Updated as of April 24, 2016.
Had we known that there’s a beautiful beach only an hour and a half away from Manila, we would have taken the kids there a long time ago! That’s what we found out when we accepted the invitation of our friend, Marwena, and her family, for a day trip at Camaya Sands Resort and Leisure in Mariveles, Bataan last weekend.
Camaya Sands Resort has been touted as the “little Boracay of Bataan.” I’ve never been to Boracay, but you get the sense of how beautiful it’s going to be once you step into the fully air-conditioned ferry waiting to take you across the waters to Camaya’s shores.
And Camaya did not disappoint! With its clean, cream-white sands and cool, kid-friendly waters.
Kid-friendly? Yes, I think it’s quite kid-friendly, considering how far the knee-deep waters go.
I didn’t worry so much about the kids wading all the way to the floating play area because that’s how far the shallow waters went.
Occasionally, we’d find small jelly fish floating around, but nothing too alarming. For home schooling families, it’s exciting, really. I used to scoop these things by the top and I was trying to convince my kids to do the same. They didn’t get to catch any, though.
Lukas was the most excited of our brood. He finally got to fulfill his dream to play in the sand and build sand castles and canals.
And Pablo got to spend the entire day playing with one of his best friends, Marianna.
I had some fun of my own, watching some people try to figure out if Lukas and Judah were twins, haha!
Lunch was part of the day tour package, so we lined up once we got there. Boat left the port in breakwaters at 10 AM, we were in Camaya in time for lunch. Food served us was simple and very Filipino. We had Caldereta, Chopsuey, and roasted chicken, food my kids are already familiar with, so they ate.
If you wish to eat apart from the prepared meal, you can go to the Pavillion and order food from their menu.
There was a lot of room to walk around and areas to hang out. I, of course, noticed the band playing that day. They’re pretty good and can compete with the best young bands in the live circuit, musicality-wise. The packaging needs a little work.
There were a few food and drink stands, but it was Figaro that stood out for me. I guess coffee will always be a great addition to any venue – outdoor or indoor.
I was told about the swimming pool but since we’ve been dying to go to the beach for years, we didn’t think of going to it. I happily watched my kids run, wade and splash around.
Anyway, a day trip in Camaya costs Php 599 per head at Metro Deal, inclusive of the ferry fees. The ferry leaves the dock in Manila at 7 AM and coasts back at 11 PM. By reservations only.
Own a property in Camaya
One of the reasons why we were there was for us to check out the properties being developed around Camaya Coast. Who doesn’t dream of owning a beach property?
The place was breathtaking! Rolling hills and the sight of the sea in the distance. The thought of how the place is safely tucked away from loud and busy Manila, and yet, just an hour and half boat ride from it, appealed strongly to me.
The place is still bare but soon there will be school, a supermarket, I reckon, a hospital and other health care facilities, too! Plus if ever you need to get something from Manila, all you need to do is to hop on the ferry. This is stuff that I thought were only made for novels!
(And the kind writers like me dream of).
You can own a 200 sqm property, paying only Php 7,599.27 a month. Our friends, Mario and Marwena, already bought a property there because they see how good an investment it is, not only for themselves when they retire, but for their children as well.
If you reserve property through Marwena, she can give you a 6.5% discount (you only get up to 2% discount, if you purchase directly) and help you fix your payment terms. Reservation is only Php 10,000.
There are condominium units being sold, too. Large and spacious, with two rooms and a rooftop where you can hang out or hold get-togethers, Jay said. The kids fell asleep in the van so I stayed with them. It was Jay who went down with the party to see the place.
You can get yourself a 2-bedroom 58 sqm condominium unit for Php 30, 367.12 a month, which is most likely what you’re paying right now if you’re renting out a smaller unit here in Manila.
Sure, the price may seem slightly steeper than the properties in or nearer Manila, I know because Jay and I almost purchased a small house and lot in Cavite three years ago, but see, at Camaya, you really get to enjoy the best of both worlds — the beach is a five-minute drive and the city is also just an hour and a half away. (yes, I’ll just keep on repeating that, haha!)
I can imagine my kids hanging out at the beach, or Jay and I enjoying the music and entertainment there at night, and coming home to a peaceful and quiet environment.
The air is pure and uncontaminated and the view when you look out your window is so magnificent. You will not get this in Manila. Not in a million years.
For beach property inquiries:
Contact Marwena Reli