Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Laiya: Beauty by the Sea

Date: FEB 16-17, 2013

This will be our first team building outside Metro Manila, and we are very excited about it. Laiya, San Juan, Batangas has it all - peaceful, serene and beautiful. No wonder why so many luxury resorts line up the beachfront. This will be a great day for us to enjoy!


It was 6:00 in the morning, Saturday, February 16, 2013. We were planning this team building for so long, going under different ideas on where to go. We chose San Juan, Batangas, the same place that TL Ian recommended before. We already listed down our budget for this trip and waited for the van outside the office building.

Enjoying my white chocolate frappe
We are on a convoy this time, with two vehicles – the van, and Kim (Anna’s boyfriend) sedan. I chose to ride on the van, along with TL Ian, TL Fifi, Coach Cat, Iha, JM, Kaye, and two of her children. On the other hand, Anna, Kim, Peach, Van at Larra rode the sedan. It was almost 7 AM when we left Eastwood and took us 20 minutes to reach the South Luzon Expressway.

We decided to make a quick stopover at Petron, and I bought a cup of white chocolate frappe. After a couple of minutes, we went back to our vehicles and continued our journey. I just slept in the van and woke up when we reached Lipa, Batangas. It took us another hour to reach the town of Rosario and had our breakfast at Jollibee.

It took us 4 hours from Manila to San Juan, Batangas, and we had a stopover at the town’s public market, to buy additional food and drinks. And then, by noon, we finally reached the famed beachfront of Laiya. The house that we rented is similar to an ordinary bamboo cottage, with screened windows, two beds inside an air-conditioned room, and a single bathroom.

Team Breakfast @ Jollibee Rosario, Batangas
Coming from a Friday shift, I was so tired to swim that day, so I decided to nap for a while, and woke up an hour later. Larra and I decided to have a walk and explore the beachfront. We walked on foot for at least 4 KM and headed back to our lodge by sunset.

Coach Cat is already preparing for our dinner, grilling pork and chicken barbecues. Some of my workmates are just staying inside the cottage, while the others are still enjoying the beach. Since I only slept for an hour a while ago, I decided to sleep again.

No one woke me up... I was so tired
To my surprise, it was already 9:30 PM! My workmates were calling me for dinner, and we have a bunch of mouth-watering dishes on the table. We have grilled liempo, grilled chicken, grilled hot dogs, and all sorts of grilled meat. We were enjoying each other’s company that night and had a lively discussion about different things – work-related or not.

As we are enjoying the night, suddenly, a mad drunken man started to go frenzy. He began smashing beer bottles outside our cottage and went to another house that was just a few meters from ours. He started knocking heavily on their door, cursing and shouting. The situation was intense, and we’re all feeling shaky inside the cottage, not knowing what the madman will do next. We locked the door and made a careful observation.

Luckily, other people from the neighborhood stopped the madman from doing a rampage, and everything went back to normal. We stayed awake for a while, and I decided to sleep at around 2 AM.


Today is the second day of our team building, and it is also our final day here in Batangas. I woke up at around 9 AM, and then I saw my office mates sitting on the table, eating breakfast. The table was full of fried hot dogs, tasty bread, and the leftover foods from yesterday’s dinner (grilled chicken and pork barbecue).

Laiya beachfront... Everyone's busy!
After eating, my office mates and I decided to go swimming. The sea felt cold, and I noticed that there were so many people around. The waves were very high, close to one meter to a meter and a half.  We just had fun during our last hours here in paradise – swimming nonstop until we’re exhausted. I also built sandcastles along the shore while some just buried their bodies beneath the sand.

Time is fast. We never realized that it’s already time for us to go. We went back to the cottage and packed our things, and then took some group photos by the beachfront.

This was the first time that I experienced a team excursion outside the Metro, and hopefully, there’ll be another one next time.












1. Drive all the way to SLEX, and then to STAR Toll.
2. Take Ibaan Exit.
3. Once you reach the junction at the poblacion, turn left.
4. Right after passing the church, turn left.
5. Drive straight until you see the junction going to Rosario (near Queen Mary Hospital). Turn right and take the Rosario-Ibaan Road.
6. There will be an intersection at Rosario poblacion. Drive straight until you reach the Garcia-Rosario-San Juan-Candelaria Road. This is a T-intersection, and you should turn right.
7.  Drive straight to San Juan poblacion, and once you reached the junction near the municipal hall, turn right (there will be lots of signboards giving directions on how to get to Laiya).
8. Take the San Juan-Laiya road. Beaches are situated on the left.

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