The rain came midway our trip to Leisure Dive Resort. It was still raining when we arrived in this Batangas beach resort on Friday night. It was really a bad timing for Typhoon Cosme to enter the Philippine area of jurisdiction this weekend. I mean, c’mon, we’ve planned the outing for more than a month and, besides, May is still summer. We should pass a law banning typhoons, at least for the summer season (that sounds like daydreaming, but what would you do with rain and wind messing up your weekend vacation?). The good thing, however, is that it stopped raining the next day, Saturday. The sun came out and the waves toned down, allowing us to enjoy the seawater. By the way, when I said the waves “toned down,” here’s how it looked like:
If you’re confronted with a situation that’s not in accordance to what you think, specially if it’s nature calling the shots, better make the most of that situation. Since we didn’t have surf boards (I dunno how to surf and, besides, this place is not known for surfing, unlike Siargao Island in Surigao), we had to make do with jumping or hitting each roll of the huge waves. It was like body massage, or let’s say hydro massage. The water hits, er, slams against, your body. I must say it was fun, and I have a few abrasions to show for it.
From its name, it’s obvious that Leisure Dive Resort primarily caters to divers. I was thinking of undergoing an intro dive as part of securing a diving certificate. More serious diving, I thought, but maybe it wasn’t not yet the time. The big waves made it difficult to get a feel of scuba diving.
Anyway, the accommodation at Leisure Diver Resort is cozy. The food is fresh. Grilled fresh squid and tilapia, among others. There’s no standard swimming pool, although my son enjoyed the inflatable pool. There are other water activities aside from diving, including banana boat and jet ski.
How to Get There. Leisure Dive Resort is situated in Barangay Ligaya, Mabini, Batangas. If you’re driving from Manila (around 2.5 hours of driving), take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) then drive through the entire length of it. Don’t take the last exit because that would take you around a loop towards Calamba, Laguna — which is the opposite direction (although you could always take a u-turn). Take the exit around 5 meters from the last exit point (that’s the first exit after the bridge, and the bridge is right after the toll plaza…whew). Take a right turn towards the Star Tollway and if you get into the center of Santo Tomas (Batangas), you’ve passed the Star Tollway exist by around half a kilometer. The Star Tollway is a nice highway, with less vehicles using it, which means that you don’t have to worry about traffic along the tollway. Before, you’ll have to get off the Lipa Exit, but now you don’t have to. Drive until the end of the line (Balagtas exit). Go straight (but go around the rotonda first; I mean, take the second right around the rotunda). This is the direction towards the Batangas City Pier or Bauan. You’ll encounter a flyover, but don’t go through it; take the rightmost lane then turn right under the flyover. This will lead you through Bauan proper. Just ask directions how to get to Mabini. When you hit a rotonda, go right towards the Anilao pier. Before hitting the pier, turn left. From that intersection, the Leisure Dive Resort is around 6 kilometers away (so look at your odometer so you won’t be wondering if you’ve passed by the resort. You’ll pass through Leisure Dive Resort before Eagle Point at Anilao.
The resort and the parking is to your right. The walk down is a bit steep, but you could request the personnel waiting for you to carry your bags and baggage. This means that it’s always better to have a reservation and let them know the approximate time that you’ll get there. Contact numbers are 733-9635 or 7356274. Thanks to Art Riosa and his wife, for graciously making our stay at the resort enjoyable even with the not-so-perfect weather.