I wish I were in the verenda with hot coffee writing this article, but I am chilling in my workstation. Anyway, so last weekend, after a company party and 8 hours of work in the office, we went straight to Anilao, Batangas.
My friend suggested we stayed at Dive7000 as he and his family are regular guests in the resort. I don't know what to expect in the place, I don't even know what we are going to do - so I just bought 2 sets of swimwear and the usual things I carry whenever we travel (like a 3 days, 2 nighs worth of clothes).
We were lucky that we got a van service from Starmall for only Php2,500 (including toll fee). I hated long drives and bus rides, and I was so thankful to Manong Driver who agreed on the deal. It was actually weird that the commute lasted for 4 hours (including the 30 minute stop-over at Starbucks). I somehow felt like we were on our way to visit relatives in Batangas since most of the time, my friend was texting the resort owner, as if letting them know that we were already on the way and that they must prepare the food and the room.
So when we arrived at the resort, the boys were already waiting for us at the driveway - they took all our stuff and they escorted us to the resort main entrance. It was a walk through narrow streets, and rocky stairs but we were welcomed with Orange Juice and Tita Dorris' sincere smile (she is the owner of the resort). Very nice mestiza who is always on the go. I cannot complain. Add the nice view of the sea and pool, and very welcoming common room, and some serious gears for SCUBA diving.
Few camera clicks, and sips of juice, we were escorted to our room. The rooms are spacious with really big beds, and four towels! The best part is that it has really nice comforter - and the washroom has a hot and cold shower. One room would fit 4 pax, but the cons is that they only allow 2 people in the room, so we got 2 rooms and an extra bed (we were 5). Technically, there was no extra bed - since the beds are queen size, 2 of my friends just shared one bed. I could have stayed with a couple friends, but who wanted to share room with a couple? I could forever curse the night and wish I were with someone too. That's not what I wanted to spend the trip.
Dive7000 serves buffet for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They serve pork, fish, veggies, and dessert (usually fruits). Coffee is free-flowing which is what my friend and I love! The very reason why we love the people in Dive7000 - Tita Dorris even prepared special meals for our very own vegan.
Tofu Pasta for Lunch, and Tacos for Dinner. Other resorts can just offer the usual veggie dish in the buffet table; but at Dive7000, they even made an effort to prepare meals.
The resort is a perfect place for diving - just infront of the resort, take a dip and you would already see creatures of the sea. What is most impressive is that they carry quality gears - from life vests (not the typical orange vest that boatmen throw in in their boats - but the ones with snap closure securing your butt and whole body), goggles, and tanks. One should not be surprised because they have resident dive masters in the resort. I would have wanted to learn some lessons, but it costs alot. I would want to check the famous Cathedral below the sea.
These masters do not only assist on SCUBA diving, but also offer services for those who do not know how to swim. A new friend who has trauma in swimming availed of the service just for assistance in snorkeling. I hope the presence of a dive master made her feel safer than wearing a life vest.
Travel Tip: If you want to explore the sea, please make sure to buy an underwater camera case. My friend bought one from sulit.com and it is a must-have for traveling.
Personalized service not just end in preparing Vegan dishes, nor swimming assistance, but also in assisting in our needs, and I meant spiritual needs. Being the religious person that I am (I would like to think that), I wanted to attend a worship service and the manager (JJ) even lent his car (and a driver) who took me to the nearest church - and this is at 5:00 in the morning! I only paid for the gas, and tip to Mr. Driver who even slept early for this appointment (Thanks Dondon!). Who would ever care about religious needs nowadays? I am forever thankful for the team. It is true that God send angels to guide and help His children. Especially, desperate child who needs to go to church on a Sunday morning :D
Staying in Dive7000 is like staying in your own resort. They let us do what we wanted (even smoked inside the common room). We bought alcohol inside the resort without paying any corkage fee. They do serve wine though, so they might charge corkage for outside purchases.
Every guest is like part of their happy family. One staff member (Jay) celebrated his birthday when we were there, and Tita Dorris gathered us all to sing Happy Birthday and witness him blew the candles. This is complete with photo-op! Isn't that the coolest thing?
|Happy Birthday, Jay!|
Overnight stay is not enough to explore Anilao. I could stay in Dive7000 the whole day and enjoy the sun, sea and shells (yeah, there is no sand), with the warm accommodation of Tita Dorris, and all the Kuya's, and Ate's in the resort.
Some things you need to know:
Tricycles last trip at 3:00 PM. So if you don't have a car, better stay inside the resort and enjoy the place.
Parking is a little too far from the resort. Think that walking is a good exercise!
The resort is not yet accepting credit cards, but Tita Dorris advised that it is already in the works! So better bring extra cash because there are so many things to do, and so many islands to explore.
Come check out time, we realized we were short of money - and we got too dependent of each other (and credit card), that we were some thousands short of the total bill (this is even less the discounts Tita Dorris has given). I am so ready to take the apron and wash the dishes BUT Tita Dorris is so kind and understanding enough to let us pay the balance on our way home. We took the car service who took us to the BDO ATM - before we said goodbyes and thank you's, we just give the balance to Dondon (the driver). I know it was embarrassing, but just for the record, we are no skippers. We just had so much fun, and we just felt so at home that we have forgotten that we have bills and expenses to pay.
By the way, before we left, Tita Dorris even served us with Banana Que and orange juice - something our body needs for the long travel. She even asked my friend to let her know once we are home; just so she knows that we got home safely. Isn't that sweet?
|Snack Time before Check Out Time!|
|The boys and dive masters of Dive7000|
Thank you again to Tita Dorris, Neil, JJ, Dondon, and to all Dive7000 boys and ate's who accommodated us. We will surely be back, with more friends!
I would be editing this blog post with fees and prices for each service for viewer's reference. Keep on following!