A quick escape to paradise in Morong, Bataan

I love the beach, that much I’ve made clear. My whole family is a group of beach bums, in fact, so no arm-wringing was necessary when we decided to go to Bataan for an overnight trip. My nephews were about to sign up for different summer activities, so we figured this would be one of our last hurrahs before the new school year started.

The lodging we chose is inside the Bataan Technology Park, Inc. (BTPI) in  Morong. It kind of looks like Binictican Housing in Subic, only a bit more abandoned. At the moment, there are only a handful of buildings in there that are functioning, including the place we stayed at, Kai Lodge (more on that later). But according to the people around, there are plans to redevelop the entire place, which I hope they do, because it actually looks like a resort community with parks, a clubhouse, a library, a museum, and more lodging.

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Our stay at the hotel included free access to this beach called Blue Turtle Cove, and let me tell you, not a lot of places elicit an appreciative reaction from me, but as we drove up to this one, I couldn’t help but let loose a long whoa. It was pretty picturesque, quiet, and best of all, secluded. As in, save for us and a couple of guys looking after the place, there was no one else around, which was perfect.

Well, actually, no, it wasn’t that perfect. The water itself was full of sea grass, and if your skin crawls at the thought of swimming with sea cucumbers and different other kinds of creepy-crawlies, you’d probably stay ashore. But if you relish the feeling of isolation in an island-like setting during a perfectly hot and sunny day, you’d be just as happy too.

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I was infatuated with this beach, so much so that I actually considered not telling anyone where it was to keep the knowledge of it to myself so it’ll stay as secluded as possible. But that would be selfish; who am I to deprive other beach-loving people of the chance to enjoy it as much as we did? Besides, I hardly think this place is a secret; I think some local TV show was shot here once. Anyway, we stayed until sunset, packed up our stuff and went back to the lodge for some dinner.

The next morning, I kidnapped my 10-year-old nephew and searched for a place where we could watch the sunrise. After a few minutes of walking around, we found a gazebo with a pretty grand view. (We convinced everyone else to go back with us later in the day so they can see it too.)

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When we did go back, a caretaker started talking to us and told us of this Buddhist-inspired area we could have a look at too. My sister told me earlier that BTPI actually functioned as a sort of sanctuary for refugees from other countries, hence the different religious open spaces.

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Now, I’m in no way as passionate about the environment as, say, Leonardo Di Caprio, but I try to do my part. That’s why I’d like to request that if you ever come to Blue Turtle Cove, or any natural attraction for that matter, don’t be an asshole by leaving trash behind. Take your crap with you before leaving to keep the place as spotless as possible.

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