Ginger Paws Outdoors

Family Trip in Bataan, Philippines (Part One)

The Philippines is famous for its beautiful beaches. Being surrounded by bodies of water, this tropical country is a haven for people seeking for a relaxing time in the sun.

family trip in Bataan, Philippines

I’ve been wanting to bring my husband to one of the beaches in the Philippines. I’ve been on a beach in the UK last year during summer, and that’s when I realized how beautiful the Philippines’ shoreline compared to others. So, we’ve decided that we should also visit the nearest beach after our wedding. and since my stepdaughter, mother-in-law and her partner will be in the Philippines too, I thought that it was as well a great opportunity to showcase the tremendous culture of my country.

Morong, Bataan

We chose Bataan as our “honeymoon” destination (technically, it’s a family trip). I remember that there was a long list before we’ve decided what province to choose. We didn’t want to travel longer than five hours, and since Bulacan (my hometown) is in the central part of Luzon, we need to travel far to reach a beach. But gladly, Bataan is just more or less four hours away! We also found a nice beachfront hotel in Morong, a town in Bataan.

Morong, Bataan

 

Day 1, Sunday

It was a rough morning for all of us after the wedding night, so we were later than we expected. Before leaving Bulacan, we’ve decided to bring my wedding dress, my husband’s Barong Tagalog (a traditional outfit for Filipino men; that my husband wore during our wedding), and my stepdaughter’s lovely pink gown to the laundry shop. We left it there and planned to pick up before flying back to the UK. We then went on and stopped by a mall in Clark, Pampanga to have some lunch and buy our favorite Chef Tony’s flavored popcorn for the trip.

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Thankfully, we already have GPS in our time today because I wouldn’t bother to read on a printed map since I was a little sleepy, aside from the fact that my husband does not trust me in navigating for him (even we’re already using GPS!) The road going to the hotel gaveMorong, Bataan me a headache too because it was zigzag and most of the time were blind curves. Aside from the ascending roads as we were on a mountain then went down to the beach. We even missed the entry point to the hotel! Anyway, we still made it through the rough road of the entrance gate to the hotel by the afternoon and welcomed by the staff of Morong Star Beach Resort and Hotel.

Morong Star Beach Resort and HotelThis hotel is excellent for team buildings. Their rooms are mostly for big groups. and they’ve got a bunch of activities that everyone will enjoy. They also have rooms for couples and families. We rented a room for four for my in-laws and stepdaughter and on another building was our room, which was for a couple. Reminder: this hotel is not a luxurious hotel so don’t expect that the amenities are like in five-star hotels. This place is good for those on a budget. Even so, we loved the service that they gave us (we give them five stars!).

Morong Star Beach Resort

 

My husband sent an email to the hotel management a month before to let them know that it will be our honeymoon trip, and he wanted it to be special. They arranged our room in a romantic (with candles) setting which I think why we waited for a bit longer as they prepared it. In addition, what I love the most was we have our VIP table in the restaurant! They had my name on it and there was always someone assisting us all the time. So we really relished our time there.

Morong Star Diving PoolThe morning drive was tiring, and we still have hangovers from the wedding, so we’ve decided to chill that day. We roam around the hotel area which was kind of big. Aside from the swimming pools, they have biking area, which has different types of bikes, an adventure park with a hanging bridge and playpen for kids, a mini zoo with farm animals like pigs, ducks and an ostrich. They also have a basketball court, table tennis, and billiard hall. Of course, the most favorite place for everyone; the shore! They have different water activities there which we tried on our third day. The resort has a diving course as well; they have a specific pool area for divers.

 

Day 2, Monday

The next day was another exciting day! My stepdaughter Emily swam with the dolphins.

We left the hotel early and followed the GPS to the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic Bay Freeport. It was around 30 minutes drive from the hotel. And on our way there, monkeys were on the road! There were signs that animals are crossing the area so better be careful. We Subic Freeport Monkeysstopped by for a while to see those cute monkeys. Sadly, they were on the roadsides because they have learned how to ask for food from the tourists passing by. There was a male monkey that was staring at us while we pulled over. There were a bunch of baby ones too! Then to our surprise, a female monkey came to the male and gave us a show! Maybe the male monkey thought we had been there for a while and didn’t give them anything yet so a show might help to get them some food. I think that was a hilarious moment of our trip. It was very spontaneous of those monkeys to give us a good laugh!

Subic wild monkeys

Subic Wild Monkeys

So when we arrived in the park, we paid our entrance fee, including the fee for swimming with the dolphins. The place was massive, and good thing it was Monday; the place was not packed with visitors. The climate was excellent since it’s pre-summer (February), the weather was not too hot and there was no rain! The schedule for the dolphin encounter was 11 a.m., and gladly; we made it!

 

 

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

All of us adults (viewers) were at the side of the shore while the participants were given instructions. There were two dolphins that were released to swim with them, a mother and a son (I forgot their names). The son was still a bit childish, so he just swam around and never forced to be with the guests. It took a few minutes for them to call a new dolphin to play with them. The session lasted for more than an hour. The guests were taught some tricks so the dolphins would play with them. Everyone was happy after swimming, and we know that this was something that Emily would never forget about the Philippines.

 

 

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

After this, we went to watch a dolphin show. The trainers and dolphins showed off some skills. They also explained the condition of these poor animals and why they were in the conservation area. Most of them were victims of dynamite fishing that caused them to be impaired. Some dolphins that were in good condition were released back to the wild after some treatments. The presentation also talked about how to take care of the ocean. There were educational shows for the whole day, that unfortunately, we missed.

