Photo Diary: An Encounter with Nature at Club Balai Isabel

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Going back and forth to Metro Manila every weekdays sure is one hell of a trip. The concrete jungle could've taken its toll on me up until I got to break the habit by going on a lake trip one weekend before the month of May officially ends.

View from the Club Balai Isabel lake shore at morning
Ooops, before you start checking out my photo diary below, click the video below first to see the snippets of the entire Club Balai Isabel trip!



Situated in Talisay, Batangas, Club Balai Isabel offers a unique location for family getaways, group outings, company functions and events. A mere fifteen minutes from Tagaytay ridge, Club Balai Isabel offers an up-close and personal view of the lake and its world-famous volcano: Taal Volcano! The nearest I've been to Taal Volcano before is probably the view deck from Tagaytay. lol

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Business Center


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After a few hours of sitting in the van, I'm glad that there's a rustic-styled business center to entertain guests whether on day tours or overnight. Also, given that Club Balai Isabel has a nine hectare land, signages are everywhere to keep everyone in track of landmarks.

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One of the things I'm truly amazed at Club Balai Isabel is that they contribute in saving mother Earth. Less carbon footprints for them, the longer we can witness the natural wonders of this place. <3

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Patty Villegas - The Lifestyle Wanderer - Club Balai Isabel - Talisay - Batangas - Travel South -7

Board and Lodging


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Upon settling down, we were assigned to stay at the "Suites with Attic" at the 3rd floor of Balai Laurel. This balai is newly-constructed and is positioned near Terraza Cafe and Restaurant (the resort's main restaurant) and Taal lake shore. Our room caters minimum of 8 people with allowable 4 extra persons. (Php 550 / each)

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The suite has two floors to cater big travelling groups. For the first floor, one bathroom, one bed, flat screen tv, and the veranda can be found. While on the second floor of the suite, there are five beds, a cabinet, vanity mirror, another flat screen tv, and another bathroom.

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Complete set of kitchen utensils and cooking option are also available

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View of the veranda from the dining area

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I can imagine big barkadas or family reunions being held in this suite. It is so spacious that everyone will surely have a great time resting in here after doing activities around the resort. Do take note that the wifi from the restaurant doesn't reach the 3rd floor of Balai Laurel and signal for Globe network is bad. You may save those insta-worthy pictures once you get hold of good connection when you go back to the restaurant. :)

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Lake Shore and Swimming Pools


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Terraza Infinity Pool

I say to you, you will be welcomed by this view once you enter the restaurant. It really feels refreshing when you get this close to nature. The palm trees and the pool is so inviting that it makes me want to take the shower and jump to pool asap. hihi

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There is also a dining area by the lake shore if you want to feel the natural breeze nearby the lake. I heard there were also marriage proposals held on this area because of how picturesque the view in this deck is.

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Terraza Infinity Pool
There are three swimming pools in Club Balai Isabel, the Kumintang pool (photo below), Terraza Infinity pool and Talisay Garden Pool (secluded pool). I swam mostly on the Terraza pool because I can easily look after my items and it isn't that far from our assigned suite. 

At first I thought it's kind of awkward to swim nearby the restaurant where people are eating, but I was wrong. The infinity pool is vast and you can always secure a table nearby the pool to prevent people from occupying them. 

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Both the Terraza pool and Kumintang pool has a bar where you can get refreshments anytime you want after a refreshing swim. Events are also held in Kumintang pool because of its wide grass land and pool size.

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Tour Around Club Balai Isabel


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Apart from being a resort, there are other facilities that makes Club Balai Isabel a haven for nature tripping and getaway from all the stress and worries of the metro. 

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Tucked away in the outskirts of the resort, the Spousal of Mary and Joseph Chapel is a magnificent church designed for individuals who seek a tranquil setting for a solemn retreat. Rest assured that the church is free from any noise pollution, perfect for the quiet time you might be looking for. ;)

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Another thing that I love about this resort is that, there are so many hidden gems to unearth. Tagong Gubat for example is a preferred outdoor area where people retreaters can unwind and hold one of their sessions.

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Tagong Gubat pond

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What's r&r without a massage, right? I was able to try their traditional massage for Php 300/hour and it was the best! I went out of the massage room feeling light and ready to conquer the coming activities ahead of our schedule. <3


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Novelty store beside Terraza Cafe

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Terraza Cafe and Restaurant


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Terraza Cafe and Restaurant is the resort's main resto that offers a view of the lake while people devour on different local and international dishes offered in their menu.

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Evening buffet
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Breakfast buffet
I personally love Terraza Cafe's concoction of tropical fruits and veggies as refreshments. Take the Balai Sunrise (carrot, cucumber, calamansi) and Tropical Lagoon (papaya, pineapple, peach, dalandan juice & syrup) as example.

