2020 was the year the world as we know it changed. Covid-19 became a pandemic and many parts of the world stood still. Lockdowns and quarantines became the norm. Travel (both local and international) became severely restricted. It seems like all we did was stay home and we can only look back longingly at the photos and videos we took of our past travels. Then vaccines were discovered and introduced. As more and more people got vaccinated, travel restrictions eased. Borders began to open up once more and life is now shifting to the “new normal”. It took our a family a while to be open and at ease to the idea of traveling and even then, we preferred less crowded places so commercial resorts and places were off our list.
My wife and kids are beach-lovers so we checked our numerous beach front or waterfront places for rent at AirBnB. The Eid Al Fitr holiday gave us the extra day-off we need to finally book a place in Mabini, Batangas. The place we rented was situated right along the highway and coast line of Anilao, Mabini, Batangas. The new Skyway made driving there very fast and easy. The whole drive took me 2hrs and 15mins. The house is spacious and filled with big glass doors with opens up to afford us a wonderful view of the sea. These same glass doors also allows the natural sea breeze to circulate and ventilate the house. It has 5 air-conditioned rooms with ensuite T&B and can accommodate 10 guests. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen where you can cook you own meal. There is a balcony with lounge chairs for those who like to sunbathe or just relax while looking at the calm view of the sea or simply enjoy the majestic sunset late in the day. It also has 2 small shallow dipping pools for those who like to soak, relax and converse with their companions. Unfortunately, there is no sea shore, it is not the typical idyllic sanded beach where people can relax and play by the sand. Instead, to access the sea, there is a concrete stairway that leads to the rocky waters which is teeming with fishes, corals and other marine life. Perfect for those who like to snorkel. There are booties/aqua shoes to protect your feet as you “walk” over the rocks, life vests, googles and snorkel gear available for guests to use for free.
All in all, it was a wonderful 3-days/2-nights our family spent there. It was our 1st getaway in more than 2 years and we had lots of fun, conversations and bonding moments playing boardgames and swimming/snorkeling.
For this trip, I decided to travel light. I initially wanted to bring along the Sony A7III with the 24-70mm f/2.8GM and 16-35mm f/2.8GM along with all my filters. In fact, I had them packed already but at the last moment decided to return them to my dry cabinet and instead just bring along the Fuji X100V and Fuji WCL X100 (giving me a 28mm FOV) along with a GoPro Hero 8. There were a few shots which I wished I had my big gear with me but honestly speaking, I think it was the correct decision as the Fuji system worked perfectly. I wouldn’t have been able to bring the Sony A7III to the sea if I had it with me because it would have been soaked or submerged as I slipped along the rocks many times. The Fuji was compact enough that I was able to hold it above my head as I slipped and got submerged. All photos were shot in RAW and processed via Lightroom Mobile on my 2018 Ipad Pro 11″.
Please check out the photos I took of the place. You can also opt to see a photo compilation video of all the photos in the video link below. Thank you for viewing and please do like, and share. Do drop me a comment. I love to hear from all of you. Keep Safe and God bless 🙂