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Published: August 30th 2011
Club Balai Isabel
Resort in Talisay, Batangas, just 2 hours drive south from Manila. By the shores of Taal Lake. If weather permits, you can cruise the lake and trek up to the crater of the smallest active volcano in the whole world.
Taal Volcano. Taal Lake. Easily, a local here would think Tagaytay City where one can view the volcano and the lake from the ridge. But I wanted to bring my family to go volcano trekking, so off we went to Talisay's Club Balai Isabel, a resort built by the shores of Taal Lake.
Stormy Weather Over A Long Weekend
The storm was a mood killer. A holiday spoiler. It was a long 4-day weekend for my working girls and school-going grandchildren. It also happened that one of the girls is celebrating her birthday. We booked ourselves at Club Balai Isabel weeks ahead and planned to do the lake cruise and volcano trek. Kayaking near the lakeshore or trying out one of those pedal-pushing water vehicles within a roped area of the lake. Biking. But that was not to be.
Overcast sky, rainshowers and thunderstorms. Amazingly, we enjoyed the resort so much we didn't mind missing out on the planned activities. And I'm saying that despite having been "trapped" in any one of the huts found around the complex whenever the wind blows or when it really pours. There were 3 swimming pools to choose from.
The Lovely Hotel Buildings Lining the Shore
Rooms with a view. Think Lake Como. Even better. You get a package here: the lake and the volcano.
Swimmers stayed in those pools no matter how heavily it rained.
Local Food & A Quaint, Little Store
There was buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or you can order a la carte. We didn't miss ordering some local dishes from the area. Batangas is known for its Bulalo
---- a kind of beef stew complete with the sinful bone marrow for added flavor. Then there are the 2 kinds of fish which can only be fished out of Taal lake : maliputo
(trevally, a rare freshwater fish, a delicacy) which is usually cooked in sour broth, steamed, grilled or simply fried. And there's the tawilis
(local herring) which are small fish best fried and eaten soon after. But I like best their bulanglang
--- a vegetable stew similar to the Ilocano (Northern Philippines) Pinakbet
but soupier. Typically, this dish includes many vegetables such as squash, eggplant, bitter gourd, malunggay(moringa or horseradish) leaves and kangkong (water spinach) tops.
You may also want to check out the little store in Clubhouse. We simply had to buy up some stocks of those lemony soaps and hair shampoo and conditioner like the complimentary stuff we found in our
Lovely Huts All Around the Complex
This one is right beside the Butterfly Garden and the Spa Area.
rooms. Not the usual you'd find off the store shelves. We learned that they make their own soap and shampoo, and we love them! They also have pillow sprays which we also bought and took home to deodorize our linens. Didn't stop there. Must be the weather. We also found some locally designed neckpieces there made of indigenous materials and beads. Again, blame the weather. 😊
A Church Built Upon Ruins. An Advocacy.
A Church within the resort complex. Built in honor of Spouses Mary and Joseph, as the owners advocate family unions and merry reunions. For sure, they didn't scrimp on this religious structure. Didn't settle for a small chapel. This one's a big Church which makes for a great setting for a wedding. We saw a marker on the Church walls and I, personally, was deeply touched by the owners' advocacy of providing a place or facility where families can spend time to enjoy or simply get together.
Within the complex, there were other facilities . A basketball court. A billiards table. A butterfly garden. A Dr. Fish Spa. A nice reception cum waiting lounge where our family spent time just
Built in honor of Spouses Mary and Joseph, to promote the owners' advocacy of providing a place or facility where families can go , enjoy and simply get together.
chatting and sipping coffee, or reading magazines or books. We could have tried their Spa for a soothing massage and a manicure & pedicure, but couldn't get a booking. The resort was fully booked for that long weekend, yet we didn't feel it was crowded. There were areas around the complex where one can easily walk around, or along the shores. Or maybe read a book by the wharf. I tried the wharf, till the waves tried to wash me ashore!
By the time we were ready to check out of the resort, we agreed that it won't be the last time for us. For sure, we would be back. We also agreed that the best times would be during the "ber" months when it is cooler and the waters calmer. Perhaps we can do the lake cruise and volcano trek the next time we stay here.
Directions On How To Get To Club Balai Isabel
Take SLEX (Southern Luzon Expressway) all the way to STAR Toll, exit @Tanauan, Batangas where you take a right towards Laurel, then Talisay City. Club Balai Isabel is right along the main road past the Town or Municipal
The Church Marker
Posting this to share the message with everyone.
Or you may want to take the road via Tagaytay City where you may wish to first view the volcano from the Ridge. Take SLEX, exit at Santa Rosa all the way to the Tagaytay Ridge. Then take Ligaya Drive and zigzag down to Talisay, Batangas. At Club Balai Isabel, you now view Taal Volcano from the shore. Check out my blog on Tagaytay too.
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