I was a little worried about having a place to stay for this trip. It was only a day before when everybody suddenly agreed to push through with this trip. I have been doing research for the past couple of weeks as to where we can stay for an over night trip in San Juan, Batangas. After exchanging lunch breaks to internet breaks I came across 2 resorts that we could possibly stay at - the Kabayan Austria Resort and the Casa Remo Apartelle. So far we were 8 in the group, Kabayan Austria has these trailer homes that can accommodate 8-10 pax for P4500 while Casa Remo is only for P3600 a night (their rate for off- peak season).
Being the only girl in the group I was assigned (actually I volunteered myself pinagpilitan ko talaga) to take care of the itinerary for the whole trip. Since budget was the biggest thing to consider I’m still undecided which resort to choose. Budget wise I decided to choose Casa Remo and only called the owner Ate Beth while we were in the bus 3 hours away from San Juan (bahala na si batman).
I introduced myself and asked right away if they do have vacant room good for 8 people. I specifically told her the $3600 room that was in their website. She told me that they can accommodate us and that she will call the caretaker to have the room ready. She asked if we already know how to get there by commute and she was texting me every hour giving me tips where to ride, how much the fare is and where to buy food.
When we arrived at Case Remo Ate Melanie welcomed us. I was happy that I choose Casa Remo. It has a nice and serene effect, maybe because we were the only guests but the place was just like the backyard and lanai of my rich friends (me kaibigan naman akong rich hihi). They have 10 rooms which can accomodate a group of 4 to 10 people. And a big house at the back which I think can accommodate a clan.
At the back of the building and in front of the big rest house was a playground where kids and kids in mind, I mean kids at heart may play. They also have a good parking space at the back of the big rest house.
When I read that they have kitchen utensils that their visitors can use, I was not thinking of ala master chef where you have everything you need, from strainer (para sa pansit canton) to rice cooker (para sa mga hindi marunong sumukat ng tubig sa sinaing) to free dishwashing paste. But seriously they have almost everything you need for cooking (except ung lulutuin syempre). They also have free drinking water, but do not expect too much if you’re used to drinking mineral water or NAWASA, but do not worry none of us had problem with the water after drinking it for 2 days.
The recreation room/dining hall is spacious with bamboo chairs and tables. There’s a videoke and 1 song costs P5. Since I’m with people who does not mind singing for 3 straight hours (and cancels most of the songs after belting out the chorus) I asked Ate Melanie if we could just rent it in an hourly basis, we both agreed for P100/hour. However they have videoke curfew only until 10PM. According to Ate Melanie it was a regulation for all resort owners in the area.
Beside the recreation/dining hall were 3 open nipa huts where you can play cards, eat, drink and dry your clothes. Casa Remo is not beach front but it will only take 3 (kung purong lakad lang) to 5 (kung me halong chikahan while walking) minutes to reach the shores. The resorts that were beach front were the big (and expensive) resorts. But if you would want to spend your day at the shores Case Remo has 2 cottages that their guest can use, I think each cottage can accommodate 2 groups of 5-7 people. We decided to stay, play and party on the sand.
I told Ate Beth that there might be additional people in the group and will text her with the final headcount. At the end of the day final headcount was 11. Ate Beth told me that we need to revise the conforme and pricing (which we all did thru texting). From P3600 (for 8 people) we ended with a room rate of P4500 (additional P300 per head in excess of 8). It was a fair deal considering that they only allow max of 8 people for that room, I think P900 was better than another room rate.
There were a lot of big-time, medium, small-time resort along the shores and back streets of Laiya but if you’re on a tight budget and not too choosy but would want to experience the white beach of Laiya San Juan I recommend Casa Remo, but make sure to call ahead of time to make reservation. Just to set your expectation it might be a different story during peak seasons as you have to share the kitchen, recreation/dining hall, nipa huts and playground with other guests. The good thing about it you might gain new friends and might share rooms too.
|all star cast - Paquita Jekers|
HOW TO GET THERE:
By commute (via Lipa City): from Cubao or Pasay Taft/Libertad or Alabang or any bus terminal bound for Batangas City, we rode Ceres Bus (P124/way) go down at Lipa bus terminal (travel time: 2 hours).
If you prefer to ride a van (P70/way) going to San Juan cross the street and the van terminal was just beside the Jam Transit terminal. If you would want to ride the jeepneys (P45/way), from the Lipa bus terminal walk straight going to Robinson's Mall where the jeepney terminal is located. They will not leave unless the jeepney was full (travel time: 45 minutes)
Upon arriving at San Juan town proper you may to your groceries in the market, nothing to worry I think everything you need are all available there. Take the jeepneys (P35/way) going to Laiya just tell the driver to drop you off at Casa Remo, they all know it (travel time: 35 minutes)
CAVEAT: last trip for vans and jeepneys from Lipa City is at 4PM and last trip of jeepneys from San Juan proper going to Laiya is at 6PM
Contact Person: Beth