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Tropical Lagoon, Php 140
The tropical lagoon gives a burst of fresh tropical fruits per swig. It's naturally blended sweet taste will always make me remind a good summer. I cannot imagine a better drink to complete this trip than this smoothie. <3

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Balai Sunrise, Php 140
Balai Sunrise, on the other hand, offers a unique blend of carrots over cucumber and calamansi. At first, I was very iffy to try it because "cucumber in a blended drink"?? But as I take a gulp, I realized that it gets more delicious as you drink it along.

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For lunch, we were able to try two of the popular dishes they have via ala carte: Tawilis and Bulalo. Since the Tawilis can only be found in the waters of Taal Lake, they cooked it in the simplest manner-- crispy fried with vinegar dip. 

Also giving the Bulalo a two thumbs up for the tender meat and free-flowing soup! hihi :)

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Isabel's Panaderia and Pizzeria is another small restaurant just beside Terraza Cafe and Restaurants. I figured out that they use the same baking machine that Yellow Cab is using to be able to cook the pizza fast. I was blown away by their Tutta Carne Pizza, their version of the meat lovers pizza. They have on board italian chef who curated their pizza menu to offer authentic pizza for their guests.

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Tutta Carne ( P200 / Solo, P280 / Double)
Italian Sausage, Pancetta, Pepperoni, Ham, Ground Beef
There's a singer at the cafe and resto every 7 pm onwards on night time. The infinity pool is open until 10 pm that's why I guess it's one of the best time to swim by Terraza pool. Take advantage of the swim by the night sky and bossa nova melodies in the background! 

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BONUS: I celebrated my birthday last May 11 (Read: Anecdotes of Turning 22) and this night was another addition to my birthday celebration this year. Didn't expect this at all until the singer started greeting me on the mic and sang a happy birthday song as the waiters approach me with their complimentary slice of chocolate cake.

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Water Sports


You know I'm always up for adventure and will never say no to fun activities! At Club Balai Isabel, all the must-try water sports activities are held at the lake shore.

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Banana Boat, P300 / head for 15 minutes

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Jetski, P2000 / 30 minutes & P3500 / 1 hour
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Below is the list of all the water activities that anyone can do when at Club Balai Isabel:

* FlyFish - P 700 / ride
* Bandwagon - P 600 / ride
* Parasailing - P 2,300 / solo, P 1,725 / with company
* Pedal Boats - P 500 / hour
* Kayaks - P 150 / hour (single), P 300 / hour (double)

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Hike to Taal Volcano


On the 2nd day of our trip, we woke up right before 6 am to catch the boat going to Taal Volcano. The view of the lake is superb and I wouldn't mind waking up to this view over and over again.

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The motor boat ride from the lake shore to the foot of the volcano was approximately 20 minutes. There was an ample time for all of us to appreciate the lake and the other islands around it. 

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Because the resort arranged the hiking for us, we were served with packed breakfast and water right before doing the 45 minute trek to the crater. This Taal trek organized by Club Balai Isabel is worth Php 4,600 for 6 persons. Package includes the boat ride to and from Club Balai Isabel, packed food and drinks (6 pax), and tour guide. 

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Locals said that it's gonna be a fun climb all throughout. Judging by tall trees aroundand the trail itself, I know it would definitely be a fuss going up. 

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We just had to stop and let the view sinked in first

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For me, this part of the trek is the hardest. Since we started hiking around 7 am, the sun has risen already and there was no trees to spare us from the heat. We actually had to stop by a boulder to catch our breath and save us from the scorching hot weather.

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I pushed myself a little more and this is what I saw on the top. The majestic Taal Lake and Volcano aka an island within an island within a lake. Going back to our Hekasi class, this is the smallest volcano in the world. :)

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This is definitely the best way to end my Club Balai Isabel trip. The first timer in me is happy to tick off this activity in my bucket list and I sure hope that this wouldn't be the last. It's plainly beautiful upstairs.  <3

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Summing up this whole trip, I suggest everyone to visit Club Balai Isabel in big groups. The facilities, water sports, trek sure is way more fun if you are with your family and friends. I also commend the staff of Club Balai Isabel for making us feel well-taken cared of and secured all throughout the trip. I got to discover new things because of this trip, and I'm really thankful with that.

Getting to immerse the wonders of nature is one of the things that I see myself pursuing for the years coming. Luckily, Philippines is blessed with wonderful islands that offer different views and cultures we can enjoy. Thankfully, just few hours from the metro, I can get to immerse myself in the nature through Club Balai Isabel. 

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To know more about Club Balai Isabel, you may check out the following links below:

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