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

After eating lunch at the restaurant, we wandered into the area. We went to the sea aquariums with different sea creatures and descriptions about it. We also went to an aisle with 3D fun arts that we enjoyed taking photos of ourselves.

Ocean Adventure Park Subic Bay Freeport

And then the most torturing (and funniest) moment of my life came… we went to a fish spa! It was something that I really wanted to try, but I was in huge doubt because knowing myself, I am a very ticklish person. In fact, my husband is not allowed to touch my feet or a flying kick with a loud scream will come back to him (imagine Bruce Lee’s iconic flying kick!). Fish Spa in Ocean Adventure ParkBut then, I thought that I could manage this one because I had a foot spa a night before the wedding day, and I somehow managed it (well, there were some squealing noises every now and then), but hey! I didn’t give the attendant a flying kick! So I asked my family to try it (with me, of course) and those were the most torturing 15 minutes of my life! I was wrong! It was never near the same sensation that I felt in the spa therapist the other day! To be fair, it settled down a tiny bit. However, there’s this one spot of each of my foot that made me squeal and uhm, cry. at the end of it, I survived! Believe me, I still felt them when we went back to the hotel (gladly, no nightmares about it!)

 

Family trip in Bataan, Philippines

So, folks, this is the first part of our family trip in Bataan!Β For the continuation of this fun-filled trip, please read the Part Two!Β 

 

About Gracie Gill

A hobbyist photographer enjoying her life through arts, music, traveling and getting fit. A proud crazy cat lady.

41 thoughts on “Family Trip in Bataan, Philippines (Part One)

  1. Only By Land

    I can imagine how disappointed with the beaches in the UK were. I can imagine how your husband must have felt in paradise on the stunning beaches of Bataan and the Philippines. The hotel your husband organised for your honeymoon sounds perfect and it sounds like they succeeded in making it memorable with the candles etc…

  2. Judy

    so many wonderful moments to read about here, Gracie! Congrats to you and you new family! Good to know you visited a dolphin conservation center where they’re at least taken care of and released into the wild after they’re healed. I can’t believe people fish with dynamite! Lovely seeing that you all had such a wonderful and memorable trip =)

  3. Christine K

    It sounds like you made the perfect choices for your getaway. You had a beach you enjoyed, nice lodging for everyone, and entertainment too. It is wonderful that all went well. I would certainly stay at that hotel for sure. Enjoyed reading about your experience.

  4. Natasha

    I think the Philippines will always beat the UK beaches for me and I have not even been yet! I would love to come here, I am heading to the Philippines in December. Great article the trip looks awesome and I will for sure pinch some of your ideas!

  5. Bhusha

    Philippines is famous for anything natural! Its natural beauty is so impeccably gorgeous!!! I hope to visit the country soon. Its so nice that they set up a romantic room with an candle light dinner etc! Fish spa sounds cool!

  6. eazynazy

    This is such a beautiful place and it’s sad that i never heard about it before. Am glad that i stopped by your website . I really loved the dolphin show and the cute decoration by your hotel

  7. Rosie Benton

    The Philippines is one of our favourite places in the world, so many beautiful islands – paradise! Puts the UK to shame haha glad to see you had such a wonderful holiday.

  8. danik

    I am from the UK and hate the beaches here. Well, the weather needs to be warmer. Would love to go to the Philippines and check out the amazing beaches over there πŸ™‚

  9. Vrithi Pushkar

    So many adventures! Love it. I am glad that the dolphins are in a conservation area and it is really sad they were victims. I have always wanted to try the fish spa. maybe someday

  10. Cruise Writer

    Thanks so much for sharing some budget options in the Philippines. Everybody cannot always stay at 5-star properties. I have heard that the beaches are quite nice there and your post confirms this.

  11. Nikki

    Wow sounds like a little slice of paradise! I’ve heard so many mixed things about the Philippines, but this place sounds like it is worth a visit. Especially for the dolphins!

  12. Firdaus Ysf

    Wow!I didn’t know the Philippines has more things to offer.The only place that I have visited in the Philippines are Manila and Cebu Island. Bataan is really a great place to be and I will plan one of my trips to visit it. Thank you for sharing this awesome article!

  13. Ana De- Jesus

    The UK’s coastline is nothing compared to the beaches abroad and I have heard that the Phillipines has beautiful clear waters with stunning views that stretch for miles. I like the sound of the fish spa and it is something I would be willing to try even if I am super ticklish x

  14. Kimberly c.

    What a great getaway. Also very family friendly. I would love to swim with dolphins. Your photos make me feel like i’ve been there too…. adding it to my bucket list

  15. Princess Mikee

    Wow! It was always nice to read travel blogs about PH. It makes me more proud of our country. I would live to try swimming with the dolphins and that fish spa because I am actually kinda afraid of fishes. Haha. I had a great time reading your post.

  16. angela milnes

    We’ve been there last March 2017 and That place is really amazing Morong Bataan was so nice I love the beach there plus the good service of this resort

  17. Rose Sahetapy

    Philippine is a beautiful country with breathtaking crystal clear water beaches. You must have been in great joy having such wonderful honeymoon. Lovely pictures!

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      Yes, you should check our beaches in the Philippines, we’ve got black, white and pink sand beaches here. Though I’ve never been to the pink beach yet but I plan to go there in the future. 😊

  18. Abigayle de Guzman

    I love the Philippines! I’ve been to Bataan when I was really young so I don’t remember it much. But I miss Manila so much, I wish I could go back (I live in California now). Nice pictures by the way! It looks like you guys had fun!

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