrip to the Dambana ng Kagitingan, from the direction of Dinalupihan and ending up in Subic via the SBMA-Morong Road (see map; the road takes you to the Subic entrance/exit near Ocean Adventure and Camayan Beach). Anvaya Cove is around 15 minutes from this exit.

And while I was more interested with the beach, our son was dead keen on the swimming pool; more of a series of swimming pools. Six of them, if I’m not mistaken, overlapping to create a seamless water world for both kids and adults. There’s a main pool that flows into two other sub-pools (can I call it that?),  just above the jacuzzi, which, in turn, abuts the kids pool. The exclusive pool is a few steps away, separated by the walkway that leads to a number of shower rooms.

I’ve got tons of stored calories but find it hard to draw energy, as with any health-challenged adult. Kids, on the other had, are dynamos that never seem to run out of energy. Speed kills, as they’d like to say when (Congressman)  Manny Pacquiao fights in the ring. Same thing with running after toddlers. Between the beach, the swimming pools and the playground at Anvaya, you’d die from exhaustion and heart attack after a day of running after them. Mini-hanging bridge. Jungle gym. Swing. A host of climbing structures. Ahh, no wonder the Pawikan Grille, with its comfortable chairs floating on white sand under the trees, is just beside the playground — to provide a much-needed respite from the blizzard of energy also called “kids”.

Anvaya Cove, a project of Ayala Land, is not exactly open to the general public. It’s a membership leisure community. Me? Not a member. Just happen to know someone who knows someone who is a member. Maybe someday I’ll become one, but who knows you’ll become a member before me.

I don’t know how much a membership in Anvaya costs, but if I were as rich as some presidential candidates, I’d probably buy a share and, more than that, buy a house and lot in this lush greenery (then again, if I’m as rich as some candidates, I’d probably own this or buy a similar property).

Driving through the mango-lined streets and manicured road shoulders,  inhaling the fresh air with a hint of seawater, I looked forward to a secluded comfort. Development is on-going. Some areas, like the beach and pool side, are done and the ongoing construction would probably be the residences. This place is a balance between pure nature and modern luxury/convenience.

Wait. I have to slap myself to end the daydreaming about owning a membership here.

What is real for me, though, is the beach, the jewel of this place. Its white sand, though not exactly like Boracay or Panglao, is one of the better kind of sand I’ve seen in mainland Luzon. Both ends of the cove look like outstretched arms hugging the inner shore, protecting it from the sea. “Not in my house, no you don’t,” it seems to say. The water is clear, perfect for snorkeling, diving, jet ski, kayaking, banana boat and other water sports available here. Save for the occasional jellyfish (harmless, we were told, with a net which cordons off an area), it is a great place to relax and be a beach bum. Perfect place to soak the sun.

Back in the province when I was young, we all looked forward to semestral vacations and summer breaks. We were not really too particular with sunscreen. Vacations in the province meant days spent at the beach, not on the sofa immersed in PSP, Wii or Xbox. And days under the sun, without sunscreen, means sunburn.

It was a bit painful. Classic sunburn, after all, is a first-degree burn. But we loved it. We wore the sunburn as badge of summer. Our bodies felt, ahem, literally hot for days, with cream to ease the discomfort. And as the skin shed from our backs and shoulders, we’d prepare to go back to school. Stories of summer escapades would then begin even before the first homework is given.

That was years ago. Since then sunscreen became the norm in my universe, largely in part because my significant other would insist on it. No more sunburn . . . until I had to accompany our son swimming practically the whole day in Anvaya. I thought it would only be an hour or two. Sunscreen is not needed, I thought. I was wrong.

The sunburn stung for days. It felt good.

Oh, the Anvaya Burger. We had the mini-Adobo Bun when we arrived, sort of saving the best for last. But we forgot about the burger. I’ll remember the burger when we come back.

