Sunset vs Hut at Stilts (Batangas)

The Beautiful Sunset of Calatagan

A picture paints a thousand words, it is said. For this reason, the original idea for this post is to let the photos speak for themselves sans any descriptive text. This is hard to do, we’ve realized, not because no naked article had ever been posted in VisitPinas. Impossible, really, because the golden sunset of Calatagan cannot be fully appreciated by merely looking at the the photographs. The sunset has to be experienced; it has to be lived. This, a photograph can never do.

Neither can words achieve what a photograph cannot do. This text can ever come close to the sunset experience at Calatagan (Batangas). We’re not writers to begin with. And we honestly doubt if any expert writer, not even any reader’s favorite author, can sufficiently describe the uplifting beauty of a golden sunset. We’re saddled by the reality that no two people can have exactly the same perspective. We see the world through prisms made out of our unique, individual experiences. The best thing, of course, is for readers to actually go and visit Calatagan. Go look and experience the sunset, and come back to tell us if we see things similarly.

But we’ll try. We can only try.

We have known about Calatagan’s golden sunset years back. We’ve seen the sunset before. We’ve been mersmerized my its beauty. We know it’s there, save only when clouds choose to deny visitors of a perfect view of the sunset. There will be times when the long hours of travel, around 4 hours from Manila, would not be rewarded by the sight of the sunset. It’s a constant reminder that no matter how advanced mankind gets, we are still at the mercy of nature. We are only little specks in this expansive and expanding universe.

Of course, we travel for different reasons and, for others, a sunset is simply a natural occurrence that passes unnoticed, not worthy of special attention. The sun and sand, or the resort and the food, or the travel companion/s, may be the reason for travel. For us, however, the golden sunset is a rare commodity appreciated every chance we get. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

Fortunately, on the day that we trooped to Calatagan, Mother Nature graciously allowed us to have a clear glimpse of the beautiful sunset.

We originally intended to chronicle the exact time when the sun starts its nightly rest down the Batangas coastline, in the process flooding the sky with a fiery red-orange glow. Down at the beach, after hours of enjoying the water and sand of the Batangas coast, it’s not unlikely, as it happened to us, that looking for a watch and keeping tab of the time would be remembered. As the afternoon temperature drops and the sky begins to glow in a color that signifies death in some cultures, including the make-believe world of Legolas, all that matters is the sunset.

Maybe this is how we should look at life. The last moments of the sun, before the day ends, is bursting with color and beauty. Soon the sunlight will be no more. Darkness sets in. But we see no sadness in that. It’s beauty meant to be celebrated, lived to the fullest, fleshing out to what we say about sucking out all the marrow of life. It’s a source of hope that the sun will rise again, and day breaks with renewed vigor, and  life begins. Every beginning is a step towards greater things.

At the beach while waiting for the sunset, it’s just you, the camera and the elements. There’s the salty breeze roughing up your hair, sending a constant wave of soft tug on your scalp and soul. There’s the crunching sound of the off-white sand that slowly crumbles under your feet. There’s the piercing red-orange sunlight that glides and bounces off the serene sea before warming your eyes. There’s the sound of the lazy waves as it leisurely seeks to conquer the far edges of the beach. It’s a perfect time to stand still and commune with nature.

Time stands still. Or slows down considerably. It’s like watching a slow-motion movie. The only indication that time has moved is the painfully slow progress of a ship, floating on the horizon from the left side of the setting sun, moving to its right. Or the fact that the huge sun, once perched halfway down the horizon, is slowly swallowed by the sea.

Out in the city, everything is moving in lightning-quick speed. Anyone who stops to smell the flowers is mercilessly run over by the ever-moving train of progress. It’s a jungle out there; the city, we mean. Yet the city is a place where we’re at home, and nature, like here in the place of the golden sunset, is where we’re at peace with ourselves.

The seemingly choreographed sequence makes one wonder of a Higher Power that plays director, summoning the right elements at the right time. You see, the color-saturated sky doesn’t come at an instant. It’s a slow build up, just like how a master storyteller would do it. Starting with the blinding light at 3:00 p.m. which gently tones down in intensity, providing a soft white cushion that twinkles on tiniest crest on the sea surface. It lasts for ten minutes or so, enough to get a good number of shots, before the orchestra of red-orange light rises for the finale. Surprisingly, as the color intensifies, the clouds part and the sea calms down, revealing flat surface that perfectly mirrors the glowing red-orange sun. The curtain falls. Time to take a bow. Bravo!

These photos should be part of the post on Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort (Batangas) where the beautiful sunset was spotted. These photos should not be shared, because the sunset is best experienced in person and not through photos that don’t do justice to the real thing. We’d rather sit back, soak the healing beauty of the sunset, rather than spend time to post the photos online. But no matter how we argue with ourselves, it’s definitely a sin not to share these absolutely gorgeous photos of the Batangas sunset. Better still, we strongly suggest that you go and see — and experience — the sunset for yourselves.

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