I will also remember to wear sunscreen. [See map and directions]



41 thoughts on “The Beautiful Anvaya Cove (Morong, Bataan)”

  1. too bad, all of my family wants to visit the resort this July. but it’s for the members only:( Nice Resort…

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  2. our family came from an overnight holiday at Morong Beach Hotel last April 7, 2012. On our way back to Manila, we passed Anvaya Cove. My husband who was driving then, asked in jest all of us – me and our 3 kids – if we wish to reside in Anvaya Cove. We were all stunned with his question knowing that the properties inside are high end and may cost millions beyond our means. Nevertheless, my husband, no longer bothered to hear our answers and found ourselves in the entrance gate. He told the guards, we are interested buyers and we wish to see the place. At marketing pavilion which allows anyone to have a view of the beach and the surrounding greens, all of us were enthralled by the beauty of the place. And the rest is history. Membership either of Beach and Nature Club or Golf Club is requisite in owning a property. WE chose to be a BNC member since nobody in the family is a golfer. I thank God for this wonderful blessing! Everyday, me and my husband looks forward with excitement of building both our dream and our retirement house. Indeed, God blesses us with things beyond our expectations and to complete our joy! God is an amazing God!

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  3. my family plans to stay in your resort for overnight but neither of us is a member of anvaya. Is this possible? Do you have rooms or villas that are available for rent for non-members? Thanks.

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  4. We’re winding up a 2-night stay here. It’s not our first time as paying guests of my wife’s cousin, who is a member and owns property here.

    This time, as always, the beachfront didn’t disappoint — and the food remains good and surprisingly affordable. We had a big room (#306), which has a balcony and gives a great view.

    The youngish staff is rough around the edges — they probably could do with more training. For example, they always got our food orders wrong.

    We like this place a lot and have even considered buying a membership (P600,000) at their quarterly auctions. There are apparently more sellers than buyers, which suggests that the market for membership is sluggish.

    Our biggest complaint at this stay: the bathroom toilet seat leaked on our last day! Water, urine, and bits of nasty stuff leaked to the floor — I had to clean it myself. I reported this immediately to the front desk and the immediate answer was to send an incompetent staff member who took a cursory look and reported the toilet seat still usable.

    I told the front desk to come and clean up the toilet floor themselves. Response has been terribly disappointing with nobody of any sense so far coming to fix what is a simple repair job with sealant or grout. Hell, I can do this myself.

    The bathroom also has other fixtures in bad need of repair.

    This was the only real sore point of this mini-break. I confess I lost my temper a bit with the frontdesk people. Wish it didn’t happen but it did.

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  5. this incident happened in jan 2013. all was going fine until it was lunch time.

    my friend, her family from canada and the club member herself ate at the golf club restaurant at the suggestion of the member. they were looking forward to a nice filipino meal only to find out that the food had strands of hair intertwined in the rice that they had ordered. say what? yes, you read that right! yuck! but wait, it was not just a strand of hair that just accidentally dropped on the rice (thought still ew!) but it was mixed in the rice. yes, you got it. it was cooked with the rice! so, to all the guests who ate that day, well, they sure got a taste of those strands of hair! bloody yuck! but wait a sec, hair was not only found in that bowl of rice. it was also spotted in the kare-kare! OMFG! oh yes, the guests took photos! the servers didn’t know what to do when they were called in. they panicked. one server even wanted to put away the rice plate right away but the guests insisted that the manager sees it first as proof of poor service. unfortunately, there was no food and beverage manager on site. can you believe that? just someone who oversees the service at the restaurant for the day. for a club house that’s owned and managed by ayala corporation and has claims that the club house is at par and premium, well, un-hygienic service is NOT acceptable!

    the overseer apologized for the negligence of their kitchen staff as the guests insisted to speak to higher management to report such an un-healthy incident. however, the overseer couldn’t produce a manager at that time but assured the guests that they will investigate the matter and that management will surely know about it. the guests expressed that they will not settle the bill for very un-healthy/un-hygienic reasons especially for a club that claims to be “high-end and first class.” i mean why would they pay? would you? so, the meal was on the house & was offered coffee for afters. the least they can do. i was told that after that meal, diarrhea was experienced by a few of them. ew!

    the gesture was appreciated by the guests. however, that doesn’t excuse them for quality assurance. making sure that guests are served clean food is a no-brainer.

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